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Before a few weeks ago I had never heard of OFA certifications, and today while researching the pedigree of my 16 week, old I discovered that her dam was given the rating of "fair", and her sire was not OFA certified but instead had pennhip done with a rating of "excellent". I noticed that with the fair rating breeding permissable but not recommended. The rest of the dogs in the pedigree seem to have rating of good, fair, or moderate. In the end it doesn't really matter, as I would never give my dog back, but should I have any worry of future hip problems? Other than the normal worry of owning a large breed dog of course.
 

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Chantilly Goldens
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Fair is still a clearances and many many dogs are bred on fair hips. Keep your puppy at a good weight, exercise her on a regular basis until she decides she has had enough, no forced exercise until 2 years of age, feed a quality balanced diet and you have done all you can do. You can breed two excellent parents and get dysplastic kids. In the same turn you can breed two fairs and get an excellent. So you set them up as best we can, do clearances and hope for the best.
 

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Where on earth did you read that breeding a Fair is not recommended? Fair still means no DJD and no hip dysplasia. While I might not breed a Fair to a Fair, I would have no issue breeding a Fair.

And PennHip does not give ratings, rather they tell you where your dog falls in relationship to other dogs of the same breed whose hips have also been PH'd. Since the PennHip x-rays also include an OFA shot, virtually all breeders who do PennHip will also do OFA. OFA does rate hips as Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mild, Moderate or Severe. So perhaps the Excellent was the OFA rating. It would be very common to breed a Fair to an Excellent.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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I too have to chime in with it is totally permissable and acceptable to breed a dog with a "fair" OFA hip rating. My Keeper was rated "fair" hips by OFA. She is now 13 and although a little slower there has never been any issue with her hips. Nor have there been with any of her pups who will turn 9 years old next month.
I would not be overly concerned at this time about your pup. As already suggested keep her slim and in good condition. This is the same I would suggest if both parents hips were rated "excellent" by OFA.
 

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I'm with everybody else who says "fair" is perfectly good for breeding. Many breeders will think twice before breeding "fair" to "fair," but "fair" does not mean "almost dysplastic."

Even dogs who fail OFA for hips may never develop problems. "Fair" is the minimum for ethical breeding, but it does mean the dog has properly formed hip joints.

As far as PennHIP, it gives you an actual quantitative measurement of the laxity of the hip joint, rather than a qualitative one. You need to know more to interpret the numbers, but it can really help breeders make decisions (i.e., not all "fairs" are created equal, and PennHIP can show you if one hip is very good and the other is more loose).

PennHIP also shows you where your dog's hip laxity falls as compared to other dogs from the breed who have had PennHIP done. This percentile number is only a comparison to other dogs, not an absolute figure, so unless the dog is very high, you can't put a whole lot of stock in it. Still, it can help breeders make better breeding decisions.

Some breeders appear to be using PennHIP when their dogs fail OFA. Because PennHIP doesn't have a pass/fail comment on the paperwork, unethical breeders can fail OFA, get PennHIP, and still say "my dog's hips were checked out and certified." Since the radiographs can be taken at the same time, there's no real reason a dog would have a PennHIP rating and not an OFA clearance; it may mean the breeder is up to something shady. If a dog has PennHIP but no OFA, you need to understand exactly why before you consider its offspring.

This stuff sounds really complicated, and sometimes people feel like it's a little much to bother with over a pet dog, but you're talking about an active companion animal who, with any luck, will be with you for the next fifteen years or more. A dog will always give you his best, and we need to be giving them the absolute best shot possible at a happy, healthy life.

This means only breeding or buying dogs with proper clearances and keeping all dogs at a healthy weight. Even a dog with well-formed hips can develop debilitating arthritis and joint problems if he's allowed to be overweight, especially if he's been overweight for years. By the same token, a dog with poorly formed hips may never experience the symptoms of HD if he's kept trim. On average, trim dogs live almost two years longer than dogs who are even moderately overweight, and they experience a delay in chronic health problems of almost two years. That's an extra two full years of health and happiness with your dog! For me, it's a no-brainer.
 

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As far as I know, Fair is a passing grade.

