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Understanding Pedigrees...


The definition of Pedigree is:

"the record of descent of an animal, showing it to be pure-bred."

When you collect your puppy one of the documents you should insist on collecting along with the Registration Certificate is the Pedigree. Vital information is contained within this document, not just the parents of your puppy but the preceeding generations, working qualifications, showing successes and health test results.

Below is a list of common words and terminology used on pedigrees to help you understand them better.



A breed registry that maintains records of purebred dogs registered with the organisation and assisngs a unique registration number to each dog registered.
The Kennel Club does not require a dog to demonstrate functional abilities, conformation of the breed standard of health test results to be registered as purebred or passed fit for breeding.



(Club for the German Shepherd Dog)
The GSD breed registry and breed club in Germany. The SV requires dogs to demonstrate their breed-worthiness through Schutzhund and/or herding trials and Breed Surveys before full registration is given. Without full registration puppies cannot be registered with the SV.

challenge certificate


Clubs and Societies throughout the UK host shows which are licensed by the UK Kennel Club. The most well known of this type of shows is CRUFTS which is the Kennel Club's own show and the only one where dogs have to qualify to take part.
At a Championship show, dogs compete in classes with other dogs of the same age and/or show history. The winners of those classes 'challenge' for the title of Best Dog or Best Bitch and the judge awards the Challenge Certificate. If a dog wins three Challenge Certificates from three different judges they are awarded the title of Champion. The dog must win at least one CC over 12 months of age.
The judge will also select a Reserve Best Dog and Reserve Best Bitch to which they award Reserve Challenge Certificates. These awards do not count towards the title of Champion in the UK but are given out in case their is a discrepancy with the CC winner. In the rare instances where there is a discrepancy the KC will award the Challenge Certificate to the Reserve CC winner.

top winner


Just like most sports there will be a league of the most successful dogs. Points are gained from wins at the Championship shows held throughout the year. The categories include; Top Winning Puppy Dog/Bitch, Top Winning Dog/Bitch, Top Sire, Top Dam and Top Breeders.
Another award gained from points is the Junior Warrant. Points are gained from winning classes between the age of six and eighteen months of age. A total of 25 points is required.
Dogs and bitches can also win Stud Book numbers. This is gained from winning a Junior Warrant, a CC or RCC, first or second place in an open class or first place in a limit class. A stud book winner will be qualified for entry to CRUFTS for life.
These are the most common UK titles and awards.

Breed Council

The Breed Council is made up of clubs from around the UK. Its aim is the improvement and advancement of the breed in the UK. The Council provides the Breed Survey scheme and selects Breed Surveyors, a judges training course recognised by the Kennel Club and a screening service for the testing of haemophilia.
For more information on Breed Surveys CLICK HERE


KC/BVA Hips and Elbows
The result score of the dogs hips and elbows from x-ray plates submitted to the British Veterinary Association. The results are held on the Kennel Club's database. For more information about hip and elbow scoring CLICK HERE

A Stamp
The SV hip certification system for GSDs only. These results are applied to both Hips and Elbows:
A-Normal = Normal
A-Fast Normal = Almost Normal
A-NZ (Noch Zugelassen) = Still Permissible

The UK Kennel Club has a new database which is uses to identify dogs only. They cannot currently use their scheme to verify parentage. The GSD Breed council have formed a partnership with a laboratory to provide DNA profiling and parentage verification. Dogs born in Europe and registered with the SV will have a DNA profile which will be shown on the pedigree as DNA.gpr

German Conformation Show Gradings
VA = Excellent Select, the highly coveted rating is only awarded at the Sieger Shows to dogs in the Working Classes
V = Excellent dogs that conform to the breed standard and have been breed surveyed
SG = Very Good, the highest rating for dogs under the age of 2 years old
G = Good dogs that have some moderate deviations from the standard
VP = Very promising, the highest grading for puppies under the age of 12 months old
P = Promising, for puppies under the age of 12 months

BSZS = Bundessiegerzuchtshau - Sieger Show
The top German Shepherd Dog conformation show in the world, held annually in Germany. The top male dog is designated "Sieger" and the top female is the "Siegerin". The Sieger and Siegerin would have the award of VA1.

"Protection Dog", commonly abbreviated as SchH.
Schutzhund tests a dogs ability in tracking, obedience and protection. It was developed to preserve the working heritage of the breed. Schutzhund has evolved as a stand alone competitive sport open to dogs of all breeds, Belgian Shepherd Dogs Malinois are particularly suited to the sport. Schutzhund qualifications are divided into three categories of increasing levels of difficulty SchH1, SchH2 and SchH3

ZW = Zuchtwert
This is an SV developed hip program to provide a "Breeding Value". GSDs are assigned a ZW score accroding to the probability of producing normal hips based on the dogs own hip evaluation, the evaluation of the dogs ancestors as well as the results of any progeny that have been graded.
A GSD with a ZW of 100 represents the average and the lower the score the better. Under the SV system, puppies are assigned a ZW number at birth that is based on its parents.
You can check Zuchtwert results of dogs registered with the SV by CLICKING HERE

The rule of thumb is that two dogs should not be bred together if their ZW's equal more than 200. If you have a dog with a ZW 80 you should not mate him to a female with a ZW higher than 120. The aim is to try to stay as low as possible.

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