Below are some requirements and testing the West German Shepherds are required to pass before they are ready to breed. This will give you a detailed explanation of German Terminology you will see on the pedigrees of Blick's German Shepherd Dogs. There are many words, abbreviations, ratings and titles that are used throughout many of the pedigrees of our German Shepherd Dogs. For better understanding we will give a brief description of the common terminology used.
For this rating the dog must compete for titles in Germany or other countries under the rules of the SV (Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, the club for German Shepherd Dogs in Germany). To meet this world standard each dog must pass a companion dog temperament test (BH), a minimum of a SchH1/IPO1 working degree, certified hips ("a" stamp or OFA) a 12 mile endurance test followed by an examination for physical soundness. The dog must also compete at a show to achieve a conformation rating of at least a SG or better. These requirements make the dog eligible to enter a Koerung/ Breed Survey (qualify for breeding). At the Breed Survey the dog is carefully evaluated for correct structure, temperament and courage. These requirements are only guidelines for our breed, sometimes recommendations are given to who the dog should be bred with to produce excellent offspring, also sometimes certain bloodlines are not bred together as the two bloodlines do not work well together.
Suitable for breeding. Dog may have minor faults in structure or work, which can sometimes be compensated for by other bloodlines. Maybe re surveyed at a later date.
Dogs hips have been x-rayed and certified acceptable. (required for breed survey)
Breed Value Assessment Number The best tool for breeders in the fight against canine hip dysplasia (CHD), to come along in years, is the SV's HD Zuchtwert, or Breed value assessment number (HD ZW). The HD ZW number is an estimation of the probability that a dog will produce progeny with CHD.
The HD ZW value factors in many variables in the calculation, but is based mostly on the hip status of a dog's progeny. This is the critical factor in the usefulness of the HD ZW. The dog's own hip status is only one of several important variables in the equation, not the sole determinant. This is because it is possible for a dog with excellent hip status to produce a majority of progeny with CHD. And conversely, a dog with Fair hip status can produce a majority of progeny with excellent hip status. Without factoring in this critical look at the dog's Genotype (what his genes pass on to progeny) in addition to his Phenotype, (what his actual hip status is) real progress can not be made in reducing the incidence of CHD.
So how does it work? Each dog registered with the SV is assigned an HD ZW number at birth, based on its Parents HD ZW numbers. After a dog is x-rayed, its own hip status is factored into his HD ZW. Upon producing progeny of his own, the results of the progeny's x-rays are then factored into the parents HD ZW numbers. The HD ZW number is not a static value. It fluctuates depending on what the dog produces! This is what is important: A dog's Genotype; What the dog produces. Not his Phenotype; what his actual hip status is.
An HD ZW value of 100 has been set as the breed average. HD ZW values LESS than 100 mean the dog produces fewer progeny with CHD than the breed average. A number greater than 100 means a dog produces CHD more often than the breed average. So HD ZW values less than 100 are desirable. HOWEVER, the focus must still be on the Total Dog. Breeding decisions need to include much more than only a dog's HD ZW! Working ability and Temperament are most important!
To allow for this, the SV requires that the calculated HD ZW for progeny of a desired mating be 100 or less. So a bitch with an HD ZW of 80 can be bred to a male with an HD ZW number as high as 120! The pups of a breeding like this would be assigned HD ZW values of 100 at birth. So HD ZW values Less than 100 are not just desirable, they offer greater options in breeding partners. Additionally, stud dog owners can prove their dog's prepotency by accepting breedings to bitches with high HD ZW values.
For breeders in the US, you must register your dog with the SV or USA/SV, and have the dog's x-ray evaluated by the SV for 'a' stamp. This also settles the PennHIP vs. OFA vs. 'a' stamp question. The diagnostic method to determine a dog's hip status is not relevant. The most relevant data comes from a dog's actual production, "Do his progeny have CHD or not."
There are several sources to obtain data on an individual dog's HD ZW value. The SV website has a search engine which allows entering a dog's SV registration number, or parts of the dogs name, to obtain the HD ZW. This site maps that feature in the "HD-ZW Search". You can also buy the data on CD from the SV as a one time purchase, or as a subscription updated quarterly.
This tool is a must have for every serious breeder! And now, every puppy buyer can have additional, useful information, regarding the potential for a puppy to develop CHD. Change in the reference basis (numerical calculation) of the HD Breed Value Assessment (HD-Zuchtwertschätzung)
The shows in Europe and now in North America crown the top dog in each class with the title Sieger. The most prestigious class is the Adult working class where dogs are rated VA (select) and V (excellent). VA is given to top dogs only at the national level and cannot be given at the regional level. Only dogs in the working class can achieve a VA or V rating. The highest rating in the other classes is SG (very good)
Same as for Sieger but applies to the females in each class.
Excellent Select title in that is only awarded at the Annual Sieger Show
Excellent title at a show
Very Good ( minimum required for breed survey)
Very promising, given to puppies attending a conformation show
Unsatisfactory, has faults not allowed under the breed standard
Temperament test and obedience examination to qualify for Schutzhund titles. This MUST be completed before competing for a SchH1 degree
These tests combine the disciplines of tracking, obedience and protection. Each level must be passed on the trial day and to a score of 70 or better in each discipline to achieve the degree. In each degree the disciplines are harder for the dog and handler to compete. A SchH1 is the minimum required working title for breeding in Germany. In Canada or the USA there is no such requirement for breeding.
Herding Dog title
Advanced tracking degree
The dog has passed an endurance degree test by gaiting approximately 12 miles with a 10 minute rest halfway. Passed a simple obedience test at the end of the run. In addition the dog is given a simple physical examination after the AD test. (requirement for the Breed Survey)