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German Titles and Ratings

VA       Vorzuglich Auslese- Excellent Select
Given only to a group of outstanding German shepherds at a Sieger show.

V         Vorzuglich- Excellent
Outstanding German shepherds with full dentitions and good character.

SG       Sehr Gut- Very Good
Highest grade possible for dogs under 24 months of age or dogs outstanding merit missing a premolar.

G         Gut- Good
Really about average, given to typical but not exceptional animals.

A         Ausreichend- Satisfactory
Given to below average dogs.

M         Mangelhaft- Poor
Poor quality dogs but of tolerable character.

U         Ungenugend- Unsatisfactory
Given to dogs with faulty character or serious faults, ungraded.

Excellent 24 months:
A dog of exceptional merit with no major failings in type with correction proportions.  Correct bite and faultless detention but double P 1s.

Very Good 12 months:
A dog of very well above average type and construction or of excellent construction but with one of the following: scissors bit but not quite correct, missing 1 P 1, missing one incisor, slightly level bite, badly worn teeth not from age, height and character as for Excellent.

Satisfactory 12 months:
A dog of average merit, type and construction but with one of the following: missing 1 P 3, missing 1 P 2 plus and incisors, missing 1 P 2 and 1 P 2, missing 2 P 2s.  Maximum height as for Good.  Minimum height and character as for Excellent.

Ungraded 12 months:
A dog well below average merit, missing more teeth or combinations not listed in higher grades.  Overshot, undershot or wry mouth.  Crptorchids (uni-orbi-lateral).  Nervous or vicious character.  Heigh ranges outside of those for Good.

Height and Weight Standard (preferred)


Wither height:           60 cm- 65 cm                        23-5/8” – 25-1/2”
Weight:                       30 kg- 40kg               66 lbs – 88 lbs


Wither height:           55 cm- 60 cm                        21-5/8” – 23-5/8”
Weight:                       22 kg- 32kg               48.5 lbs – 70.5 lbs

Terms and Definitions

Breed surveyed (recommended for breeding)

Koerklasse 1:
(KKL 1) Especially recommended for breeding

Koerklasse 2:
(KKL 2) Suitable for breeding.  Dog may have a structural or protection work fault which could be compensated for bloodlines or working qualities.  May be resurveyed and reclassified at a later date.

This symbol before a dog’s name means it has been surveyed and approved for breeding.

Dog’s hips have been x-rayed and certified acceptable.  Required for Breed survey.  Actual stamps applied by the German SV to either the German pink papers of a dog or the AKC certified 4 generation pedigree at the time dog receives passing hip and elbow rating.

“a” 1:
HD normal, the best hip or elbow rating possible from the German SV.

“a” 2:
HD fast normal, near normal- rating given to hips and/or elbows.

“a” 3:
HD noch zugelassen, still acceptable for breeding- rating given to hips and/or elbows

“a”- Ausland:
HD certification was passed in another country rather than Germany.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, an organization in the USA that researches HD and other health problems and certifies hips and elbows for animals with the excellent, good and fair.

 Hip dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia

Landesgruppen (Regional) Show.  There are approximately 1500 German shepherd clubs in Germany and these are under the jurisdiction of the 15 Landesgruppen clubs.  The LG show are larger than the local shows and the judging and rating requirements are stricter.  Landesgruppen Sieger and Siergerin titles are awarded.

A European International Champion.

SchH/ IPO:
Schutzhund, for dogs who have passed the examinations for tracking, obedience and protection.  The titles 1, 2 and 3 denote how advanced the training tests were.  The dog must have at least a SchH 1/ IPO1 to be breed surveyed.

Ausdauerprufung, the dogs passed an endurance test by gaiting approximately six miles per hour for about nine miles with a ten minute rest halfway, and a simple obedience test at the end.  A requirement for the Breed Survey.

Herdengebrauchshund, herding dog.

Polizei Hund, police dog.

Fahrten Hund, tracking dog.

Search and rescue.

Begleitungshund, temperament and obedience examinations to qualify for Schutzhund titles.  This must be completed before competing for SchH 1.

