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Hi all,

I am currently looking for a vizsla puppy to show and have spoken to a handful of very reputable breeders (thoroughly researched). One breeder contacted me that she has a potential male for me, but when asked about the the parents' hip scores, the mother's was 17 (9,8). The sire's is 3 (1,2), so I was wondering if I should be concerned about the puppy's hips? Both parents are champion show dogs and come from excellent lines.

I've spoken to the breeder about it and she assures me that she's never had hip problems with any of her dogs in the past and has been consulting many veterinarians about it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Where is this? For the benefit of those of us not familiar with this system it would be helpful to explain what those numbers (And the one in parenthesis) mean.

But if your breeder is reputable s/he wouldn't breed dogs that are not within the acceptable range, regardless of the actual number.
 

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If this is the UK hip score system then I've read that a combined parent score of 22 or below is what the breeder should be working to.

But then I have also heard people in the 'dog world' mention that hip scoring has become too much of a focus for breeders rather than other characteristics you'd want from a dog.

And one more thing, a breeder told me that if a bitch is hip scored when young they will score better than a year or 2 later. Their complaint was that some breeders were breeding too young to achieve this.
 

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Honestly, I feel like there is a lot of controversy in HD and I, too, had a hard time making decisions whether to be OK with certain HD scores...
From what you said, it sounded like it is not first-litter mom. Can you find out more information about the previous litter(s) and how the puppies are doing? You could find the names of the owners and ask them. Before I got my V, I called or messaged friends of friends of friends to gather some information and everyone was really helpful and it made my decision much easier!
 

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Difference between OFA, and pennhip.
Pennhip the dog is always sedated, it's three different x-rays, and it checks more in depth for laxity.
OFA is one x-ray, with the dog's body hips and legs placed in the (hopefully) correct position. If the dog can still long enough, there's no need for them to be sedated for OFA.
Pennhip can be done earlier, than official OFA.


You're going to have to do a lot of research, on relatives of both parents. How good were the hips on aunt, uncles, siblings, grandparents. Go back as many generations as you can find.

I agree hip scores mean nothing on breeding, if the dogs do not have correct temperament.
But you also need a healthy dog.

Some health problems don't show up in a dog, until two or three years old. You need a breeder that will stand behind their dogs for that time. If they won't give you a contract (and stand behind it) for genetic, and congenital problems for at least 2 years. I would walk away.

You also need to know, exactly what their guarantee means. Does it mean you have to return the dog, to receive any compensation? Can you keep the dog, and part of your money be returned. Can you keep the dog, and receive a new puppy.

We become very attached to our dogs, and most of us would not want to return them.
So I would not want that to be the only resolution in the health guarantee.
And to be fair to breeders, I don't think they should be on the hook for everything.
 

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Here is a link to the information, of how they score hips. I've read up on it a few of times, but to be honest. I would not be the best one to ask.
I had planned on asking Dr Tatum, when I had Shine OFA'd. She also did pennhip, but she retired in the last few months.

http://www.online-vets.com/hipscore_2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Where is this? For the benefit of those of us not familiar with this system it would be helpful to explain what those numbers (And the one in parenthesis) mean.

But if your breeder is reputable s/he wouldn't breed dogs that are not within the acceptable range, regardless of the actual number.

This is in the UK. The numbers in the parentheses are the left and right hip scores, and the number outside is the total. A perfect hip score would 0 (0,0) and the absolute worst score would be 106 (53, 53). The average total score for the vizsla is 12, so the dam's score of 17 is above the average, which isn't ideal.

The breeder is very reputable, and so I am inclined to trust her thoughts on the issue but I wanted to hear more opinions.
 

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Honestly, I feel like there is a lot of controversy in HD and I, too, had a hard time making decisions whether to be OK with certain HD scores...
From what you said, it sounded like it is not first-litter mom. Can you find out more information about the previous litter(s) and how the puppies are doing? You could find the names of the owners and ask them. Before I got my V, I called or messaged friends of friends of friends to gather some information and everyone was really helpful and it made my decision much easier!

