US bred German Shepherds and bad hips

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5,124
Location
Atlanta,GA
Anyone have experience with this breed? I'd swear that the majority of these dogs are walking around on bad hips because the AKC standard discourages dogs with a "square back" vs "sloped back". I really like the breed, always wanted one, had great experience with one as a really young kid, and it breaks my heart to see these dogs in that kind of shape Rant over...
 
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11,944
Location
North Carolina
Just my opinion, but it seems worse in purer breeds. My Shepard is mixed with Australian cattle dog. He has arthritis in his hips but no dysplasia. He is 12 and may be in his last year.
 
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291
Location
Maryville, TN
My family always had GSDs growing up, they are such great dogs. A couple of ours did develop hip dysplasia when they got older. I would agree that it is made worse by the breed standard set by the AKC. If you look into the breed many years back the straight back is much more common and accepted. One of our dogs was supposedly from a German descent and his back wasn't sloped at all.
 
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24,864
Location
Upstate NY
I am also told you cannot see it in xrays until the dogs are 1-2 years old. I have a Mastiff/Bulldog mix with hip dyspepsia and damaged tendons in knees. Vet has her on glucosamine and fish oil. She is 65 lbs and tries to tackle my 140 lb Mastiff. Its all play but she goes at him full speed. He tries to ignore her but never gets too upset. She is a [censored].
 
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1,797
Location
San Antonio, TX
Mine is GSD husky. I hope he doesnt get it. Hes about to turn 6. Getting hit by at car at age 1 probably didnt help though. Hes got pins in his leg.
 

BMWTurboDzl

Thread starter
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5,124
Location
Atlanta,GA
Thanks for the input gents. I've read some vets have hypothesized that waiting until at least age 1 to have the animal spade/neutered might prevent or delay the onset of the condition. Something about allowing the dog to fully develop its bone structure. shrug
 
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677
Location
Upstate NY
If you're very concerned, you can check if the parents of a litter have been evaluated by the Othopedic Foundation for Animals. (www.ofa.org) Many issues are genetic, and if the parents have been evaluated, you can expect similar outcomes in the litter. I've been down this path with our former mastiff. She was clear of lines for PRA and hips. Hip issues and blindness are not fun with a giant. If the breeder has concern for their pups, they'll spend the money. You will also pay for it, but it beats many preventable heartbreaks. I also agree with delaying spay/neuter until maturity.
 
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12,266
Location
Indiana
Our "normal" GSD used to get around quite well, but he's slowing down with age. Has a hard time going to the bathroom and such at times. We give him chewy glucosamine, which seems to help. I will say I like the look of the sloped back, but not a fan because of the hip issues. Well most likely get another, but they're hard to find it seems. I'd prefer to adopt a dog at this point.
 
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885
Location
New York
I had a female German Shepherd when I was in high school and into my time in the Army. It was a while ago but recall she did have hip dysplasia (which my most recent dog, an Aussie had the issue to a much greater degree). I recall she still lived quite a long life despite developing tumors and having a harder time getting up, maybe 14-15 yrs. which is probably on the longer end of their life span HD or not.
 
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1,057
Location
WV
It's been that way since the early 70's. Back then I worked for the Seeing Eye. We had trouble finding GSD's that would hold up. We started using Labs and Goldens and even purchased breeding stock from Germany. That didn't really work. It's a big reason the military went to the Malinois breed.
 

CT8

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15,408
Location
Idaho
The breeding of dogs and horses that I have seen is pretty much a criminal undertaking. I see so many animals being bred that shouldn't have been bred. End of rant !!!
 

CT8

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15,408
Location
Idaho
Originally Posted by loneryder
It's been that way since the early 70's. Back then I worked for the Seeing Eye. We had trouble finding GSD's that would hold up. We started using Labs and Goldens and even purchased breeding stock from Germany. That didn't really work. It's a big reason the military went to the Malinois breed.
I used to see Guide dogs for the Blind at the airfreight companies waiting to be shipped... . Looking into their eyes I could tell they were smarter than I.
 
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14,205
Location
Central NY
We waited 18 months to get our shedder spayed. I haven't heard about it in males, but with females I have heard that waiting helps their bones develop completely. We are lucky and ours has a straighter back than most and she is pretty light - only 75 pounds. I do worry that she is going to hurt herself with all of the energy she has. I try to take her on a walk almost every day to safely get the energy out. They are smart and clever dogs, that's for sure. We had spent a few nights with some relatives that have two Great Danes. They also have a kid and a baby gate set up. The danes were big enough to easily step over the gate but not smart enough to. My GSD was able to figure out how to open the gate. And she's good at inventing games, knows the name of all of her toys. But then there are other days I have to question whether or not there is even a brain in her head! I guess that's the goofy part of dogs. She hates riding in the F350, but here's a picture anyway [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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1,039
Location
Mississippi
I have a female German Shepherd going on 12 years old this coming June. She is AKC registered and has as much energy now as she did 10 years ago. Only way I can tell she is aging is by the grey hairs on her chin.......just like I have. Her back is somewhat sloped.
 
Messages
1,206
Location
Lexington, NC
Ask ur vet, but I'd think starting them on Glo and fish oil early would be beneficial. Vet recommended it for my small mix breed 4 YO due to arthritis in her knees. I now give it to my larger 75lb mixed.
 
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