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Dermoid Sinus Hip Dysplasia OCD

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

There are a number of excellent sites on the web that give enormous detail about this problem.  Below I have listed just a few that I found particularly useful:

bullet Hip Dysplasia (excellent graphics)
bullet Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Resources  (leads on to a wide range of information)

The Ridgeback is a fast-growing, large dog and it is vital that they are correctly fed and exercised in their formative years.

Currently in Australia the breed average is 7 (combined score of two hips out of a possible combined score of 106). To lessen your risk of having a pup with CHD ensure that the parents of the pup have been hip scored and that the score is within breedable limits.  It is generally accepted that breeding stock should not have a hip score higher than 10 and the lower the score the better.

The following quote is from Malcolm B. Willis, BSc, PhD:
Dr. Willis is a visiting senior lecturer (semi-retired) in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, The University, Newcastle upon Tyne. He is an Honorary Associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and analyses hip score data for the British Veterinary Association.

Even so, you must not breed only by the numbers. A good breeder goes about the job with a set aim of trying to produce functional dogs that approximate to the ideal. I see breeders who cannot see beyond a head or a light eye or a good set of hips. Such breeders are doomed to failure because they do not look at the whole dog.

And you've always got to try to select stock that is not only much better than the breed average, but much better than your kennel average. If you breed from parents that are better than average, their progeny will be better than average, but not, on average, as good as their parents. If you breed from parents that are worse than average, their progeny will also be worse than average, but not, on average, as poor as the parents. There is, in effect, a pull towards the mean. And that's why it can be so hard to improve the breed.

Finally, all breeders will produce defects if they breed long enough. Those who tell you that they do not produce defects have either stopped breeding, breed hardly at all or are being economical with the truth. There is no crime in producing a defect. The crime, if any, lies in what you do about a defect. If you bury yours quickly and keep quiet about it, and I do the same with mine, then sooner or later we may use each other's dogs and pay the penalty for not having been honest with one another and with the breed we probably profess to love.

In simple terms, breeding is all about selecting the best and then mating the best to the best. "Best" is a relative term and to a great many breeders best is what they happen to own. Sometimes they are correct in that assumption but more often than not they are wrong because they are not critical enough of their own stock.