It is important that all Aussies that are bred from have had their hips and elbows xrayed and scored through the BVA scheme. 

** If carrying out Hip and Elbow testing please see the BVA email below (21 /3/2020) **



Hip xrays are examined looking at the condition of the hip joints. They are looking to see how the hip joint fits together, and the degree of displaysia in the hips. Each Hip is examined and in the UK given a score between 0  and 53. The lower the score the better the hip joint. When looking for a puppy you may see hip scores written as either one figure (a combination of both hips added together), or as 2 figures (the individual scores for each hip).


ASCUK's code of ethics state that all breeding dogs must be hip scored, and no dog should be bred with a score over 16.

More detailed information about Hip Scores can be found on the BVA website


Please note that dogs from other countries should still have had their hips checked, however different countries can use different scouring schemes.


Elbow xrays are examined from a combination of 2 different xrays. Like Hips, they are looking at the condition of the elbow joint, for signs of Elbow Dyspasia. In the UK each elbow is given a score between 0 and 3. Unlike Hips the two elbow scores do not get added together, and instead the score is taken as the highest score given to an individual elbow. For example if the individual elbows score 1 & 3, the overall Score is 3.

ASCUKS code of ethics state that all breeding dogs must be elbow scored, and no dog should be bred with a score over 1

More detailed information about Elbow Scores can be found on the BVA website

As with hips, dogs scored in other countries may have a different scoring scheme.

How are hips and Elbows Inherited

Hips and Elbows, and both complex genetic issues, and there is no one gene linked to either condition. This means that despite scoring we cant guarantee a puppy wont go on to have issues, however having breeding dogs tested means we can avoid dogs being bred from that do actually have the conditions. 

Environment of a growing puppy can also have an impact on hip and elbow development, and for this reason it is important that puppies, are not over exercised. A general guideline for the amounts of exercise a puppy can do is given as 5 minutes exercise per month of age. So a 3 months old puppy could get getting walks of around 15 minutes, where as a 6 month old can be doing 30 minutes. Mental stimulation for Aussies of any age, is just as important, as physical exercise.

Please see the email below from the BVA about health testing during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Dear Breed Health Co-ordinator,

We are sending this email below on behalf of the BVA. Please feel free to share within your communities, and any questions do let us know, and we will do our best to answer them.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic Canine Health Schemes wanted to update you on how this will affect your Hip and Elbow Dysplasia submissions and Eye Examinations.

Following recent government advice, we have taken a number of steps to protect the health and safety of our staff including making the move to work from home. We remain contactable by phone (020 7908 6380) or email ( but have been experiencing higher call volumes so if you aren’t able reach us by phone please send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

As we are working from home it will take a little longer for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia submissions that have been sent by post to be received and processed, so please bear this in mind if you are calling for an update on your submission.

To protect the health and safety of our scrutineers we have asked them not to travel into our London office to attend upcoming scoring and grading sessions. This means there will be a short delay in getting Hip and Elbow results back to your veterinary practice. We are currently looking at alternative options for future scoring and grading sessions and will update you once we have more information.

Many veterinary practices will be operating at a reduced capacity as they also take steps to protect the health of their staff. This may mean they are unable to provide a radiography service for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia submissions at this time, so please be prepared to reschedule radiographs for later in the year if necessary.

Likewise, many of our Eye Panellists are taking precautions to protect their health and yours, so are currently unable to offer eye examinations or attend group-testing days. We are frequently updating the March and April group eye testing sessions on our website so please check to see if sessions in your area are still going ahead.

We apologise for any inconvenience these changes may cause and appreciate your understanding during this time.

Kind regards,

Kelly Thatcher
Head of Operations and Business Development
Canine Health Schemes”