SV Conformation

Breed Show (SV Conformation Show) Rules, 2009 version
Translation © by Fred Lanting

The club for German Shepherd Dogs (SV) is the parent club of the breed, acknowledged by the VDH and the FCI. For the purpose of the conservation and further development of the breed, the statutes of the SV (delineated at SV headquarters for SV member-clubs) generally and in particular for the handling of the organization, indispensable for the breed, the SV gives the following “breed show rules”. These regulations are to have the effect of law (for members).
[While these are drawn up for use in Germany, they can serve as examples for other countries. Comments in brackets are generally liberal transliterations rather than literal translations, and are added by the translator for clarity. Revisions of 1997 version are highlighted by color or shading.]

I. Definitions and responsibilities

The SV conducts breed shows for the two coat-varieties of the German Shepherd Dog: “straight hair [normal length]” and “long straight hair with undercoat.” Exhibition of these dogs is segregated in separate classes and groups according to the length of the haircoat.
1. The classifications of conformation breed shows:
1.1. Local clubs’ shows
1.2. Regional organizations (including groups of clubs) shows
1.3. Specialty shows for the breed, incorporated as part of VDH (all-breed) events
1.4. The annual “Sieger Show” held in Germany
2. Local Shows: Local SV clubs (Ortsgruppen) are responsible for organization and handling of breed shows (see 1.1).
2.1. Local clubs’ conformation shows need approval for their events from the SV HG (main office) via officers of the Landesgruppe (“LG” — regional organization).
2.2. The allocation and scheduling of conformation shows for local clubs are to be accomplished through the respective Landesgruppen.
2.3. The choices of judges for local (Ortsgruppe) conformation shows is incumbent on the accomplishing local club, which also must provide expense reimbursement for the conformation judges.
2.4. The local chapter or club (Ortsgruppe) must have proof of insurance coverage for their organization.
2.5. The Ortsgruppe is responsible for an organizationally flawless event, as well as for the observance of all pertinent regulations of the SV. This includes providing two sufficiently large rings, one for each of the sexes, for the classes judged in the morning, on to the brisk completion of the classes by 1:00 p.m., and the distribution of prizes at the close.

3. Regional (Landesgruppen) Conformation Shows
3.1. Each SV Landesgruppe must hold a regional conformation show annually in its geographical domain. It can partially and/or completely authorize a local chapter in their region area to handle the implementation.
3.2. The appointed dates of the LG conformation shows are determined by each Landesgruppe respectively and well in advance. These shows exclusively take place on Sundays. In each case, the adjacent Landesgruppen (bordering on any particular LG) must not hold such an event on the same weekend.
3.3. The choice of the officiating Judges for these regional conformation shows is incumbent on the respective Landesgruppe. Each LG is to ask at least three SV judges eligible to judge the Sieger Show if they are available to judge on the chosen weekend.
3.4. The LG conformation show needs approval from the main office [re dates and details].
3.5. For insurance coverage, the same rule applies as in 2.4 above.

4. German Shepherd Dog Specialty Shows Included in VDH All-breed Events:
4.1. Conformation specialty shows sponsored by local or regional SV clubs can be incorporated as part of VDH shows as specialty shows, or as stand-alone events. The determinations under paragraphs 1.2 and/or 1.3 apply fully for the breed show rules.
4.2. The appropriate show regulations of both the breed club and the VDH are to be observed.
4.3. Judges for the specialty conformation show must have VDH judging credentials.

5. German Sieger Show The SV each year organizes a German Sieger Show [also called the Bundessiegerzuchtschau, Hauptzuchtschau, etc.].
5.1. Organization is directed by the SV head office, which authorizes and cooperates with a Landesgruppe for the implementation of the show. Part of these responsibilities can be transferred to the LG in which region the show is held.
5.2. The establishment of awards, dates, and times comes from the SV headquarters.
5.3. The selection of judges is incumbent upon the SV executive committee.
5.4. All dogs that are presented to the judge in the Breeders Groups on Friday are also to be evaluated on Sunday. In all other respects, the breed-show rules and guidelines apply which are given in III.2. (below, under Sonstige Bestimmungen “Other Determinations”).
5.5 Additional special clauses may apply, which are published in notices in the SV Zeitung periodical, and communications from the HQ office to SV members, among other means.

