dogs in a row 

Estimated Breeding
Values  (EVB)
for hip & elbow scores


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Cornell Medical Genetic Archive (Biobank)

Breeding a Better Dog

Breeding values derived from OFA Hip and Elbow scores and pedigrees

Here we provide an opportunity to improve selection and heath of pure breed dogs, for breeding and purchasing, based on their genetic potential for good hip and elbow conformation. The estimated breeding values we provide were derived from statistical models that combine pedigree relationships with Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Hip and Elbow Scores, all of which are available in the public OFA Database (

Major beneficiaries will be dog breeders, buyers, pet owners, veterinarians, and researchers who seek an accurate measurement of hip and elbow quality of a dog based on its genetic value for the two traits, but who have no way to access that information.

Currently, we are providing breeding values for 95% of pure breed dogs registered in the OFA database.  Only dogs in which over 1,000 individuals are represented in the public OFA data base were used for the calculations in order to maximize accuracy of the estimate.  Further, if a breed is chondrodysplastic (i.e. disproportionate body and leg length), they carry a mutation that gives them this conformation.  That mutation may alter the shape of the femoral head and acetabulum producing a dysplastic appearance. In my opinion, the forms of genes that cause hip dysplasia in those breeds may not be the same as the ones contributing in the non-chondrodysplastic breeds.  Therefore, these breeds were excluded from the current round of calculations.  The next time we update the breeding values estimates, we will include these dogs due to public demand and include dogs with provisional certifications.

For statistical modeling purposes, the OFA scores are ranked with excellent hips or normal elbows given a 1 (the lowest score) and worsening scores given a 2, 3 and on. EBV's range from -1 (best genetic quality) to +1 (worst genetic quality).  Therefore, lower hip and elbow breeding values are preferred. The accuracy of the prediction is based on the number of progeny and relatives available to estimate each dogs genetic quality.  The more progeny and relatives available in the calculations, the higher the accuracy.  Accuracy ranges from 0 to 1 (perfect accuracy).  The hip or elbow EBV is also presented in graphical form accompanied by an error (feathering) that surrounds the estimate and the average hip and elbow EBVs for the breed of interest. This visual information allows the viewer to relate the genetic quality of each dog in respect to the average for the breed.   We suggest that you identify dogs from the pool of dogs in the lower half of the breeding values for your breed. The data used to create the breeding values offered here was drawn from dogs born prior to 2009.  The concept for this graphical presentation was illustrated by Dr. Tom Lewis of the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, United Kingdom, during a seminar he presented at the Tufts Annual Dog and Cat Genetics Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, Sept 27-29, 2013. His presentation was entitled “Comparative Analyses of Genetic Trends and Prospects for Selection Against Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in 15 UK Dog Breeds.”

This analysis was initially begun in 2011 and so does not include the most recent generations. We plan to update this analysis semi-annually or annually, in order to provide you with the most accurate results.

An additional tool allows you to select a male and female virtual breeder and we give you an estimate of the genetic quality of the offspring should you decide to breed those two dogs.  

You can read the related research article describing the criterea used for determination of OFA hip and elbow scores here.

Currently, registration is FREE.  However, we accept financial donations to support the program in order to include other canine breeds and cats affected with hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia and to constantly update the statistics on each breed.

Your feedback on the relevance, ease of use, and understanding of the information in this site is important to its improvement. After you have reviewed and searched the site for hip and elbow EBVs of dogs of interest, please take a minute or so to complete the anonymous survey here.  We thank you for your help.