Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:
So what is the right answer? Should you get your German shepherd puppies hips x-rayed, OFA’d at one or two years old?
I say resoundingly, at one year old for a couple of reasons. First the Germans do it then, and I believe they have a good logic for it. First of all one wouldn’t want to put in all the training, time, and energy into a dog whose hips were going to be dysplasiac. It is very expensive to title a dog to BH and Schutzhund titling, which can all be done prior to the two year xray. Extraordinary effort goes into showing these dogs and preparing them for the ring. It is a great investment of time and effort. In addition to trainers and handlers, there is vet bills and food, as well as the use of limited time resources devoted to the dog.
Secondly, many dogs begin serious training in the second year of life. But some buy them as pets, while others use them for sport or work. Up until one years old, dogs are treated fairly equally. However, between 1 and 2 there can be a great disparity of how much stress hips get from one dog to another. So, where one dog is worked heavily and shows more change/deterioration in the hip profile, another may not be worked. So even if the unworked dog had slightly worse hips at one, they will look as though they are better at two, and this can be attributed to erroneously to genetics. It is better to do it at 1 when you are comparing “apples to apples”.
I require all of my clients to do the OFA prelim which they tout as being an accurate predictor of future hip health. But I do it for a third and very important reason, the good of my clients. You hear of lifetime warranties given on hips. But how many people are going to bring their dogs back to a breeder, their faithful and loved companion, in order to trade in for another pup. I know that the longer they wait the harder it is emotionally to make the break and take the pup back. So I would rather they do it at one year old, when they are more likely to return their German shepherd puppy so I can replace it, rather than them waiting until two years old and being less likely to part with it and therefore be saddled with a miserable dog in pain, with costly medical expenses.
So I say resoundingly, for these three reasons, get German shepherd puppies hips done at one year old as they do in Germany.
I hope this was helpful. Please visit our current litters or import litters pages for some exciting world class litters with parents with excellent hip profiles, which is one of our major goals as German shepherd breeders, strong joints.