The film of the hips (left) shows the growth your pup's skeletal structure has reached (see the photo of the 2 week old pup at top right of page ) by the age of 24 months.
Position of the dog on the table, for purposes of certification thru OFA, is of paramount importance. The black lines inserted onto the film point to the areas that are most critical to have proper positioning, equally positioned from side to side, horizontally and vertically, being done by your veterinarian, in order to obtain optimal results for your dog's ratings with OFA.
Q. What is the reason you require xrays to be done twice?
A. This requirement allows us to first be able to see what the pup's hips and elbows look like, genetically, before the pups are exposed to heavy work or play, or have become injured in some way causing inflammation to the bones with resulting thickening of the injured areas. True genetic dysplasia will be evident in both hips at this timeline. We require this first xray to be taken between the age of 12-15 months. This is called your OFA Prelim.
The second set of xrays, which will be your final xrays and will allow your pup to receive it's rating for hips and elbows with OFA, is required to be taken between the age of 24-26 months.
NOTE: Pup owners who miss these timelines are NO LONGER ELIGIBLE for upgrade to full registration.
Q. What should we do if our pup is injured in some way and we are concerned that it may cause problems with our pup being able to pass it's hips and elbow certifications?
A. IF your pup does sustain an injury, such as a torn ACL, being crashed into by another dog causing it to cry out in pain or being knocked to the ground, or having a dislocaition or subluxation of the hip bones or elbows in some way, we require you take your puppy to your veterinarian at the time of the injury being sustained, and have this injury to your pup documented by your veterinarian in order to prevent a failed rating with OFA due to injury.
In these instances, and depending on the type of injury and how your pup had to be treated for this injury, your vet may be able to later submit documentation of this being the case, at the time the hips and elbow xrays are taken and submitted for ratings.
Often, injuries can cause your pup's bones to be inflammed at the injured site, which sends the body into repair mode, but which may also cause remodeling or excessive calicification to the injured site of the bone or joints that have been affected. This can cause your pup to fail it's hip and elbow ratings. Without this documentation of an injury and your veterinarian submitting this information at the time your hips and elbows are submitted for ratings, your pup may not be able to pass hip and elbow ratings with OFA. This is not a genetic problem, and a unilateral HD or ED rating (one side) is NOT covered under our guarantee because this is due to being injured, coupled with the natural process of the body's natural way of repairing an injured bone and it's surrounding area.
Q. We have purchased our pup only with Limited Registration. Do we still have to xray our puppy as required here?
A. No, owner's pups sold with limited registration status are not required to xray your pups except as pertains to our replacement guarantee policy, in which case the timelines and guidelines as shown in this FAQ informational
must have been followed, as stated herein.
Q. Why do you require the dogs are NOT BRED before age 2 years?
A. This requirement is twofold.
First, because we believe very strongly that these large breed dogs are not fully mature, or fully grown themselves until they are at least age 2 yrs. Some even take longer. We don't want our pups bred... and to be expected to raise a litter... before they themselves are fully grown. This takes nutrients from your own dog's fulfillment of growth potential, in order for her to nourish her upcoming litter.
Secondly, because breeding the dog before age 2 yrs can cause you to receive a less than desirable hip rating, due to changes in the hips and joints often caused from early pregnancy and whelping. In addition, breeding without having had health screenings completed for hips and elbows and to know with certainty that the breeding pair have received breedable hip & elbow ratings, is not conducive to producing offspring which will improve the breed in general.
Breeding your dog before age 24 months and/or before receiving your hip and elbow passing ratings from OFA VOIDS your guarantee and eligibility for upgrade to Full Registration.
Q. What steps must we follow when it's time for my pup to get it's first set of xrays taken?
A. We require that you contact us first by email, at least two weeks ahead of the time you are ready to do your xrays, to let us know you are preparing to schedule your pup's xray films, and so we can go over the procedure with you before you go with your pup to your vet clinic.
Q. What should we do if our female pup comes into heat during this required timeline?
A. Owner of pup MUST Call Me to notify me if she comes into heat just prior to or at the 12-15 month, or 24-26 month timelines. Once your female begins to cycle with her heats, you must remember to mark down your female's heat cycles on your calendar, and keep track of them. This will help you anticipate when she will be due to come into heat for each of her cycles, and will help you anticipate her next heat around the xray deadline timeline.
Q. What happens if we may be outside the required timeline?
A. PROVIDED you have emailed me to notify me she is in heat, notating her start of heat date (notification by phone IS NOT ACCEPTABLE NOTIFICATION THAT YOUR DOG IS IN HEAT) at... or just prior to... the required timelines for xrays, you will be granted a short extention for your timeline, based on information you as the dog's owner are responsible to know, and based on you keeping track of her previous heats.
