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I've never had a dog that suffered HD. I believe I am very lucky.

I have not read on this issue extensively and have read mixed advise about puppy exercise recommendations for HD predisposed breeds. I was therefore fascinated to read this about HD in the study announced today. Thought I'd share.

". . . Findings from previous experiments and studies from other countries have indicated that rapid growth and a high body weight are factors that increase the likelihood of developing HD. Randi I. Krontveit's research has shown that rapid growth and high body weight in the first year of the puppies' life did not result in an increased risk of HD. On the contrary, she found that the breed that had the slowest growth rate -- the Newfoundland -- had the highest incidence of HD (36%). The Irish Wolfhound had the lowest incidence of HD (10%), yet had the fastest rate of growth.

Puppies usually live with their mother at the breeder's for the first eight weeks of their life. Several factors related to the living conditions at the breeder's were shown to have an influence on the incidence of HD. Puppies born in the spring or summer and at breeders who lived on a farm or small holding, had a lower risk of developing HD. After about eight weeks, the puppies began life with their new owner. The opportunity to exercise daily in parks up until the age of three months reduced the risk of HD, whereas the daily use of steps during the same period increased the risk. Overall, it would appear that daily exercise out in gently undulating terrain up until the age of three months gives a good prognosis when it comes to preventing HD. . . "


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