II. Organization of the conformation shows
1. For the type or level of conformation show listed in I.1 (Ortsgruppe show), a printed show catalog is required.
1.1. All dogs that are entered for exhibition must be listed in this catalog, with their names, studbook number, whelping date, evidence of parentage, name & address of the breeder, and name & address of the owner.
1.2. The show organization may only accept and print in the show catalog, dogs that are:
1.2.1. entered in the studbook of the SV (have an SZ registration number) or are in similar records of an SV-acknowledged foreign club and identified with tattoo and/or microchip numbers,
1.2.2. over 12 months old,
1.2.3. free from any indication of disease,
1.2.4. are not under a progeny-registration ban (i.e., they or their parents are allowed to breed),
1.2.5 are owned by SV members,
1.2.6 are not owned by persons for whom a final ban on participating in events is in effect.
1.2.7 The deadline for entries received by the club is midnight of the Monday before the show. They must be faxed [or otherwise delivered] to the club’s main office by Wednesday, 12:00 o’clock [noon] at the latest, for the SID (show records) preparations. Dogs for which entries or registrations are received after the deadline may not take part in the competition.
1.3. At breed (conformation) shows, only dogs that can be proven to be owned by SV members may be shown.

2. Division of Classes
The dogs exhibited at conformation shows are divided by coat varieties: the “Stockhaar” (straight-haired, medium length topcoat) and the “Langstockhaar” (longer topcoat but also with undercoat). At shows of more than one days’ duration, the first day of the competition is used in determining a cut-off date for eligibility in specific age classes.
2.1. Youth (Jugend) classes are for dogs from 12 to 18 months.
2.2. Young-dog (Junghund) classes are for dogs 18 to 24 months.
2.3. Working-dog (Adult & titled) classes are for dogs that have reached their 2nd birthdate.
2.4 Dogs classified in paragraph 2.3 must have proof of a training degree, at least SchH-1 (or IP-1) or the HGH (Herdengebrauchshunde herding) title.
2.5. HGH classes
a./ Dogs over 24 months must have the HGH training title. This must have been acquired under an SV-recognized HGH judge.
b./ Dogs under 24 months (in the Jugendklassen/Junghundklassen youth/young-dog classes) without training titles can also be exhibited, if the owner is a shepherd or sheep owner and can prove membership in his sheep-breeding federation. Alternatively, the responsible person [exhibitor or owner] can be licensed by the Agriculture Department; a new certificate is to be submitted annually. This is not needed in the case of occupational shepherds.
2.6. Breeders’ groups (Zuchtgruppen):
A Zuchtgruppe (Breeder’s group) is composed of at least three, and at most six, animals from one kennel, all of which are also shown in their respective classes at the breed show and have received minimum quality evaluations of “Good”. All the dogs in any Zuchtgruppe must have the same kind of haircoat [either long or normal]. The groups are evaluated according to these criteria: uniformity of the group (40%), quality of the single animals (40%), and with consideration as much as possible to the similarity to the parents of the dogs (20%).
2.7. For the sake of the breed, a “Nachkommenschau” (progeny class or show) for dogs of age 9-12 months, can be held. This is possible [in Germany] only in connection with a regional or local SV club’s conformation show. This event is to be in series with, and on one of the same days as, the regular conformation show. The judging can only be done by SV conformation judges.
2.8. Dogs over six years of age may be shown in their own Veterans classes. They usually are given no critique, but a ranking and placement for each entry is made.

3. Evaluations/Awards
In Puppy classes (see 2.7), the following judgments can be awarded:
• “very promising”: Animals that correspond to the breed standard fully or display minor, insignificant limitations in anatomy;
• “promising”: Animals that correspond to the breed standard, but may have some undesirable and clearly recognizable anatomical or developmental characteristics;
• “less promising”: Animals that display obvious defects concerning their temperament and/or breed-worthiness qualifications [Are less impressive and should be excluded from breeding];
• Mängel: a more seriously faulty exhibit. [very seldom seen]
The evaluations [of puppies] do not represent critiques in the same sense as breed evaluations [of adult dogs. These judgments are not appraisals having the same meaning, permanence, or importance as do the adult breed evaluations].

