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Unpacking A Pedigree

Learn how to decipher the pedigree of a properly-bred German Shepherd Dog

Carissa Kuehn

on 16 April 2015

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Transcript of Unpacking A Pedigree

Unpacking A Pedigree
What is a pedigree?
Working Titles
Working titles follow the dog's registered name. These include
(herding), obedience, and more. For a working breed like the German Shepherd, these titles are
important in preserving the genetic traits valued in the breed, such as trainability, intelligence and courage. Commonly seen titles include:

Health Ratings
These include hip and elbow ratings from the SV in Germany or from OFA in the U.S. This may also include the modern test for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). These basic health certifications test breeding stock for genetic diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
Breed Survey
The breed survey is an important combination of structure, working ability, and health. In order to achieve a breed survey, a dog must have a show rating (conformation), a working title, passing hip and elbow ratings, and an AD (12-mile endurance test). They also are tested for gun-sureness.
Show ratings
Arek vom Stoffelblick
Hip Certifications
SV Ratings:
"a" normal/"a1" = normal hips
"a2" = fast normal hips (near normal)
"a3" = noch zugelassen (still permissible)

Elbow Certifications
"a normal"/"a1" = normal elbows
"a2" = fast normal elbows (near normal)
"a3" = noch zugelassen (still permissible)

OFA only gives one passing rating:
OFA normal = normal elbows

A pedigree is a chart that shows the ancestry of a dog. It allows owners and breeders to trace the genetic heritage of the dog in front of them.

We will use the legendary
V Arek vom Stoffelblick SchH3 FH KKl1
as our example.
, or companion dog test. This is not a title, per se, but is a basic test of temperament and obedience must be passed before a dog can continue on to actual working titles.
These titles are for a 3-phase breed test and sport called Schutzhund (now called IPO), where the dog must perform tracking, obedience, and protection work. They are required for breeding German Shepherds in Germany, and in the U.S. under the United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA).
International Working Dog Examinations, which are essentially the same 3-phase breed test and sport as Schutzhund. IPO replaced Schutzhund titles in 2012. IPO titles are required for breeding German Shepherds in Germany, and in the U.S. under USCA.
Advanced tracking titles

Breed survey ratings

Breed survey ratings are included at the end of the dog's name, and the survey itself is included in the dog's pedigree.
Below are the ratings:
Event abbreviations
(National Working Dog Championship in Germany)
The letters in front of the dog's name indicate conformation show ratings. These demonstrate that the dog has been evaluated and rated against the standard for the breed.

Pedigrees contain more than just the names of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. They also contain working titles, show ratings, hip and elbow ratings, and more!

Let's unpack all the information
found in the pedigree of
V Arek vom Stoffelblick SchH3 FH KKl1.

More Than Just Names
SchH1 - SchH3


, or "German herding utility dog". This title is accepted for breeding in lieu of a Schutzhund or IPO title, and the dog is not required to perform the AD.

Arek vom Stoffelblick has both a SchH3 title, and an FH tracking title. His parents also have a variety of working titles (as do nearly ALL the dogs in his pedigree).
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Excellent = Excellent hips
Good = Good hips
Fair = Fair hips
SV Ratings:
OFA Ratings:
= Excellent Select
= Excellent
= Very Good
= Good
Working titles
Conformation rating
Breed survey
Health test results
(Hip ratings, in this case)
Event participation, with rating
(V-rated/Excellent at BundessiegerPrufung)
Below are the four different conformation ratings accepted for breeding:
Registered name, from the "A" litter
The breeder's registered kennel name
Normal elbow
OFA Good hips
These abbreviations show that the dog competed in certain prestigious regional, national, or international events. Below are the abbreviations for several key events:
This is Arek's breed survey, in its original German. It comments on his structure, appearance, color, shoulder angles, rear leg structure, midsection, movement, and temperament in the work. "Harte, Mut und Kampftrieb ausgepragt" means: "courage, hardness, and fighting instinct pronounced." This is very desirable rating.
= Koerklasse 2, recommended for breeding
= Koerklasse 1, strongly recommended for breeding
Since 2012, there is no longer a KKl1 and a KKl2 distinction, just
Putting it all together:
Our example dog:
Ready to test your pedigree knowledge with another pedigree?

Aries vom Shepherdgate HGH
What do all those letters mean?
received an "Excellent" (V) conformation rating, as did both his sire and dam.
= FCI World Championship
= International IPO Championship for the World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs
(Regional Championship Trial
(National Conformation Championship in Germany, often called the "Sieger Show")
Full transcript