Triebveranlung Selbstsicherheit und Belastbarkeit, = drive, self confidence and ability to handle stress in a courage test, ratings are “pronounced”, “sufficient” or “insufficient”.

T1, T2, T3 or T4:
The dog is removed from farther participation in the Sieger show due to TSB failings.  Each number indicates the reason for removal.

HD Zuchtwert - Breed Value Assessment Number

The best tool for breeders in the fight against canine hip dysplasia (CHD), to come along in years, is the SV's HD Zuchtwert, or Breed value assessment number (HD ZW). The HD ZW number is an estimation of the probability that a dog will produce progeny with CHD.

The HD ZW value factors in many variables in the calculation, but is based mostly on the hip status of a dog's progeny. This is the critical factor in the usefulness of the HD ZW. The dog's own hip status is only one of several important variables in the equation, not the sole determinant. This is because it is possible for a dog with excellent hip status to produce a majority of progeny with CHD. And conversely, a dog with Fair hip status can produce a majority of progeny with excellent hip status. Without factoring in this critical look at the dog's Genotype (what his genes pass on to progeny) in addition to his Phenotype, (what his actual hip status is) real progress can not be made in reducing the incidence of CHD. 

So how does it work? Each dog registered with the SV is assigned an HD ZW number at birth, based on its Parents HD ZW numbers. After a dog is x-rayed, its own hip status is factored into his HD ZW. Upon producing progeny of his own, the results of the progeny's x-rays are then factored into the parents HD ZW numbers. The HD ZW number is not a static value. It fluctuates depending on what the dog produces! This is what is important: A dog's Genotype; what the dog produces. Not his Phenotype; what his actual hip status is. 

An HD ZW value of 100 has been set as the breed average. HD ZW values LESS than 100 mean the dog produces fewer progeny with CHD than the breed average. A number greater than 100 means a dog produces CHD more often than the breed average. So HD ZW values less than 100 are desirable. HOWEVER, the focus must still be on the Total Dog. Breeding decisions need to include much more than only a dog's HD ZW! Working ability and Temperament are most important!

To allow for this, the SV requires that the calculated HD ZW for progeny of a desired mating be 100 or less. So a bitch with an HD ZW of 80 can be bred to a male with an HD ZW number as high as 120! The pups of a breeding like this would be assigned HD ZW values of 100 at birth. So HD ZW values Less than 100 are not just desirable, they offer greater options in breeding partners. Additionally, stud dog owners can prove their dog's prepotency by accepting breeding(s) to bitches with high HD ZW values. 

For breeders in the US, you must register your dog with the SV or USA/SV, and have the dog's x-ray evaluated by the SV for 'a' stamp. This also settles the PennHIP vs. OFA vs. 'a' stamp question. The diagnostic method to determine a dog's hip status is not relevant. The most relevant data comes from a dog's actual production, "Do his progeny have CHD or not." 

There are several sources to obtain data on an individual dog's HD ZW value. The SV website has a search engine which allows entering a dog's SV registration number, or parts of the dog’s name, to obtain the HD ZW. This site maps that feature in the "HD-ZW Search". You can also buy the data on CD from the SV as a onetime purchase, or as a subscription updated quarterly. 

This tool is a must have for every serious breeder! And now, every puppy buyer can have additional, useful information, regarding the potential for a puppy to develop CHD. 

(Information is from schaferhund.de)

Read What Our Customers Have to Say

Aloha, Michi, I hope that all is well with you and your family. I want to give you an update on our two incredible kids - we took them for their second vet visit yesterday and the stools were both clean. They got their second parvo treatment, a pill for heartworm/fleas/intestinal parasites and a general examination. Bart is now 18lbs and Berne is 14lbs and both are full of energy, do a good job of using their puppy pads and have great appetites! We greatly enjoy them every day; they're learning sit, stay and come commands and will follow you anywhere if you say "cookie" to them. Haha! Thanks to you and Wayne and the rest of the family for doing a great job with our pups! Karl & Seiko

Karl & Seiko
18 July 2017


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Michele “Michi” Atamian (808) 371-3845
Wayne Kirito (808) 348-8526

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50th State Schutzhund Club