OFA Ratings Explained

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

See the OFA Website for information on specific dogs.

Hip Ratings and their meanings
OFA Excellent  Recommended for breeding - No signs of Hip Dysplasia
OFA Good Suitable for breeding
OFA Fair Permissible to breed but not recommended
"a" a stamp (acceptable hips)
a-normal Certified normal hips
a-Fast Normal Certified near normal hips - Fair
a-Noch zugelassen Certified still permissible
HD ZW Breed value assessment number
0\0 Negative for HD on left hip\right hip
2\2 HD in both hips - anything else is in between 
a1 "a" excellent
a2 "a" good
Ta3 "a"fair
a6 "a" Foreign
TC Transitional Changes - Fair - Fast Normal - Borderline
A1 or A2 FCI - Excellent or Good repectively
B1 or B2 FCI - Fair - Near Normal - Transitional Changes
C1 or C2 FCI - Mild Hip Dysplasia
D1 or D2 FCI - Moderate Hip Dysplasia
E1 or E2 FCI - Severe Hip Dysplasia
More on International Hip Dysplasia Ratings
What is dysplasia and why are these tests so important?

Hip/Elbow dysplasia simply means an abnormal development of the hip/elbow joints resulting in degenerative changes.  These dysplastic changes are painful and often crippling.   Treatments are available but extremely expensive.

A responsible breeder only brings pups into the world to improve the breed.  Any continuation of diseased lines is a travesty resulting in pain and heartbreak for offspring and future owners alike.

A responsible puppy buyer only purchases dogs from those breeders that certify hips/elbows of the parents and provides guarantees for hips &  elbows.  Pet Store pups are not recommended.  Please buy from a responsible breeder or consider Rescue.

A responsible dog owner will have hips & elbows checked before beginning any strenuous exercise regime or participating in any of the more demanding dog sports, such as Agility, Schutzhund, or Fly Ball.

Please have your dog's hips & elbows certified before you consider breeding!

Links to More Information

The environment also plays a large part in whether or not a dog will suffer from hip dysplasia.

Nutrition is the greatest contribution. Puppies should be kept lean and not fat, obviously a puppy which is carrying round too much weight will exacerbate any degeneration of the joint. Research has also shown that giving a diet too high in protein and calcium also exacerbates the condition. Rapid growth in a young puppy also contributes, and, in most cases, the rapid growth rate is directly related to feeding a high calorie diet to puppies. Over supplementation of calcium has likewise been shown to be a major factor in the development of skeletal disease in puppies.

Exercise is the other main contribution. Many people over-exercise young puppies, or give them the wrong type of exercise. The wrong type of exercise can include forced running for any distance and too much exercise on tarmac or other hard surfaces. Up to at least six months of age, exercise on hard surfaces should be kept at a minimum. Correct exercise for puppies includes running and playing in the garden or in a park, although games that involve jumping and very rough play should be avoided, and the puppy should be allowed to rest as soon as he has had enough and must not "over-do" it. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise which builds up the muscles without putting stress on the joints.


OFA and GDC Combine Forces

Officials from two of the nation's major purebred dog genetic health registries, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Institute for Genetic Disease Control (GDC), are in the process of combining forces in the ongoing effort to help breeders raise healthier dogs.  

“Improving the health of companion animals is our single focus, and this combination of resources will offer significant benefits to breeders and owners alike.” - Eddie Dziuk, OFA's chief operating officer


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