Glenbern Golden Retrievers & Bernese Mountain Dogs

Orthopedic Testing:

As Canadians, we used to have Hips and Elbows evaluated and certified for breeding dogs at 18 months of age by Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) or Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Both colleges stopped doing evaluations, leaving Canadian breeders having to look elsewhere for evaluations.

OFA / OVC / BVA / Pennhip /FCI- are the most commonly used certifying bodies to evaluate dogs' hips & elbows. All are reputable, yet they all have differing ages at which they will 'certify'. 

Glenbern dogs have been screened after the age of 18 months by a variety of the hip/elbow methodologies as described below. I provide puppy families with paper copies of all the health screening tests performed on parents (prior to their being used for breeding).  According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), the reliability of 13-18 month prelimary hip evalutions with the two year old hip evaluation grades in dogs, was 95.2% reliable. (OFA - Preliminary Evaluations)

Below is a breakdown of some of the various testing agencies, and the age requirements for each of these agencies.  As you can see, there are some wide age discrepancies in regards to the age the dog can be certified:  

Pennhip screening includes three separate radiographs and can be done as early as 16 weeks of age.  

British Veterinary Association (BVA)
Located in England; will evaluate and certify hips and elbows on dogs over 12 months of age. 

Federation cynologique Internationale (FCI):
Located in Europe; states "the minimum age for official hip radiographs is one (1) year for most dog breeds and 18 months for large and giant breeds."  

Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) / Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM)
Canadian colleges; no longer offer certfications, but used to evaluate and certify hips and elbows at 18 months of age. Many Canadian dogs from earlier generations will have OVC certifications.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
Located in the United States. In order to get a final clearance from OFA, dogs must be 24 months of age. OFA will do preliminary evaluations ('prelims') before 24 months of age. (OFA may post preliminary results on their site, but will also state that dog should be re-examined at 24 months of age, in order to be 'certified'.)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBV): 
Another approach to health screening is Estimated Breeding Values.  This method has been in use for some time now in Euorpe, and Cornell University has recently started a database for North American dogs.  EBV evaluates the genetic value of an individual dog, in relation to the whole of the dog's breed, and the dog's individual pedigree.  These EBV's are intended to help breeders reduce the prevalence of hip/elbow dysplasia by more accurately evaluating genetic risk.