Selection against canine hip dysplasia: Success or failure?

Bethany Wilson, Frank W. Nicholas and Peter C. Thomson 
The Veterinary Journal Volume 189, Issue 2,
August 2011, Pages 160-168

There is significant room for improvement in the current schemes through the use of estimated breeding values (EBVs), which can combine a dog’s CHD phenotype with CHD phenotypes of relatives, other phenotypes as they are proven to be genetically correlated with CHD (especially elbow dysplasia phenotypes), and information from genetic tests for population-relevant DNA markers, as such tests become available. Additionally, breed clubs should be encouraged and assisted to formulate rational, evidenced-based breeding recommendations for CHD which suit their individual circumstances and dynamically to adjust the breeding recommendations based on continuous tracking of CHD genetic trends. These improvements can assist in safely and effectively reducing the impact of CHD on pedigree dog welfare. Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a multifactorial skeletal disorder which is very common in pedigree dogs and represents a huge concern for canine welfare. Control schemes based on selective breeding have been in operation for decades. The aim of these schemes is to reduce the impact of CHD on canine welfare by selecting for reduced radiographic evidence of CHD pathology as assessed by a variety of phenotypes. There is less information regarding the genotypic correlation between these phenotypes and the impact of CHD on canine welfare. Although the phenotypes chosen as the basis for these control schemes have displayed heritable phenotypic variation in many studies, success in achieving improvement in the phenotypes has been mixed.

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