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What is the SV?

What is the SV Program? To clearly understand what the SV is all about its best to take a minute to explain all the registries, associations and their purpose or impact on the German Shepherd community(s) around the world. Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde (better known as the SV) translates to ‘Society for German Shepherd Dogs.’ So, What exactly is the SV and how does it relate to you and your dog? Basically, The SV in Europe is what the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) or United Schutzhund Club of America (USCA) are to the United States. The only difference is the SV handles the breeding regulations and registry of German Shepherd’s in Germany whereas the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the primary breed registry in the USA. The SV is also the official registry for recording keeping and sets the breeding standards for which the country (or association participants) needs to follow. The SV is the breed parent club for the VDH (Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen; translation: German Kennel Club) which along with the AKC (USA), KC (British), CKC (Canada) and the FCI (all other countries) make up the worlds all breed registries. While the GSDCA and USCA do not handle registration in the USA they do set statutes that member clubs are recommended to follow. The SV, along with many other countries, are members of the WUSV (World Union for the German Shepherd) along with the GSDCA and USCA. The SV determines the group of standards and ratings that must be adhered to in order to make a dog acceptable for breeding. The ultimate goal was to create a working dog that has good conformation, temperament and the best characteristics of the breed. Which in turn would create a healthy, social and confident German Shepherd Dog. In order to properly manage the breed standard for the German Shepherd dog the SV has created varying levels of working and confirmation (show) titles. It is the belief of the SV that through these titles and ratings we are able to determine the proper temperament for breeding. In order to ensure the success of this program the SV requires that all dogs within the association obtain a show rating, working title and breed survey in order to be used for breeding. To best explain the SV show ratings and how they are achieved we have broken them down into ages. Just to clarify show ratings are titles that can be earned in the conformation/Show ring which are separate from the Working IGP titles or breed survey.

What is Conformation?

Conformation is the judgement of movement, structure and overall balance of the German Shepherd. The classes are divided by coat/gender/age and the dogs are evaluated by a certified judge with immense knowledge of the breed standard as set forth by the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (S.V.). Each dog in the ring is typically presented by a two person team made up of a “handler” and “caller”. This is a tactic known as “double handling”. Double handling is where you have one person in the ring handling/presenting the dog to the judge (known as “The Handler”) and the other person remains on the outside of the ring calling the attention of the dog (known as “The Caller”). The handler can (and often does) only see the dog on the day of the event. The caller is the person who the dog in bonded to most, in many cases this would be the owner or trainer. At the SV shows you may also notice the attire, handlers and callers wear fitness clothes often representing their team or associating kennel colors. The Classes are divided first by age followed by gender and coat length (Stock Coat/ long Coat). The classes offered are Baby Puppy 4-6 month, Junior Puppy 6-9 month, Senior puppy 9-12 month, Youth 12-18 month, Young 18-24 month, Open Class (dogs 2yrs and older without working title), Working Class (dog two years and older with working title, HD/ED Evaluations and breed survey), and Veterans Class (Titled dogs ages 6yrs or older). Depending on the class, your dog will be judged in the stance, slow gate, fast gate, movement in the front (i.e. walking directly towards the judge), movement from the back (i.e. walking away from the judge) and off leash healing (working class only). The Working Class is the highest level performance class in the SV Conformation shows. In this class the dogs are not only judged on their conformation, movement and character but the overall wellness of the dog is taken into high consideration as well. It’s important to note that these are “breed shows”, so, in your working class the judges are not just evaluating the conformation but the suitability for breeding as well. In order to qualify for the working class the dog must have a working title (IGP 1-3), hip & elbow evaluations (i.e. HD/ED) through either the OFA or SV, and a breed survey (for dogs over the age of 3.5 years). For Sieger Shows, your dog may also be required to have his/her DNA on file with the SV or AKC in order to be eligible for the higher ratings such as V (Excellent) or VA (Supreme). Most shows that are offered throughout the year are club level shows or regional championships. Once a year (per country) there is a National Championship called the Sieger Show. In the USA the Sieger Show is hosted in rotating years by the GSDCA and USCA. All even years are hosted by the GSDCA and odd years are hosted by the USCA. At the Sieger Show you will notice a higher attendance as kennels and teams from all across the USA will travel to compete and earn the 1st in the nation title and bragging rights. For most of the classes from Baby Puppy to One Class and Veterans the classes will run the exact same as any other show. For the Working Class, however, this is the main event. The dogs in the Working Class at a Sieger Show must perform a performance test (aka Protection Work) at the start of the show. The performance test consists of a healing exercise followed by two phases of protection work (attack out of the blind and courage test). The dogs must pass this portion with a pronounced “a” meaning that they scored at least 3 points in each in phase. From the performance section the dogs will present in front of the judge in whats known as the “stand for exam” followed by the working class which is held on the final day of the Sieger Show. Only the dogs in Working Class that have all the qualifications to enter ,and in addition to, show good performance, character and progeny would be eligible for the VA rating. The VA rating is the most coveted rating in the SV program and is typically awarded to 5-10 dogs per county, per year in each Working Class division.

