Mister Werner Dalm has proven very impressively that one can very well eradicate Hip Dysplasia, if one only sets the standards high enough. And he has provided us very convincing data along with the necessary grafics.
Between 1949 and 1989, the population in the former „Deutsche Demokratische Republik“ (GDR) was very much on its own. At a convention the following statement was recorded on 9.11.1967: “…, that the CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia) is a hereditary disease, that a consistent prevention is required and that the complete and utter expulsion of HD-deficient dogs from breeding must be the mandatory target of all the SZG‘s (Special Breeding Associations).”
At this point I wish to remind briefly of my papers which have clearly documented, that within the SV Kennel Club, less than half of the GSDs are currently free of hip dysplasia.
In his book: „Die Zucht des Deutschen Schäferhundes in der ehemaligen DDR - Eine geschichtlich-fachliche Betrachtung“ (German Shepherd Dog Breeding in the former DDR - a historical-functional contemplation) the now deceased Werner Dalm, former Hauptzuchtwart (National Breed Warden) of the German Shepherd Dogs in the DDR, he himself being a breeder (from the kennel „vom Andershofer Ufer“ in Stralsund), elaborated on his absolute reference in regard to HD-prevention.
In Werner Dalm‘s check list, from Canto von Amicas until Don vom Zisatal, no less than 301 males with at least 5 descendants each (situation on 31.12.1987, thus at the end of an era) are being named individually, and the X-ray results of all of their offspring have been accounted for (pages 157 til 165). We are dealing here with a representative sample of more than 11.000 German Shepherd Dogs from the former republic.
HD-Prevention: DDR versus SV
The Absolute Reference re HD-Prevention
If all of the data that were collected by Werner Dalm in hard labor are being thrown into a chart, one comes to an incredible conclusion!
The sum of all of the X-rayed descendants amounts to 11.092 individuals. No less than 10.270 of them have received the HD-a (HD1)-result! In percentages: 92,59 %! That is a fabulous number, accustomed as we are in the meantime to only consider SV-numbers as a reference.
If we compare both of these references and oppose them to each other, DDR versus SV, then we get a feeling of the devestation the SV has caused, resp. of what the SV Kennel Club has missed out on completely.
The DDR-digest reveals the ratios in the DDR at the reference date of 31.12.1987, meaning shortly before the reunification.
Please do go ahead and by all means read the chapter „7. HD-Bekämpfung“, pages 143 til 156, in the book of Werner Dalm, and remind the breed wardens in your local club and your regional association of these successful selection measures applied in the DDR.
The SV–survey shows, based on the recent SV-Genetics Database 03/2009, what the present situation is and what the results for the entire population in Germany look like nowadays.
One could now argue it was easy to present a lot of HD1-offspring because only 7 or 9 descendants had been presented. This argument however is a huge mistake. Almost 40% of the X-rayed dogs of this listing have been provided by the most successful males, 20 sires threw in 4.391 of the 11.092 descendants. And even when some of these sires had up to nearly 500 offspring, their average HD-quote remained at 1,11 or 1,19!
If we put the results of the „Top 20“ of the topdogs of the DDR directly side by side to those of the SV-topdogs, then the differences are aggravating, to put it mildly.
If we go one step further and compare the progeny of the topsires of the DDR with a comparable number of progeny of the „Vorzüglich-Auslese“-males (Excellent Select) of the SV, thus joining a number of 20 sires also, then we receive a top-notch comparison between the two Shepherd Dog-associations that were operating completely seperated from each other and over a number of approximatley 4 resp. 5.000 descendants.
Let‘s have a look at Top-20 of the DDR. Joint together these males establish with their progeny an Ø HD-quote of a heavenly 1,13.
The Ausleser of the BSZS cannot compete with that. With their dubious HD-results and their enormous number of descendants they have put a heavy burden on the breed and continue to do so. Their Ø HD-quotes are currently at the level of 1,41 (Vegas du Haut Mansard), 1,35 (Pakros d‘ Ulmental), 1,44 (Zamp vom Thermodos), 1,62 (Larus von Batu), or 1,40 (Bax von der Luisenstrasse). The given quotes will soon downgrade even more, when other results of their freshly screened descendants will arrive in dribs and drabs at the SV-office. So things look quite black.
