WUSV Breeding Program for German Shepherd Dogs


The systematic and methodical breeding of German Shepherd Dogs began in 1899 after the foundation of the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) e.V.

The physical composition and properties in terms of nature and character of the German Shepherd Dog breed are laid down in the breed standard which was defined by the founding association in the mother country of the breed. The standard is registered with the FCI under standard number 166.

The Weltunion der Vereine für Deutsche Schäferhunde (WUSV) – the World Union for the Associations of German Shepherd Dogs – and its member organizations aim at the breeding of German Shepherd Dogs that are healthy, well socialized, and highly performing as well as resilient working and service dogs in compliance with the philosophy of the founding father, Cavalry Captain Max von Stephanitz, and thus preserve his heritage.

In order to pursue these aims the delegates to the WUSV General Annual Assembly approved of the following program for breeding in terms of German Shepherd Dogs for the varieties stock hair and long stock hair with undercoat which covers the following five quality criteria:

  • Health
  • Character
  • Verification of Parentage
  • Performance in Trial
  • Exterior (Standard)

The evaluation of the quality criteria is based on certified standards and requires the explicit identifiability of the individual animal. In addition to scientific studies breeding value analyses and evaluations are to be considered in terms of regular updates of the breeding program.

The member organizations are free to impose stricter provisions respectively standards that exceed the requirements of the WUSV breeding program if required by their local circumstances. In principle, the requirements imposed shall be to the benefit of the breed and shall by no means be of obstructive nature.


Club Breed Show

The national member clubs organize and host breed shows for the varieties stock hair and long stock hair with undercoat. The judging of the dogs is to be carried out separately and in accordance with their type of coat, subdivided into classes and breed groups.

National Winner Shows

Every WUSV member country shall only organize and hold one national winner show per year where the ranking EXCELLENT SELECTION (VA) may be granted.

This applies also for countries with more than one WUSV member club. In this case the clubs affected shall coordinate their activities accordingly and inform the WUSV Secretariat General about the outcome.

International respectively transnational winner shows, such as for example COAPA winner shows, continental winner shows, and Nordic winner shows are admitted after having obtained the respective authorization from the WUSV Secretariat General prior to the event.

Max-von-Stephanitz Memorial Show

Within the context of the WUSV World Championship a breed show called Max-von Stephanitz Memorial Show may be held provided that the local circumstances allow for it. However, the ranking VA shall not be granted on this occasion.

Organization of Breed Shows der Zuchtschauen

1. Breed Shows shall be open to the public.

2. On all breed shows the mentality in terms of tolerance of the dogs shown has to be taken into consideration. The possibility for appropriate gait exercises has to be guaranteed.

The steadiness to gun shot is verified at a distance of approximately 15 steps with a 6 mm calibre alarm pistol.

In case that the usage of alarm pistols is officially banned then the usage of a starting board is mandatory.

3. A printed breed show catalogue shall be mandatory.

The catalogue shall covert he names of the dogs registered for the show, their studbook numbers, their chip or tattoo numbers, the date of birth, the AKZ (trial degree), the HD/ ED examination diagnostic findings, information in terms of the dog’s parents, the name of the breeder, the name of the owner respectively the dog’s holders.

Only dogs that are registered in the official catalogue shall be subject to a recognized evaluation.

4. Dogs shall only be admitted to a show provided that they comply with the following requirements:

  • Presentation of a WUSV/FCI recognized pedigree
  • Identity verification by presentation of chip number or tattoo
  • No symptoms of sickness or diseases
  • No breeding ban imposed
  • Owner may not be officially and legally binding banned from show events
  • For female dogs the following applies:

    No presentation from the 42nd day of a pregnancy on. Lactating females may only be shown 70 days after giving birth to the litter

5. Judges

Only judges who are recognized by the national WUSV member club are authorized to serve on the occasion of breed shows that are subject to the WUSV breeding program

6. Division into Classes

6.1 – The dogs shown at a breed show are divided into the respective classes for variety stock hair and long stock hair with undercoat.

Closing date for the class division shall be the first day of the show in case that an event is scheduled for longer than one day.

6.2 – Young Dog or Yearling Classes for dogs from the age of 18 months to 24 months.

6.3 – Open Classes for dogs from the age of two years on without trial title respectively working certificate.

6.4 – Working Dog Classes from the age of 2 years on, after having successfully passed the character test, proof of HD/ ED findings that certify the dog fit for breeding, and a recognized trial title in terms of HGH/ utility class, IGP/ international examination regulations for working dogs, ZTP/ certificate of aptitude for breeding, RH-2/ rescue dog according to the international examination regulations or an equivalent trial title.

