How to know if a german shepherd pup will have genetic issues and diseases such as the hip one?

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Question by biddies: How to know if a pup will have genetic issues and as the one?
I want to buy a purebred one. Im not getting one for a few month, but I don’t want it to have the common hip problems and such. How do you check or find out? Also what is the differnce with a gsd with and without super bloodlines.
Here looks like a good breeder, but what do you guys think?

Best answer:

Answer by Katie Marie
Go to the AKC website and go to the breeder referral page. These breeders will test their breeding stock for health issues including hip dysplasia.

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    • wildfyre_blaze
    • December 30, 2013

    “Also unless you want a hyper animal that never stops ” working lines” which i do not recommend unless you are a police officer looking for a working K-9.”

    This is improper information. A well bred GSD with proper stable temperament will not be “hyper”. A working line dog will certainly be more “Go go go!”, but he should also have an off switch. They want to work, but can also chill out on the couch when it’s not time to jog or train.

    I can recommend several wonderful working GSD breeders.

    The slope in the topline of the GSD is not caused by hip dysplasia (Though I WOULD run the other way from this “breeder” since he is breeding a dysplastic animal). It is caused by the angulation in the rear of the animal. A heavily angulated dog is NOT an indication of dysplasia. A dog can OFA “Excellent” because the ball of the hip joint is seated deeply and firmly in the socket of the hip. This same dog can also be technically crippled due to an overangulated rear end.

    “Also American shepherds tend to have a much stronger straighter back causing less stress on the hips.”

    Incorrect. East/West German/DDR/Czech GSDs (working lines) tend to have the straighter toplines. American and West German showlines have the greater angulation in the rear, and thus, slope in the topline.

    BOTH the SV and AKC standard call for withers that are higher than the back, and flow gently into the level topline (level can be interpreted any number of ways).

    “If you are interested to know the “King Shepherd” is a wonderful animal. It is an over sized german shepherd, aprox 120 to 160 lbs and are very low key and super gentle creatures.”

    Um…no. The German Shepherd was never meant to be a 160 lb Behemoth, and most of those “King Shepherds” are ill tempered poorly bred animals that are OBESE!

    “Good breeders will not breed their dogs if they don’t have “good” or better OFA ratings”

    Not true. OFA Fair is a passing rating. Fair’s can be bred (and are), but they should be bred judiciously, and always to another animal with a grading better than theirs (Good/Excellent) and with a history of good hip production

    • King Les The Lofty
    • December 30, 2013

    It is purely an advertising site, and not yet eligible for listing in The_GSD_Source – click to see the minimum information required for a listing in that group-site.

    This doesn’t mean that their dogs are crap, just that such a newbie kennel has a LOT still to learn – there is a huge learning curve between being a pet owning child and becoming a reputable breeder!

    You will need to join The _GSD_Source (acceptance is instant) in order to access its Files section, in which you will find a draft of my “Choosing a GSD.doc” explaining what to look for when deciding where to get a GSD, and how to interpret what advertisers want you to know and DON’T want you to know.

