courage

2013 Requirements for Participation at Breed Surveys

Translation copyright Fred Lanting

 

  2013  Körordnung (SV Breed Survey Rules)

1. General

2. SV and the Nature of the Körung (Survey)

2.1 Köramt (HQ survey office)

2.2 The Körmeister (breed survey master)

2.3 Administration — regional club jurisdiction

2.4 Körzeit (calendar dates for survey)

2.5 Legal issues

3. Requirements for Breed Survey Participation

4. Activity & Conduct of the Local Clubs

4.1. Requirements for the local club

4.2. Equipment

4.3. Survey manager’s duties

5. Registering for the Breed Survey

 

6. At the Survey (Ankörung)

6.1 Temperament test

6.2 Gunsureness test

6.3 Protection [courage] test

6.4 Measurements: heights, weights, etc.

6.5 Standing exam and movement evaluation

6.6 Reports, Confirmations

7. Körung Timing

7.1 Re-survey for Final Rating

7.2 Postponing for One Year

7.3 Unsuitability

7.4 Lifetime or length of time Körung is effective

7.5 Completion of the Breed Survey

8. Survey Certificates and Record Book

 

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1.      General

The Verein für Deutsche Shäferhunde (SV) e.V.[Club for GSDs Inc.] is the parent club for the breed, and has responsibility for it and its Standard, which is acknowledged by the German (VDH) and international (FCI) Kennel Clubs. The Körordnung [breed survey regulations] of the SV serve the advancement of the controlled breeding of the German Shepherd Dog breed in both varieties: the “Stockhaar” [straight-haired, medium length topcoat] and the “Langstockhaar” [longer topcoat but likewise with undercoat]. These regulations include the overall breed survey. They are a permanent part of the SV rules, and obligatory for all members. The purpose of theKörordnung is to select from the breed registry a number of dogs which in their character, performance, and anatomical construction appear to be suitable for the conservation and improvement of the breed.

 

2.      SV – Nature of the Survey

2.1  Köramt (Survey Office at SV Headquarters)

The Köramt [breed survey office at the SV headquarters in Augsburg] prepares the annual survey scheme (deadlines, subsidiary local clubs, activeKörmeisters (breed survey officials in Germany), survey regions, etc.). All evaluation reports from the various districts (called Ortsgruppe or Landesgruppe) are recorded in that office, and are examined and documented for form and accuracy. The Köramt produces the survey certificates (Körscheine) and annually publishes all surveyed dogs in the breed survey record book (Körbuch).

2.2  The Körmeister (SV’s Breed Survey Master/Official)

For the implementation of the breed survey the SV requires experienced conformation judges as Körmeisters. These judges have no legal right to annual employment in breed surveys. The choice and employment of theKörmeister is done by the respective Landesgruppen(regions). The jurisdiction of arranging for these teacher-helpers for the breed surveys lies with each Landesgruppe’s executive committee.

2.3  Survey Administration — Regional Club Jurisdiction

The regional and/or local jurisdiction of the breed survey shall be delegated by the SV headquarters to the regional and/or local-club personnel.

2.4  Time of Survey

The survey season [in Germany] extends from the 1st of March to the 30th of November each year. The presentation of a dog for the breed survey is possible once in this period, providing the regulations as to the courage test in section 6.3 are not affected.

2.5  Legal Issues

2.5.1     The owner of a dog scheduled for the survey’s tests must be a current member of the SV. This also applies for persons who present the dog for the survey. The eligibility of the dog ends if the owner’s SV membership status ends.

2.5.2  Survey Jurisdiction

The location of the dog’s residence determines which breed survey it participates in (where the Körung is performed); that is, in the owner’s region (Landesgruppe). Local club (Ortsgruppe) membership determines which region that is. If a person holds membership in several local clubs, regional membership is determined by the main place of residence. Members who belong to no local clubs are assigned to a region based on principal place of residence. Breed survey masters (Körmeisters) are free to choose or approve of Körung locations in all regional groups.

2.5.3    A dog that is the property of a person listed as being permanently barred/suspended from the studbook can neither be shown in a breed survey by him personally nor by any other person.

2.5.4   The decision of the acting Körmeister is final.  An objection against it is not permitted. 2.5.5   At the survey of a dog, any and all legal action by the party involved (owner) resulting from any decision regarding any dog at an Ankörungsentscheidung (breed survey decision) or anyAbkörungsentscheidung (performance test decision) will explicitly not be allowed.

2.5.6   Responsibility: The owner of a dog is responsible for any damage attributable to his dog.

 

3. Requirements for Participation at Breed Surveys
3.1 For the Dogs:

– The Körung is appropriate only for German Shepherd Dogs registered in the breed book of the SV, and which have coats classified as “Stockhaar” or “Langstockhaar mit Unterwolle” (translation: “straight topcoat hair” or “long straight topcoat” — both requiring wooly undercoat). In the year of the Körung they must be at least two years old;

– Proof of at least 80 points in section C of an IP-1 Prüfung(trial performance) under an SV Leistungsrichter(performance judge), or earned in a herding trial under an SV HGH judge, or in an RH-2 [advanced Rettungshundsearch-and-rescue dog] test. All of these will include a courage and protection phase;

– Proof of an AD examination under an SV judge;

– ‘a’-stamp for hips, shown in the Ahnentafel [certified SV pedigree. Translator’s note: an equivalent issued in another country where the dog resides is satisfactory];

– ED stamp for elbows also in the Ahnentafel (if born after 01.01.2004, was required, starting with the 2008 show season);

– Proof of a minimum quality evaluation of “Good” under an SV judge.

Further conditions:

– Sick dogs may not be shown;

– The Körmeister must be informed of bitches in season;this determines when that dog will participate;

– The dog must be identifiable in regard to a legible tattoo, microchip reading, etc. (only microchip data for dogs born after a certain date a few years ago)

 

4.  Activity of the Local Clubs

4.1 Requirements for the Local Club:

– Large training ground with ancillary premises and sanitary facilities

– Trained members in sufficient number

– Typewriter or word processor.

4.2 The Club Must Have or Obtain:

– Assistant (steward) and a secretary for the Körmeister

– Sufficiently large ring

– Public address system

– SV-approved measuring devices [for height at withers, depth of chest, etc.]

– Tape measure [for circumference of chest, etc.]

– Weight scale [and a firm flat surface for this and the above two]

– 2 starter’s pistols with sufficient ammunition

– Number vests for the dog handlers.

4.3 Duties and Responsibilities of the Kör (Survey) Manager:

– Timely delivery of the registration forms

– Examination of documents for completeness and accuracy

– Information given to the Körmeister regarding the receipt and standing of the entries

– Establishing a catalog-like list of contestants and their dogs and bitches, for repeat and new breed surveys

– Submission of the individual dogs’ examined documents to the Körmeister before the beginning of the breed survey

– Confirmation of entrants’ SV memberships

 

5.   Registering for the Breed Survey

The entry for the breed survey has to be received by the local Kör managers at least seven days before the scheduled survey as indicated in the survey announcement and entry form. By the day of the breed survey at the latest, the following documents are to be presented:

1. Original Ahnentafel [official SV pedigree and performance record]

2. Conformation show cards and scorebook

3. If at the repeat survey, the first survey’s certificate (Körschein)

4. Proof of completion of any specified requirements remaining from the first survey

The maximum number of dogs admitted for one breed survey day is 50. In case of an entry of more than 50 dogs a further survey day (or half-day) is to be added on the same weekend. [In practice, preference is normally given to dogs going for their Lebenzeit (second and lifetime) survey.]

 

6. At the Survey (Ankörung)

6.1  Temperament Test

Each dog is to be subjected a temperament test by the Körmeister. The examination of the dog’s character can be made during the over-all breed survey.  According to the Standard, the dog has stable character, i.e., in particular he is impartial and unaffected, self-assured, with firm nerves, and is amiable and peaceful.