4. Appraisals
4.1. Dogs entered at conformation shows described in Section I., paragraphs 1.1 to 1.3, can be awarded the following evaluations or ratings:
• “Excellent” (V, vorzüglich): Animals in the Gebrauchshundklasse (adult, working-titled class), which in strict sense fully correspond to the breed standard, show themselves to be self-confident, are indifferent to gunshots, have on the Ahnentafel (pedigree) the “a”-stamp for hips (and, if born after 01.01.2004, have elbows certified as normal, fast-normal, or noch zugelassen [normal, nearly normal, or still allowed] also on the Ahnentafel), and, if over 3.5 years old, are approved in a Körung (breed survey). Effective in 2008, double P-1 (first premolar) is allowed.
• ”Very Good” (SG, sehr gut): Having only minor faults in the area of anatomy. Also, animals that otherwise are anatomically flawless, but have overbites or underbites up to 1 cm. The absence of a single P-1 (first premolar) or an incisor is allowed. (SG is the highest possible rating in the 12-18 month youth/Junghund and 18-24 month young dog/Jugend classes, and [such dogs may] fully correspond to the breed Standard in the same way that adult/working-titled dogs meet the requirements for the V rating)
• “Good” (G, gut): Dogs that correspond to the standard, with clearly recognizable anatomical imperfections. The faults of missing two P-1s (first premolar), or one P-1 plus one 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-2s, are allowed.
• “Sufficient” (A, Ausreichend): Dogs that on the day of the event are gunshot-sensitive, or are not allowed a higher appraisal because of not enough “Unbefangenheit” (which can be translated as impartiality, stability, or lack of nervousness/shyness), or that have faults in either their over-all state-of-mind or anatomical condition.
• “Insufficient/Unsatisfactory” (U, Ungenügend): for animals that are gun-shy, which have faults of diminished character and are defective in the area of impartiality or breed-disqualifications. Also for animals with moderate overbite or moderate underbites of more than 1 cm. The appraisal “Insufficient” is accompanied by a “progeny ban” (any offspring are not eligible for registration), which the acting conformation judge has to put in his report to the SV.
4.2. At the German Sieger Show, besides the evaluation categories in 4.1, there is the additional appraisal and award of “Excellent-Select” (VA, vorzüglicht-auslese), which implies evidence of these further criteria: For the VA Class, only dogs are eligible that are Körklasse-1 in the breeding classifications (breed-surveyed as “recommended”); having complete, flawless dentition; and having at least the training degree SchH2 for their first time as VA. They must be progeny of Kkl-1 working-titled parents. Dogs that would be placed in the VA group for the second time must possess the SchH3.
4.3. If there are external (environmental, not genetic) influences that result in damage, or entire absence, of teeth, such dogs remain in full contention for the awards, without adverse consequences on the breed evaluation. The requirement, however, is that the former presence of sound, strong teeth, and a flawless scissors bite with straight line of incisors, is without doubt and confirmed on the pedigree. The proof can be given as follows regarding the Zuchtbuchamt (the SV’s official studbook records):
1. Such evidence of dentition described above, officially recorded at some past date by notation in judging books and scorebook, in which a Körmeister (breed-survey judge) has described and confirmed the status after personal examination as part of the judgment at a conformation show. This can be done at the earliest at the age of 12 months. or,
2. Documentation in the Körschein, describing the dental status as being correct at the time of the Körung, or,
3. Starting in 2001, such documentation is added to the Ahnentafel. This would include appropriate information on any missing or damaged teeth as noted by the Zuchtbuchamt, the SV office where the studbooks of the breed are maintained.
If numbers 1 and 2 above cannot be supplied, [and the owner wishes to establish the fact of non-genetic dentition problems or irregularities], the SV Zuchtbuchamt (where the studbook and other records are maintained) must be supplied with a radiograph and certified statement from an “HD-veterinarian” or veterinary dentistry specialist [already approved by the SV for such matters]. Parts of the root or at least the tooth socket must be evident on the radiograph. In the case of partial damage, a certificate from such a veterinarian must be submitted. This applies also in the cases of absence of teeth. To have this information added to the Ahnentafel, such evidence must be provided to the SV.