Conformation Titles Defined.

For puppies competing in class ages 4 months to 12 months. (VP) rating is considered ‘very promising’ and is the highest rating for dogs under 12 months when shown (P) is considered ‘promising’ (LP) is considered ‘less promising’ For Youth and Young Dogs competing in classes 12 to 24 months. (SG) very good structure-highest rating until requirements for (V) are met (G) good-lowest rating whereby a dog can still breed (in Germany) (A) sufficient (M) faulty (U) unsatisfactory Open Class, Dogs that are 24 months and older without a working title (IGP). (SG) very good structure-highest rating until requirements for (V) are met (G) good-lowest rating whereby a dog can still breed (in Germany) (A) sufficient (M) faulty (U) unsatisfactory Working Class, Dogs that are 24 months and older with working title. (V) Excellent (VA) excellent select (only awarded at the annual Sieger Show)


What is IGP?

The IGP (International Prüfung Ordning) represents a sport that tests dogs working abilities, intelligence, and endurance. The direct purpose of this is to help identify dogs that display essential traits for the next generation. This sport was primarily developed for the German Shepherd Dog. However, other breeds of dogs participate in this event. This sport helps to determine that a dog displays specific traits such as trainability, desire to work, intelligence, handler connection, protection instinct and a keen sense of smell. The dogs that compete in this sport also need to show a strong sense of endurance, power, and agility. There are three levels of the IGP sports title which consist of the IGP1, IGP2, and IGP3. Before commencing the IGP1 trial, the dog must have obtained a BH (Begleithundprüfung) which consists of two parts. The first part is an obedience routine and the second is a temperament test. To receive the title of IGP, the dog must partake in three phases which are Tracking, Obedience, and protection. Each of these phases includes a grading scale of 100, and the dog must receive a minimum of 70 in two phases and 80 points in one phase to pass. If the dog does not receive the minimum score or is dismissed by the judge they will not receive the title.

IGP Titles Defined.