6.2  Gunsureness Test

From a distance of at least 15 steps, at least two shots are to be fired from a 6 mm (or .22 caliber) starter’s pistol; the dog has to behave indifferently [is not bothered, cowed, or nervous because of it… joyfully expecting to do bitework, such as when a whip is cracked with similar sound, is O.K.].

6.3  Protection/Courage Test (valid since 2012)

For the judging of the protection phase of trials [the courage test], a trained breed survey master (Körmeister) is used. He is available as a teacher-assistant to help in the protection phase of trials [courage test] in hisLandesgruppe.

Conduct:

I. The Attack [Dog Protects Owner from Attack]

1. The handler reports with his accompanying dog to the Körmeister [who is acting as judge].

2. Upon an indication from the judge, the dog handler with his dog on leash walks 25 meters in the direction of the hiding-place, [and stops at] the designated starting place.

3. The leash is [removed and] draped around the handler or put in his pocket.

4. Upon another signal from the judge, the dog handler proceeds with his dog heeling off-lead, in the direction of the hidden helper.
5. The dog must heel closely to a mark that is found 7 meters before the hiding-place. Repeated verbal commands are allowed during this heeling, but touching is not allowed. If the handler has reached this mark with his off-leash heeling dog, the helper (upon signal from the judge) undertakes a running attack as if to drive away the handler-and-dog team. If the dog charges toward the blind [canvass hiding-place] before the signal [that the judge gives to the helper to show himself in attack mode], no attack on the helper is to be made [the helper will stand still]. The handler-and-dog team now are allowed up to two more attempts, starting again at the 7-meter mark. If the dog cannot be managed despite three attempts at heeling off-leash up to this point when the helper comes out of the blind to attack, the faulty courage test is interrupted (ended) for want of obedience. In such a case, the dog may subsequently participate (try again) in the same year at another breed survey after the SV returns the breed survey document to the owner. In such cases of lacking obedience, such a dog is allowed no more than three chances per calendar year to try again to pass the test.

6. The dog must avert the attack immediately, surely, and energetically, grabbing the attacker with a firm (steady), full-mouth bite.

7. When the dog has grasped, it receives from the helper two blows with a padded stick upon thighs, sides, or the area of the withers.
8. The dog handler is allowed to verbally encourage the dog in its defense of the attack.

9. Upon an order from the judge, the helper discontinues the attack and stands still.

10. At that point, the dog must let go of the sleeve independently or upon an audible signal from the handler to do so (“Aus!”) and stop the attack [but remain watchful].

11. The dog handler waits to get the order from the judge to approach his dog.

12. He leashes his dog and, upon signal or order from the judge, proceeds with his dog to another blind designated by the breed survey master [it is at the further end of the field].

II. Defense of an Attack (Ambush) withLauerstellung (liberally translated as the attacker running at the team from a distance):

1. The dog handler will be told by the judge to come out from that second blind and take an assigned position (at the center far end of the field). [The leash is removed and pocketed or looped around the handler.]

2. The dog is held off-leash, by the collar.

3. The dog has to hold this position, until it is directed, by the handler’s audible signal “Voran!” (“Forward!”), to defend with an attack.
4. Upon a signal from the judge, the helper leaves his hiding place at the other end of the field, takes approximately 70 to 80 normal steps, then turns toward the dog-handler team, still at a normal pace.

5. The handler demands that the helper stop by calling something like “You! Stop there!”

6.  The helper disregards this warning, and commences a [running, threatening] frontal attack on the dog and handler.

7. Immediately upon the helper starting his threatening charge toward the team, the judge gives the dog handler the signal to send his dog for their defense.

8. The dog handler immediately gives his dog the audible signal Voran!” again, while remaining in place himself.

9. The dog must run at the intruder, then very eagerly and energetically grab the attacker with firm, full, sure, and steady grip and thus avert the threat on his owner or handler.

10. If the dog has gripped, the helper must press (push toward and threaten) the dog without striking it this time. Then, as instructed by the judge, the helper discontinues the struggle.

11. Thereupon the dog has to let go independently and/or upon the audible signal “Aus! and must hold the helper by threat.
12.  Upon a signal from the judge, the dog handler approaches his dog at a normal pace and in a direct way, and attaches the leash.

13.  The dog handler heels his dog to the judge, to report to him [giving his and his dog’s names] before leaving the field.

III. Identity Control: Before the team departs from the field, a Körmeister or an assistant authorized by an SV judge must note the registered tattoo and/or microchip number.

IV. The Appraisal/Evaluation

1. The Release of the Bite/Grip
1.1. After discontinuance of the attack, the dog has to “let out” (release) independently.

1.2. The dog handler can independently give the first voice command, “Aus!” after an appropriate time.

1.3. If the dog did not release after the first voice command, the dog handler receives the order or signal from the judge for up to two further audible commands to let go of the sleeve.

1.4. When giving the “Aus!” command, the handler must stand steady, without otherwise directing the dog.

1.5. If the name of the dog is used, that will be considered as a separate command to release [let go of the sleeve].

1.6. If the dog independently releases [“outs”] when the handler approaches to retrieve it, this also can be considered as a legitimate release. The dog handler however must be at least five steps away from the dog.

1.7. If the dog, either independently or upon audible signals, properly outs in the first attack [from the blind] and also in the [long] attack “from ambush” it receives the official notation of lässt ab (“lets out”).

1.8. If this “out” does not happen, even if the dog in only a single instance does not receive the notation of “lässt ab.” Instead, the notation “lässt nicht ab” (does not out). The breed survey cannot be continued in this case. Such a dog may again participate at a breed survey in the same year, but only after return of theKörunterlagen (record of this day’s result) to the owner. After an incident of not “outing,” three additional attempts at most may be made in the calendar year, whether the dog fails the survey because of lacking obedience or not “outing.”

1.9. The Körmeister places himself near the dog handler during the entire courage test, and intensely observes the conduct of dog and handler up to the conclusion—the picking up of the dog at the end.

2.  Appraisal of Triebveranlung, Selbstsicherheit und Belastbarkeit (TSB) [Drive, Self-confidence and Ability to Handle Stress]

2.1 The overall rating awarded for the courage test will be one of these graded evaluations: “pronounced,” “sufficient,” or “insufficient.”

2.2  Pronounced (Ausgeprägt): Self-confident, very eager, purposeful, with sure grasp and retention of the grip; no negative reactions to the blows; close and attentive watching in the guarding phase.

2.3  Sufficient [or “present”] (Vorhanden): A little limitation [or less eagerness], such as in the areas of self-confidence, determination, the grip, and reaction to the stick, as well as in the guarding phase.

2.4. Insufficient [or “not good enough”] (Nicht genügend): Lacking in self-confidence, very limited concerning ability to handle stress, and/or lacking in focus on the helper.

 

Supplemental determinations for the courage test at the German Sieger Show (an addendum):

1. Assisting and at the disposal of the Körmeister orLeistungsrichter for the courage test at the Sieger Show in Germany (Bundessiegerzuchtschau) are teacher-assistants as aides.

2. Announcement of the respective results is to be given over the microphone directly after completion of each courage test.

3. Upon completion of the courage test, the tattoo number or scanned microchip is confirmed by a judge authorized by the SV office. The judge will be made available by theLandesgruppe having jurisdiction in the region where the Sieger Show is being held.

 

6.4    Measurements and Weights

The measurements for weight, depth of chest and chest diameter can be taken by the Körleiter [a person chosen by judge and club to be in charge of the process] or his authorized helper; the measurement of height at withers is taken by the Körmeister himself.

6.5   Standing Exam and Movement Evaluation

During this inspection the Körmeister prepares theKörbericht (breed survey report). The dog is to be presented to him for this exam without substantial help [hand-posing, etc.].
6.6   Reports, Confirmations

After the conclusion of the respective breed survey of each dog, the Körmeister gives his report on the loudspeaker. The owner of the dog will receive from the breed survey manager a confirmation signed by theKörmeister. This contains the results of the breed survey and the evidence that it and the pedigree and/orRegistrierbescheinigung (registry supplement) will have been sent to the SV headquarters.