One does not need to be surprised about these terrible overal results, as these sires in their respective lineages have been building upon dubious forefathers like those who were collected in this Top-20, like Zamb von der Wienerau (ØHD-quote of 1,75) – he had brought in his HD-result from Italy! - and Jeck vom Noricum (ØHD-quote of 1,61) – who, as we are all perfectly aware of, provided an „HD3-Noch Zugelassen“-result (still admissible) (How highly did one estimate his other overall qualities that one would just look the other way and take the risk to pass on the HD3? Remember he provided no less than 1.154 (severely?) burdened descendants!)
Sire Odin von der Tannenmeise pays his respects with 1,68 – he came from Holland – and grandsire Quando von Arminius with 1,79 – he was a son of Xaver von Arminius and Palme vom Wildsteiger Land. People who are still in the possession of the old SV-magazines and want to rummage through them will be able to seek out the numerous HD-infested litters coming after this couple.
Was it not the intention to improve the breed and fight Hip Dysplasia by selecting only the very best males (Zucht-Sieger = Best of Breed, or Ausleser = Excellent Select-dogs)?
Note: Please be aware of the fact that in der DDR ALL the descendants without any exception were screened, and also of the fact that the SV Kennel Club is deprived of a lot of bad diagnoses (by slick breeders), so the result of the former Auslesers should still be amended a couple of tenths.
At the end of an era (1987) the DDR Top-20 comes up trumps with a 92,6% HD-free population and an Ø HD-score of their descendants of 1,13.
The topdogs of the SV, almost without exception former Siegers, can provide no more than 59,14% of HD-free offspring (NOT counting the withheld diagnoses!),
and offer a disillusioning Ø HD-quote of 1,60. Please do note, that with this result these Top-20-sires even score substantially worse than the overall breeding average of the entire population which stays currently at 1,43!!
Wake up SV!!
It‘s a real pity that after the reunification the SV Kennel Club has learned nothing from its colleagues, resp. did not follow up on the exemplary efforts and the lessons learned by the Shepherddog-friends from the East.
As yet nothing has been done! The reigning Bundeszuchtwarte (Federal Breed Wardens) have all looked at it, along with their Zuchtbuchführer, … and looked away again. The SV-Genetics gathers a lot of data yet, but sadly enough only one third of the HD-results of all Shepherddogs are being registered. This is NOT enough for a breed value assessment. Especially the results of a more than average amount of dysplastic dogs are never registered, they „fall from the table“ as people in Germany say. People try to keep the records clean by hook or by crook. A rather big number of the dogs is owned by foreign enthusiasts today, but the results of the dysplastic animals that are being sent in from abroad are NOT registered in the Genetics Database. Up until today one still hangs on to the definition “HD6”, although people in foreign countries are very well capable to make a diagnose (and even rate less “mild” as yet in Germany) following FCI-regulations and assessments (A til E). HD6-dogs are being offered an „A“-stamp (certificate) by the SV Kennel Club, although HD6 as a matter of fact stands for: A, B, OR C, the latter clearly indicating: „HD-Noch Zugelassen (still admissible). „Forget about it! A little bit of HD doesn‘t hurt anyone! What‘s the use anyhow? Give the darn dog an A-stamp!!“ says one at the SV.
What a load of crap and monkey business!? And what a cheat!
A rather famous scientist comments as follows:
„Should our fears be confirmed, then the different breeding associations should be informed that in doing so, the efforts of the Shepherddog-clubs as well as the efforts of the HD-commissions to reduce the number of HD-deficient dogs are being severely undermined.
Through this preselection, one makes it look as if the existing selection procedure were sufficient. On top of that, the danger is imminent, that the costly preventive checkups remain totally ineffective. With the financial burden the dogowners already have to bear, it is a highly unsatisfying situation. Costst for the HD-X-raying are then badly invested, when raw data are being pre-selected and one does not take the necessary consequences from the results.“ End of quote.
The Breed Value Assessment as it is being used within the SV Kennel Club to date, is in plain language a joke, to say the least! People also mumble about courtesy judgements of befriended veterinarians, dogs are being replaced, etc. How could one see through all of that? And why in the world would one need “SV-vets”? Do they get a special training? Or is your average vet incompetent? Doesn‘t he know how to interprete an X-ray-image? Why is it, that the same man at the very top must have the final say, to date already for decades? There can be no question of impartiality, when one belongs to the inner circle of the executive committee (even when this has not been written down anywhere).
