Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pretenders and Fantasists at Westminster

What you see, in the picture above, is true inbred thinking.

This German Shepherd -- the winner of the Westminster Dog Show -- is standing on its own hock -- a serious structural defect caused by a deformed back and hip structure.

This is a herding dog, that has never seen a sheep, being celebrated by people who have spent a lifetime ruining dogs, and who have never once wondered why the U.S. Secret Service will not use a U.S.-bred German Shepherd to do anything.

Max von Stephanitz suspected it might come to this.  Over a hundred years ago, the creator of the German Shepherd wrote:

"The breeding of Shepherd dogs must be the breeding of working dogs, this must always be the aim or we shall cease to produce working dogs.

In contradistinction to working and utility breeding is "sport" breeding, which produces a temporary advance but is always followed by deterioration, for it is not done for the sake of the DOG, nor does it make him more useful, it is done for the vanity of the breeder and the subsequent purchaser."

Of course, the deterioration of the German Shepherd was assured as soon as the dog was pulled into the show ring.  Look at the skeletal differences between true herding dogs and the wrecked American German Shepherd Dog.


DancesWithSandyBottom said...

Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed on Facebook

Zulu -- the "Pit Wiener Jack Brussels Sprout N' Something" dog

PipedreamFarm said...

That's not a GSD; it's counterfeit with some resemblance of the real deal & has a label claiming it is a GSD. The label and passing resemblance is designed to fool some into buying the fake so they can have the appearance of owning the real deal. Those who know the real __________ (fill in the blank) know that appearance (and label) is not what makes the breed what it is. Those who know _______ (fill in the blank) know the harm that these counterfeits are doing to the real deal both in reputation and impact on the gene pool. Finally, the general population is becoming aware of the harm the counterfeiters have been doing to the real deals; and yet, the counterfeiters continue to show off their fakes.

Jacinta Denton said...

Oh look, isn't she a pretty color.

Heather Hkdlajfoein said...

Pro show people are saying that the fact she has OFA excellent hips somehow makes her sound... smdh

PBurns said...

OFA hip scores, it turns out, are meaningless, not only when it comes to this problem but more generally.

The short sotry is that after 50 years of OFA "scoring" of canine hips, dogs are now worse off than they ever were.

Any why is that?

Well, it turns out that the OFA scoring system is not very good or very accurate.

OFA ranks hips on a seven point system after a single x-ray is taken of a live dog. Three vets then assign scores to the hips, and those scores are then averaged.

When I went to grad school we called this the "Delphic Method" -- a reference to the Oracle at Delphi. I was always said with a wink and a tired smile. Everyone knew what it really meant: a bunch of "experts" took a guess, based on murky evidence, and then the guesses were averaged. You would be surprised how often the Delphic Method is used, especially here in Washington, D.C.!

A newer competing system, the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP), requires the dog to be anesthetized before three x-rays are taken of the hips, and then a score is assigned based on an actual measurement of the hip’s distraction index (DI).

With PennHIP, a DI of 0.15 means the femoral head is 15 percent out of joint (a tight hip), and a DI of 0.77 means the head is 77 percent out of joint (a very loose hip).

The "division street" at PennHIIP is 0.30. A DI equal to or greater than or 0.30 means the dog is "osteoarthritis-susceptible," and a DI of under 0.30 as "osteoarthritis-non-susceptible."

To cut to the chase, OFA is giving "excellent," "good," and "fair" hip scores to a LOT dogs with real hip problems.

In fact, it appears they are doing it nearly all the time.

14% of dogs had hip joints scored as excellent by OFA standards, but 52% (31/60) of those had a DI ≥0.30 (range, 0.14 to 0.61)
82% of dogs with OFA-rated good hip joints had a DI ≥0.30 (range, 0.10 to 0.77) 94% of dogs with OFA-rated fair hip joints had a DI ≥0.30 (range, 0.14 to 0.77) Of all dogs with fair to excellent hip joints by OFA standards, 80% had a DI ≥0.30.

All dogs with OFA-rated borderline hip joints or mild, moderate, or severe hip dysplasia had a DI ≥0.30 (range, 0.30 to 0.83)

PipedreamFarm said...

Penn hip is no more predictive of hip dysplasia than ofa. A study from Cornell assessed this using a colony of dogs from two breeds and crosses of those breeds.

PipedreamFarm said...

Comparison of three radiographic methods for diagnosis of hip dysplasia in eight-month-old dogs.
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Nov 1;219(9):1242-6.
Lust G1, Todhunter RJ, Erb HN, Dykes NL, Williams AJ, Burton-Wurster NI, Farese JP.

PBurns said...

See >> and >>

OFA seems to have zero impact in reducing hip dysplasia. One reason for this may be that their numbers are best at age 2, while PennHip can be used at a younger age, so intervention (less weight, better flooring, etc.) can be done.

PBurns said...

Two other points: OFA will not certify a dog at 8 months, and the PennHip score quote is very high. Over .4 is high. .7? Wow! I'm not sure they're coming apples with apples here.

PipedreamFarm said...

The problem with the pennhip vs ofa study is what was used to determine the clinical state of the tested dogs. The study used pennhip data to classify the dogs and then asked how well ofa matched the pennhip classification.

The study I posted used a physical examination of the hip joints during necropsy to classify the joints and then asked how well ofa and pennhip matched that classification.

PipedreamFarm said...

For a good retrospective review of the impact OFA has had on cHD read

Many researchers are now advocating estimated breeding values when it comes to improving hip quality