 

7. The Breed Survey (Körung) Process

The breed survey is the supreme qualification process; that is, the method by which dogs are selected to carry on the breed. Breed surveys select dogs that correspond to ideal picture of the breed in the following respects:

a) in size, weight, and build according to the Standard with only minor anatomical limitations;

b) in character; that is, self-assured and good-natured. And in the areas of drive, desire, self-confidence and ability to handle stress, earn the rating of “pronounced” or “present” (ausgeprägt or vorhanden);

c) with withers height no more than 1 cm oversized or undersized;

d) having flawless, complete dentures; double first premolars are permissible, as is the absence of up to two first premolars, or one first premolar plus an incisor, or one second premolar, or a slight pincer bite of the two middle incisors [two in upper jaw meeting the two in the lower that way].

7.1 Re-survey for Final Rating

The possibility remains open for the owner of a dog in a breed survey (first or subsequent Körung) to try again—at the earliest, in the subsequent year—for a re-survey by the same Körmeister. An upgrade is only permissible with consent of the Körmeister, who determines that the dog has made the improvement for the second survey. The dog is allowed only one chance at a desired Körklasse upgrade from the previous survey.

7.2 The Deferment (Postponement) of One Year is Given:

a) if the body has not yet developed as expected in order to permit a re-survey;

b) if in the conduct of the dog, or during the examination for fighting drive, self-confidence, and hardness (TSB), a status of being qualified for breeding (meeting Körrequirements) has not yet been reached;

c) The postponement per 7.2 a) and b) is because a reevaluation is possible only once. A dog unsuccessful the second time is not suitable for the purpose of the survey (which is, to determine breed worthiness).

7.3  Unsuitability for the Körung (The following defects exclude a dog from the breed survey):

a) Considerable anatomical defects;

b) Oversize or undersize of more than 1 cm;

c) Testicle abnormality [missing, unequal size];

d) Any of the following dentition defects [also see chart at the end of this document]:

An absence of

one P-3 [third premolar] or

two incisors or

one P-2 plus one incisor or

one P-2 plus one P-1 or

two P-2s

e) Dogs with considerable pigment faults

f) Longcoated dogs (Langhaar or Langstockhaar) that are lacking undercoat.

7.4 Lifetime (Length of time Körung is Effective)
7.4.1 
The new breed survey and the survey after interruption [i.e., if the repeat is not done in time] are good for two years at most. By the end of the second calendar year (Kör season) of the time the survey is good for, the dog must be presented for the second survey.

7.4.2 The second survey results are for life (“Lebenzeit”).
7.4.3 Körklasse upgrade does not extend the original time limit.

7.5  Completion of the Breed Survey: If a surveyed dog does not make the second survey, the original breed survey ends with the conclusion of that calendar year. [Must start all over again.]

7.5.1  The breed survey ends if the surveyed dog is sold to a non-member, except that the buyer is given up to three months to join the SV.

7.5.2  The term for a breed survey of a dog whose owner is excluded from the SV as a result of a club’s criminal proceedings ends with the day on which the expulsion decree attains legal force.

7.5.3  The breed survey can be terminated—become invalid—through the process of revocation. This comes about through a recommendation made by a Körmeisteror conformation judge to the Köramt [survey office at SV HQ]. A “hold” can be put on the process of recording the survey results for whatever time is necessary to iron out any possible problems.

 

8.  Survey Certificates and Survey Record Book:

For a fee, a certificate (Körschein) for the breed-surveyed dog is prepared by the Köramt [survey office at the SV headquarters]. It will take some weeks for this and the original pedigree and/or registry supplement to be returned to the owner of the dog after the breed survey summary is added. The owners of dogs not successful at the survey likewise get back their original pedigree after the processing time. On the pedigree or supplement, the reason for the non-survey is noted.

These dogs are annually listed in the SV’s survey record book [Körbuch] by coat variety (NormalLanghaaror Langstockhaar) [detailed above] and by sex. TheKörbuch includes a statement about the dog’s classification, such as “recommended for breeding” or “suitable for breeding.” These concern anatomical construction as well as character.  With the statements by the Körmeisters about breeding recommendations, this makes an inclusive and indispensable reference book for the earnest breeder.

 

On the effective date of these survey rules (2013), all earlier versions become invalid.

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This concludes the rules for the breed survey (Körung). This translation is prepared and copyrighted by Fred Lanting.  All rights reserved, but permission to reproduce will be granted if approved information re books or biography is appended to any such publication (See example below).

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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 @ netscape.com for inquiries regarding judging or lecturing.

Canine HD and Other Orthopedic Disorders
This highly-acclaimed book covers all joints plus many bone disorders and includes genetics, diagnostic methods, treatment options, environment, and more. It is a comprehensive (nearly 600 pages!), amply illustrated, annotated, monumental work suitable both as a coffee-table book, reference work vets, students, breeders, trainers, and owners of any breed.

The Total German Shepherd Dog (Almost all chapters are suitable for any breed.)
This is the expanded and enlarged second edition, a “must” for every true GSD lover. It is also suitable for the novice, yet detailed to be indispensable for the reputable GSD breeder.
Conflict – a “War and Peace”-size novel of love, war, joy, suffering, and the meaning of life. Ask about it.

Collected Poems – a lifetime of work in the realm of poetry; a large book with many styles and topics.

2010 Sieger Show Report

Sept. 3-5, 2010, Nürnberg (aka Nuremberg):


As most of my readers know, I have been sharing my impressions of the Sieger Show (known in Germany as the Hauptzuchtschau) for a couple of decades. In these years, I have been leading tour groups to this main breed show, with several subsequent days spent visiting notable breeders and local training clubs. I try to offer a mix of: 1. Intensive dog study (including teaching novices about the breed, the show, and the particular dogs; 2. Introductions to breeders (usually some of my group will buy a dog from one or more of them); and 3. Sightseeing. This compromise gives something to everyone.

Continue reading

SV Breed Survey

Körordnung (SV Breed Survey Rules) in EnglishTranslation © by Fred Lanting

2009 revision of Körordnung (previous version was 2007, and 1997 before that). Changes highlighted.

KörordnungFassung 2009Augsburg-Hauptgeschäftsstelle — Inhaltsübersicht





2009 edition/revision

1. General

2. SV– Nature of the survey

2.1 Köramt (HQ survey office)

2.2 The Körmeister (breed survey master)

2.3 Survey administration — regional club jurisdiction

2.4 Körzeit (Time of survey)

2.5 Legal issues

3. Requirements for breed survey participation

4. Activity & conduct of the local clubs, and
Duties of the Kör (survey) manager

4.1. Requirements for the local club

4.2. Equipment

4.3. Survey manager’s duties

5. Registering for the breed survey

6. At the survey (Ankörung)

6.1 Temperament test

6.2 Gunsureness test

6.3 Protection [courage] test

6.4 Measurements: heights, weights, etc.

6.5 Standing exam and movement evaluation

6.6 Reports, Confirmations

7. Körung (the survey)

7.1 Körklasse 1

7.2 Körklasse 2

7.3 Final Körklasse (re-survey)

7.4 Postponement of re-survey — one year

7.5 Unsuitability for the Körung

7.6 Lifetime or length of time Körung is effective
7.7 Completion of the breed survey

8. Survey certificates and survey record book


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1.General

The Verein für Deutsche Shäferhunde (SV) e.V. [Club for GSDs Inc.] is the parent club for the breed, and has responsibility for it and its Standard, which is acknowledged by the German (VDH) and international (FCI) Kennel Clubs. The Körordnung [breed survey regulations] of the SV serve the advancement of the controlled breeding of the German Shepherd Dog race in both varieties: the “Stockhaar” (straight-haired, medium length topcoat) and the“Langstockhaar” (longer topcoat but also with undercoat), and regulate the overall breed survey. They are a permanent part of the SV rules, and obligatory for all members. The purpose of the Körordnung is to select from the breed registry a number of dogs which in their character, performance, and anatomical construction appear to be suitable for the conservation and improvement of the breed.

