Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is a complex developmental disease of the coxo-femoral joint and is one of the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs.
Due to the genetic contribution, most of the programs fighting against HD recommend selective breeding that excludes affected dogs. Using the best-scoring dogs for breeding may reduce the prevalence of HD. In France, the phenotypic screening of coxo-femoral joint conformation remains a strategy for breeders to establish selection decisions. The HD prevalence was evaluated in 10 breeds, based on the assessment of 27,710 dogs, during the 1997-2017 screening period, which was divided into 3 homogeneous cohorts for analysis.
The global HD prevalence varied widely among breeds from 5% (Siberian Husky) to 51.9% (Cane Corso). It decreased over time in 6 breeds, among which 4 (Cane Corso, Gordon Setter, Rottweiler and White Swiss Shepherd) showed a significant decrease. A statistically significant increase in HD prevalence was noted for the Siberian Husky.
Although the efficacy of phenotype-based breeding programs remains controversial, our results are in accordance with several recent studies showing that long-term selection policies are valuable, as they may help decreasing the HD prevalence in some breeds. The complementary use of more recent tools such as estimated breeding values and genomics would probably help breeders achieve more substantive results.