    So far as avoiding genetic problems is concerned:
    • If it is due to a dominant allele then simply avoid litters where a parent has that problem.
    • If it is due to a recessive pairing or is polygenic you can never be 100% certain, but run away from “breeders” who don’t list the officially certificated results of what that breed’s “breeder club” or “advisory council” recommends. In GSDs that means that both hip and elbow scores MUST be available & recorded on the pedigree for the parents and the grandparents at least. Ideally those scores will be done using BIF-scoring (as per Australia, Britain, New Zealand) with annual Progeny Analyses available so that you can see how risky the males in the pedigree are – bitches rarely have enough progeny scored to make a Progeny Analysis worth while. Next best is the German SV’s ZW scoring, once you understand its principle. Only slightly better than useless are the category schemes – German ‘a’-stamps, FCI numbers, OFA. PennHIP has little acceptance among bone specialists.
    You believe that GSDs have “common hip problems”? The last litter from my kennel in which HD occurred was born back in 1983, and wasn’t planned by me – a 4 months pup was allowed to run free with his in-season dam, because he was too small to reach her “target” and anyway he was too young to be fertile. Yeah, right….. My 14 year old shows no indication of HD or ED; my 12 year old is now showing a little arthritic stiffness plus tenderness in his hind paws that seems somewhat similar to gout.
    • If there is epilepsy in the ancestry, go away. There is no reliable clearance test.
    • If there is haemophilia in the line, find out which sort. Haemophilia A cannot be passed on by unaffected males but can be by unaffected bitches; one of the most important German studs of the early 70s was a haemophiliac and caused much distress until people simply stopped breeding from lines that came through an uninterrupted female line (his daughters then their daughters then their daughters), and made sure that the descendant they used came via a male descendant who wasn’t a haemophiliac. Von Willebrands Disease can come through unaffected parents of either gender, so breeders who have that behind their litters MUST have blood tests done and use only those certificated as free or low-risk.
    • If the breeder offers no Guarantee or only an oral “guarantee” or, when you read it you find that it protects the breeder, not you, then you can be sure that the litter is highly risky for one or more genetic problems – and everything genetic that a human can suffer can be found in dogs, too.
    • If the breeder automatically provides a printed & signed Guarantee that will “hurt” him/her financially should your pup develop any of the genetic disorders in, say, the next 3-5 years, you can be confident that there is only a tiny chance that the “bad genes” will manage to slip past that breeder’s knowledge and screening tests. But because recessives cannot be detected by xraying or blood-tests while accompanied by their dominant partner, and because of the way random mixing occurs during meiosis and random matching occurs during fertilisation, you can never be 100% that a pup will avoid an ancestral recessive – well, not until DNA testing is available for each of those recessives.

    What “super bloodlines” are depends on the person – bloodlines suitable for winning a Canadian or US Grand Victor/Victrix title haven’t been typical of the GSD breed for decades, bloodlines suitable for winning a SchutzHund Sieger/Siegerin titles are unlikely to be suitable for herding or as a family dog (maybe not even as a show dog), bloodlines suitable for gaining VA gradings need not waste their time entering at Westminster. About 18 months ago the World Sieger entered at Crufts, much to the delight of the GSD people in England. He went BOB but got nowhere in the Group – at Crufts the Group and In Show judges aren’t used to genuine GSDs, just all-breeds AlsatiOns.

    No room to say what’s wrong from [BrendaLee], [Dianne M], [gsdluvrr].

    To ask future questions about GSDs, avoid the kids-pretending-to-be-experts that plague YahooAnswers, and instead join some of the 300+ YahooGroups dedicated to various aspects of living with GSDs. Each group’s Home page tells you what they want to talk about and how active they are.
    Les P
    owner of GSD_Friendly:
    “In GSDs” as of 1967

    • gsdluvrr planned litter in June!
    • December 30, 2013

    If the dogs are OFA certified “good” or better than they shouldn’t pass any bad hip displaysia genes to their pups, although that depends on past generations also. Good breeders will not breed their dogs if they don’t have “good” or better OFA ratings. Good breeders also put their dogs’ ratings on their website. The breeder you linked does not have the OFA results posted on her website, so I would say this is not a good breeder and I would not suggest getting a pup from them if you want to gaurantee good hips and elbows in the dog you purchase. If you want breeder recommendations, I know a bunch of German Shepherd breeders. Feel free to e-mail me, my e-mail is on my profile. If you tell me whatr line you want a pup from and any other specifics that you are looking for I can definitely help you out!

    • Novarobin
    • December 30, 2013

    If I could vote, I would vote for Diane M. Extremely well said.

    As she said, no responsible GSD breeder would breed a dog that has not been proven (titled) and OFA’d. Most will go above that with eyes, elbows, DNA, etc.
    Look for a breeder that titles their own dogs instead of just importing a titled dog. The people who put this much work into their dogs are much less likely to breed a dog with temperment or health issues.

    There are different lines, its too long to get into here. The site I posted on your earlier questions has a wealth of information. They will also give you feed back on breeders and there are more than a few breeders on their.
    Take the time to research your breeder and spend the money. It will be well worth it in the end.