2.SV – Nature of the survey

2.1Köramt (survey office)

The Kör (survey) office prepares the annual survey scheme (deadlines, reporting local chapters, acting Körmeisters, survey regions, etc.). All evaluation reports from the various survey districts are recorded in that office, and are examined and documented for form and accuracy. The Köramt produces the survey certificates and annually publishes all surveyed dogs in the Körbuch (survey record book).

2.2The Körmeister (breed survey master)

For the implementation of the breed survey the SV requires an experienced conformation judge as Körmeister. The Körmeisters have no legal right to annual employment in breed surveys. The choice and employment of the Körmeister is done by the respective Landesgruppe (region). The jurisdiction of arranging for these teacher-helpers for the breed surveys lies with each Landesgruppe’s executive committee.

2.3Survey administration — regional club jurisdiction

The regional and/or local jurisdiction of the breed survey shall be delegated from the SV headquarters to the SV regions and/or local chapters.

2.4Time of survey

The survey season [in Germany] extends from the 1st of March to the 30th of November each year. The presentation of a dog for the breed survey is possible once in this period.

2.5Legal issues

2.5.1The owner of a dog scheduled for the survey’s tests must be a current member of the SV. The eligibility of the dog ends with the withdrawal of the owner’s membership in the club.

2.5.2Survey jurisdiction

The location of the dog’s residence determines which breed survey it participates in (where the Körung is performed); that is, in the owner’s region (Landesgruppe). Local club (Ortsgruppe) membership determines which region that is. If a person holds membership in several local clubs, regional membership is determined by the main place of residence. Members who belong to no local clubs are assigned to a region based on principal place of residence. Breed survey masters (Körmeisters) are free to choose or approve of Körung locations in all regional groups.

2.5.3A dog that is the property of a person listed as being permanently barred/suspended from the studbook can neither be shown in a breed survey by him personally nor by any other person.

2.5.4The decision of the acting Körmeister is final.An objection against it is not permitted. 2.5.5At the survey of a dog, any and all damage claims by any party involved (owner and/or outsider) resulting from an Ankörung- (conformation measurement/survey) decision or an Abkörungsentscheidung (performance) decision regarding any dog will explicitly not be allowed.

2.5.6Responsibility: The owner of a dog is responsible for any damage attributable to his dog.

3. Requirements for participation at breed surveys [see note below re Körung in Germany]

– The Körung is appropriate only for German Shepherd Dogs registered in the breed book of the SV, and which have coats classified as “Stockhaar” or “Langstockhaar mit Unterwolle” (translation: “straight topcoat hair” or “long straight topcoat” — both requiring wooly undercoat). In the year of the Körung they must be at least two years old;

– Proof at least a SchH-1 or IP-1 Prüfung (test) under an SV Leistungsrichter (performance judge); including at least 80 points in section C, the courage and protection phase;

– Proof of an AD examination under an SV judge;

– “a”-stamp for hips, shown in the Ahnentafel [certified SV pedigree. Translator’s note: an equivalent issued in another country where the dog resides is satisfactory];

– ED stamp for elbows also in the Ahnentafel (if born after 01.01.2004, required starting in the 2008 show season);

– Proof of a minimum quality evaluation of “Good” under an SV judge.

Further conditions:

– Sick dogs may not be shown;

– The Körmeister must be informed of bitches in season; this determines when that dog will participate;

The dog must be identifiable in regard to a legible tattoo, microchip reading, etc.

4.Activity of the local clubs
4.1
Requirements of the local club:

– Large training ground with ancillary premises and sanitary facilities

– Trained members in sufficient number

– Typewriter or word processor.

4.2 The club must have or obtain:

– Assistant/steward and typist/secretary for the Körmeister

– Sufficiently large ring

– Public address system

– SV-approved measuring devices [for height at withers and depth of chest]

– Tape measure

– Weight scale

– 2 starter’s pistols with sufficient ammunition

– Number vests for the dog handlers.

4.3 Duties and responsibilities of the Körung manager:

– Timely delivery of the registration forms

– Examination of documents for completeness and accuracy

– Information given to the Körmeisters regarding the receipt and standing of the entries

– Establishing a catalog-like list of contestants and their dogs and bitches, for repeat and new breed surveys

– Submission of the individual dogs’ examined documents to the Körmeister before the beginning of the breed survey

– Confirmation of entrants’ SV memberships

5.Registering for the breed survey

The entry for the breed survey has to be received by the local Kör managers at least seven days before the scheduled survey as indicated in the survey announcement and entry form. By the day of the breed survey at the latest, the following documents are to be presented:

1. Original Ahnentafel [SV pedigree and performance record]

2. Conformation show cards and scorebook

3. If at the repeat survey, the first survey’s certificate

4. Proof of completion of any specified requirements remaining from the first survey

The maximum number of dogs admitted for one breed survey day is 50. In case of an entry of more than 50 dogs a further survey day (or half-day) is to be added on the same weekend. [In practice, preference is normally given to dogs going for their Lebenzeit (second and lifetime) survey.] ¶ ¶¶

6.At the survey (Ankörung)

6.1Temperament test

Each dog is to be subjected a temperament test by the Körmeister. The examination of the dog’s character can be made during the over-all breed survey.According to the Standard, the dog has stable character, i.e., in particular he is impartial and unaffected, self-assured, with firm nerves, and amiable and peaceful.

6.2Gunsureness test

From a distance of at least 15 steps, at least two shots are to be fired from a starter’s pistol (6 mm or .22 caliber); the dog has to behave indifferently [is not bothered, cowed, or nervous because of it; joyfully expecting to do bitework, such as when a whip is cracked with similar sound, is O.K.].

6.3Protection/Courage test [this rule version effective since 1997]

To help in the protection phase of trials in his Landesgruppe, the Körmeister is available as a teacher-assistant.

Conduct:

I. The attack from the blind

1.The handler reports with his accompanying dog to the Körmeister.

2.On order from the Körmeister the dog handler takes 30 steps from a place marked as the starting position toward the hiding-place, with his dog off leash.

3.The leash is draped around the handler or put in his pocket.

4.On command from the Körmeister the dog handler proceeds, with his dog heeling off-lead, in the direction of the hidden helper.

5.The dog should heel tightly.

6. On command from the Körmeister, the helper comes out of the blind and undertakes an attack as if to drive off the dog handler and dog, or he may initiate this himself if the dog or dog and handler are found to be 5 steps from the hiding-place.

7. The dog must immediately, surely, and energetically fend off the attack by applying a firm and full-mouth grip.

8. When the dog has grasped, it receives from the helper two blows with a padded stick upon thighs, sides, or the area of the withers.

9.To encourage the dog’s defense against the attack, encouragement by the dog handler is allowed.

10. Upon command from the Körmeister, the helper discontinues the attack and stands still quietly.

11. The dog then (independently or on the audible signal “Aus!”) must let go and [appear to] hold the helper “spellbound” [by its gaze and perhaps barking a warning not to move].

12. The dog handler is given the order from the Körmeister to approach his dog.

13. He leashes his dog and receives the order from the Körmeister to step into a certain hiding-place [momentarily, to prepare for the next attack].

II. Defense of an attack from a distance

1. The handler is called out from the hiding-place by the Körmeister and goes with his dog to the assigned position [at a central place at one end of the field].

2. The dog is taken off-leash and may be firmly held by the collar.

3. The dog has to be restrained in this position, until it is later sent with the audible command “Voran!” in the defense of the next attack.

4.The helper leaves his hiding-place upon a signal from the Körmeister, and crosses, at a normal pace, to approximately 70 to 80 steps distance from the dog handler.

5.The dog handler yells something at the helper; for example, “Stay where you are!”

6.The helper disregards this warning, and commences a [running, threatening] frontal attack on the dog and handler.

