When you decide to get a dog, you are doing so with the expectation that your new canine companion is going to be with you for many years to come. But how many years, exactly? This is something that all prospective pet owners would like to know. The average lifespan for a dog is about 12 years, but this fact by itself tells you very little. In reality, there are a number of variables that will help determine how long the newest member of your family is likely to be with you.
Many breeds of dog become popular because they have one or two distinct characteristics that people admire and appreciate. But what perhaps sets the German Shepherd apart from other popular breeds is the unique constellation of attributes that these dogs possess. Loyal, loving, tranquil, intelligent, athletic, eager to learn, cheerful, serious, strong, handsome, dignified – these adjectives can all legitimately be used to define the personality of the highly respected and beloved German Shepherd (GSD).
The best tool for breeders in the fight against canine hip dysplasia (CHD), to come along in years, is the SV's HD Zuchtwert, or Breed value assessment number (HD ZW). The HD ZW number is an estimation of the probability that a dog will produce progeny with CHD.