We must refrain from translating the below-mentioned quote of Prof. Dr. Mark Flückiger from the „Veterinär-Chirurgische Klinik“ of Zürich with reference to the Breed Value Assessment, but nevertheless do we wish to leave his quote in place: (try translating tools if you will)
„Wie zuverlässig ist ein Zuchtwert?
Der Zuchtwert ist immer eine Schätzung, beruht aber auf erprobten Methoden. Es wird nicht einfach gewürfelt! Damit die Zuchtwertschätzung möglichst zuverlässig ausfällt, müssen möglichst viele Hunde untersucht und die Informationen an eine Zentrale weitergeleitet und statistisch erfasst werden. Theoretisch gelingt dies durch ein Röntgen-Obligatorium für alle Hunde einer Rasse. Ein solches Obligatorium ist natürlich nicht durchsetzbar.
Da ein Großteil der Welpen von relativ wenigen männlichen Tieren abstammt, prägen die Rüden die Qualität einer Rasse weit mehr als die Hündinnen. Für Zuchtrüden lässt sich der Zuchtwert deshalb relativ schnell bestimmen, da bereits 10 erfasste Nachkommen ausreichen.
Wichtig ist auch hier wieder, dass nicht nur Nachkommen mit guten Hüftgelenken berücksichtigt werden, sondern dass alle geröntgten Nachkommen einbezogen werden, sonst wird, noch viel ausgeprägter als beim bisherigen Verfahren, die Qualität eines Zuchttieres falsch wiedergegeben. Hündinnen können in ihrem Leben bestenfalls rund 50 Welpen bringen. Durch das lückenhafte Röntgen der Nachkommen sind deshalb erst nach ihrem letzten Wurf genügend geröntgte Nachkommen vorhanden, um ihren Zuchtwert zuverlässig zu berechnen. Bei Hündinnen ist der Zuchtwert deshalb weniger präzise. Äußerst wirksam wäre es, für die Berechnung des Zuchtwertes alle Nachkommen ohne offizielles HD-Ergebnis als dysplastisch einzustufen. Aber eine solche Maßnahme würde die Züchter und Hundebesitzer enorm ermuntern, ihre Tiere auf HD untersuchen und die Bilder offiziell auswerten zu lassen. Aus verständlichen Gründen ist ein solches Vorgehen nur schwerlich durchsetzbar.
Gewisse Klubs veröffentlichen die HD-Resultate der Zuchtrüden und der geröntgten Nachkommen, ein direkter züchterischer Nutzen wird daraus jedoch noch kaum je gezogen. HD-freie Rüden mit einen überdurchschnittlich hohen Anteil dysplastischer Nachkommen bleiben weiterhin im Zuchtgeschehen. Dabei könnte jeder Rasseklub dank der verfügbaren Daten die HD-Rate über eine einfache Zuchtbeschränkung reduzieren. Die Vorteile der Zuchtwertschätzung kommen nur voll zum Tragen, wenn bei der HD-Beurteilung die wirklich hervorragenden Tiere aus der Gruppe der guten hervorstechen. Dies ist dank der konsequenten Beurteilung, wie sie in der Schweiz erfolgt, in hohem Maße gesichert.“ End of quote.
Within the SV in Germany, from what people tell us, the buyers who intend to send in the X-rays of their dysplastic dogs for registering in the SV-database, are being verbally abused on the telephone and knocked the stuffing out of them, and are even being yelled at by the breeders, who fear that the Breed Value of their females will rise, etc. If one sends the X-rays to the breeder, then they disappear, never to be seen again. There is no restriction of breeding watsoever (please also read: „The studbusiness in the SV“ - the Ausleser-male can stud daily!), let alone studs would be banned from breeding altogether. The offspring is being X-rayed only occasionally, only the ones that breeders want to enter into their breeding programms are screened. If the individual then has the approval, it will most likely be used in breeding, and one will forget about the many dysplastic siblings, because the only mandatory thing is that the parents have more or less good hips. Our statistics prove that individuals with an SV-Breed Value of around 85-95 do not improve anything. Improvement can only be expected when the parents show Breed Values of 75 and below.
But let‘s take a closer look at this Top 20-comparison DDR – SV: