SV Breed Show Rules (Zuchtschauordnung) 2013 edition

Translation copyright Fred Lanting


I. Definitions and responsibilities

1. Distinctions

2. Local breed shows

3. Regional groups — Conformation shows

4. Specialty shows

5. The Sieger Show in Germany

II. Organization of Conformation Shows

1. Show catalogs

2. Division of classes

3. Judgments

4. Appraisals

III. Other Comments

The Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) e.V. (Inc.) is the parent club of the breed, recognized by the VDH [Germany’s all-breed organization] and the FCI [international breed standards organization]. To the purpose of the conserving and further developing the breed, and described in Section § 3, item 2 of the statutes of the SV (the breed’s controlling body), also to promote firm commitment to our goals generally, and particularly for the direction of the organization, the SV remits the following “breed show rules” indispensable for the breed. It has the effect of law.


I. Definitions and Responsibilities

The club promotes conformation shows for the German of Shepherd Dog in these two coat varieties: Stockhaar (straight, medium-length topcoat) and Langstockhaar mit Unterwolle (long hair with woolly undercoat). In conformation shows, the dogs compete (are exhibited) in separate classes according to their hair type.


1. These shows are distinguished as follows:

1.1  Local clubs’ conformation shows,

1.2  Regional groups’ conformation shows,

1.3  Specialty shows for the breed, which are incorporated as part of VDH all-breed shows,

1.4  The Sieger Show (in Germany, usually called the Bundessiegerzuchtschau).

2.  Shows Organized and Managed by Local Clubs (Ortsgruppe), but Responsible to the SV.

2.1  Local club conformation shows need to have their event (date) timeframes approved by the SV headquarters and the Landesgruppe (regional organizations).

2.2  The schedules for, and awards at, local conformation shows are accomplished through the respective Landesgruppe.

2.3  The securing of approved judges for local conformation shows is incumbent on the local club, which also must pay the expenses and reimbursement for the conformation judges.

2.4  The local club that puts on a conformation show has to show proof of insurance coverage.

2.5  The local club is responsible for running an organizationally flawless event, as well as for the observance of all applicable details involving the SV. For free and easy handling of the classes, this includes providing two sufficiently large rings [one for males, one for females], especially if at least two judges have been hired (exception to this requirement is indoor shows), and an area for the awarding of prizes.


3. Regional Conformation Shows

3.1  Each SV Landesgruppe (region) has to conduct an annual conformation show in their domain. It can authorize a local chapter in their region with complete or partial implementation.

3.2  The dates for these regional shows are determined by the Zuchtausschuss (breed committee) far in advance. These SV regional shows occur exclusively on Sundays. Three neighboring regional groups can reserve the three successive dates on a single weekend for local shows.

3.3  The choice of officiating judges is incumbent on the respective region. Each Landesgruppe proposes at least three judges for the Sieger Show, who would be available for judging on that weekend.

3.4  These regional groups need to reserve approved dates through the SV head office.

3.5  For insurance coverage of these Landesgruppe shows, section 2.4 applies.


4.  Specialty Shows, when Part of VDH All-breed Events

4.1  Local or regional GSD competitions can be incorporated as independent specialty shows at VDH events. The breed show regulations under I.2 and/or I.3 apply.

4.2  The appropriate breed show regulations of the VDH also apply.

4.3  Judges for such specialty shows must possess VDH judging credentials.


5. German Sieger Show — The SV arranges an annual Sieger Show each September.

5.1  The organizer is the SV headquarters, which authorizes a Landesgruppe location. Part of the implementation and management can be transferred to the regional organization.

5.2  The location and the establishment of dates come from the SV, with regional agreement.

5.3  The designation of judges is incumbent on the SV executive committee.

5.4  All dogs shown in the breed classes on Friday have to be present for judging on Sunday. Otherwise, the general directions given in the breed show rules apply under III. “Other Arrangements” (2.) See below.

5.5  In addition, special arrangements pertain, which are listed in published documents such as the SV Zeitung magazine, announcement flyers, and others.


II. Organization of the Conformation Shows

1. For the conformation shows as described in I.1, a printed show catalog is imperative. 

1.1  In the show catalog all dogs that are to take part in the event must be listed with names, studbook or registry supplement number, whelping date, proof of parentage, name and address of the breeder, and name and address of the owner.

1.2  The only dogs allowed at the event and listed in the show catalog as competing are:

1.2.1  listed in the SV studbook/supplement (SZ) or in equivalent records of an SV-recognized club and identifiable by a tattoo and/or chip number,

1.2.2  over 12 months are old,

1.2.3  free from indication of diseases are,

1.2.4  not covered by a progeny or registration ban,

1.2.5  the property of SV members,

1.2.6  not kept on the property of persons for whom a showing prohibition was decreed.

1.2.7  Bitches are not allowed to be shown after the 42nd day of gestation. Nursing bitches are first allowed in the show ring after the 42nd day following whelping of their puppies.

1.2.8  Closing date is, at the latest, 12:00noon on the last Monday before the event. The entries must be received in the SV headquarters (per fax, for example) for the breeding records preparations by, at the latest, 12:00noon on that Wednesday. Dogs not pre-entered, or entered late, may not participate in the event.

1.3  At conformation shows, only persons who can prove SV membership may enter dogs.


2.  Division of Classes

Dogs in conformation shows compete by coat-length variety classes: “Stockhaar” and “Langstockhaar mit Unterwolle.” At shows lasting more than one day, the first day of the event counts as the cut-off date for entries.

2.1  Youth (Jugend) classes are for dogs that have reached the 12-month birthdate, but are under 18 months.

2.2  Young dog (Junghund) classes are for dogs that have reached the 18-month birthdate, but are under 24 months.

2.3  Working dog (Gebrauchshund) classes are for dogs that have reached their 2-year birthdate.
[Note: they must have reached those ages by the first day of the show.]

2.4  Dogs covered by Section II.2.3 must have proof of a training degree: at least IPO-1 or an HGH, or is a certified search & rescue dog at Level B (in IPO-R-F, -FL, -T, -L or -W).

2.5  HGH (herding-titled dogs):

a) Dogs over 24 months must have the HGH training degree. This must have been acquired at a herding trial acknowledged by the SV.

b) Dogs in the HGH youth/young dog classes (Jugend-/Junghundklassen) can also be shown without training degrees, if the owners show proof that they work as shepherds or the shepherd-dog handler shows membership in his acknowledged sheep-breeder organization. Alternatively, the exhibitor can produce the working-dog number registered at the acknowledged regional business. A new certification is to be presented annually. This doesn’t apply for professional shepherds.

2.6  Breeders’ Groups

A breeders group (Zuchtgruppe) is composed of at least three, and at most five, animals of a kennel that also are shown in their classes at the same show, each having received the minimum quality evaluation of “Good” (G). The animals of a breeders group must have the same coat length variety. The breeder’s group is graded according to these judgment criteria: uniformity of the group (40%), quality of the individual animals (40%), and similarity to the parent (20%).

2.7  For the betterment of the breed, dogs between 9 and 12 months age that are entered in the progeny groups (classes) of the show but which do not have breed evaluations, are hindered [it counts against them in the eventual judgment]. They are given a ranking and placing, but no appraisal.
2.8  Dogs over six years are eligible to be shown in their own special class, “Veterans.” They are given no critique, but are given a ranking (placing) in the class.


3. Judgments

In puppy classes (see 2.7), the following judgments can be awarded:
vv (vielversprechend), “very promising” – dogs that correspond to the breed standard fully or with minor, insignificant shortcomings.

v (versprechend), “promising” – dogs that correspond to the standard, but display some recognizable anatomical or developmental limitations.

wv (weniger versprechend), “less promising” – dogs that have limitations in respect to more anatomical, character, or impartiality defects; these should not be given a public appraisal or critique in the ring.


4. Appraisals (See supplement chart between 4.1 and 4.2)

4.1  The following appraisals can be awarded at conformation shows in accord with I.1.1 to 1.3:

– Excellent (V, Vorzüglich): Dogs in the Open/working class, which fully correspond to strict application of the breed standard, are self-confident and stable, are indifferent to gunshots, have the ‘a’-stamp on the pedigree, as well as the ED stamp (indicating normal, almost-normal or still permitted) if born after 01.01.2004, and have completed a breed survey if they are over 3.5 years old. Double first premolars are permitted.

– Very Good (SG, Sehr Gut): This is the highest possible rating for dogs between one and two years of age that fully correspond to the breed standard. Also designated for animals in the Open/working-titled (Gebrauchshund) classes, which would otherwise correspond to the requirements for Excellent, except for minor limitations in anatomy. SG is also possible for otherwise anatomically flawless animals that, however, have slight (up to 1 cm) overbite or underbite, or lack one P-1 (first-premolar) or an incisor.

– Good (G, Gut): Dogs that generally correspond to the standard, but have clearly recognizable anatomical limitations. The absence of one P-2, or one P-1 plus an incisor, or one P-2, or one P-3, or 2 incisors, or one P-2 plus an incisor, or one P-2 plus one P-1, or two P-1s, is possible for “G.”

– Sufficient (Ausreichend): Dogs that on the day of the event are gun-shot-sensitive, or do not show impartiality to strangers (are people-shy), or in their over-all presentation including anatomical condition are not worthy of a higher appraisal.

