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Demography and disorders of German Shepherd Dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK

    cgelogolg.pngCanine Genetics and Epidemiology

    Dan G. O’Neill, Noel R. Coulson, David B. Church and Dave C. Brodbelt

    Canine Genetics and Epidemiology 2017, 4:7 | Published on: 28 July 2017








    This study identified that GSDs have been reducing in numbers in the UK in recent years.

    The most frequent disorders in GSDs were otitis externa, osteoarthritis, diarrhoea, overweight/obesity and aggression, whilst the most common causes of death were musculoskeletal disorders and inability to stand. Aggression was more prevalent in males than in females. These results may assist veterinarians to offer evidence-based advice at a breed level and help to identify priorities for GSD health that can improve the breed’s health and welfare.



    Demography and disorders of German Shepherd Dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK (internal)


    Plain English summary


    The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide and has been widely used for herding, guarding, police, military and guide-dog roles. Over recent decades, breeding for characteristics deemed desirable in the show-ring have changed the physical shape of the GSD and there is now much debate about the health of the breed. Annual KC registrations for GSDs in the UK have dropped sharply over the past decade. VetCompassTM collects veterinary clinical data from first-opinion practices for research purposes. This study aimed to use VetCompassTM data to describe the demography, mortality and common disorders of GSDs in the UK.




Edited by Ann Milligan

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