means not just
maintaining a breed in its type, in its nature, but also improving
it if possible. The ultimate aim must be to breed German shepherd
dogs that are able to fulfil their tasks in today's world, due to
both their hereditary dispositions and their upbringing.
We must in
particular endeavour to ensure their suitability as everyday family
dogs, without however neglecting their heritage as a working dog.
taking various criteria into account in the breeding decisions:
not mean increasing the number of the dogs, but instead improving
their quality. The aim must be for as many healthy and high-quality
dogs as possible to be produced from a litter.
characteristics are particularly important for health and
suitability as a working dog – readiness to work, self assurance,
ability to work under pressure, character and disposition, and also
anatomy, type and expression.
fundamental requirements for breeding animals are anchored in the
rules of the SV. There, the requirements are set out according to
which a German shepherd dog becomes a breeding animal. A checklist
of the formal basic requirements for use in breeding is attached.
of breeding animals is then the sole responsibility of the breeder.
A good basis is the most important thing here and the breeder should
only use the best breeding material. Not only the individual animal
is to be taken into account but also the entire population behind
have very good characters, because character is not only inherited
but also learnt from the mother. As regards other characteristics,
they should be from lines that are not conspicuous for negative
for breeding is not everything
not mean simply pairing two animals that have been approved for
breeding. Responsible breeders plan a pairing long before
allocation. This is very important because it is only through prior
analysis of the animals that a basis can be formed for an optimal
however, necessary to assess the animals self-critically, honestly
and neutrally. Visiting dog shows,
breed surveys and trials can be very helpful and a source of ideas
warden should help inexperienced breeders in the selection of
breeding animals – e.g. looking through documents of possible
As well as the
many requirements of the breeding and survey rules, and advice and
information, the lineages form a further important selection
It is hardly
sensible to repeat a successful pairing several times, because then
a large number of dogs with the same lineage (ancestors) will come
into the breeding pool. In the long-term this narrows the gene-pool
and the incidence of genetically caused illnesses is thereby
substantially increased. Furthermore, due to the extremely high
number of hereditary factors and their combination, the repeating of
a particular litter result is very unlikely.
whelps are after all the future basis of the breeding of the race,
this breeding basis is drastically reduced in the event of excessive
repetitions and close inbreeding. It is therefore advisable to carry
out pairings with distant lines, even if it is not always 100% clear
what negative hereditary factors will also be inherited. A residual
risk always exists, but in each litter there are whelps who have the
potential for use in breeding.
distant lines widens our breeding basis. A high degree of genetic
diversity is an important basis for successful, healthy breeding.
prevent inbreeding and always strive for the greatest possible
Aims of Breeding
important aims must be:
Priority 1: breed healthy dogs
Priority 2: breed dogs suitable for work/use
Priority 3: breed dogs that meet the standards
very important: ALWAYS stick to these priorities – in the order
healthy dogs should always be the highest priority, especially in
the breeding of working dogs.
suitable for breeding means: good general constitution, free from
hereditary illnesses, high life-expectancy of the ancestors, healthy
litters of at least average size, healthy maternal instincts of the
bitches and male dogs that are willing and able to produce
The health of
the dogs must be the most important and fundamental aspect of our
In detail this
try to breed dogs that are as HD-free as possible.
breed with HD-free dogs ("a" normal), and at the very least always
with dogs in which HD can not be detected ("a" almost normal).
from pairing with dogs that have slight HD ("a" still approved).
try to achieve as low a pairing value as possible. A value of 80 or
below should therefore be aimed for. Try to avoid a pairing value of
90 or above.
connection with the pairing values, pay attention to the x-ray
findings rate of the parent animals. A low pairing value that is
based only upon a low x-ray findings rate is less reliable and
easily lead to false conclusions.
try to breed dogs that are as ED-free as possible.
breed with ED-free dogs (normal) and at the very least always with
dogs in which ED cannot be detected for certain (almost normal).
from pairing with dogs that have slight ED (still approved).
Character and Readiness to Work
the German shepherd dog must be even-tempered, strong-nerved,
confident, absolutely unselfconscious and good-natured - except when
It must also
be attentive and obedient. It must possess instinctive behaviour,
ability to work under pressure and self-assurance, in order to be
suitable for various tasks, e.g. as a family, companion, sports,
guard and service dog.
selecting the pairing partners make sure that they possess working
dog characteristics to a high degree.
just train breeding bitches to the required minimum extent but
instead push the training of your breeding bitch.
preference to stud dogs that have proven their readiness to work
time after time, for different judges and if possible also at
regards character, one must not forget that environment and external
influences play a very major role here and that this process is by
no means over when the whelps are old enough to be given away. The
breeder can only try to provide as good a basis as possible.
and Outward Appearance
outer appearance is set out in the standard. It is important to
interpret the standard without exaggerations.
should stick as closely as possible to the standard, but against the
background of seeing the development of the race, and should
therefore also interpret it in a present-day context.
and character, it is decisive for the dog's breeding value that its
anatomy be as correct as possible. The best possible anatomic
pairing requires comprehensive knowledge and a good eye.
regular attendance of events providing technical training should go
without saying, as should personal information on shows and winner
Particular attention is to be paid to dogs whose strength of
heredity can be assessed on the basis of groups of offspring.
breeding station (kennel, whelping box, whelp enclosure etc.) should
be suited to being supervised as well as possible and should be in
direct proximity to the dwelling.
keeping and upbringing of the dogs must be appropriate to their
species and needs.
advantageous for the whelps if they have enough things to occupy
human affection and attention and positive environmental influences
should go without saying for the responsible breeder and promote the
whelp's trust in human beings and confidence in many everyday
always be possible for the mother bitch to withdraw.
open air, the whelps should never be left unsupervised for several
hours, even in large enclosures. They need to be occupied, e.g. toys
for dogs, tunnels etc. and especially lets of contact to different
4. Training of
Breeders and Breeding Instructors
courses – breeders' seminars – are a binding requirement of the SV,
so that a new breeder receives appropriate information and
knowledge. Further training courses are offered in the SV via the
breed warden seminar and annually in the framework of the breeder
seminar conference and other events.
The SV tries,
together with various universities and other institutions, to carry
out various interesting training courses and projects, intended to
impart race-specific knowledge and experience to breeders/regional
group breed wardens and also to sports-people/dog owners. The
conscientious breeder and regional group breed warden should also
acquire further training in the framework of general conditions and
keep informed of findings on heredity on an ongoing basis.
Breeding is a
responsible task that should not be directed by emotions but by
5. Aims and
Breeding is a
very complex matter. Anyone who would like to make progress in
breeding will find a fascinating area of activity that does however
require a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm. Anyone who does
not act extremely conscientiously will soon come up against their
with other breeders with a common aim that can also be consistently
pursued can be very helpful. Decisions are more broadly supported
and can sometimes also be implemented more easily. Breeding is only
successful if all the breeders are pursuing the same aim together.
Our statutes and various rules are particular instruments for
It would be
incorrect to want to "make" the dogs more and more beautiful, but
one must endeavour to breed the race with its race-specific,
phenotypical behavioural characteristics in such a way that they can
sustainably fulfil the expectations held of them, which is to say of
a healthy, robust, versatile family and working dog.
must be the healthy German shepherd dog, with a strong character!!
Produced by the
National Breed Warden of the SVÖ, Mr Helmut Wehinger, and the
President of the SVÖ and Vice President of the WUSV, Dr. Wolfgang