7. As soon as this attack begins, the Körmeister immediately gives the dog handler the signal for their defense.

8.The dog handler immediately sets his dog in action with the audible signal “Voran!” and stands still.

9.The dog should very eagerly and energetically grab with a firm, full, sure, and steady grip in order to avert the attack [on its handler].

10. When the dog has gripped, the helper must give it a short pressing [threaten with the stick] without hitting and then, as instructed by the Körmeister, discontinue the struggle.

11. Thereupon, the dog must let go independently and/or on the audible signal “Aus!” and must hold the helper by threat.

12.Upon a signal from the Körmeister, the dog handler approaches his dog at a normal pace and in a direct way, and attaches the leash.

13.The dog handler heels his dog to the Körmeister, to report to him before being allowed to leave the field.

III.Identity control

Before the team departs from the field, the Körmeister [or an assistant] must note the registered tattoo number.

IV.The appraisal/evaluation

1. The release of the bite

1.1. After discontinuation of the helper’s attack, the dog should let go independently.

1.2. The dog handler can independently give the first voice command, “Aus!” after an appropriate time.

1.3. If the dog did not release after the first voice command, the dog handler receives the order or signal from the Körmeister for up to two further audible commands to let go of the sleeve.

1.4. When giving the “Aus!” command, the handler must stand steady, without otherwise directing the dog.

1.5. Should the name of the dog be used, that will be considered as a separate command to release [let go of the sleeve].

1.6. If the dog independently releases [“outs”] when being retrieved by the handler, this also can be considered as a legitimate release. The dog handler however must be at least five steps away from the dog.

1.7. If the dog, either independently or upon audible signals, properly outs in the first attack [from the blind] and also in the [long] attack “from ambush” it receives the official notation of lässt ab (“lets out”).

1.8. If this “out” does not happen, even if in only one case, the dog does not receive the notation of “lets out”.

1.9 The Kör evaluation is not awarded or publicized at that time [but is kept by the Körmeister until later].

1.10. The Körmeister stays relatively close to the dog handler during the entire courage test and closely observes the conduct of dog and handler until the conclusion when the dog is picked up.

2.Appraisal of the Triebveranlung, Selbstsicherheit und Belastbarkeit (TSB) [drive, self-confidence and ability to handle stress]

2.1 The overall rating for the courage test will be one of these graded evaluations: “pronounced”, “sufficient”, or “insufficient”.

2.2Pronounced (Ausgeprägt): Self-confident, very eager, purposeful, with sure grasp and retention of the grip; no negative reactions to the blows; close and attentive watching in the guarding phase.

2.3Sufficient [Present] (Vorhanden): A little restraint [or less eagerness], e.g., in the areas of self-confidence, determination, the grip, and reaction to the stick, as well as in the guarding phase.

2.4. Insufficient (Nicht genügend): Lacking in self-confidence, very limited concerning ability to handle stress, and/or lacking in focus on the helper.

I inserted the following three points here, even though they are not actually part of the Körung. Supplemental determinations for the courage test at the German Sieger Show (an addendum):

1. Two teacher-assistants from the Landesgruppen serve as aides for each courage test at the disposal of the Körmeister.

2. Announcement of the respective results is to be given over the microphone directly after completion of each courage test.

3. Upon completion of the courage test the tattoo control number is obtained [confirmed] by a judge authorized by the Körmeister. The judge will be made available by the Landesgruppe having jurisdiction.

6.4Measurements and weights

The measurements for weight, depth of chest and chest diameter can be taken by the Körmeister or his authorized helper or Körung manager; the withers measurements are taken by the Körmeister.

6.5Standing Exam and Movement Evaluation

During this inspection the Körmeister prepares the Körbericht (breed survey report). The dog is to be presented to him for this exam without substantial help [hand-posing, etc.].

6.6Reports, Confirmations

After the conclusion of the respective breed survey of each dog, the Körmeister gives his report on the loudspeaker. The owner of the dog will receive from the Körung manager a confirmation signed by the Körmeister. This contains the results of the breed survey and the evidence that it and the pedigree will have been sent to the SV headquarters.

7.Körung

7.1Körklasse 1 (Kkl-1)

The Körklasse-1 is the highest breed qualification, i.e., a classification of dogs that are recommended for breeding. In Kkl-1 will be the dog that corresponds to the image of the breed [meets the Standard]:

a) in height, weight, and anatomical construction;

b)in its entire conduct, i.e., self-assurance, calmness and expression, has “TSB”: pronounced attitude of drive, self-confidence and loading capacity [ability to handle pressure]; and has flawless, complete dentures, though double P-1 premolars are permissible.

7.2Körklasse 2

Dogs included in the rating of Kkl-2:

a) with minor defects in the anatomical area;

b) with measurement over or under the limits ofwithers height by up to 1 cm;

c) with TSB fighting drive (Triebveranlagung), self-confidence (Selbstsicherheit), and ability to handle pressure (Belastbarkeit) in the courage test evaluated as being Vorhanden [“present” or “sufficient”];

d) missing: one P-1 premolar or an incisor; or two P-1s, or one P-1 and an incisor, or a P-2, or a slight off-bite (level, even, pincer bite) of the center incisors.

7.3Final Körklasse (Re-survey)

The possibility exists for the owner of a dog given a Körklasse-2 in its first or subsequent Körung to have this upgraded (at the earliest, in the subsequent year) by the same Körmeister. A deviation is only permissible with consent of the Körmeister, who determines that the dog has made the improvement for the impending survey. The desired Körklasse upgrade from first or repeated survey is possible only one time.

7.4The re-survey deferment (postponement) of one year is permissible if:

a) the body has not yet developed as expected in order to permit a re-survey;

b) in the conduct of the dog or at the examination for fighting drive, self-confidence, and hardness (TSB), a status of being qualified for breeding has not yet been reached;

c) the deferment is because the reevaluation is possible only once. A dog unsuccessful the second time is not suitable for the purpose of the survey (which is, to determine breed worthiness).

7.5Unsuitability for the KörungThe following defects exclude a dog from the Körung:

a) considerable anatomical defects;

b) Oversize or undersize of more than 1 cm;

c) Testicle fault [missing, unequal size];

d) Tooth defects [also see chart at the end of this document]; an absence of:

one P-3 [third premolar] or

two incisors or

one P-2 plus one incisor or

one P-2 plus one P-1 or

two P-2s

e) Dogs with considerably faulty pigment

f) Longcoated dogs (Langhaar or Langstockhaar) that are lacking undercoat.

7.6 Lifetime or length of time Körung is effective

7.6.1The new breed survey and the survey after interruption [i.e., if the repeat is not done in time] are good for two years at most. During the second calendar year (Kör season) of the time the survey is good for, the dog must be presented for the second survey.

7.6.2The second survey results are for life (“Lebenzeit”).

7.6.3A Kör class upgrade does not extend the original Kör class effective duration.

7.6.4A surveyed bitch heavy in whelp in the year of the impending second survey, can be given extra time for resurvey: a further year without demonstration of being qualified to breed (gekört). If this is the case, then on the day of the scheduled survey, there must be shown:

·The certificate of mating indicating the gestation period to date is at least 42 days.

·Certification from the responsible local breed warden re the visible pregnancy.

The same [extra time] consideration is given for nursing bitches, if not more than 42 days between whelping date and scheduled survey. No other reason for extension of the breed survey is possible.

7.7Completion of the breed survey: If a surveyed dog does not make the second survey, the original breed survey ends with the conclusion of that calendar year. [Must start all over again.]

7.7.1The breed survey ends if the surveyed dog is sold to a non-member, except that the buyer is given up to three months to join the SV.

7.7.2The breed survey term of a dog whose owner is excluded from the SV as a result of a club’s criminal proceedings ends with the day on which the expulsion decree attains legal force.

7.7.3The breed survey can end, become invalid, through the process of revocation. This comes about through a recommendation by a Körmeister or conformation judge to the Köramt [survey office at HQ]. A “hold” can be put on the process of recording the survey results for whatever time is necessary to iron out any possible problems.

