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Old 08-23-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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Default Breeding requirements in Germany

Similar topics have come up in other threads (for example whether a registry can legally require health tests before breeding) and the stringent requirements of the Germans as to what they consider suitable for breeding ("Zuchttauglich").
I lived in Germany for many years and while I my lifestyle did not allow me to own dogs there, you can trust me when I say this is a country that has mastered the art of creating requirements and hurdles in order to be able to do anything.

If you are not familiar with this, it is worth looking at. If you are and I've overlooked something or made an error, please feel free to set it right. The examples are for the GSP and GSD as I thought these had the best descriptions. I have shortened and truncated to make it easier to read - details can be found in the links.

The German testing system functions as a guide to determine those dogs most fit for breeding and to help format a consistent way of producing dogs through use of testing, temperament evaluation, and conformation standards. This performance based testing structure has proved successful and beneficial for over a century to both breeder and individual owner and has given us the Deutsch Kurzhaar we know today.
Zuchtschaus (Breed shows)
Zuchtschaus are held to evaluate the conformation of the dogs according to the DKV breed standard. In order to be considered for breed eligibility a dog must have been evaluated in conformation at least "Good" and passed standard as "Zuchttauglich" or fit for breeding.

DKV Breeding Requirements

To be approved fit for breeding (Zuchttauglich), a DKV-registered dog must have:
  • passed at least one of these performance tests: Solms, HZP, AZP or VGP
  • been evaluated at least "Good" in a Zuchtschau
  • and been approved "Hip Dysplasia Free" as evaluated by the DKV (x-ray sent to Germany).

The bottom line is that to breed a German Shepherd with registration papers in Germany, the dog must be breed surveyed/ köred. You know a dog has met this requirement when behind the dog's name is a KKL1 or KKL2.

KKL1 means recommended for breeding. A KKL2 rated dog is considered “suitable for breeding.” There are very stringent tests required to be breed surveyed, so it is a major plus to obtain puppies from either a KKL1 or KKL2 male and female. Remember, both sire and dam must be surveyed. When you have been shopping for puppies, you have probably heard the term “pink papered”? These papers are issued by the SV in Germany when sire and dam are breed surveyed.
The logical next question is what are the requirements to be Breed Surveyed? Let's say that you have a dog you want to breed according to the world standards. What do you need to know?

  1. The dog must be titled at least to a VPG I. ...
  2. The breed test ensures the dog has proper physical characteristics in addition to the working ability. Therefore, the dog must have passable hips certified through an acceptable organization such as the SV (German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany) or OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of American).
  3. In addition to the good hip requirement, the dog must have earned an AD. ...
  4. And your dog's structure must be evaluated by a conformation judge and earn at least a G rating. The top rating for a dog with a working title in a local show is V, which is excellent. The next level is SG which means “very good” and then G meaning “good.”
  5. There are other requirements regarding dentition, size, color, overall structure, temperament, sound sureness and working ability that are tested at the time of the breed survey. ...

And take a look at how they decide which dogs get to breed based on the HD scores:

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.
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.
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Last edited by skunkstripe; 11-25-2008 at 09:29 AM.. Reason: bolded to emphasize the shifting HD values

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Old 08-23-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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Great information. Knowing about the methods of testing in Germany is the reason so many of us die hard shorthair enthusiasts fought so hard to get the AKC tests for Pointing Breeds approved and into practice. We were tired of the myth that show dogs can't hunt. Back then participating in field trials was the only way to earn a hunting title and field trialing simply isn't possible for everyone who loves the breed.

As a result; now there are very few dedicated breeders whose Champions don't also have at least one of their hunt test titles. Also as a result the number of Dual Champions in the breed has increased tremendously.

The parent clubs and regional clubs are the ones that instigated the ideas for the performance tests and made them work. The AKC provided their support and the opportunity to record the certificates as part of the dog's record.

The performance certificates aren't mandatory for breeding through either the AKC or the parent clubs. But without them a dog has very little chance of being used as a stud dog. Many stud dog owners won't even consider breeding to bitches that aren't proven in the field too.

A dedicated parent club filled with dedicated members is what it takes to get the ball rolling in any breed.

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Old 08-23-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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For any breed whose origins were a job of some sort (herding, hunting, working, terrier) I would personally love to see a bit more emphasis on the ability to perform their tasks as well as fit the general breed standard. Encouragement in the AKC, well for all of the KCs, for the breed clubs to sway this way would be fantastic. In the long run we would see more dogs that fit both the form and the function, that can only result in the betterment of the show dogs. The hurdles that the GSP and GSD have in place are right in line with that train of thought.

A system in place with a 'title' or 'marker' earned by passing certain inspections, and having field trials that says these dogs are a cut above would be an asset, and a reward for the good breeders who have gone the extra mile.
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