6.5 – Herding or Working Classes

Proof of the trial title HGH is mandatory for dogs over the age of 24 months, according to the herding dog regulations of the SV. Progeny Classes.

Breed shows for dogs at the age of 9 to 12 months, 6 to 9 months, and 3 to 6 months may be held in terms of a progeny show for the promotion of breeding. However, evaluations and rankings are not allowed to be granted.

The member clubs are free to decide whether they wish to impose all three levels in this respect.

6.6 – Veteran Classes

Dogs over the age of six years are offered the chance to take part at breed shows in so-called veteran classes.

No evaluation shall be granted on this occasion. However, a ranking and placement can be given.

6.7 – Breed Groups

Dogs of one breed group have to be of the same type of fur.

Dogs belonging to a breed group shall be presented as a closed group to the officiating judge. The breeders are free to present more than only one breed group on the occasion of one breed show.

A breed group consists of a minimum of three dogs and a maximum of five animals from one kennel. Prior to the presentation as a breed group the dogs must have been shown at the respective breed show where also the breed groups are shown. The minimum grading must be “Good”.

6.8 – Progeny Groups

Progeny groups may be presented. The groups have to consist of a minimum of five dogs that were born by at least three different mother dogs.

6.9 – Rankings / Gradings

No rankings shall be granted to the progeny classes according to item 6.6. The placement shall reflect the current level of development of the dogs.

On the occasion of breed shows the following rankings may be granted (under consideration of a deviation of plus/ minus 1 centimetre in terms of the dog’s height according to the breed plan for height)

– “Excellent/ Vorzüglich”

Dogs from the working dog classes who fully comply with the strictest requirements of the breed standard, who are self-confident and unconstrained, indifferent toward gun shooting, with a normal, almost normal or still admitted HD condition confirmed on the pedigree, with a normal, almost normal or still admitted ED condition confirmed on the pedigree, with a recognized trial title, and – if the animal is over the age of 3 ½ years – the first breed selection examination must have been successfully passed. Double premolars 1 are admitted.

– “Very good/ Sehr Gut”

The highest possible ranking for the open classes, the young and youth dog classes for animals who fully comply with the requirements of the breed standard. For the working dog classes for animals who comply with the requirements for the ranking excellent, however with minor anatomical deficiencies or a lacking trial title.

This ranking is also an option for animals with an impeccable anatomy who – however – exceed or fall below the standard height by up to 1 cm. The missing of one premolar 1 or one incisor is admitted.

– “Good/Gut”

For animals who fully comply with the requirements of the breed standard – however- with clearly visible anatomical deficiencies. The missing of two premolars 1, or one premolar 1, and one incisor or one premolar 2, or one premolar 3, or two incisors, or one premolar 2, and one incisor, or one premolar 2, and one premolar 1, or two premolars 2 is admitted.

– “Sufficient/ Ausreichend”

For animals afraid of gun shooting and constrained on the occasion of the breed show, or for animals who do not qualify for a higher ranking in terms of their general and anatomical condition.

– “Insufficient/ Ungenügend”

For animals afraid of gun shooting with constrained behavior and with other deficiencies which disqualify them from breeding.

The ranking INSUFFICIENT entails a ban from breeding for the affected dog’s offspring.

6.10 – Presentation / Unauthorized Aides

The dogs shall be presented to the judges in a natural posture. Manually assisted positioning is not admitted.

Radio controlled devises or comparable equipment is not admitted on the occasion of WUSV shows and events. Only collars as shown in the attachment are admitted.

National Winner/Sieger Shows

1. General

In accordance with item 1.2 of the present regulation once a year a winner show should be held.

Only judges who are recognized by the national WUSV member club are authorized to serve on the occasion of breed shows that are subject to the WUSV breeding program.

2. Evaluation “Excellent Selection/ Bewertung “Vorzüglich Auslese”

The ranking EXCELLENT SELECTION shall only be admitted on the occasion of a national winner show.

For the ranking EXCELLENT SELECTION further criteria are to be complied with in addition to the requirements for the ranking EXCELLENT (for details please refer to item 6.9.)

Only dogs with a premium pedigree who descend from a selection- and performance breed, including DNA verification, do qualify for the V-Selection Classes. The dogs must have successfully passed the first selection examination with the result distinct in the section TSB (instinctive behavior, self-confidence, resilience) on the occasion of the winner show.

The verification of an HD and ED condition normal or almost normal is mandatory, and the dogs have to show a complete and impeccable dentition. A successfully passed IGP 1 working trial examination is also mandatory.

Admission Regulations

1. Requirements for the participation in breed selections and for breed admission

1.1 – The following requirements shall apply for all three levels.

