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German Terminology

The credentials of the German Shepherds that comprise our World Class breeding stock speak for themselves. All are 100% West German bloodlines with Koerklasse 1. To achieve this coveted Koerklasse 1 (Kkl1) rating, the dogs must compete for titles in Germany or America under the rules and auspices of the Club for German Shepherd Dogs in Germany (SV-Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde). To meet this World Standard, each dog must have a companion dog temperament test (BH), a minimum of SchH1/IPO1 working degree, certified hips (“a” stamp or OFA), a 12 mile endurance test followed by examination for physical soundness (AD), and compete at a show to achieve a conformation rating of at least SG or”Very Good” (V or “Excellent” being the best at any show that is not the National Championship or Sieger Show where the coveted “Excellent Select” or VA can be awarded once a year to only the very best dogs). These requirements make the dog eligible to enter a Koerung (to qualify for breeding) which is a Breed Survey where the dog is carefully evaluated for excellence of structure, temperament and courage. These impressive requirements are only guidelines for our dedication to the breed. Many times dogs with great prerequisites should not be bred together because of incompatible bloodlines or characteristics.

German titles and ratings:

Angekoert: 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 by 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.
“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 jurisdiction 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 Siegerin titles are awarded.
VA = (Vorzüglich Auslese) Excellent Select title that is only awarded at the Annual Sieger Show Select Class.
V = (Vorzüglich) Excellent
SG = (Sehr Gut) Very Good
G = (Gut) Good
A = (Ausreichend) Sufficient
M = (Mangelhaft) Faulty
O = (Zero) Failed
U = Unsatisfactory
CACIB = a European International Champion
BH = (Begleitungshund) Temperament and obedience examination to qualify for Schutzhund titles. This must be completed before competing for SchH1.
SchH = (Schutzhund) This test combines the disciplines of obedience protection, and
tracking. The titles 1, 2, and 3 denote how advanced the training tests were. Dog must have at least a SchH1 or IPO1 to be Breed Surveyed (Koering or Körung).
IPO = (International Prüfung) comparable to a Schutzhund degree.
AD = (Ausdauerpruefung) 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. The dog is given a simple physical examination after the test. A requirement for the Breed Survey.
HGH = (Herdengebrauchshund) Herding Dog
PH = (Polizei Hund) Police Dog
FH = (Fährten Hund) Tracking Dog

German Commands:

Achtung = Watch
Aus = Let Go
Bei Fuss = Heel
Bleib = Stay
Bleib sitzen = Stay sitting
Bringen = Fetch
Fass = Attack
Geh weiter = Go on
Gib Laut = Speak
Halten = Halt
Hopp = Jump
Komm = Come
Kriech = Crawl
Nein = No
Nimm = Take it
Pass auf = Watch out
Platz = Down
Setz = Sit
Such = Search
Voraus = Go out
Zur Spur = Trail
Zur Wache = Guard

Country of Origin:

There is nothing worse or crueler than abandoning an old German Shepherd and sad as this may be, there are many heartless The German Shepherd (also called ‘GSD’, ‘German Shepherd’, ‘Alsatian’, ‘Deutscher Schaferhund’, or even ‘Police Dog’ in some countries) was bred in the late 19th and early 20th century in a concerted effort to breed the ultimate
sheepdog. Contrary to popular opinion, it is no more closely related to the wolf than any other breed of dog. A consortium of German breeders worked to make a brave, intelligent dog that could herd sheep and run quickly with great stamina. They produced an agile, powerful dog which quickly showed its usefulness at police work and guarding. During World War I, the breed’s name was changed to ‘Alsatian’ (‘Alsatia’ is a German speaking region of France) to protect the breed against possible anti-German sentiment. This name lasted only briefly in some countries such as America but remains to this day in others. German Shepherd Dogs became the most popular breed in America after the rise of German Shepherd movie star Rin Tin Tin, who thrilled audiences with astounding skills such as leaping nearly 12 feet high. Rin Tin Tin was known to dine on tenderloin steaks prepared by a personal chef. While no longer the country’s number one breed, the incredibly adaptable German Shepherd Dog is today a popular guard dog, police dog, guide dog, search-and-rescue dog, drug-sniffing dog, and pet.


The German Shepherd has a shoulder height of 56-66 cm (22-26 in) and weighs 35-39 kg (77-85 lbs). It is a long, muscular dog with a black nose, powerful scissors bite, wide, erect ears, and intelligent, almond-shaped eyes. German Shepherd Dogs have a flat back, bushy, low hanging tail, muscular legs and chest, and short, round feet. They are the image of power and dignity. German Shepherd Dogs with a shoulder height over 64 cm (25 in) and weight over 41 kg (90 lbs) are sometimes called ‘King Shepherds’, but this breed is not recognized as distinct by the American Kennel Club.


There are three varieties of German Shepherd: coarse and short-haired, coarse and long-haired, and wavy and long-haired. Long-haired varieties may or may not have a double coat. The prototypical German Shepherd Dog is tan with a black back and mask, but German Shepherd Dogs come in a variety of colors including solid black, grey, brown, and yellow, tricolor (black, white, and brown or red), or sable (black and red, silver, or tan), plus a variety of marking designations including ‘penciling’ (black lines on the toes) and ‘tar heels’ (black on the back of the leg). German Shepherd Dogs may not be white, though in some countries this is considered a separate breed.


The German Shepherd Dog is unusually intelligent and unconditionally loyal, obedient, brave, and protective. It is known for its fearlessness but it is by no means hostile or aggressive. German Shepherd Dogs are poignant and devoted, making wonderful companions and ideal watchdogs. They are highly versatile and can fit in with many different lifestyles.


German Shepherds are highly territorial, making them among the least likely of breeds to run away from a fight. They are not friendly towards strangers and will stop unwanted visitors. The German Shepherd Dog gets along fine with children and other animals, provided proper socialization has taken place, but does not prefer the companionship of other dogs.


The German Shepherd should be brushed weekly. During shedding, a special comb to remove dead hairs may be required. Like other large breeds, German Shepherd Dogs are susceptible to elbow and hip problems. Meals should be spread throughout the day to avoid bloat. The German Shepherd Dog has a life span of 10-14 years.


German Shepherds are eager pupils and are quick to learn new tricks. They are most responsive to their owner’s voice. The German Shepherd Dog’s versatility makes  them suitable for a wide variety of activities including dog sports.


German Shepherds are happiest when doing some type of work, such as agility, obedience, or police trials. Over-exercising when young can cause damage to growing bones, joints, and muscles. The German Shepherd Dog prefers a yard to play in, but can tolerate life in an apartment if sufficient exercise is provided.

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