– Insufficient (Ungenügend): Dogs that are gun-shy; dogs that do not have bold character but rather have some defect in regard to impartiality; dogs that have breed disqualifications. For dogs with over- or under-bites of more than 1 cm, the Ungenügend appraisal is combined with a progeny registration ban, which the acting conformation judge has to apply for (report and recommend to the SV main office).

Regulation of special cases is covered in Section III-2.

Addendum (chart inserted by the translator, Fred Lanting):

The Judging of Tooth Faults in Conformation Shows and Breed Surveys

(Rules allow for missing or broken teeth that are documented as being due to non-genetic causes.)

VA (Vorzüglich, select): Flawless bite, complete dentures, no defective teeth or large gaps, no extra (double) teeth.
V (Vorzüglich, excellent): Flawless bite, complete dentures, no large gaps;
(double P-1 premolars, and/or teeth broken accidentally are allowed).
SG (Sehr?Gut, very good): missing one P-1 premolar or an incisor; see 2013 note above & 2010 FCI rule below.
G (Gut, good) and eligible for Körung: missing: two P-1s, or

one P-1 and an incisor, or

one P-2, or

one P-3, or

two incisors. or

one P-2 plus one incisor, or

one P-2 plus one P-1, or

two P-2s;

Ausreichend, sufficient: other problems in addition to, or instead of, the above
“U” (Ungenügend, “Insufficient”)
and blocked from the registry:
absence of: one P-3 and any other tooth, or
one fang (canine), or

one P-4, or

one M-1 (1st molar), or

one M-2, or

a total of any three teeth.

FCI disqualifications as of 2010:

a)       Dogs with dental faults, with lack of:

 1 premolar 3 and another tooth, or

 1 canine tooth, or

 1 premolar 4, or

 1 molar 1 or molar 2, or

 a total of 3 teeth or more

b)       Dogs with jaw deficiencies:

 overshot by 2 mm and more,


 level bite in the entire incisor region

4.2      At the German Sieger Show, besides getting the appraisals described in 4.1, there is in addition the appraisal or award of “Excellent-select” (VA, Vorzüglich-Auslese), which presupposes evidence of additional criteria:

For the VA designation, the dog must have received at its breed survey the TSB appraisal of ausgeprägt (pronounced or outstanding), must have complete, flawless dentition, and must possess a training degree of at least the IPO-2. It must also have proof of normal or fast-normal (almost normal) in both HD and ED status, and have proof that it qualifies for breeding (in the Körung and Leistungszucht records.

4.3     Environmental (non-genetic) causes for damaged dentition or missing teeth, have no importance or consequences to the breed evaluation or awards. It is required, however, to show without doubt the former presence of healthy, robust teeth and a flawless scissors bite, such proof being confirmed on the official pedigree and/or the registry supplement. Such proof can be given to the acting conformation judge:

1. a) Proof of previously complete and healthy, robust dentition, and b) of previously recorded flawless scissors bite; this can be given by submitting to the judge the scorebook or the Ahnentafel (SV pedigree), or the registry supplement in which a conformation judge, after personal examination, has described and confirmed the dentition status, with the dog having been at least 12 months old, or

2. If a breed survey certificate (Körschein) is presented, in which the dentition and bite were shown to be normal at the time of the survey, or

3. If the pedigree or supplement has been presented earlier to the SV studbook office and describes the missing or damaged tooth. In every case, the studbook office must have proof such as in numbers 1 or 2 above, or else a certificate from a SV-approved veterinarian about the absence of a tooth together with the dental radiograph. On the x-ray picture, at least parts of the root or the tooth socket must be shown. The veterinarian must be one who is already approved by the SV or be an acknowledged veterinary dental specialist. This applies also in cases where teeth had been damaged or lost before the examination described above in 4.3.1 could have been arranged.


III. Other Regulations

1. The full entry fee is to be paid [and kept] even if dogs are entered, but not shown.

2. Dogs that were shown in the “standing exam” (individual exam) and then are taken out of further competition without explicit authorization from the acting breed judge, will receive a rating with the notation “Insufficient” (Ungenügend) and must be banned from showing for 6 months. With this notation of Insufficient, a ban on progeny registration is enacted, taking effect at the time of the violation and the notification of the judge to the SV main office.

3. A judge’s decision at a conformation show is definite and final. No objection against it is allowed.

4. The exhibitor is obligated to make true statements about his dog. Attempted deceptions lead to the introduction of criminal proceedings by the club.

5. The exhibitor is obligated to show sportsmanlike conduct. Offenses can lead to the disqualification of his dogs, to a reprimand, and/or the introduction of club criminal proceedings. Whoever intentionally makes wrong statements or fails to answer charges or demanded statements, or who makes or tolerates changes or surgical alteration of his dogs, with apparent intent to deceive the judge, will lose not only any award or show placing, but also, according to the gravity in the case, can be excluded from subsequent events or be assessed a penalty by the SV.

