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Understanding German Pedigrees:
"VA": Excellent Select title in that is only awarded at the Annual Sieger Show
"V": Excellent title at a show
"SG": Very Good (minimum required for breed survey)
"VP": Very promising, given to puppies attending a conformation show
"U": Unsatisfactory, has faults not allowed under the breed standard
"BH": Temperament test and obedience examination to qualify for Schutzhund titles. This MUST be completed before competing for a SchH1 degree
Schtuzhund (SchH), (IPO) or (IGP) 1, 2 or 3:
These tests combine the disciplines of tracking, obedience and protection. Each level must be passed on the trial day and to a score of 70 or better in each discipline to achieve the degree. In each degree the disciplines are harder for the dog and handler to compete. A SchH1 is the minimum required working title for breeding in Germany. In Canada or the USA there is no such requirement for breeding.
HGH: Herding Dog title
PH: Police Dog
FH (1): Advanced tracking degree
AD: The dog has passed an endurance degree test by gaiting approximately 12 miles with a 10 minute rest halfway. Passed a simple obedience test at the end of the run. In addition the dog is given a simple physical examination after the AD test. (requirement for the Breed Survey)
Breed Surveyed (recommended for breeding)
Angehort(Regional) Show: There are approximately 1500 German Shepherd Dog clubs in Germany and these are under the jurisdiction of the 15
Breed Surveyed (recommeded 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 by bloodlines or working qualities. May be resurveyed and classified at a later date.
(*): This symbol before a dog’s name means it has been surveyed and approved for breeding.
“a”: Dog’s hips have been x-rayed and certified acceptable. Required for Breed Survey.
LG: Landesgruppen (Regional) Show. There are approximately 1500 German Shepherd Dog clubs in Germany and these are under the juristdiction of the 15 Landesgruppen clubs. The LG shows are larger than the local shows and the judging and rating requirements are stricter. Landesgruppen Sieger and Siergerin titles are awarded.
OFA: Orthopedic Foundation for Animals:
A part of Columbia University which receives, evaluates, and certifies Hip x-rays for dogs in the USA. An OFA hip certified dog is listed as "having no evidence of hip dysplasia". There are different levels of certification. The grading takes several factors into consideration which include the structure of the hip joint, the clarity and quality of the hip x-rayitself, and the positioning of the dog's hips on the x-ray. All levels of certification (fair, good or excellent) are free of hip dysplasia and are suitable for breeding.
Tail wagging fast and wide – This means the dog is excited, happy and energetic. For instance, this type of tail wagging usually occurs when a GSD sees his or her owner after an absence.
Tail held high and straight – This means the dog feels confident and in control of a situation. The dog is feeling good.
Tail lowered – This means the dog is relaxed. However, while the tail is lowered, it is not between the dog’s legs.
Tail lowered between legs – This signifies that the dog is afraid. The dog may also be upset or embarrassed.
Tail held loose and horizontal – This is when a dog is unsure about a person or thing. They’re not necessarily ready to challenge the uncertain person, but they’re not quite willing to make friends yet, either.
Tail wagging slowly – A dog does this when he or she is trying to determine if you’re a friend or an enemy, and this is common when a dog meets a person for the first time. It’s a slightly more affirmative action than a tail held loose and horizontal.
Tail held horizontally, but stiff and with a fast wag – This is an aggressive stance. The dog is agitated.
Beyond the tail, there are many other ways a dog can express their feelings and intentions. Some common body language signs include:
Belly-up with exposed neck and/or genitals – This is a sign of submissiveness. The dog is telling you that you’re in charge.
Bowed down on front paws. Rear held up with wagging tail – When a dog does this, he or she wants to play and interact with you. Dogs will do this to people and other dogs. Additional signs of wanting to play include pawing in the air and barking.
Lying down with one paw tucked under the body – This is a relaxed dog. He or she feels happy, safe and content, and is usually an invitation to pet the dog.
Frozen or stiff body – Be wary around this dog. He or she is uncomfortable, doesn’t want to be touched and may bite if approached.
Bristled fur along neck and back – Don’t approach this dog. When a dog raises his fur, he’s scared, submissive and probably feeling cornered. A dog like this might even attack, so be careful.
Like people, you can also tell a lot about a dog by their facial expressions. Here are some common ways a dog uses his or her ears, eyes and mouth to convey feelings:
Raised upper lip, bared teeth – This is a warning, usually accompanied by a growl. If a dog is snarling at you, don’t approach any further and don’t make any sudden movements because this is an aggressive move.
Corners of the mouth pulled back – Different than a snarl. A dog pulls their mouth back when they feel happy, relaxed and comfortable around you. In many ways, this is basically a smile.
Cocked head and twitching ears – This dog is confused about something and trying to learn. Typically, this shows interest but be careful as it may also indicate fear. You’ll have to look for additional body language cues to determine what the dog feels.
Ears forward – This one is pretty straight-forward. The dog is trying to figure out what a sound is or where it’s coming from.
Whites of eyes exposed in a half-moon shape – This dog doesn’t want to be bothered. The dog may feel threatened, cornered or scared. Just leave the dog alone and, without approaching, try to alleviate whatever may be upsetting the dog.