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Hi,

I am new to the forum to hopefully receive some advice. Me and my partner have decided to start looking for the perfect lab puppy. We have seen lots for sale over the last few months none of which really suit due to distance and mainly the hip scoring.
We have done our research about the whole testing etc of the parents and understand the whole hip scoring.
The question I have is we have come across a litter that both parents have been health tested and all good until the hip scoring part which mum is 8:6 Dad is 3/3 and also a puppy from mums previous litter was kept and she has also been scored 3/4. The elbows for all were 0.
So the pup from previous litter is very good hip score and also dad is very good but is mother’s to high being 14? I’m assuming because dads is very good this does help?
just after some advice from more experienced lab owners/breeders whether to stay clear or if it’s not a major issue. I obviously want a good quality dog but at the same time i understand that if both parents hips were excellent it doesn’t mean the puppies will be too. We currently have a working springer so not new to dogs just the lab as a breed.

Thanks
 

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Oh dear oh dear! It's so difficult to answer this question. 14 is not a disastrous score, and up to a few years go was the breed average! Personally I put a top limit of 12, when looking for a pup, but really, thats not the end of the story.

I note you currently have a working springer, which leads me to ask, are these working Labradors? Hip are not only genetic but also environmental, and many working people start training quite early, and quite intensely, and in doing so can affect the scores.

The genetics of hips is not straight forward, to the extent that we do not even know the mode of inheritance. We can be pretty sure it's a polygenic problem, several genes involved. But then you throw in early wear and tear when out training, or an unthinking owner throwing tennis balls in the park to excess and you can start to see that hips are not that easy to judge from scores!

With all this in mind it's better looking at lines rather than individual dogs. The dam is 8/6, but what about the dam's brothers and sisters? The dam's sire and dam? The more dogs in the line that you look at the easier it is to separate damage from genetic problems. There is some data generated by the Kennel Club, called "Estimated Breed Value" which is probably the most useful thing available. You can input the name of the dog then scroll down to see health results, coefficient of inbreeding and estimated breed value of hips and elbows. As an explanation, 0 equals the breed average, negative numbers are better than average and positive numbers are worse than average. (Probably the opposite to what you might think!) You have to register to use the site, but it's free. I've got to say, it's not the easiest site to navigate, but it's worth the effort. If you have problems, if you like to message me the names I'll look them up for you.

Health Test Results Finder | The Kennel Club
 

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That hip score on it's own wouldn't put me off, however, as John suggests you want to look at the hip scores of close relatives and further back in the pedigree to give you an idea whether it's a one off or if there's evidence of this being a problem. I don't know if the KC's website is working that well yet, the CoI and EBVs weren't working yesterday, they have 'upgraded' everything, and by upgrade I mean taken a huge step backwards in the eyes of a lot of people.

My now 14 year old has a hip score of 0/0, her dam had a hip score of 10/9 which sounds really high, but actually, back then (Tau was born in 2006 and her dam was hip scored in 2004) was only 2 points above the breed mean standard. So things have changed quite quickly with Labradors, my personal top limit would be 14, but then I'd have to reassure myself that this wasn't the norm for the dogs in the pedigree to be above the median, but rather a one off, and that the lines themselves weren't consistently producing higher hip scores.

I've just checked and although the CoI is working, the Estimated Breeding Values tool is only showing for dogs of a certain age, it's not showing for my pups born in 2017, but is showing for their mum who was born in 2012, so somewhere inbetween there it's not working.
 

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I've just checked. It's not showing for Chloe at the moment, but it is showing for her litter brother, which obviously would be the same.
 
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