Hip Dysplasia in Rottweilers

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Hip Dysplasia

What is Hip Dysplasia?

  1. In dogs, hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is affected by environmental factors.

Polygenic: A polygenic trait is one whose phenotype is influenced by more than one gene.

Dog skeleton Picture

Hip dysplasia (HD) in dogs is affected to a larger degree than previously believed by the environment in which puppies grow up. It is particularly during the period from birth to three months that various environmental factors appear to influence the development of this disease. During the puppy stage, preventive measures can therefore be recommended with a view to giving dogs disposed to the condition a better quality of life.

Above Paragraph Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

My Opinion on This Matter

I do not base my opinion as a degree holding scientist but somewhat on what I have read and mostly on my own personal observations of Rottweilers. Firstly it does offend me that some breeders believe it is their right to decide what Rottweilers should and should not be bred under the ‘guise’ it is for the betterment of the breed. Especially when they base their decisions on factors that are absolutely out of any dog breeders control when it comes to white hairs, aggression, temperament or even hip dysplacia. Let me elaborate on each topic below.

White Hairs:

Easily understood as the ancestors of these magnificent dogs had white marking. The fact that through selective breeding the white markings have all but disappeared does not mean they cannot show up now and then as they are an integral part of what makes a Rottweiler a Rottweiler. Many show rings around the world will mark down a dog with a white patch but other than that it has no effect on the dog whatsoever. Also a few white hairs in a puppy usually vanish as they grow up. The general thought that breeding a Rottweiler with any white markings should not be done is probably sound although unproven but does not mean that breeding one would result in any pups having white hairs either… I personally would not breed with a Rottweiler that had white markings showing.

Aggression, Temperament

This is an age old topic with many, many dog breeds and none any less in our Rottweiler’s.

Bad press and general misunderstandings of the animal world seem to lead people to form some very strange opinions at times causing seemingly unstoppable trends, even law changes all because some squeaky wheels got heavy press or the topic they were pushing may have been politically correct.

Anyway, I have trained Rottweilers in attack work and found getting one to actually intentionally bite someone was hours of training to achieve. Just a side I have not and do not recommend this type of training and when I did it I was very young at the time and inexperienced also. Also with living with many Rottweilers for many years they are no different than most dogs in the way they look at life.

  • If they know their place in the family (pack) they respect that.
  • If they feel threatened or scarred they may snap out.
  • If their master (pack leader) rewards aggressive behaviour they will try to please their masters.
  • If many Rottweilers are roaming without a dominant leader they will revert to pack mentality much like human mob mentality and act accordingly.
  • If little puppies are not corrected when they bite people no matter how cute it may be at the time, they will believe as they grow up that this is permissible.
  • Not socializing Rottweilers produces an overly protective dog that may have fear issues with other people as they grow and cause them to needing to be muzzled around people.

On the subject of temperament I have trouble believing a dogs temperament has anything to do with their breeding at all and has 100% to do with their raising by their new families. I say this with much experience from observable periods throughout my life with Rottweilers. I have notices that in a litter of 5 or more pups, (these were the litters I actually saw this in), ALL the pups show Alpha tendencies also submissive tendencies and aggressive tendencies and fear tendencies, well actually, in fact, every character that a dog can show really.

This just goes to the fact that any pup from any litter could grow up to be any way the new owner wanted them to be. If encourages one dog may have a proclivity to one particular character than another but this does not mean it will become that particular character when the new owners have them. Thus, in my ever so humble opinion, bad temperament and aggression in older dogs was taught ( or at least encouraged)  to these dogs not inherited.

Hip Dysplacia

Firstly although this is a horrible heart wrenching problem any large breed dog owner may go through I found parvo virus a much more devastating problem at one time in my life while living in the US. That aside Hip Dysplacia in Rottweilers is a problem but many, many cases could be thwarted if the dogs that were showing signs of this problem had had as a puppy, an upbringing from caring informed owners. This does not mean that owners of older dogs that suffer hip dysplacia were in any way uncaring or ill informed owners. They may just have been so very unlucky and got a pup that was getting hip dysplacia no matter what they did while bringing it up. Puppies can be very hard to control for their own sake at times, But there are many things as new owners that we can do to help lessen the possibility that our Rottweiler puppy will grow up and suffer from hip dysplacia.

Hip Dysplacia Elimination.

Cannot be done as of this writing.

Help in the Prevention of Hip Dysplacia Developing

It is generally understood with very little research that hip dysplacia in Rottweilers is something to do with the ball and socket of the animals rear legs. This is accurate but like in children there are ways of lessening the development of these type of conditions.

  1. Do not over feed your puppy or dog of any age.
  2. Do not over feed your puppy or dog of any age.
  3. Do not over feed your puppy or dog of any age.
  4. Do not encourage your puppy to jump up or down on or off things. (What they do on their own is usually acceptable.)
  5. If your dog is being fed by others watch their weight as a heavier than usual dog is not optimum.
  6. Walk your dog daily which helps strengthen their tendons and ligaments, (around/after 6 months of age)
  7. Never hold your dogs rear legs or lift them by them
  8. Keep puppies off slippery/wet floors
  9. Do not buy puppies from breeders who breed dogs that are or have/showing signs of hip dysplacia.
  10. Make sure your puppy receives the correct amount of essential food ingredients to form healthy bones.
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