1.2 – Only German Shepherd Dogs with pedigrees that are recognized by the WUSV/ FCI, and who have completed the minimum age of 18 months shall be admitted for the procedure of breed admission. Female dogs are admitted for breeding from the age of 20 months, and male dogs from the age of 24 months.

1.3 – Verification of a WUSV recognized hip diagnosis (FCI categories A, B, or C, respectively WUSV categories normal, almost normal or still admitted).

1.4 – Verification of a WUSV recognized elbow diagnosis (FCI categories 0 or 1, respectively WUSV categories free, intermediate or mild ED).

1.5 – Verification of a minimum breeding evaluation (conformity to standard) “Good/ Gut” under a judge recognized by the national WUSV member club.

1.6 – Verification of DNA examination based on the pedigree entry DNA- tested or the entry DNA-stored as confirmed by the SV subcontractor.

1.7 – Verification of a successfully passed character test.

2. Breeding Permission

2.1 – Basic

2.1.1 – A presentation of the dogs on the occasion of a breed survey is not required.

2.1.2 – The documents as listed under items 1.3 to 1.7 have to be presented at the studbook department of the national organization. Once the documents have been verified the owner of the dog receives a written breed permission based on level Basic.

2.1.3 – Dogs who in the meantime qualified for a higher level such as Advanced or Premium may be registered for an up-grade and thus obtain one of the next higher levels according to the latest qualification.

2.1.4 – Descendants of dogs for whom the above mentioned applies shall not receive a newly issued pedigree – however – the up-grade shall be noted down in the pedigree.

2.2 – Advanced

2.2.1 – A presentation of the dogs on the occasion of a breed survey is not required.

2.2.2 – In addition to the documents as listed under items 1.3 to 1.7 the following documents shall be presented along with the registration:

  • Verification of a successfully passed endurance test.
  • Verification of at least one successfully passed examination in terms of nose-work, obedience and defence work, for example according to the IGP, ZTP or SV-ZAP.

Once the documents have been verified the owner of the dog receives a written breed permission based on level Advanced.

2.2.3 – Dogs who in the meantime qualified for a higher level such as Premium may be registered for a breed survey examination according to item 2.3. and following the successfully passed examination obtain the grading for Premium.

2.2.4 – Descendants of dogs for whom the above mentioned applies shall not receive a newly issued pedigree – however – the up-grade shall be noted down in the pedigree.

2.3 – Premium

2.3.1 – In order to qualify for the level of Premium, dogs shall be presented at an examination for a breed survey (initial breed survey valid for two years, indefinite breed survey valid for life-time). The procedure for breed surveys is defined in the respective regulations.

The identity of the presented dog shall be explicitly verified by the dog’s chip number or the tattoo.

  • The requirements as listed under items 1.2 to 1.6 and 2.2 have to be complied with.
  • A successfully passed trial examination such as tracking work, obedience and defence work in accordance with the IGP or equivalent, HGH, RH2 is mandatory.

3. Dogs not Permitted to Breed

3.1 – Exclusion criteria for breeding – breeding ban on descendants

  • Dogs with weak character, vicious dogs and dogs with weak nerves.
  • Dogs diagnosed with moderate and severe HD.
  • Dogs diagnosed with moderate and severe ED.
  • Monorchids and Cryptorchids
  • Dogs with disfigured ears or deficiencies in the tail.
  • Dogs with malformations
  • Dogs with missing teeth and dental flaws

    Missing of 1 premolar 3, plus one further tooth
    or 1 fang tooth
    or 1 premolar 4
    or 1 molar 1
    or 1 molar 2
    or three teeth in total or more.
    The missing of molar 3 shall not be considered
  • Dogs with considerable pigmentation disorders and so-called Blue Puppies (Bläulinge)
  • Dogs with long stock hair without undercoat
  • Dogs with long hair
  • Dogs with deficiencies in the jaws:

    – More than 2 mm overbite
    – Prognatism
    – Bite from edge to edge in the entire incisor region
  • Oversized or undersized dogs by more than 1 cm (currently suspended by the breed plan for height)
  • Females after three cesarean sections

Interventions carried out on dogs with potential to change the phenotypical development of a dog and which are of importance in terms of breeding purposes are to be reported to the national organization. The representative in charge of the field of breeding decides on an individual basis whether the dog continues to qualify for breeding.

The breed value of dogs as described above is considerably limited as a result. For that reason, they shall not be admitted for breeding purposes. Descendants of those dogs cannot be admitted to the studbook or the amendment respectively side register. The owner of the dog affected shall be immediately informed about the decision in terms of the unsuitability respectively unfitness for breeding.