6. At conformation shows, it is not permissible to handle any dogs that are owned by the acting judge and/or his near relatives. Extreme reserve should be exercised with dogs that were trained by, or owned by the judge or any of his relatives. This also applies to anyone living, co-owning, or co-breeding with the judge or members of his household, etc.

7. At the individual exam (“standing presentation”) dogs are to be shown to the judge without substantial help in posing (they are to show a natural stance).

8. By entering dogs in an SV event, dog owners indicate their agreement to the removal of hair for tests, which can be done upon order of the acting judge, by any person authorized by him. The hair samples are to be sent in the HQ SV office. This action serves to grant leave for them to test the hair for dyes applied to the dogs. The owner/s are responsible. If the suspicion should confirm hair color manipulation, the costs of the investigative procedure are to be carried by the owner/s of the tested dogs. In such a case, any breed evaluation made in the show ring is cancelled, and for the dog in question there is an embargo from any entry in the studbook and supplement, for 12 months from the day of the determination. The SV immediately introduces a rules hearing against the owner/s. If the manipulation is not verified, the SV carries the costs of that investigation.

9. During the show and the judging, it is not allowed to use noisemakers or loudspeakers to stimulate or get the dogs’ attention, whether electrically or with gas or compressed air. It is likewise forbidden to employ pistols, whip-cracking sounds, Schutzhund sleeves, etc. Offenses can lead to the disqualification of the dogs, to the reprimand of the caller, and to the introduction of internal (SV) procedures against the owner and the caller.

10. Conformation shows can be held anytime during the year, but indoor shows are allowed only from 1 December to the end of February.



Addenda to the Breed (Conformation) Show Rules — 2012 Edition

To  II. Organization of Conformation Shows

To  1.1  Show catalogs

Dogs that are not printed in the catalog may not be judged or rated at the show. Subsequent revisions brought in through pasting-in etc. are not allowed.

To  1.2.5  Membership

Membership is not a requirement for owners who are residents of foreign countries.

To  1.3  Membership

Membership is not a requirement for handlers who are residents of foreign countries.

To  1.2.8  Closing date

Closing dates for conformation shows that occur on holidays other than on a weekend, are determined and disclosed by the studbook office at the beginning of the current calendar year.

To  2  Division of classes:

The sequence of conformation show classes is as follows:

1. Puppy class bitches and dogs

2. Youth class (12-18 month Jugendklasse) bitches and dogs

3. Young-dog class (18-24 month Junghundklasse) bitches and dogs

4. Open class (Gebrauchshundklasse) working-titled bitches and dogs over 24 months

To  2.4   Requirements for the Open/working (Gebrauchshund) Class

For dogs owned by residents of France, the appraisal “Brevet” suffices as training degree eligibility for the Open/working class.

To  4   Appraisals (Judges’ Evaluations)

All dogs must be measured by the acting conformation judge. The size factor is to be considered when making the placings.

To  III.  Other Arrangements and Revisions

Show chairmen: The acting show chairman may show his own dog, but while he is doing so, a substitute show chairman is to take his place.

Test (trial, breed survey, etc.) participation: A dog may participate in both a test and a conformation show on the same day, as long as the test does not interfere with the required participation in the conformation show portion of the event. A dog may participate on the same day in both a conformation show and a breed survey, as long as its participation in the breed survey does not interfere with the show evaluation.

Awarding or recognition of breed evaluations from foreign countries: Breed evaluations of VA can be awarded and acknowledged in foreign countries by SV judges, but a VA acquired in such foreign countries will be acknowledged only as V in the SV system.

Conformation shows for young dog handlers: Young dog handlers with valid membership in the SV are qualified to compete in such events. Girls and boys can show in such classes and events up to the calendar year in which they turn 21 years of age. There is no minimum age.

Other requirements for German conformation shows for junior showmanship: The regulations are established in the publication, “Rules for promotion of German junior showmanship in the SV.”

Prohibited resources: Electric shock devices and similar pieces of equipment are prohibited in all SV events.

Conclusion: Changes in these regulations are approved by the Breed Committee.


Translated by: Fred Lanting,  Mr.GSD(at)  or Mr.GSD(at)


Fred Lanting is an internationally respected show judge, approved by many registries as an all-breed judge, has judged numerous countries’ Sieger Shows and Landesgruppen events, and has many years experience as one of only two SV breed judges in the US.
He consults and presents seminars worldwide on such topics as Gait-&-Structure, HD & Other Orthopedic Disorders, and The GSD. Contact: All Things Canine, Phone 256-498-3319 or Mr.GSD @ for inquiries regarding judging or lecturing.

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