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All About German Shepherd Dog Registration

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  • Pink papers - Performance Breeding
  • How to register a litter - USA\SV, USA only and AKC
  • How to register a kennel name - USA
  • How to individually register a dog - USA\SV
  • How to AKC register your imported dog.
  • The HD Zuchtwert

You have probably heard about 'pink papers' when talking to breeders of German Shepherd Dogs.  This refers to the additional pedigree issues by the Vereine für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) through the United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USA) office.  The pedigree is registered with the USA office and the dog is listed in the registry that it maintains.

So what does this mean?  It means that both parents have proven their working ability by attaining titles of at least SchH1 and have received a Breed Survey (Körung) that is current at the time of whelping.  

What does that involve?  Well, first the dogs must have sound nerves, be well socialized and obedient to pass it's first test - the Begleitehundprüfung or BH.  It must be at least 12 months old to enter in the test which is judged by an SV or USA judge at a sanctioned event.  The dog must also be tattooed.  The BH is a prerequisite for the SchH1 title which cannot be earned before the age of 18 months and includes tracking, obedience and protection work also judged by an SV or USA judge at a sanctioned event.  The three phases of the SchH1 test are held at one event usually in one day.

What about a Breed Survey?  The dog must have an OFA hip certification of Excellent, Good or Fair or have received an 'A' stamp rating of Normal, Fast Normal (almost normal) or Noch Zuglassen (still allowable) from the SV in Germany.  The dog is eligible for an OFA rating at 24 months of age or for an 'A' Stamp at 12 months of age.  The dog must also have gotten a show rating of Good or better in the 18-24 month class or Good or better in the Working Class (24 months of age with title).  In addition to these requirements, the dog and handler must prove their stamina in a 12+ mile endurance test where the dog gaits alongside the bicycling handler.  This test is called the Ausdauerprüfung (Endurance Test).

Can I get pink papers on my dog?  Currently the only way to get pink papers on a US born German Shepherd Dog is for the breeder of the litter to submit registration to the USA office. First a notice of mating card is sent to the USA office, listing the sire and dam of the expected litter, signed by the owner of the pair.   The registration process includes several visits to the breeders kennel after the puppies are whelped, by a designated Breed Warden, who check on the health and condition of the dam and puppies.  At seven weeks of age, the puppies can be tattooed by a registered USA tattooer or by a Veterinarian.  The Breed Warden usually assists with the tattooing if possible.  Both the Breed Warden and Tattooer sign the registration papers and check to see that the information being submitted is correct.  The application must be typewritten.  

Is this the only paperwork I need on my dog?  No, the only FCI recognized breed registry in the United States is the AKC.  So you should make sure you have AKC papers on your puppy or dog as well.

What do Pink Papers look like?  

  Click to see full sized.

How do I get a registered kennel name with the United Schutzhund Clubs of America?  Call the USA office at (314) 638-9686 and ask them to mail or fax you a registration form.  Pick a unique kennel name that you want to live with.  It will be yours for life and cannot be changed or sold or willed to another.

Can I register my dog or puppies with the United Schutzhund Clubs of America only? Yes, but remember that you will still need to register with the AKC.  The USA is now providing an in house registy.  Both parents need to be registered with USA.  Visit their website for further details.

How do I register my puppies with the AKC?  First both of the parents need AKC registration papers .  Then fill out the AKC litter registration application and send it in with the required fees.  You can download a litter registration application here or visit the AKC website for more information.

How do I register my AKC registered dog with the USA?  You'll need a certified AKC four generation pedigree and the original AKC registration papers.  Your dog will need to have a tattoo.  Most German Shepherds are tattooed in the right ear but other areas of the body are acceptable.  Just remember that if you are going to work or show your dog, you will be required to show the tattoo to the Judge and the Judge will want to be able to read it.  Then you will need to fill out the additional information required by the USA office in a form they supply.  Send all of your paperwork along with the required fees to the USA office.  They, in turn, will assign a registration number and stamp the pedigree.  The paperwork is sent to the SV office where it is also recorded and stamped before being returned to you.

How do I get AKC registration on my imported dog?  The AKC supplies a form and requires two photos of the dog and an ownership certification from the country of origin.  The letter that you will need from the SV is called a Bescheinigung.  You can request one from the SV in writing or by fax.  The charge is usually about 40DM.  You can also request one through the USA office.  You can download a foreign registration form here or visit the AKC website for more information.

What the heck is the HD Zuchtwert?  This basically is a rating system employed by the SV wherein the dog is given a numeric value derived from it's parents, siblings and offspring. That value is supposed to reflect the possible heritability of hip displasia - the lower the number the better chances the dog has of not producing hip displasia. There are rules for the members of the SV in Germany that prohibit mating two dogs that will have a high combined score.