3.2 – Withdrawal of the Breeding Permission

In case that a dog who was previously admitted for breeding shows a deficiency afterwards according to item 3.1. the commission for breeding takes the necessary action for clarification. The commission for breeding at national level is explicitly authorized to arrange for the presentation of the dog affected and/ or the respective descendants, and if required arrange for a veterinary examination. If the deficiencies are confirmed the permission for breeding shall be withdrawn.

The owner has the right to be heard before a decision in terms of item 3.1. and 3.2 is taken. The decision shall be accompanied by a detailed explanation and be delivered by registered mail. The decision shall be entered into the original pedigree and published accordingly.

4. Mutual recognition of breed permissions

The national organizations are entitled to mutually recognize their respective regulations for breed permission in accordance with the WUSV breeding program.

5. Breeding without breed permission

The mating of dogs without breed permission is not admitted within the WUSV.

Breeding Regulations

1. General

1.1 – The regulations cover all requirements in terms of breeding for German Shepherd dogs in consideration of animal welfare and the breed regulations as laid down and amended by the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) e.V.

1.2 – The population for stock hair and long stock hair with undercoat are separate breed bases. Dogs from the two different breed bases may not be used for mating.

2. Member Clubs / Breed Clubs

The WUSV Member Clubs are responsible for the following aspects of breeding:

  • Control and counseling in terms of breeding and the maintenance of a studbook respectively register for German Shepherd Dogs,
  • Amendment of the member clubs’ regulations in accordance with the WUSV Statutes
  • Training, appointment, further education and the employment of their officials for breeding. The procedures for the above-mentioned are to be laid down in the respective regulations
  • Verification of the expert knowledge and further education of their breeders, examination of the breeding sites and control of appropriate animal husbandry and raising of the dogs
  • Correct processing of the procedure for kennel name protection.
  • Requirement for the compliance with the regulations of the national umbrella organization.
  • Partially, the above-listed requirements are taken care of and performed by the national FCI umbrella organization.

3. Studbook and Annex Registry

3.1 – Studbook

3.1.1 – The descent respectively pedigrees of the dogs is to be registered in the studbook. Only dogs may be registered that were bred in accordance with WUSV regulations. Proof of four consecutive generations of ancestors bred in accordance with WUSV regulations and registered in studbooks as recognized by the WUSV has to be presented.

3.1.2 – Furthermore, dogs from FCI recognized or other studbooks may be registered if at least three generations of ancestors were documented with health certificates in terms of HD and ED. In case that for one or more ancestors a ban for their descendants was imposed or any other entry that bans the dogs in question from breeding was registered the dogs affected are excluded from the recognition for breeding.

3.2 – Appendix Registry

3.2.1 – The member clubs are obliged to maintain an appendix registry. The appendix registry serves for the entry of dogs without a pedigree or with a predigree that is neither recognized by the WUSV nor the FCI, and who was subjected to a phenotype evaluation with positive results by a recognized breed judge for German Shepherd dogs.

A phenotype evaluation may only be carried out from the minimum age of 12 months on, and if the dog in question can be reliably identified by a microchip or tattoo number.

3.2.2 – Furthermore, dogs are registered in the appendix registry who descend from dogs that were already entered in the registry (possible only in terms of breed permission BASIC) and if three consecutive generations of ancestors were verified in the registry. From the fourth generation on the descendants are admitted to the regular studbook.

4. International Databases

4.1 – The member clubs are obliged to provide the WUSV with a digital excerpt of the national studbook and the appendix registry on an annual basis. The data is to be presented in a specified format and shall be submitted by July 01st of the following year. The data provided will then be transferred into the SV-DOxS data base.

4.2 – The international data base shall provide the groundwork for significant, and scientific analysis that are relevant for breeding as well as breeding valuations such as HD, ED, genetics in terms of size, and reproductiveness, etc.

5. Requirements for Breeding

5.1 – Purpose of Breeding

The systematic and methodical breeding of German Shepherd dogs aims at the following:

  • Maintenance of the breed specific characteristics and properties as defined in the breed standard „German Shepherd Dog Breed”
  • Conservation of the breed basis with maximum diversity respectively variance
  • Support and promotion of the working dog properties and vitality in terms of health and age of individual animals and the breed as a whole
  • Control of inherited defects by means of suitable breeding programs

5.2 – Control of undesired breed symptoms and phenomena

6. Breeding Methods

6.1 – Pure Breed

Per definition pure breeding is the mating of animals from the same breed and automatically leads to the utilization of heritage through families and relatives as well as inbreeding.

