Hip scores

Sporting Shooter - - Gundog Experts -

Q My two-year-old Labrador bitch was re­cently hip scored and got a score of 15 (8:7), which is higher than I was ex­pect­ing. I am get­ting con­flict­ing ad­vice on whether I should breed her or not. Can you give me any ad­vice?

A

VICKY PAYNE replies: Ide­ally, we should only breed from dogs with a hip score be­low the breed me­dian (i.e. in the bet­ter half of all scored dogs). The me­dian for Labradors cur­rently stands at 9. If there are any num­bers in the boxes af­ter the first three, this in­di­cates that the dog al­ready has some arthritic changes caused by poor hip con­for­ma­tion and these dogs should not be bred from. If the num­bers are only in the top three boxes and your bitch is an oth­er­wise out­stand­ing ex­am­ple, some peo­ple will feel that it is ac­cept­able to breed her. If you choose to breed, you need to look for a stud dog with a very low hip score (un­der 6 and no more than 4 on ei­ther side), and with a good EBV (es­ti­mated breed­ing value). The EBV is based on as­sess­ment of his close rel­a­tives and prog­eny and gives you an idea whether his pups will have lower hip scores.

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