The Breeder Guidance System
of the SV (GSD club of

By Martin Wahl



The breed survey (Körung)
The breed survey
report (Körbericht)
The breed survey
book (Körbuch)
The breed

This is where the world famous "pink pedigrees" come from. A puppy born in Germany will receive "pink papers" only if both parents have gone through the SV Breed Survey system.

As any breeder knows, breeding success depends on reliable information. The more information a breeder has on the ancestors of his breed stock, the more predictable the puppies will be. Max von Stephanitz understood this, and in 1922 started the Körung, a system that provides SV members with perfectly impartial  breed classification information, published each year in the SV Körbuch. Today, any member of the SV in Germany can look up any information on any GSD at his/her local SV club (OG).


The breed survey (Körung)

Before a German Shepherd can be breed surveyed, it must turn two years within the breed survey year and must meet all basic SV breed requirements, plus it must have passed an endurance test (AD - running 20 km without tiring).

A "breed master" (Körmeister: an experienced and specially trained SV judge) will asses the dogs breed worthiness by giving it a very thorough examination. This includes a temperament test (ongoing throughout the breed survey), a gun test (at least 2 gunshots at a distance of about 15 paces), and a courage test.

The two parts of the courage test are identical to the courage tests in a Schutzhund trial. In the first part, the dog must prevent an attack on his master by a stick wielding attacker coming out of a hiding place about 15 paces away, by placing a single but firm bite on the padded sleeve and holding it for as long as there is action. When the attacker stops, the dog must "out" (release) either on its own, or on a single command from the owner. For the second part (this time at a distance of about 50 paces away from its master) the dog must prevent an attack by a stick wielding and loudly screaming attacker, bite only once and hold, and must "out" either on its own when the attacker stops, or on a single command from the owner.

Conformation and other checks include: height at the withers, chest depth, chest circumference, weight, pigmentation, coat, color, disposition, alertness, nerves, self confidence, hardness, courage, fighting instinct, secondary sex characteristics, constitution, expression, structure, bones, musculature, firmness of back and ligaments, top line, elbow lay-on, pasterns, legs gait, outreach, rear drive, toe nails, paws, head, eye color, upper and lower jaw, and dentition.

The initial breed survey is good for two years. At the end of the two year period, the dog must be breed surveyed again, this time for life. Failure to breed survey again within the two year period will require a new initial breed survey good for only two years.

The Breed Survey Report (Körbericht)


At the conclusion of the breed survey, the breed master will classify the dog in a "Körklasse" (Kkl.) and fill out the breed survey form (Körschein), listing all measurements and findings, including a brief overall assessment (II.a Gesamturteil) of the dog in a "breed survey report", plus "special features/faults for breeding" remarks (V. Besondere Vorzüge/Mängel), and his "breed advice/recommendations" remarks (VI. Beratung...).

The result of the courage test will be recorded at the end of the "breed survey report" as either "pronounced" (ausgeprägt) or "present" (vorhanden) or "insufficient" (nicht genügend), and the outing as either "does release" (läßt ab) or "does not release" (läßt nicht ab). Owners of disqualified dogs will have their dog’s registration certificate returned from the SV head office, marked with the reason for disqualification. Qualifying dogs will have their registration certificate returned and will receive a copy of the blue "breed survey form" (Körschein) after the SV head office has recorded all the data for it’s Körbuch.

The Breed Survey Book (Körbuch)


Each year the SV publishes a "breed survey book" (a 1200 page hardcover book) listing all the dogs breed surveyed (Angekört) during the past year (over 5000 in 1995). It provides breeders with reliable and impartial information and contains the data of almost the entire "breed survey form" (Körschein), which is presented in the same sequence, but without names, data only, e.g. d) Gewicht 37.5 kg, is shown as d) 37.5 kg.

The SV requires each of its 2200 local clubs (OG) to maintain a complete set of breed survey books, so that each member in every local club in Germany has access to the information. In addition, each local club has a  breed warden, to give advise and help to local breeders.  

The breed warden (Zuchtwart)

Every local club (OG) has a breed warden (Zuchtwart), usually a retired judge or experienced breeder, that is required by the SV to be available to the local membership to give advice on all matters concerning breeding, so that any SV member with a German Shepherd female can become a high quality breeder with his first litter. (You may want to call this "backyard breeding", I call this a system that’s been recognized world wide as producing the worlds best German Shepherds. Ask any K-9 officer.) Local breed wardens report to their regional (LG) breed wardens, which in turn report to the SV head office's main breed warden.

The duties of the local breed warden also include the visiting of every litter in his district before the puppies are three days old. He must check and report the dams tattoo to the SV, find a "foster bitch" if there are more than 8 puppies in the litter before they are 10 days old, make sure that any white, blue or misformed pups are culled, check on the bitches condition, living quarters, and whelping area at least 3 more times, and report the litter information to the SV registry and any substandard conditions and unregistered litters (wild breeding) to his regional (LG) breed warden.