6.2 – Inbreeding

The mating of first-rate relatives (parents x children/ full siblings) is not permitted.

6.3 – Inbreeding

Inbreeding is based on close consanguinity in which one ancestor is represented at least once on the father’s or maternal side.

Also, the mating of siblings is considered inbreeding, nevertheless, the kinship is limited to the first five lines of ancestors (inbreeding with relatives)

Inbreeding of 1:1, 1:2, 2:1, 2:2,3:2 and 2:3 – also of siblings – shall not be permitted.

6.4 – Variance / Blood-Base

In order to obtain the broadest possible blood-base the member clubs are recommended to impose a limit for mating for male dogs.

6.5 – Recommendations for Breeding

Recommendations for breeding for certain dogs should only be given in case of secure respectively accurate information.

6.6 – Foster Mothers – Nursing

The requirements for foster mothers and nursing – including the verification hereof – fall within the scope of responsibilities of the member clubs.

6.7 – Breeders

The breeder of a litter is the owner or lessee of the mother at the time of mating. The breeders` rights – however – can be transferred upon sale of the pregnant female.

6.8 – Duties of the Breeder

  • Requirements for the approval of the breeding site and for a permission for breeding are as follows:

    – Applicant has to be major of age and possess expert knowledge respectively skill
    – Verification and inspection of the breeding site
    – International Kennel Name Protection (according to FCI)

    The verification of the requirements lies within the scope of responsibilities of the member clubs
  • Lease Fee

    The requirements for the lease of females for breeding purposes are defined by the member clubs
  • Litter Notification

    The breeders are obliged to notify their member clubs about every birth giving of puppies.They are obliged to enable the authorized representatives of the member club to examine the litter, the mother dog, the rearing conditions and the overall situation of the breeding site.
  • All puppies have to be marked by in implanted microchip before they are sold.
  • Vaccination of the Puppies

    Before the puppies are sold, they have to be vaccinated by a veterinarian doctor. The chip number of the animals has to be entered into the vaccination certificate
  • Documentation

    The breeder is obliged to document all relevant data of his or her breeding site.

6.9 – Duties of the Owners of Stud Dogs

The owners of stud dogs are obliged to immediately report all mating services to his or her member club and to keep a respective documentation.

6.10 – Frequency of Breeding for Females

.During a period of 24 months a female may not raise more than three litters provided that the national legal requirements do not stipulate lower numbers in terms of frequencies of litters and foster mothers respectively nursing. Relevant is the day of giving birth. During one period of heat females may not mate with more than one stud dog.

6.11 – Frequency of Mating Services for Stud Dogs

Stud dogs who comply with the stipulations of the present regulations may serve for mating 90 times per calendar year at maximum.

Males may only serve for a maximum of 60 mating services with domestic females in his country of origin in terms of the permanent residence of his owner.

The mating services are to be equally divided.

Mating services of one stud dog with the same female within a period of 28 days are considered as one act of mating.

In case that a stud dog reaches the permitted age for mating during the course of one calendar year, only a proportionate number of mating services is permitted, counted from the time when the relevant age was reached.

6.12 – Quality X-Raying

Before the 31st mating service the stud dog has to be subjected to a so-called quality x-raying, including an identity check. Further details can be found in the implementation rules in terms of HD/ ED.

7. Hip Dysplasia (HD)-Procedure

7.1 – General

A hip joint dysplasia is a pathological alteration of the hip joints in the area of the hip in the articular cavity and the femoral head. The degrees of severity range from mild to severe forms.

7.2 – The diagnostic procedures are described in the implementation rules for HD/ ED.

8. Elbow Dysplasia (ED)-Procedure

8.1 – General

An elbow dysplasia is a pathological alteration of the cubital joint that can be caused by a different underlying respectively a primary disease that might lead to arthritis on this joint. The degrees of severity range from mild to severe forms.

8.2 – The diagnostic procedures are described in the implementation rules for HD/ ED.

Final Clauses

In principle, the present regulation is based on the regulations of the SV. In case of doubt or differences of opinion in terms of the interpretation of the present regulation the rules of the SV are to be considered in a complementary fashion.

Violations and infringements against the present regulation shall be sanctioned by the individual member clubs. Sanctions are binding for all WUSV member clubs.

The present regulation was approved of by the WUSV General Annual Assembly on September 09th, 2019 and shall become effective from January 01st, 2020 on.

The member clubs are allowed a transitional period of five years until January 01st, 2025.

Dogs who have been used for breed shows or for breeding until the coming into force of the present regulation (depending on the date of the transitional period) shall benefit from a guarantee of vested rights, and may continue to be exhibited or used for breeding purposes.

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