8.Survey certificates and survey record book:

For a fee, a certificate (Körschein) for the breed-surveyed dog is prepared by the Köramt [survey office at the SV’s HQ]. It will take some weeks for this and the original pedigree to be returned to the owner of the dog after the breed survey summary is added. The owners of dogs not successful at the survey likewise get back their original pedigree after the time it takes to process the report. On the pedigree the reason for the non-survey is noted.

These dogs are annually listed in the SV’s survey record book [Körbuch] by coat variety (Normal, Langhaar or Langstockhaar) [detailed above] and by sex. The Körbuch includes a statement about the dog’s classification called “recommended for breeding” (Kkl-1) as well as those “suitable for breeding” (Kkl-2). These concern anatomical construction as well as character.With the statements by the Körmeisters about breeding recommendations, this makes an inclusive and indispensable reference book for the earnest breeder.

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On the effective date of these survey rules (2009), all earlier versions become invalid. This concludes the rules for the breed survey (Körung). This translation is prepared and copyrighted by Fred Lanting.All rights reserved, but permission to reproduce will be granted if approved biographical information is appended to any such publication.

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more notes from Fred:

SV and the long-coated GSD

In July 2008, there was an announcement that SV & FCI had signed an agreement to permit the showing of “long-stock coated” GSDs as a legitimate variety of the breed. The German word “stock” can best be transliterated as “stiff, straight, and harsh” and refers to the normal topcoat hairs seen in the typical coat of this breed The “long-stock coat” has the same straight, harsh texture as the normal, historically accepted coat. The decision was made that these dogs were to be “re-integrated” into the breed. In the summer of 2009, it was announced that long-haired GSDs (with the “long-stock” coat) could be shown, but only in their own shows or classes. It is to have its own Stud Book and its own Körung. It will not be permitted to be shown at the BSZS. Matings between the long-coat and normal-coat dogs would not be approved (their offspring not registrable). Of course, when long-coated dogs are born to dogs whose coats are of normal length (as has happened since before the SV was formed), those individuals would have to be registered as longcoats.

Note: As of 01.01.2010, the changes in rules referring to microchips likewise apply to the long-haired dogs, subject to the permission of the FCI.

SV Körordnung and Zuchtordnung, revised 2009:http://www.schaeferhund.de/site/index.php?id=571

4. Zuchtwert und Zuchtvoraus setzungen

Die Zucht des Deutschen Schäferhundes ist nur innerhalb der Varietäten der Haararten “Stockhaar” und “Langstockhaar mit Unterwolle” erlaubt. Eine Verpaarung von stockhaarigen mit langstockhaarigen Hunden mit Unterwolle ist nicht gestattet. Hunde aus derartigen Verbindungen können keine Aufnahme in das Zuchtbuch finden, lediglich in das Gebrauchshunderegister.

translation: The breeding of German Shepherd Dogs is permitted only within the coat varieties, viz., the “stock hair” and “long stock hair with undercoat.” Both varieties have mostly or all straight topcoat hair. A mating of normal-length (stockhaarigen) with long-coated (langstockhaarigen-with-Unterwolle [undercoat]) dogs is not permitted. Dogs from such pairings cannot be admitted into the studbook (breed registry), only into the working-dog register.

According to the SV Körordnung (breeding classification rules), a person cannot get an SV breed survey done on a dog unless the AD and at least one SchH title are awarded by an SV judge. Clarification in a letter from SV to me: June 13, 2003:Dear Mr. Lanting, Concerning your inquiry, we want to inform you that a dog must have passed [at least one of] the trials under an SV judge only if the dog is presented for a breed survey in Germany. If the dog takes part in the breed survey in the States, it has to meet the requirements of USCA or WDA. Please note: a dog whose owner resides in Germany cannot be presented for breed survey outside of Germany. Furthermore, we must inform you that training degrees which have not been passed under an SV judge are not sufficient for breeding in Germany.”Thus, if you want to exhibit your dog anywhere under an SV judge, and get internationally-recognized awards, it must have the Körung (breed survey) and SchH or IPO (IP) title as described above.

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As a postscript, comments on tooth faults follow on the next page.


The Judging of Tooth Faults in Conformation Shows and Breed Surveys



Classification

Kkl-1, VA (Vorzüglich?Select)

Kkl-1, V (Vorzüglich, excellent)

Kkl-2, SG (Sehr?Gut, very good)

Kkl-2, G (Gut, good)

Not eligible for a Kör classification,
but still may get a “G” in a show ring

“U” (Ungenügend, Insufficient) and blocked from the registry

Conditions

Flawless bite, complete dentures, no broken* or defective teeth or large gaps, no extra (double) teeth.

Flawless bite, complete dentures, no large gaps; (double P-1s, and tooth broken accidentally are allowed).

Missing one P-1 premolar or an incisor**

(double P-1s, and accidentally broken teeth are allowed).

Missing two P-1s; or

one P-1 and an incisor; or

one P-2 **

Missing 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;

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.


*See rule change of 1998, allowing for exceptions due to non-genetic causes.

** In puppy classes at shows, the judge may give “Promising” to either condition, but for breed surveys and adult show classes, the maximum rating is as above. Puppies are eligible for these show ratings: Very Promising, Promising, Less Promising, and Faulty.

Other Tooth and Jaw Defects

Over- and Under- bites:

Obviously undershot or overshot (the latter being the separation of top incisors standing in front of the bottom ones by the thickness of a matchstick or greater): the dog is not allowed to be listed in the registry.

Imperfect bite (Aufbeißen, off-bite)

A slight off-bite (level, even, pincer bite) of the center incisors can be allowed in Kkl-2.

Caries (tooth decay) disqualifies from the breed survey.

Worn down and discolored:

If due to age, it is considered in the judgment, but with no major downgrading. If teeth have turned slightly yellow or brown, but if the tooth is substantially O.K., Kkl-2 is possible.

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Change in SV Breed Show Dentition Rules

Note: This is my translation of the Dentition Rules the SV announced in August 1998. The “dental notation” can be done anywhere, any time, by certain authorized people. The purpose is to provide proof of normal dentition in case disease or accident causes loss before the dog is presented for a Körung (the official record being the Körschein).

The SV concluded this year’s [1998] conference on changing the breed show rules concerning the Ahnentafel (“official pedigree”-registration paper) and regarding damaged (broken) or missing teeth. This is the new wording of section 4.3. of the breed show rules:

Environmental influences that lead to damage to a portion of the teeth, or to their entire absence, have no consequence for breed evaluation awards (such as show placings or Körung). However, it is required that the former presence of healthy, strong teeth and/or a flawless scissors bite be confirmed and noted on the Ahnentafel. The proof to be given the studbook office can be as follows:

(Check-list for establishing dentition registrations)

1. Submission of a dog show judgment [critique and results] and the scorebook, in which a conformation judge has described and confirmed the totality and [former] presence and sufficiency of healthy, robust teeth and a flawless scissors bite determined by personal examination. This is done after the dog has reached the age of 12 months.

2. Submission of the breed survey certificate (Körschein), in which were recorded the dentition and bite status at the time of the survey.

3. The submission of a radiograph together with a certificate by an SV-certified HD veterinarian, or a veterinary dentist approved by the SV. On the radiograph, parts of the root or at least the tooth socket must be shown.

Directives to Veterinarians regarding certification for tooth faults, and X-ray requirement for the entry in the Ahnentafeln: Unfortunately it frequently occurs that veterinary certifications of damaged or missing teeth are inadequate in description. Until the necessary statements about the Ahnentafel registration exist, taking much time, this can be very vexing to the owners, who are not allowed to exhibit their dogs! We therefore had to put together the most important points for you to certify, in the form of a checklist:

* Complete name of the dog on the pedigree: obvious and legible

* SZ number (SV Zuchtbuch/studbook), on the pedigree

* Tattoo number: in the right ear, agreeing with that on the pedigree

* Give the status of any dentition problem:

· Tooth is broken off, chipped, etc.