1. How is the Breed Value HD worked out for my dog? What is the formula for it?

There is no precise formular in these calculations. The Breed Value of every animal is considered "unknown" at the beginning of the calculations. Then an equation is put up for every animal, of the formular:

HD = the breed average + Breed Value of this animal + variation of sex + other influences.

In this equation the breed average, breed value and the effect of the sex are formulated as the "cause" of HD. In the SV, 450,000 equations are formulated for 450,000 animals, with the 450,000 unknown Breed Values. Then some supplementary conditions (stipulations or prerequisites) of the laws of inheritance and heredity are mathematically formulated. Following this, the computer has to solve the 450,000 equations with the 450,000 unknown factors. The answers are the assessed (estimated) Breed Values. This means that there is no formular, in which a dog's breed value is worked out on its own.What role does its own HD score play in my dog's HD Breed Value?

The dog's own HD grade modifies that, which was already known about the line (sire and dam). Siblings, (same father and same mother) may differ through their own HD status. If an animal has progeny, its own HD status slips more and more into the background. With 30 - 40 progeny, it is practically of no consequence.

3. How is a foreign "a" evaluated for the Breed Value Assessment?

At the this time, dogs from abroad with the "a" are evaluated in the formulations as though they were not x-rayed. Their Breed Value Assessment is gained only through their x rayed relatives. As these animals can no be clearly termed as "free" or "still Acceptable", an assumption in this case, would be unfair.

4. How can a dog, that was not x -rayed, have a Breed Value for HD?

In the system of equations (see Answer 1), there is a lateral clause, that the father (and the mother) give half of their genes to the progeny. Therefore the Breed Value of the progeny can be assessed or estimated, if nothing is known about the animal ( un x-rayed), as well as the breed value of the sire and dam are known. In the same way, a parent can be assessed if the progeny is known, because progeny have one half of their genes from their parents. Siblings on the one hand help to characterise the parents, the knowledge about the breed value of the parents helps on the other hand, to assess the breed value of the untested siblings.

5. How accurate can the Breed Value Assessment be, if for more than half of the whelps, no HD information is available?

In the Breed Value Assessment, the percentage of the pups does not matter, but the absolute number. The last Sieger has at this point in time, 91 x-rayed progeny, who characterise his heredity well. In the breed Value Assessment it is not the percentage of the whelps that counts, but the total number! The last Sieger, at this point in time, has his heritage well demonstrated by 91 progeny.

6. My bitch has passed on the "a" well up to now. What happens if I mate her to a dog that has a HD Breed Value over 100?

If the bitch has produced well, this must be seen in her Breed Value. Good progeny however, can also be the result of good matings. If the bitch, for instance, is mated to a dog with a value of 100, then the risk for the puppies is higher. The bitch is only "accredited negatively" if the pups are worse than could be expected with that dog.

Generally it is a fact that the stud dog owner would be well advised if he also accepted "poor" bitches, because with the poor bitches a dog can show plainly that he "improves"

With HD, where there is no freer than free, it is difficult to prove a positive heritability of the top bitches.

7. How do dogs that have no HD findings flow into the HD Breed Value calculations?

At this stage un-x rayed animals are neutral for the Breed Value Assessment, they are not taken into consideration.

8. What does the mean Breed Value of 100 mean, and the stated deviation of the standard of ten points mentioned in the breeding plan?

The Breed Value of 100 means, that the animal's heredity is typical for the breed. At this time the breed mean is 1,71, that is between HD free and slight HD. What is passed on, can be better or worse than 100.The average deviation above or below this, will be set at 10 points for the mean.

9. What does a Breed Value over 100 mean for my dog?

The Breed Value for one's own dog means that he passes on poorly. As the breed average itself is still unsatisfactory, matings should be strived for, that lie under 100. With this, "you must not throw out the baby with the bath water." The first priority is working ability, Temperament and so on. If one finds a stud dog who brings the expectations for the pups (the average of father and mother) below the 100 value, that is sufficient.

10. Conversely, what does a breed value below 100 mean for my dog?

A Breed Value below 100 means, that there is a greater freedom in the choice of dogs firm in character, strong in performance and of good construction, even if their breed value is around 100. With a bitch value of 83, one can even accept a dog of 117!

11. Can a Breed Value be worked out for criteria other than HD, and if yes, for which ones?

A breed value Assessment can be taken for other characteristics. For this, it is important, that the characteristic is accurately defined. The inheritance of size, it is thought, will be described next. These breed values would then be purely for the breeders' information in their breeding plans. There will be no editions published for this.

Dr. Reiner Beuing
University of Gießen

 Visit the SV website at to search on a dog and return the current HDZ value. Not all dogs in the database maintained by the SV are available on the web search. Recently the SV has imposed mandatory elbow displasia screening but I do not have all of the information on that program at this time.
Copyright © 1996-2009 created by Laurie K. Tollifson