A typical Lindanvale male at 2 years old

A typical Lindanvale male at 2 years old

Hip scoring

Hip scoring of GSDs started in 1978, and scores range from 0-106. The lower the number the better the hips are said to be, so a score of 0-0 is thought to be the very best.

The breed average for the combined score of both hips is around 18-20. This could be a score of 10-10 (giving a total score of 20) for example, or equally it could be a score of 8-12 (again giving a total score of 20, but indicating that one hip is slightly better than the other).

However, it is no good to simply focus on having a dog with good hips if they are unsuitable in type or character. It is also thought that environmental factors, such as diet, over exercise or high speed growth could have a significant effect on hips. If you want to know more books on GSDs, or the British Veterinary Association website could provide more details.

In Great Britain, dogs are able to have an x-ray to have their hips screened from the age of 12 months upwards. Puppies cannot have their hips screened under the BVA (British Veterinary Association) screening programme. The x-rays should be taken by a registered vet, who will then send these to go before a board of experts. A hip score of between 0 and 106 will then be given, with 0 being the very best.