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I just want to call on the knowledge of you who breed as to what is classed as a 'good' hip score?


Currently, Darcey has an endorsement on her, restricting me from breeding - well, I could but I wouldn't be able to KC register them.


When I bought her, her breeder said that she would lift it but only if she received a good hip score.


I'm only wanting to breed one, maybe two litters from her but I will be really knarked if she turns round and says no!


She's booked in for April so I just wanted to know in advance!


Thanks everyone :)



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The lower the score the better the hips. Most breeds have an average score so dogs should only be bred from if their score is well below the average. I think for IS the average score is 15-16. Your breeder sounds like a very responsible one as HD is a serious condition that we should be trying to breed out of our wonderful breed.



I totally agree Dani, I just needed to know what is good :)


I have a dog who is 0/0. I would call this excellent and very rare indeed in the UK. I hope you get a score below the breed mean average and then I am sure your breeder will be happy! I hope this helps!

Lot od schools of thought on zero zero.


On the one hand its great to work towards it biu on the other if you think tha is the ball and socket on the hip joint, how much true mobility does that score offer.


I had become used to Gordons around the double figure mark total and was very surpried at the level of scoring in IRWS, much much better usualy around 2:3


Find the mean average and work to go below that. Some high scores will have pushed that up


Even when you get your scores dont just look at the total as the score is made up of different "areas" and depending on the area the score may reflect wear or damage as well as genetic disposition

Thanks Ossian, I'll bear that in mind.

I'm on tenterhooks here too, I have Henry booked in for hip scoring on Monday, the average for English Setters is 18, so I've got everything crossed as we have a couple of enquiries and I would only let him be used if they come back good enough.

Fingers crossed for you too Emma :-)

How old is Henry now? Darcey will be 14 months when she has hers done. There seems to be much debate about when is the best age.


You must let me know how you get on! :)

Henry is 20 months old now, nearly 21 months actually.  I've been thinking of having him done for a short while now, and he throws himself about so much when playing that I thought I best do it before he does himself some damage ;-) Plus, he has some admirers so we need to get it done if he is to be used.

I usually wait until mine are over 18 months, not sure why but I don't usually think about it until then.

I'll definately let you know how we get on :-)



Ossian is right. There are 9 sections to a UK hip score for each hip and each section can be scored from 0 to 6 apart from caudal acetabular edge which scores a max of 5 The minimum total score is obviously 0 but can be as high as 53 for each hip. A maximum score is very rare. You would really like to see less than half on the first three or four sections (ie Norberg angle, Subluxation, Cranial and Dorsal ascetabular edge}.
The mean total score for Irish Setters in the UK is 15 so say 7 on one hip and 8 on the other. Certainly it is advisable to breed from stock below the mean score where possible.
The debates on low hip scores have raged long into the night. Not every dog with a low hip score is sound and I have seen dogs with high hip scores move like trains and live to a ripe old age without problem. Arthiritis will play a big part in the continuing health and well being of a dog and it is just as likely to affect dogs with low hip scores.
Interesting comment that we should be trying to breed hip dysplasia out of our wonderful breed. God knows we try, as do other breeds. Breeding from generations of dogs with low scores can still throw up a dysplastic litter. If it were that easy it would have been achieved years ago. Nothing is black and white in dog breeding.

Gosh, after reading Darcey's kennel club certificate I'm a little concerned. Her father's score is fine but her mother's is 30!!! 19/11.


How much could this affect Darcey's score?


Mind you, on the plus side, if that's what she classes as good I should be okay!


I'm really quite worried now, but I guess I won't know anything until she's scored.

It may be your breeder wants you to hip score because the dam's score is 19:11 which could indicate mild hip dysplasia, and not because she thinks thats a good score.

In IRWS I try to breed only from dogs who are no higher than the average for the breed which is around a total score of 11, but have made exceptions . The highest hip score I have bred from is 6:9


Like Catherine I have a bitch who is 0:0 and has good movement, bit I cant honestly say her movement is better than my dog who is  6:9

Thank you, Margaret for an honest answer....I would just like to ask you though how old is the bitch 0/0 and the dog 6/9 ? My dog ( 0/0) is 5 now and obviously shows no hindrance at all in his back movement. I always understood that the score was a way of determining what chances a dog had to develop hip dysplasia and the lower the score the lesser the chance of problems in older age! Perhaps you could tell me if you know other wise. By the way my dog's sister is 2/2 and also showing no sign of problems.




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