· Tooth with root is missing completely (due to environmental, non-genetic) influence)

· Tooth had to be extracted (give reason)

* Cause of the tooth fault

* Position reference (right/left, top/bottom) please imagine yourself behind the dog, to determine which is right or left side

* Description of teeth: Please pay attention to the correct designation (P1, P2, etc.)

* X-rays:Requirement for the entry in the Ahnentafel:

Tooth faults in the GSD occur often, even though it may be that dogs are completely free of tooth faults for many generations. Inheritance plays a role in the congenital tooth fault, but loss or damage acquired later in life through environmental influences plays no role in determining the breeding value of the GSD or for its descendants. Before the extraction of a tooth, a radiograph must be made in each case. It is a requirement for recording the missing tooth in the Ahnentafel of the dog. The stud-book office of the SV acknowledges radiographs only by certified HD veterinarians or from approved veterinarians specializing in dentistry. Please note, at the establishing of the radiograph, the following:

* Do the X-ray before the extraction!

* Clearly mark: “right” or “left”!

Still another note: Teeth that do not emerge completely from the gum (or are not normally developed) generally have no designation in the Ahnentafel. Veterinary certifications and radiographs therefore are necessary only for damaged or extracted teeth, whose absence is a result of non-hereditary, outside influences.

Translation and added notes © Fred Lanting, Mr.GSD@netscape.com This notice must appear on all reprints and postings, and all such use must have specific permission from the author. Fred has years of experience as an SV Zuchtrichter (conformation judge) and is an author of books on the GSD and on Orthopedic Disorders, among others.


2009 Sieger Show Impressions and Tour Report

For a couple of decades, I have been taking small tour groups (one to three vehicles) on guided tours of Europe, with the Sieger Show as the centerpiece. For those reading about this for the first time, this show is the world’s largest single-breed dog show, and has competitors from various countries all around the globe. My background as an SV breed judge, combined with my lifetime of activity in the breed, species, and sport have enabled me to offer the best experience of this sort. I predict, explain, teach, guide, and introduce. If you would like to have fun and “save and see” along with a group of friendly fellow dog-lovers, contact me as soon as possible after the first of the year. Email Mr.GSD (@) netscape.com for details on my non-profit tours. Continue reading

The Sieger Show Courage Test – Origin and Purpose

by Fred Lanting


Taken for granted in almost all WUSV-member GSD clubs worldwide, and with similar tests in other breeds, the courage test that makes up about a third of the activities at the annual BSZS (Bundessieger Zuchtschau, or German Sieger Show) is treated differently according to country. Some countries’ national breed club require the test at every specialty show, some at just the major shows during the year, some just at the “annual national” show. And in some countries, clubs somehow manage to hang onto WUSV membership despite the facts that they ignore the mandated test or are forbidden to use it, by their nation’s government-run or government-pressured all-breed club.

Before we get into the description of how the courage test is performed and why it is needed, you should know something about “where I’m coming from”. My first GSD in 1947, in New Jersey, was an “immigrant” or the son of an import – unfortunately, all records were lost. I had many GSDs since then, both “German” and “AKC” lines, mostly the former. I have owned offspring of Gin Lierberg, Uran Wildsteigerland, Lance of Fran-Jo, Timo Berrekasten, grandsons of Cello Romerau, Bernd Kallengarten, and many more. I have trained innumerable dogs for myself and others in AKC-type obedience as well as Schutzhund (all of them so-called “show-dogs”), and am a member of the somewhat elite USA SchH-3 Club. As a professional handler I have put championships and high V-ratings on many dogs. I have had hundreds of puppies, and many years experience as a canine behaviorist and consultant. I have judged and lectured in some 30 countries and have seen the gamut of training and club requirements for shows and breeding. I am the author of “The Total German Shepherd Dog” as well as several other books. Not bragging, just saying how blessed I’ve been in this sport. Sometimes one has to re-establish one’s credentials, because the nature of the dog sport is that there are perpetually novices added to its ranks who don’t know us old-timers, and there are also “perpetual novices” who’ve been around a long time but still “don’t get it”.

With this background, and a long history of conducting annual tours of Europe centered on the Sieger Show, and including visits to trainers and training clubs, I don’t think there are many still active who have as much exposure to the breed in all its facets. I believe firmly that von Stephanitz’ dream of the total dog should continue to be respected. My ideal (and I’ve owned several examples) is the “golden middle” that can make me happy in both anatomy and character, both gait and performance. And so I emphasize to my tour groups the importance of seeing for yourself the character demonstrated by the conformation competitors, the preliminary and prerequisite courage test being held on the first day, Friday. Those that pass can then go to the next part of the grounds for the standing exam and gaiting, with the preliminary ranking assigned at that time. Those that do not meet the minimum performance standards go back to their dog trailers and sit out the rest of the show weekend, then home for better training or for sale to a country like India, Australia, or another where the test is not required, or where it is thought it might be easier to pass it. There aren’t many of those anymore.

There are two exercises that make up the courage test, being excerpts and modifications from the Schutzhund Phase C (protection) routine. There is a little bit more leniency, with the judges a little more forgiving in regard to correct heeling, number of times the “Out!” command is allowed, and how close the handler gets to the dog before yelling it, but basically, the worst passing performances resemble the work of the lowest-scoring dogs in a regular schutzhund trial. It should be said somewhere that there are different terms for this SchH title, ranging from VPG to IP or IPO, but it will be a long time before trainers lose the traditional name of the sport. The first half of the test is the “attack (on handler) from the blind”, and the second part is the “long attack”.

Come with us, now, as we (a team of handler and dog) do the exercises at such a show. First, a few teams are lined up outside the large field, which is usually about the size of half or ¾ of a soccer field, waiting their turns. As the preceding team exits via a different gate, and the judge announces their status as “pass” or “fail” and (if they pass) whether the dog was “pronounced” (ausgeprägt) or just barely “present” (vorhanden), the next team walks to the starting point. The judge gives an indication that he is ready for them to begin, and the handler heels his dog to the next marker, at least five paces from the first blind that is a bit to one side, stops with dog sitting, and removes the leash. There is a helper (“bad guy”) hiding in the blind, which of course the dog fully knows, but is supposed to act surprised when the helper pops out in a very threatening attack on the handler.

The team, upon a nod or gesture from the judge, starts heeling off-lead in the general direction of the blind. Most dogs that properly continue heeling show considerable desire to leave when the opportunity (threat) appears; in fact, most will eagerly crouch with lowered head as they heel, because by thus lowering the center of gravity, they can spring forward with more power and initial speed when that happens. In an accompanying photo, you can see my friend Andrew Masia with his Leri Unesco doing just that, on the way to the off-leash marker. Andrew is an experienced trainer, and does not need the leash even when it is allowed. I trained and titled a bitch for him, once, when he was too busy working.

As they get near, the attacker runs out, waving his stick (and usually being noisy). The dog immediately, without any command being needed from the handler, charges at the bad guy to intercept him and thereby protect his master. The bite on the sleeve should be immediate and convincing, and when the struggle ends, the dog is to release, with no more than 3 commands allowed (including the dog’s name). The count on the “commands” is frequently a little bit flexible. After the dog outs, the handler is permitted to walk up to them and retrieve (heel off with) his dog. He heels to the far end of the field while helper #1 disappears.

When the team gets to the marker at the end, they turn and face the originating part of the exercises. From another far part of the field, helper #2 trots along, while the handler shouts at him to get off his property, turns toward the dog-handler team and starts running fast and furiously, again with threatening shouts and stick-waving. The handler releases his seated, eager dog, the dog tears down the field and flies through the air at the end, to hit the helper and latch onto the sleeve. The good helper knows how to catch the dog by “giving”, the way a baseball player catches a fast pitch so he does not have a hard impact. The most applause comes when a hard-hitting dog is caught high and swung around in the air to be set down relatively gently on the ground behind the helper. That shows really pronounced drive and enjoyment of the work.

