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                                   Titles and Ratings on Pedigrees

                                        Clearing some of the confusion


 You will see in our dog's pedigrees many titles, most of which I did find clear explanations for, but some I have not yet been able to find the meanings of.  If you enjoy looking through the pedigrees, you can go back to the very beginning of any dog's heritage.  For example, if you want to go all the way back on Ranas' pedigree you click on her pedigree.  Then scroll down to the actual pedigree which will show 3 generations, there are blocks with numbers right above the pedigree, click on the 7.  That gives you 7 generations now instead of 3.  Click on any of the dogs in the 7th generation you would be interested in and that dogs' pedigree will come up.  Just repeat the above steps, click on 7, click on any dog in the 7th gen. etc...  You will be able to go all the way back to the late 1800s when the German Shepherd was recognized as a separate breed.  Really interesting!

But with this comes many titles, ratings and classifications.  There are many, many titles and classifications but I'm going to explain those that are on our own dogs' titles so you can read one of our pedigrees with some knowledge of what you are looking at!  


Hip Ratings:

German ratings are: "a normal" or A1.  This is equal to OFA(American rating)Excellent

                                 "a fast normal" or A2.  OFA would be Good

                                 "a" A3-noch zugelassen.  OFA Fair

  All of these ratings are considered acceptable for breeding animals.


Pedigree Titles(will be in front of the dog's name, except for the kkl title which would follow their name):



V -       Vorzuglich(German) Excellent rating.  A number after this title shows where the dog placed in the show


VA -     Vorzuglich Auslese(German) Excellent select.  This is a show rating only, also will be numbered

SG -     Ser Gut,  very good


VH -    Vorhanden, sufficient show or performance


BSZS - Bundissieger Zuchtchuau.  World champion Sieger Show


CH -     Champion(American)


Int. CH-International Champion


Kkl -     Korklasse,  breed survey class a dog must pass in Europe to be approved for breeding



The above are show ratings as will be the next set, however these will be working dog show titles.  I added them because as you look through our dogs pedigree you will see many of these titles included.  All German Shepherds come from working lines, it is what they were created to do.  But some now are considered show lines, some are working lines.



Brevet-  Preliminary title a dog must earn to be able to compete in French Ring(somewhat similar to Schutzhund)

BHP -    Begleithunde Prufung.  Preliminary test for dog to be able to compete and get a Schutzhund title, it measures      

               temperment and obedience.

Elite A-  Unknown at this time

HGH -   Herdengebrauchshund, herding dog.  Qualification for dogs working with herds or flocks.

FH-        Fahrtenhund, tracking qualification

IPO -      International Schuntzhund.  Qualifications in tracking, obedience and protection.  There are 3 levels, 1,2 and 3

PH -       Polizehund, police dog

PHP -     Polizei ienst Hund Prufung(German).  Test proving Field Trial for Working Dogs

SGR -    Unknown at this time

SGRN - Unknown at this time

SchH-    Schutzhund, similar to IPO, explanation below.

ZPR -     Much like Kkl, Breeding survey working dogs pass to be recommended for breeding 

USGV-   Unknown at this time


You will also see DDR, and DDR Line XII in Ranas' pedigree.  That denotes that those particular dogs came from the Deutsche Demkratischen Republic, or East Germany.  Any dogs that come from East Germany now are not DDR titled dogs.



Here is a very good explanation of Schutzhund (which will be marked as SCH) and IPO,  from  Pedigreedatabase:

By Kim Downing

 The origins of all training, such as Schutzhund or IPO, are based in Germany.  These training tests were developed as a primary method of producing top level German Shepherd Dogs.  They were geared to identify suitability of individual dogs for work in several formats:

  • Stamina and endurance

  • Agility

  • Temperament and nerves (how well the dog handles stress)

  • Courage

  • Intelligence

  • Handler Loyalty

  • Desire to Work

 The founder of our German Shepherd Dog breed, Max von Stephanitz, believed that these tests were necessary to continue to produce dogs of the highest level of working ability and to weed out those that couldn’t handle it from the gene pool. 


Schutzhund and IPO

In today’s modern format, there is virtually no difference between Schutzhund and IPO.  Both were developed for the same purpose.  IPO is the International standard, and at one time had a different set of rules as determined by the governing body of FCI.  Following rule changes in 2004, where the SV (via the VDH, all breed Kennel Club of Germany) began conforming to FCI rules for Schutzhund, the standards are virtually the same. German Shepherds seem to dominate many of the Schutzhund shows although a wider variety of breeds can participate and often do in IPO shows.  Any breed can technically be trained in Schutzhund work, but as any trainer knows, not all individual dogs and not all dog breeds are suitable for this work.  It truly is a test of a dog and requires a high level of ability in several areas.  


What are the Components of Training and Trialing?

The public often has a misconception about what this type of training is.  They often see photos of dogs doing bite work and see an aggressive and potentially dangerous animal.  What they don’t know is how well controlled these dogs must be.  As opposed to some police dogs and personal protection dogs that don’t require quite as much provocation, Schutzhund dogs are required to be tightly trained and as a general rule are quite safe in the public.  Most people are actually astonished when they meet one! They also frequently don’t realize that training is comprised of three areas with protection work only being one of those areas. The elements of Schutzhund work are:

  • Obedience: The obedience work is of a high level that is designed to test the dog’s intelligence, desire to work and please its handler, its ability to take directions from its handler, and its ability to work under stress (heeling around other people, during noises like gunshots, etc.) The obedience work includes heeling work, retrieval work (including over an A-frame obstacle), recalls, send outs, stay, along with position related work such as sit and down.  It is important that the dog be a happy worker and interested in what he is doing.

  • Tracking: The depth of difficulty differs based on the title being worked towards, but tracking is all about testing a dog’s ability to not only scent but also about his ability to stay focused enough to follow the scent without distraction or frustration.  It is also a test of how confident a dog is and how well he works in front of his handler.  Tracking is not something that a dog can ask you to hold his hand during!   The dog will be required to properly identify articles (by alerting in some fashion such as lying down on or near the object) to his handler that have been left on the track by the track layer.

  • Protection: This is the most misunderstood of the three phases of training and is normally the one the general public focuses on.  During training and trialing, there must be a ‘helper’ to do protection work.  A helper is the person that will be wearing the padded bite sleeve.  This person will also be concealed behind a blind and at more than point during the test will either attempt to escape or pretend to threaten/attack the dog or handler.  Initially the dog is required to locate the helper when he is hidden and hold him there for the handler.  When the helper attempts to escape or threatens the dog or handler, the dog is to actively apprehend the helper by biting the bite sleeve.  A dog must be confident enough and strong enough mentally to handle this work, but he must also be sensitive to handler commands and release the sleeve when requested.  It is hard to call a dog off when he is working at a high, excited level (or in high drive mode) so it is imperative that he is trained well enough and is responsive to handler commands.

  •  It is important to note that temperament is a very important aspect in all levels.  There are multiple things that are integrated into the testing for evaluating temperament.  If a dog cannot pass these elements (by showing fear, nervousness, extreme aggression, sound reactivity, weaker nerves, etc.) he will not be able to pass a test.



         ** Update: since this article has been written, Schutzhund nor IPO is a title that will be earned.  All such trials are now                   considered IGP(Internationale Gebrauchshund Pruefung).   



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