We will then have you schedule your first xray right in between her last and next heat cycle, for instance, if her first heat is at around 9 months, then she will come into heat roughly again at 14-15 months. So to comply with the timeline, you should schedule her xrays for approx. age 12-13 months. OR...if her first heat is say 11 months, we would adjust the timeline accordingly to be right in between this heat and her next heat but in most cases you are still within the timeline to comply with the max of 15 month age for her first prelims. Some females start their first cycle at 7 or 8 months.. these are the ones that may need to have an extension, especially for the first prelim xray, since her second heat cycle will fall at the approximate time she will be needing to have that first set taken, betewen 12-15 months.
Q. Is it OK for us to take H & E xrays while our female is in heat?
A. NO, Absolutely Not. During the time your female is in heat, the hormones change as dictated by nature, as part of the process of preparing her for a possible pregnancy, and thus, make her hips very supple, moveable and lax, in the event she does become pregnant and to allow her to expell puppies through the pelvis. This is NOT a good time to be xraying, as they may possibly fail due to "subluxation", which is loose joints or laxisity of joints. We require xrays be done either 6 weeks before coming in heat, or 6 weeks after they are fully out of heat.
Q. How long is a female's heat cycle?
A. A typical, normal heat cycle lasts for about 21 days. There are many, many varianbles from this timeline, depending on a multitude of causes and genetic female traits within familial lines. Often young canine females,
just like human adolescent females, take some time to establish what will be, for them, their normal cycles.
Q.Will there be any signs that we might watch for, to let us know our female is preparing to come into heat?
A. Yes.. Typically females will begin to furiously blow their coats anywhere from 45 days before coming into heat, and up to almost when they are coming into heat. This springing of their entire coat is dictated by their hormonal changes, in preparation for them to begin their heat cycle. (See photos below)
Showing dog with her normal coat, prior to this young dog's heat cycles beginning. Nice dark pigment, undercoat is not at this time very visible. Preparing to blow coat..notice undercoat beginning to lift and dog becomming lighter in color..even on the legs.This is the dog in the process of blowing coat. While this can also be a normal process for all GSD's,
it often signals the hormonal change for coming into heat.
Q. What happens if our female is accidentally (or on purpose!) bred & becomes pregnant before 2 years of age?
A. If your female pup is bred and becomes pregnant, this automatically Voids your guarantee, you will no longer be eligible for the Full Registration upgrade.
Our belief is very strong that our puppies are not yet fully grown, mentally or physically, before 2 years of age, needfing to grow up themselves to become a well rounded adult. We do not believe it in our pups best interest to whelp before the age of 2 years, nor are they able to sufficiently provide for a litter of new babies. Additionally, our pups... when forced to become mothers at this early age.... are not themselves fully grown / mature, and instead of providing their own bodies the nutrition they need for their own proper growth and development during this important growing period for themselves, they are now forced to provide this instead to their growing puppies. Pregnancy and whelping can also change the quality and proper developement of the hips, causing laxisity which may prevent your dog from passing it's OFA ratings. Owners who have "ooops litters" are not owners we want to provide full registration to for our puppies. We view it no differently than protecting your young teenage daughter from an unwanted early pregnancy...As your pup's owner, It is up to you to insure that an unwanted early pregnancy does not happen to your pup.
for final upgrade procedures...
Self exercise is good for your pup.. Forced exercise is not.
That means your pup can run and play at his own leisure, and be able to stop and rest when he's tired. We do not ever recommend exercising him by jogging, even for short periods, on long runs or walks, as the concussion caused from the pounding to the soft forming bones and joints is detrimental and can cause permanent damage to newly forming bones before they are calcified and hardened. There is no pre-determined set age rule for this, but as a minimum guideline, at least until he reaches 18+ months of age. (I prefer not to subject them to this until after they are 24 months and have received their hip and elbow certification), after giving their bones and joints sufficient time to grow properly and to calcify into harder bone. Some stimulation to the bone/ joint is necessary and contributes to helping bones to grow and to stimulate new formation of bone in your growing pup. Letting the pup run and play, as he plays and rests throughout the day, will be all that is needed to help your puppy grow as nature intended, along with providing your pup a healthy, lean and balanced diet of course.
What to do...
after you have received your passing ratings from OFA?
Q. Once we have xrayed our pup, and have received our passing certification for hips & elbows from OFA, how do we proceed for upgrading our Limited registration for our dog we purchased with FULL Registraton status?
A. Once you have received your OFA Certificate with passing ratings, you will need
to send me the following:
1. The AKC upgrade form which I have included here as a link for you to download the form, requesting change from limited to full registration from AKC.
Click at right for form Application to Revoke Limited Status
This form will need to be mailed to me as an original, with original signature from you...
so download it, print it out, and fill in your part as dog owner only.
Make sure you fill in only your dog owner part,
(NOT the breeder/ owner of the litter part)...
The breeder part, along with the date the change takes effect, is for me, as the breeder, to fill out.
Send the above to me,
2. OFA copies of the hip and elbow ratings from OFA, and
3. the ORIGINAL Limited Registration Papers from AKC...
4. your check for $25.00 payable to AKC,
(for your new Full Registration certificate) and
5. with your dog's AKC # written on the top of your check.
Jean Schrader / Schraderhaus K9
Quality Working German Shepherd Dogs
Roy, WA. (United States)