There are two basic types of dog clubs (organizations). The most widely known are the National registries, such as AKC, CKC, UKC, etc. Their function is very limited and simple: to issue a certificate for a fee.
The lesser known type are the
working/training/sporting/Schutzhund clubs. These
clubs do not register dogs. However, they have an influence on the breeding of
working dogs by providing Schutzhund training
facilities and by organizing Schutzhund trials,
competitions and similar dog sport events for all working dog breeds, including
German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers,
Boxers, Dobermans, etc. In
To complicate things a little, either type of club can be a
"national", or an "international" organization with
different purposes, plus, some of the clubs combine both
and training/sport, such as Schutzhund
National and international dog registry organizations
The SV and similar "breed-specific registry clubs" in
If the function of the SV among all those dog clubs is a bit confusing, there are several reasons for that. First, because of the immense popularity of the German Shepherd, the SV is not only the largest breed specific registry in the world, it’s also the most active of all clubs, thus overshadowing many of it’s "parent" or "national" organizations by it's size. Second, besides being a breed registry club, the SV also strongly promotes working dog activities of all kinds, thus having a dual function and therefore ties to both, breeding as well as sporting organizations. Third, due to it’s rapid growth and outstanding leadership, the SV has been a driving force and a trend setter from the beginning and therefore is sometimes being mistaken as a large international organization.
One example is that of Schutzhund. It was the SV under Max von Stephanitz that started to test dogs for suitability to do police work, which later evolved into Schutzhund. But in 1956, several of the breed-specific clubs (led by the SV) and several of the working dog sport associations (such as the DVG, described above) formed the "Association of breed registry and working dog sport clubs" AZG (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Zuchtvereine und Gebrauchshundeverbände). The AZG has the purpose of administrating uniform international Schutzhund rules via the FCI, to assure inter-club and international conformity, making it possible to hold international trials and competitions in many countries. However, some people still think the SV is an international Schutzhund administrator.