III. Other Determinations
1. Owners or exhibitors of dogs entered, but not shown, are liable for full entry fees.
2. Dogs that are shown for the “standing exam” and then [before the final gaiting competition] are taken out of further competition in the show, without explicit authorization by the acting breed judge, must receive a rating of “Insufficient” and a 6 months prohibition from being shown. With the notation of “Insufficient” a similar temporary ban on progeny registration also is enjoined, which takes effect at the time of that appraisal. Such instances are reported by the judge to the SV main office.
3. A judge’s decision on conformation shows is final. An objection is not permitted.
4. The exhibitor is obligated to make true statements about his dog. Attempted deceptions lead to the implementation of disciplinary procedures by the SV.
5. The exhibitor is obligated to show sportsmanlike conduct. Offenses determined by a club’s disciplinary procedures could lead to a reprimand and/or to the disqualification of his dog. Who intentionally makes wrong statements or does not answer questions demanded of him, also who makes or tolerates changes in his dog, or takes actions intended to deceive the judge, will lose any award already given to the dog at this event and can, according to the gravity of the case, be excluded from future events or have another penalty administered by the SV.
6. It is not allowed for the Judge at any conformation shows to judge dogs that are owned by himself and/or his agents. Extreme reserve should be exercised regarding dogs that are owned or cared for by the judge’s near relatives. This includes persons one lives with, breeds with, owns dogs with, and shares households with.
7. At the presentation in the standing exam the dogs are to be presented to the judge without substantial help such as hand-posing. (The dogs are to be standing naturally.)
8. By entering a dog in an SV competition, the dog owner agrees to the taking of hair samples, upon decision of the acting judge, by that judge or the person he assigns. The hair samples are to be sent in the SV headquarters, the purpose being to examine it for possible artificial color manipulations [dyeing] for which the owners are responsible. If the suspicion of such color deception should be confirmed, the costs of the investigative procedure are to be borne by the owners of the examined dogs. In such a case, the show evaluation is voided, and the dog is banned from entries into the studbook [or other records] for 12 months starting from the day [of that incident or event]. An SV ruling and procedures will be instigated against the owner(s). In case such color manipulation is confirmed, the SV will not bear the investigation costs [the owner will].
9. It is not permitted to use acoustic aids in calling the dogs, whether amplified electrically or via compressed air or gas. [Fred’s note: this is totally ignored at shows.] Likewise it is forbidden, to alert or call dogs with the use of pistols, whipping, or Schutzhund sleeves. Offenses can result in a reprimand of the caller, the disqualification of the dog, and the introduction of internal (SV) club disciplinary procedures against the owner and the caller.
10. Breed shows can be held throughout the whole year, but holding shows indoors is permitted only from 1 December to the end of February.

personal postscripts:
Dec. 20, 2001 mail (re dogs judged Vorhanden in the courage test not being allowed to compete further in that particular show):
Dear Mr. Lanting,
Concerning your inquiry, we can inform you that the special rules for the Sieger Show (Bundessiegerzuchtschau) are not part of the regular breed show rules. Under section 5.4 it is stated, that additional regulations are listed under “Ausschreibungsunterlagen” and are published in the SV-Zeitung as well as the entry form for the Siegerschau.
Kind regards, A. Fath, SV Main Office

Effective July 1, 2000 — At conformation shows it is to be established:
A dog can be entered and handled in the appropriate classes in conformation shows without restraint in reference to his courage test evaluations (protection phase Schutzhund scores).*
For possibly further questions I remain at your disposal,
Sincerely, Hans Rüdenaur, SV Main Office
*(Trial scores are not to be taken into account in a conformation show when a dog is evaluated there.)

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

Breed Show (SV Conformation Show) Rules, Germany – 1997 version, translated by Fred Lanting

The following rules are enforced in Germany, and offered as a guide to other countries’ clubs.

Breed Show (SV Conformation Show) Rules, Germany

1997 version, translated by Fred Lanting

The club for German Shepherd Dogs (SV) is the parent club of the breed, acknowledged by the VDH and the FCI. For the purpose of the conservation and further development of the breed, the statutes of the SV (delineated at SV headquarters for SV member-clubs) generally and in particular for the handling of the organization, indispensable for the breed, the SV gives the following “breed show rules”. These regulations are to have the effect of law (for members). Continue reading

The 2004 SV/WUSV/FCI Rules for the BH Qualification (Translated into English by Fred Lanting)

The 2004 SV/WUSV/FCI Rules for the BH Qualification

Translation copyrighted by Fred Lanting


(Begleithund & Verhaltens Test, BH/VT)

All examinations and qualification events are subject to principles of sportsmanship regarding the performance and behavior of those involved. The execution, demonstration, and evaluation are more thoroughly described below. These regulations are binding for all involved, and all participants have to meet the same performance requirements. One change is that at the BH/VT examination, the gunsureness test no longer takes place. In order to participate in FH, SchH/VPG, IPO, RTP (SAR), Agility, and Obedience events, proof of the BH/VT is required. Authorized to award the BH/VT are SchH/VPG, Agility and Obedience trial judges listed and approved by any AZG-member association. The examination result is to be noted in the appropriate performance record, such as scorebook or Ahnentafel. Continue reading