Comet's Pop was Fair, and his Mom Good. He lived 12 long years, was a very big Golden, and never had a moments hip trouble.

There is always a dose of luck/chance in all of this though.

Before a few weeks ago I had never heard of OFA certifications, and today while researching the pedigree of my 16 week, old I discovered that her dam was given the rating of "fair", and her sire was not OFA certified but instead had pennhip done with a rating of "excellent". I noticed that with the fair rating breeding permissable but not recommended. The rest of the dogs in the pedigree seem to have rating of good, fair, or moderate. In the end it doesn't really matter, as I would never give my dog back, but should I have any worry of future hip problems? Other than the normal worry of owning a large breed dog of course.
 

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I can't quite put my finger on it, but I LOVE that picture of Oriana :)

I too have to chime in with it is totally permissable and acceptable to breed a dog with a "fair" OFA hip rating. My Keeper was rated "fair" hips by OFA. She is now 13 and although a little slower there has never been any issue with her hips. Nor have there been with any of her pups who will turn 9 years old next month.
I would not be overly concerned at this time about your pup. As already suggested keep her slim and in good condition. This is the same I would suggest if both parents hips were rated "excellent" by OFA.
 

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Thanks for all of your input, I won't stress to much about it now :crossfing. AS for the Pennhip rating, the "Excellent" wording was teh breeder not official, the actual rating was 95%.

Also someone asked where I read that you shouldn't breed with a "fair" rating. Well I googled it, so if I found it on the internet it must be true! :bowl:
 

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Faux Wanda
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. The rest of the dogs in the pedigree seem to have rating of good, fair, or moderate. In the end it doesn't really matter, as I would never give my dog back, but should I have any worry of future hip problems? Other than the normal worry of owning a large breed dog of course.
The only thing that I would find of concern is the rating of moderate. That is a rating for a dysplastic dog. No dysplasia will be rated fair, good or excellent. Dysplastic dogs are rated mild, moderate, or severe.

I would not be overly concerned about the breeding of a fair to a fair.
 

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Look at the vertical pedigree. If a dog has an ancestry with a history of a lot of fairs and moderates, I'd be more concerned. As an example, I would not use an "Excellent" dog if his littermates were moderate, and I'd be very careful even if they were fairs.
 

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And this is exactly the answers expected from those who breed fair rated dogs!

( Pressed for time to proof read but I believe the jest of my point has been clearly made and can be understood.)

I believe that most, if not all of these responses reflect the opinions of people whom DO NOT have the best interest of the breed in mind. These responses are those whom flood the market with puppies who have a much higher risk genetically of hip disorders and they excuse this behavior by saying that anything fair and above is considered a passing grade and therefore they have been cleared for breeding. Which is clearly not the case! I often see ads by "breeders" really unscrupulous people who run adds stating that their dogs have OFA clearances but do not offer to explain what what OFA certified means and/or that it involves different levels and is not a pass or fail system. The majority of "Breeders" actually do not care about improving this weak hip problem that this breed is known for because they do not use the ofa for what it is actually designed for. while it is true there is no guarantee that all excellent dogs will throw nothing but excellent pups but when putting only the best in as in genetics in ancestry the odds are greatly improved on producing excellent pups. I feel that the current multi level system of grading encourages the breed to remain genetically inclined to have bad hips. It would be much better to use either a pass or fail grading system or a b c d f as I feel that most people could determine the quality quickly and easily if someone told them OFA certified Pass or OFA certified low or C grade! most of us can understand that c means mediocre. low end passing grade. It is people that make or break a breed. Just as American Pit Bulls were once known as a breed of nanny dogs. Strong, dependable, loyal and gentile. People and the force driven my making a buck, Produced puppies from less then quality lines. lines which did not support the standards of the breed. People who did not care about the breed per say, but only cared that breeding made them money. and no matter of the pups not meeting the standard temperament of the breed the puppies sold anyway. one reason is because the temperament would not be known until the pups matured. Currently the Pit bull breed is known for being unpredictable killing machines. In order for the Golden Retriever as a breed to become strong, it will take people that uphold strict breeding standards along with exceptional morals and values and rules that have been set forth to improve this wonderful breed and not because people are greedy and they have no trouble selling pups from parents that had no business breeding in the first place! The money is what each and every one of these responses is tied too as any other answer would not support their decision to go ahead and breed risky lines.
 