Again, the struggle stops, the dog releases with (usually) or without command. I like to train my dogs to “out” on their own when the fight stops, without a command from me. Some handlers have to scream at the top of their lungs, hoping the dog remembers how to count up to three and then obey. Then the judge allows the handler to approach the helper and retrieve his dog. In the courage test, there are many irregularities or straying from perfection that would cost the schutzhund trial competitor several points, but here it is just pass or fail. If the work is not convincing, if the dog is weak or reluctant, he may get a “vorhanden”, meaning he can only get an SG (very good) in the conformation show, not a V (excellent).

There are two photos I sent with this article that show something you might not notice at first glance. Andrew’s “Little Man” (Unesco) is doing the “first-half” of the protection exercise with one helper, and the back-half with a different helper. The first one is left-handed, so he wears a sleeve on his right arm, something very few dogs get a chance to see. It was a surprise to many dogs who are used to coming at an attacker from a certain direction and the threat coming out of their left side of the blind. Most adjusted very quickly to the “strange” arm being presented.

After the German Sieger Show tour that I led (an annual event for me) a professional photographer gave me permission to use some of his excellent shots. Very incidentally, part of my tour group was in the background in the stadium in many of them. In one picture, I’ve outlined in white where we were sitting; the dog is just on the verge of letting go as the struggle has just stopped. Credit for these stadium shots: Franck Haymann, www.aniwa.com . The picture with the helper wearing a number 3 and doing what looks like a dance routine features Solo v Team-Fiemereck. Helper # 5 and handler 1045 shows the 2004 V-1 Karat’s Ulk doing the after-struggle guard from the down position, which is useful to teach dogs that don’t really want to out and then remain so close to the tempting sleeve. Ulk was pulled before conformation judging in order to give another Karat’s dog a chance at the VA rating, a very unwise ploy, since the second dog did not get higher than V-1 anyway, and Ulk would almost certainly have been VA if only they had bothered to get a German breed survey on his dam. Some folks must have been kicking themselves in the rear-end all the way home after that show! Number 1068, Torro Barenwald, is shown in a very nice, correct, attentive guarding mode while the handler comes to pick him up.

There are always a few working-lines dogs that compete in the Sieger Show. One is pictured resting in the vendor area just outside the stadium. Usually these dogs bred strictly for working competitions place far back in the pack, around 110th place or further back. That’s because they are not as highly selected for the proportions, front angulation, long croups, etc. which show-line breeders are always trying to perfect. Most are there to show off (their routines are usually head-and-shoulders above those of the show dogs that get far less practice sharpening their protection skills) or to place highly enough to earn points toward the Universal Sieger title. This is an honor given to high scoring dogs at the annual German and international schutzhund prüfung trials who also do well in the breed ring. In 2005, the judge of the males decided that every dog competing was worthy of a V (excellent) rating, and gave no SG or lower ratings. Of course, that included only those that qualified in the preliminary courage test.

One more picture might be included, at your editor’s pleasure: a working police department dog in Nanjing, China, where I judged a couple of shows in 2004, is properly and safely caught by a military helper and is being set down. You can see that there is very definitely a practical aspect and history to the courage test as it is carried out in a similar though more formalized manner than in real-life police or military situations.

In the very few places where courage is not tested or thought to be a requirement for a breedable GSD, this very practical aspect of breed selection (suitability for service in police, military, or personal protection) is kept at arm’s length by the people in charge of the show-line dogs. In Australia and its smaller copycat New Zealand, the officials of the GSDCA (GSD Club of Australia) are afraid of government repression and the threat of mandatory neutering (as had been the law not that many years ago when there was a breed ban on the GSD). They are ruled by the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council), a quasi-governmental body heavily controlled by national politicians. The State politicians also get into the act, adding their own repressive anti-dog, anti-sport laws on a more local level. Many feel it is a case of the tail wagging the dog, and instead of the government being the servant of a free people, it is the master instead, able to dictate more severe limits on individual liberties than in some other countries. But as long as the citizens vote for such “governors”, they deserve what they get. Europe has long been sliding in the direction of less freedom for dog owners, and America is also slipping in that direction, though still far behind.

What is the purpose of the courage test in today’s societies? If you acknowledge that character is historically the primary feature of the German Shepherd Dog, the answer is obvious: it is to provide a proofing tool (that’s what the word prüfung means) to weed out the weakest temperaments and least useful individuals, and by such population genetic pressure, maintain the true German Shepherd Dog. We don’t expect every GSD to be used in police or military work, but neither should it degenerate into a foo-foo breed and lose its identity. Even before Europe’s growth of cities, decline in wolf and other predators, and less need for sheep herding, von Stephanitz established the breed as the preeminent guard and protection dog for families as well as for all manner of civil and official work, from customs and border patrol to searching for lost children or escaped criminals. History has shown that degeneration in such working character follows the lack of genetic selection pressure for the necessary traits. The courage test is primarily an exercise in obedience with willingness and ability to defend the owner. In fact, the whole schutzhund routine is more an obedience test and demonstration than a show of biting or fighting.

What is the future of “protection as selection”? Mostly downhill, thanks to non-dog-owners being elected to political office. But, in the USA there is a movement called “My Dog Votes” (no spaces between words, if you are doing a Google search) with citizens of all political stripes uniting to campaign against politicians who pass laws that are detrimental to the full enjoyment of dog ownership, including the highly rewarding and satisfying sports represented by schutzhund. The anti-dog forces of PETA and HSUS are well financed by air-headed celebrities with more dollars than sense, and it will be a long, bitter battle. In Europe, Australasia (Oz and NZ), and individual communities in the U.S., there are breed-specific laws written by idiots who don’t understand the first thing about dogs, human nature, or logic.

National and State laws (and lawmakers) must be traded in for better ones. As one friend from the land of Oz told me, “Our people cannot tell the ANKC to go away, or they would not be allowed to show any of these dogs in the regular conformation ring (as opposed to the Main Breeds ring).” I don’t quite understand the difference between those two, despite having judged numerous times Downunder. Continuing with the quote: “We believe it is very important that top-quality GSDs also appear in the regular conformation classes whenever we can tempt their owners to enter them. Otherwise the divide [between show and working/sport dogs] becomes even wider. Not many of them bother of course, but those that do are much valued and give us an idea of where the breed stands -interestingly enough, many of them do enjoy the ‘ordinary’ shows once they try them.” This was in response to my partly tongue-in-cheek suggestion that “Your GSD folks should just tell the ANKC to go away, and join the WUSV instead (whole-heartedly).” Right now, the GSDCA in Australia is resisting being a member in more than just the name; in effect, they are resisting the Standards of anatomy and performance, which in the majority of countries are inseparable.

In England, a very interesting development is unfolding at this moment. One of the three major GSD clubs in the U.K., the GSD League, is a WUSV member. But it has been in a similar position as Australasia until now, bowing to The Kennel Club in outlawing schutzhund activities anywhere near its name. Now, the management of GSDL have worked out some sort of merger or close-ties agreement with the BSA (British Schutzhund Association). Details on the evening news, I guess, but as of this writing, it is indeed a hopeful sign. Some problems persist, though. Many of the most active GSDL members and officers were caught off-guard and knew nothing of this until word bounced back from overseas bloggers and others. Another problem is that there is still the BAGSD (British Assoc. of GSDs) club that has been a rival organization and has close ties with The KC. And of course, there is the dying “breed” known as the Alsatian fanciers who still have something of a diminished following. It will be very interesting if the KC will allow this flexing of muscle, or clamp down the way the ANKC has so far.

Regardless of what happens in the Queen’s flower gardens up close or back yard down-under, the rest of the world is staying the course, using the schutzhund trials (even if renamed IP or VPG) and the shortened courage tests as selection tools to keep the breed on the right track as much as possible, given the wide variety of interests in the game.



Copyright 2005, Fred Lanting, mr.gsd@netscape.com
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