The dam has been bred before and the breeder has hip scored 2 of her daughters, both with a total hip score of 12 (with the sire scoring 16). The breeder told me she's only had one dog with a hip problem - she scored 20 (5,15) and became slightly lame in her right hip at aged 9. This makes sense to me, though, given the extreme unevenness between the 2 hips.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Difference between OFA, and pennhip.
Pennhip the dog is always sedated, it's three different x-rays, and it checks more in depth for laxity.
OFA is one x-ray, with the dog's body hips and legs placed in the (hopefully) correct position. If the dog can still long enough, there's no need for them to be sedated for OFA.
Pennhip can be done earlier, than official OFA.


You're going to have to do a lot of research, on relatives of both parents. How good were the hips on aunt, uncles, siblings, grandparents. Go back as many generations as you can find.

I agree hip scores mean nothing on breeding, if the dogs do not have correct temperament.
But you also need a healthy dog.

Some health problems don't show up in a dog, until two or three years old. You need a breeder that will stand behind their dogs for that time. If they won't give you a contract (and stand behind it) for genetic, and congenital problems for at least 2 years. I would walk away.

You also need to know, exactly what their guarantee means. Does it mean you have to return the dog, to receive any compensation? Can you keep the dog, and part of your money be returned. Can you keep the dog, and receive a new puppy.

We become very attached to our dogs, and most of us would not want to return them.
So I would not want that to be the only resolution in the health guarantee.
And to be fair to breeders, I don't think they should be on the hook for everything.
Thanks! Yes, I am more concerned about the health rather than the temperament at this point as I've met some of the breeder's other dogs and they are wonderful. The health guarantee contract is for life and if I return the puppy, can receive a new one from a future litter. But I agree with you, I would probably not exercise this right as I expect to become extremely attached - hence why I want to take as many precautions as possible before selecting the puppy.
 

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The dam has been bred before and the breeder has hip scored 2 of her daughters, both with a total hip score of 12 (with the sire scoring 16). The breeder told me she's only had one dog with a hip problem - she scored 20 (5,15) and became slightly lame in her right hip at aged 9. This makes sense to me, though, given the extreme unevenness between the 2 hips.
I see! This is very similar to the time when I had to choose whether to risk it and get the puppy or walk away... I ended up walking away. From what I heard, there's different opinions on this and it all comes back to you and how much you are willing to risk. There's no bad decision. I know breeders who love the temperament of their dogs so much that they sacrifice a little bit of the health (breeding on HD B which is not ideal but is acceptable and completely legal). Getting a puppy is never "risk-free" even if the breeder assures you about it. Genetics play a huge part but environmental factors especially during puppy stage are important, too.
Another thing is that there's other illnesses and people get too concerned only about hips.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. And good luck!:)
 

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This is in the UK. The numbers in the parentheses are the left and right hip scores, and the number outside is the total. A perfect hip score would 0 (0,0) and the absolute worst score would be 106 (53, 53). The average total score for the vizsla is 12, so the dam's score of 17 is above the average, which isn't ideal.

The breeder is very reputable, and so I am inclined to trust her thoughts on the issue but I wanted to hear more opinions.
Thanks for the update.. I think you might be over thinking this.

There's a lot that goes into scoring hips, not the least of which are the subjective judgement of the scorer as well as the vet's positioning of the animal on the table. I have heard of the same dog going to two different vets (days apart) who arrived at totally different, totally justifiable results. So, the numerical difference might not necessarily reveal the exact nature of the relationship btwn the hip and socket. To me, as long as the scores are above "Dysplastic" I think you're OK. Yes, a lower score is better, but you're also looking for the binary here, are the hips OK? And the answer here is yes.

A good breeder will seek to breed a dog with lesser hips to one with better ones, but that is still not a guarantee of good hips. I think you need to look at the total package of typical Vizsla health concerns and the breeder's address of those, instead of fretting over just the hips. Regardless of the number (which is subjective), these dogs are clearly not dysplastic (something that is easily seen on an X Ray regardless of a numerical grading system). So you're OK.
 
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