WB | Character Test | Dog must be 9 months or older | This is a character assessment test that evaluates the dogs temperament, drive, determination and overall character. This test is not required to attempt an IGP but it IS required to obtain a breed survey (KKL). BH | Obedience Test | Dogs must be 15 months (or older) | This is the first phase and entry level to all IGP sport. In order to obtain any working title (AD, IGP etc) the dog must have a BH first. This is a two phase test that is meant to judge the temperament, character and overall control that the handler has with the dog to perform basic obedience commands such as heel, sit, down and stay. The second phase is the judgement of teams ability to perform under distractions of every day life such as other dogs, joggers, bicyclist etc. The idea behind this test is to judge the suitability of the dogs temperament and ability to remain confident and in control. AD | Endurance Test | Dogs must be 16 months (or older) | The endurance exam where the handler takes their dog for a bike ride of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). The idea behind this test to evaluate the dogs overall physical efforts and agility. IGP 1-3 | Three Phase Performance Test | There are three levels to IGP 1,2, and 3. The entry level being one and the gradually becoming more difficult from there. All three phases must be completed at the same event with the same handler. These phases include tracking, obedience and protection. Dog must be a minimum of 18 months for IGP 1, 19 months for IGP 2 and 20 months for IGP3. KKL | Breed Survey | Dogs must be 2 yrs (or older) | In order the qualify for the breed survey the dogs must have a show rating, WB, BH, AD, working title (IGP1 or higher), Hips/Elbows evaluated with a passing rating by OFA or SV and DNA on file with the SV or AKC. In order to qualify for the SV breed survey all titles and evaluations must be done through the SV. The USCA and GSDCA breed surveys will accept titles earned under USCA and GSDCA judges as well as HD/ED through OFA and DNA evaluations granted through AKC. To learn more about the breed survey and the requirements please see "Breed Survey" below. There are many others titles that can earned through the IGP program such as FH (Tracking), FPr 1-3 (IGP Tracking phase only), GPr 1-3 (IGP Obedience phase only), SPr 1-3 (IGP Protection phase only), IBGH (BH phase 1 only) and many others. As you wish to learn more about the dog sport I encourage you to use the links above and visit the GSDCA and USCA websites for complete list of rules and regulations.

What is a Breed Survey(Kkl)?

KKL | Breed Survey | Dogs must be 2 yrs (or older) | In order the qualify for the breed survey the dogs must have a show rating, WB, BH, AD, working title (IGP1 or higher), Hips/Elbows evaluated with a passing rating by OFA or SV and DNA on file with the SV or AKC. In order to qualify for the SV breed survey all titles and evaluations must be done through the SV. The USCA and GSDCA breed surveys will accept titles earned under USCA and GSDCA judges as well as HD/ED through OFA and DNA evaluations granted through AKC. To learn how to get HD/ED evaluations and DNA kits ordered please check out our "references" link below. The Breed Survey: What is it? Why do I need it? How do I get it? WHAT IS IT? The breed survey (KKL, also known as Körung) is essentially a breeding license and is the final phase in achieving breeding status for the German Shepherd. The reason it's the final phase is because all test's (temperament, performance, conformation and health) must be completed in order to attempt and eventually achieve the breed survey. The purpose of the breed survey (within the German Shepherd breed) is to evaluate the value a dog has towards the overall improvement of the breed. During a breed survey a dog will perform in protection work, conformation and provide all health testing before a licensed judge for evaluation. The judge will take all factors into account when recording the dog for a KKL such as temperament (courage, willingness to work, confidence), conformation (movement, expression, balance, structure), line breeding (lineage of dominant bloodlines) as well as health (hips/elbows & DNA). Dogs are typically evaluated at the age of 2 yrs (or once the prerequisites are met) and then again 2 yrs after the first breed survey for a second evaluation and "lifetime certification".

Whats Required for a KKL?

KKL can be issued by the SV, USCA and GSDCA. Although each association can have slight modifications (such as, working title must be issued by SV judge, GDSCA judge or USCA judge) Each association would still require the dog to have the following: - AKC full registration - AKC 4 Generation Pedigree or SV/FCI 4 Gen pedigree. - Dogs must be no less than 2 yrs of age - Dogs must be either tattoo or microchipped. - Dogs must have DNA on file with SV (AKC DNA is accepted for GSDCA & USCA) - Character Test is required for dogs born after July 1, 2020 - Titles AD, BH & IGP - Hips & Elbows with passing score by the SV (normal, fast normal, nosh zugelassen) or OFA (excellent, good, fair) - Conformation Show certification of Good (G) or better

How To Obtain Medical Test's?

When it comes to obtaining your health test's (DNA and Hip/Elbow). You should contact your governing association USCA or GSDCA (links above). The USCA and GSDCA would be able to submit your Hip (HD) and Elbow (ED) forms as well as DNA to the SV on your behalf. This is the only way that you can register your medical test's with the SV. In addition to the SV you may choose to obtain an OFA rating for your dogs hips/elbow's. This can be done through a licensed veterinarian in your area. If you would like to have your dogs DNA on file with the AKC you can do this on your own. Simply go to the AKC link above and order a DNA kit through their online store.

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