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A strong but simple messege.

OK people, Lets take this to a less confusing level that should drive my point home and I highly doubt I will be very well liked in this forum for saying the following.

Ask yourself this question. What is the O.F.A.? More importantly, What is their mission statement?

The OFA Mission: To promote the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease.

And how do you do this?

Fair rated dogs need to have their lineage looked at, as that is where one determines if one should or should not be a candidate for breeding.
But this info is seldom offered as the unscrupulous breeder goes ahead and breeds because they say they did not fail,. they actually did not pass either. further info would needed before receiving a passing certification and OFA leaves that responsibility to the honesty of each and every fair certified dog owner. I believe it falls into the category of having high morals and values, or none at all!
Sorry but its true......
 

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tyler39, not sure where you are coming from but a Fair differs from an Excellent only on the way the hip joint is formed- a Fair is in no way dysplastic or almost dysplastic. A better way to look at breeding pairings is to look at siblings- for a Fair whose sibs are all Excellent is a far better choice than an Excellent whose sibs are all Fairs.
That's what good breeders do. I don't think you can judge responsibility based on knowledge that is misinformed.
Perhaps you can tell us about your Golden Retriever history and what solid experience/education you have to make judgements. I suspect you might have purchased a puppy who turned out dysplastic and was from a fair rated parent- but really, there is so much more to it than just that. Environment plays a part as well as genetics. And you should know that good breeders are very knowledgeable and DO educate puppy buyers to OFA ratings, which absolutely allow Fair rated dogs to be bred (not that they 'allow' or disallow anything- but most breed clubs CoE do have allowable and not suggestions on ethical breedings). Cutting Fair dogs out of the gene pool would do much more harm to the breed than you can imagine.
 

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Tyler, what the heck? This is an older thread, and one full of excellent small hobby breeders who have produced some of the healthiest lines of goldens over the years, making hard decisions and thoughtfully researching along the way. Hitting the forum hard with a big opinion is fine, but we need some credibility. Culling dogs from the gene pool because they have fair hips( nice passing hips) would have a ripple effect of also eliminating their strong traits and diversity from an already limited gene pool. We have huge problems like Pigmentary Uveitis and hemangiosarcoma with which to cope, so removing a dog with a long-lived cancer free pedigree with clear eyes from the gene pool bc of fair hips would be insanity ruling.
 

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I usually stay away from posting in these kinds of threads because I have no real technical knowledge but because of an incidence with my Lucy I'm going to add a different, maybe controversial perspective. My Lucy had a limp a while back and so I was concerned about her hips. She was pedigree so I assumed she had all her clearences but come to find out one was missing. I was upset but at the time knew very little. Some would question the reputability of the breeder but I have come to think another way.

Nature is genetically flawed. Some of us, as humans, suffer at the end from a genetic disease. More and more behaviors have been linked to genetics like alcoholism and so on. Couples continue to have children among all the known risks. Why, because life is worth living. Now I'm not saying there are no other variables between human vs. dog but to make my point it's a fair comparison. I'm not sure where we draw the line for this beautiful breed. If you were to disallow a fair rating how scarce would the breed become? Would we be paying 5k for a golden? How many families would not be able to afford one then? It is about money no doubt but by the very fact that we have a rating system as a guide says a lot about how much breeders care about the offspring.

Having said that I do need to find a source that provides information about how many dogs with a fair rating actually develop problems, and to what extent are they. I'd also be interested in the genetic link to cancer, as this is killing out dogs at an unacceptable level. But again, when we have cancer or a heart condition that run in our family we don't stop having children. Life lived continues to outweigh risk of disease.

So in the end, we are all going to draw a line somewhere and I can guarantee it won't lie in the same place.


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I am sure this post is likely prompted by a horrific experience. Yes, there are many bad breeders out there who claim health testing that doesn't exist. However a fair rating is not that case.

