Unique Dog Health Assessment Online: Try our GSD Health Profile.
Now it's accessable on all HEALTH-related pages on MYGERMANSHEPHERD.org, in the right sidebar.
In the end it's a calculation, of course, but the quality and amount of insight this tool can give you may surprise you. Just make sure that you enter as precise data as possible to get the most reliable results.
The ultimate goal is to provide you an online health assessment for your GSD that is better than the average vet - and nonetheless our tool is FREE for you and your GSD! So, don't hesitate any longer, use it frequently: whenever your GSD changes.
The scope of the results significantly depends on your input data. As a general rule, the less data you enter and/or the healthier your dog, the shorter the results (at a vet, ideally you get a mere "Your dog is fine" statement - of course, with a hefty price tag underneath!). Conversely, if your dog is say underweight or too heavy, our Online GSD Health Assessment will even give you dietary advice!
The more GSD owners use our GSD Health Profile, the more we can implement to improve it further. But it's already pretty nifty I must say. It really considers all your input data!
Below you see some explained dog health assessment example results, obtained from the GSD Health Profile 'widget' with no other input than what you can enter for your dog too. It really is that easy!
When you hover over any input field you will see helpful 'tooltip' information, as highlighted in the image. When you've completed your inputs, click the red 'Calculate HP' button (Calculate Health Profile).
All results will depend on whether you enter 'f' or 'F' for female GSD or puppy, or 'm' or 'M' for male GSD or puppy. Only Gender, Height, and Weight are required inputs, the other fields are optional.
The info-icon next to 'Height' you can click. Then you see a page with an illustrated explanation how you can easily and correctly measure your dog's height and weight. This is crucial to get accurate results. Most dog owners don't know how to measure their dog's height accurately, hence the linked page with an illustrated explanation.
The more input data you provide for your GSD, the more results you will get. Likewise, the more accurate your input, the better the results.
The results show up underneath all your input, they start with 'Your GSD'.
Apart from the surprisingly detailed results presented as prose (text), the cool feature that I like a lot (and we spent a lot of time on!) is the graphical representation of how your dog or puppy compares to the German Shepherd Breed Standard.
Don't worry, if your GSD is a Large Breed GSD, as predominantly bred in the USA, this will be identified and considered as well!
Now off to explaining the results. First you get your dog's weight and height in metric measures (because most our visitors and members are more used to initially measure in pounds lbs and inch).
Next, you get a brief assessment whether your adult GSD is at good weight. Note that we don't give a weight assessment for puppies as this would be unreliable since they develop very differently for the first 8 months! Also, intentionally we have implemented generous ranges for weight and height, because it just doesn't make sense to lump together all dogs regardless of differences in other important factors that influence whether a dog is at good weight - as is so often done elsewhere! Another reason why we allow for much more input data.
Next, you get the Breed Standard height and weight for your dog or puppy, ie considering your dog’s age (if you input it). The implemented ranges for height and weight of GSD puppies at different age may need a bit more calibration, but we can do this thanks to all of you who subscribe and input puppy data too (as we now suggest).
Below this comes the aforementioned graphical presentation - very cool! The more distance between your dog (X) and the standard height and weight range, depending on age (!) if you input it, the more special is your GSD as compared to the breed standard.
Note that the display of height and weight under each other allows to see additional detail: eg in the example on the left, both the dog's height and weight are above the GSD standard, but in terms of weight this dog is much closer to the standard, so it has an issue with its weight compared to its height - as confirmed with the weight/height ratio summary above: 'Severely underweight'!
Below the graphical representation may appear info on the Large Breed GSD if applicable (as was in the example above).
Then comes the Maintenance Energy Requirement (MER) in kcal per day, and to how much food this translates that your dog needs, depending on all your input data, not just weight and height (nifty)! Required food intake is calculated based on a diet balanced in carbohydrates, fats, proteines, minerals etc - which your GSD should get anyway.
Below this follows dietary advice if your dog is severely underweight or severely overweight or obese.
Then comes the Body Surface Area (BSA) in square inch - can be useful in some instances wherever you need to know roughly how much body space would need to be covered or say some lotion be applied to.
Below this follows the Maintenance Water Requirement (MWR) in GSD-specific standard environment: Genetically, the GSD's metabolism is still close to the 'medium-cold' environment prevailing in Germany where this breed and I originate from. In other words, in warmer weather - and depending on the exercise regime - your GSD will need more water intake to stay healthy.
Then comes the analysis of your GSD's amount of daily exercise (if you input it). Naturally, the kind of exercise also matters significantly, hence in the 'tooltip' of the exercise input field we say: 'Running or Trotting (Sport or Work), not Strolling'! Eg swimming counts, but when you simply walk the dog, not.
The final results are about your dog's heartrate and respiration (breathrate), if you input it. Both of these certainly require more calibration, but since we don't ask for this data when you subscribe we have to wait for you to use our GSD Health Profile Assessment for your dog.
At the moment this input is only assessed based on the results of research that others have done and published, and this is very limited indeed.
There isn't much GSD-specific research yet when you consider that the German Shepherd is the most popular breed in the world. That's why we are delighted to be able to contribute so much quality data on the global GSD population, thanks to all of you who subscribe! Since we are all academics here, and I am scientist by education, we know we can contribute a lot to GSD research in general.
To my knowledge, this is the only comprehensive online GSD health assessment tool anywhere on the web. Certainly, in terms of its underlying methodology and hence the quality of its results in general, it is second to none. Very cool also is that from now on when you input your dog's data and click 'Calculate HP', the results are transmitted both onto your screen and back to the server. While you need not worry about disclosing 'personal' data of your GSD (because you don't, we don't know your GSD and haven't seen him/her!), everyone's input will contribute to better calibration for all results.
To eliminate 'nonsense' data from site visitors that don't input genuine GSD data, we will apply established statistical methods that shall help to generalize and cleanse all data before it is being used to derive any results.
Anyway, to finish off, the GSD Health Profile Assessment ends with a call to action: 'Improvement suggestions welcome!', because they really are! So, if you have a good idea or wish what we should add or change in order to further improve the only comprehensive Online Health Assessment for German Shepherds then add your suggestion or wish below. Thanks.
Tim Carter - Founder MYGERMANSHEPHERD.org