    • BrendaLee
    • December 30, 2013

    So glad to find your question, German shepherds are my favorite breed and have had them all my life. As far as the the hip thing goes ” displasia” you cant tell until after several weeks of age what the chances are. You need to get the puppy checked by a vet. Find out about the the sire and the damn and there medical history. Also unless you want a hyper animal that never stops ” working lines” which i do not recommend unless you are a police officer looking for a working K-9. Make sure you tell the sellers you are looking for a dog with LOW to medium drive. Otherwise you will have your hands full. Also American shepherds tend to have a much stronger straighter back causing less stress on the hips. The german lines are usually high drive hard to handle with the tendency to become aggressive if not properly socialized on a regular basis. Also have there traditional slanted back which tend to have more bone and joint problems. Make sure you find a well known breeder who can give references, remember this will be a 10 to 15 year commitment. If you are interested to know the “King Shepherd” is a wonderful animal. It is an over sized german shepherd, aprox 120 to 160 lbs and are very low key and super gentle creatures. Also great with children.Check the internet. Hope this was some how helpful. Good luck to you. Brendalee.

    • Diana M
    • December 30, 2013

    A dog usually should have its hips and elbows xrayed at 2 years old by the OFA or Pennhip. ALL reputable/responsible breeders will have proof of OFA “good” or a-normal hips on hand. A displastic dog should NEVER be bred, as the disease will likely pass on to the pups, as well. Before buying a pup, always make sure both parents are displaysia free. In German shepherds, especially, hip displaysia is terribly common due to bad breeding.

    There is no such thing as a GSD with super blood lines. There is the responsibly bred German shepherd with titled parents and a pedigree of titled dogs, and there’s the irresponsibly bred GSD without. No dog should ever be bred unless he/she has already been titled. In a German shepherd’s case, the dog should have SchH1, SchH2, SchH3, VPG1, VPG2, VPG3, IP1, IP2, IP3, KKL1, KKL2, VA, Ch., Sieger, Siegerin, or other such titles. It should also have hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and DNA checked out, among others. A breeder that does not title his/her breeding stock is a IRRESPONSIBLE breeder, aka backyard breeder or puppy mill.

    These dogs at the breeder you linked do not seemed to be titled with Schutzhund or conformation titles… they are German show lines, and yet not even a district Sieger/Siegerin. Also, it may be just the way the dogs are stacked, but I think 1 or 2 of them have roached backs… HIGHLY undesirable.

    • moondog
    • December 30, 2013

    Buy your puppy from an ethical registered breeder who has all health certificates for sire and dam…this is a must do and you should be provided with copies of the certificates when you get your pup. It would be best if both parents had some titles but a championship title is not necessary IMO. There are many brilliant dogs out there that are not champions.

    This is not a guarantee that your pup will grow up clear of joint problems because some of these problems are due to nurture, not only nature. Over exercising a young pup can certainly cause joint problems.

    Contact your local breed club and they will put you in touch with ethical breeders. Also go to a few shows and speak with some breeders. It’s a good idea not to engage them in conversation when their dogs are about to go into the ring because they’re busy but most ethical breeders will only be too happy to discuss the breed with you.
    If you have any ideas of breeding your dog you should let the breeders know.

    Good to hear that you are doing your research, it will pay off and you will get a nice healthy puppy.

    • Camille
    • December 30, 2013

    if the guy or lady is a good breeder both parents would have been scanned for genetic floors such as hip displasia. and the litter would have been screened as well. ask the breeder and ask to see the results and if you can’t read them also ask for them to talk you through it.
    If you buy a pup ask for a copy of the test.

    • del_sol_dragon
    • December 30, 2013

    I personally don’t like GSD’s with the extreme sloped back ends. It doesn’t say, from what I can see, on the site if they do hip and other genetic testing, but you’ll want to make sure they do. The will have certification papers and results for the tests.

    • misstraceyrick
    • December 30, 2013

    A top class, reputable breeder will have screened the parents of their pup’s so that any genetic disease’s and hip problems won’t be present or gained in the future! All the pup’s paper’s should state that the parents, both of them, have been hip scored and generically checked!

    • velcropap
    • December 30, 2013

    check that the parents have been tested.

    • Toy Fox Terrier
    • December 30, 2013

    Good breeders should hip check their dogs through systems such as OFA. Ask for the parent’s scores.

    You can also look them up on the website

    I don’t particularly like the breeder. Looks nice, but the adult male has hip dysplasia, yet they breed him. Such heavily sloped backs, too…

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