And along that thought, wow this is the strangest post I think I've ever read on hip ratings.

To put it in the 0P's original words…
Sorry but its true......
OFA Fair is a passing grade.

OFA issues a certificate and OFA number for this grade.

You certainly can have your own opinion that you would not breed fair dogs, but it's very uncalled for to question the ethics of people who are testing and receiving a passing grade from OFA. And before you think to attack my character as you have some of the best breeders in our breed that come and share their expertise here, no I don't have any fair graded dogs. If I did I would absolutely breed them if the the whole dog warranted it. Our breed has more issues than just hips and breeding for a single trait regardless of what it is is a very bad idea for the overall health of any breed. A fair rated dog with long-lived ancestors, very little incidents of cancer, no eye, or heart issues that's a dog worth breeding.

From OFA's own site Fair is listed as a 'normal' grade.
 

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and....

This you say, in my opinion, to support less then optimal breeding decisions. To love a breed and to have the power to improve the breed is all up to us. Humans should not put their business profitability above seeing that they have taken a fair and many with fair siblings and parents and twisted the cert of fair to fit their less then best decision to continue their lines. It has to do with admitting that profit has over powered ethics. hypithecally, Would you prefer your child to head to school each day with the mindset of only being willing to put the effort in that will earn them a C grade? or would you encourage this child to work harder and aim for A's. as when we lower our standards just to squeak by, because a C is passing therefore it is acceptable?
 

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A dog is not made of hips alone.
The preservationists among us will never, ever see things your way- for a C is not equivalent to a Fair, since Fair is a reflection of how bone fits and a C is a reflection of how hard a student works. One can be fixed with study. One can't. You're comparing unlike things, and also valuing hips over temperament, structure, breed type, and genetics. We cannot afford to cut fairs out genetically. We need those genes. And again I say, a fair is NOT 'almost dysplastic'.
FWIW I have had ONE fair in over 30 years breeding, and I bred her. Twice. Her value was far greater than one excellent I am thinking of,who I bred once and spayed- to my breeding program, and to the breed itself. I think you do not have the knowledge to be able to make such sweeping statements, but then, you have not introduced yourself, or your reasoning basis- which, since your reasoning is faulty, is really just your feelings about something you are not educated on. You could as easily pick on any trait and really, no one trait is ever something that is a to breed or not breed dealbreaker except temperament imo.
 

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I'm not sure where you got the idea that any truly reputable breeder, whether on this forum or not, are breeding for profit. You have not shared where you gained your expertise in sound breeding practices or grading x-rays. The graded system you're suggesting is essentially what is used currently. A would equate to excellent, B to good and C to fair. Anything below that is failing. Although the differences between an Excellent and Fair are so subtle most people would have a hard time telling them apart. Every reputable breeder is out to make the breed healthier and they do that by following the GRCA code of ethics which concurs with the OFA standard that Fair is a passing grade. It does not mean dysplaysia. A dog or breeder cannot just try harder to get a passing grade like a student could. They may choose to breed a dog with Fair hips that came from several generations of good and excellent hips, the dog with Fair hips does not have inferior genetics than a dog with Excellent hips bred from a dog with hip dysplaysia. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you can choose not to buy a puppy from a breeder who breeds with Fair hips, but that does not mean that every other breeder is bad or out for money. The breeders you are trying to depose certainly aren't "flooding the market" with puppies. They may only breed one litter a year and have it sold before pups are born.
 

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This you say, in my opinion, to support less then optimal breeding decisions. To love a breed and to have the power to improve the breed is all up to us.
Actually, these two sentences put it in a nutshell- where you are wrong- the reality of it is that choosing one trait to focus on is what ACTUALLY hurts the breed, and prevents improvement or preservation. When you choose hips over other things, you are ignoring things we need. What if (to you) a very biddable, DNA clear for everything, fabulous breed type stud dog is out there who has a killer wonderful temperament and other things that make him desirable to anyone in Goldens is also OFA Fair? You'd toss him in your scenario. That's just wrong. THAT is what would be a 'less than optimal breeding decision'. And that's why people who are not students of the breed should not be breeding.
 
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