Working or Show Bloodline Pedigree?

National Show Sieger (BSZS)

National Trial Sieger (BSP)

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1959-60 Volker vom Zollgrenzsch.

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1963 Alf vom Stimbergrand

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Ajax vom Haus Dexel

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1967 Bodo vom Lierberg

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1968 & 1972 Betty von Bonsdorf

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1972 Marko vom Cellerland

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1971 Racker vom Itztal

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1978 Canto von Arminius

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1982 Dr.Helmut Raiser with
Drechsler von Warnautal

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Uran v.Wildsteiger Land

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1988 Eiko vom Kirschental

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1986 Franz Gugnon (left) with
Aco von Burg Esch

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1990 Fanto vom Hirschel

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1990 Xanto von Karthago

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94 Kimon van Dan Alhedy's Hoeve

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1993 Okar von Karthago

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1995 Ulk von Arlett

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1995 Agbar Bethme

The term "working dog" used to describe a dog that was trained to do something useful, such as police or rescue, or herding work. Nowadays, it denotes the opposite to show, and is used in conjunction with bloodlines. A dog from "working bloodlines" has high trainability, good nerves, courage, firm temperament, good disposition, reliability and high intelligence. A dog from "show bloodlines" has a very pleasing appearance, similar to that of the "Siegers" of the last few years. But please be aware that German show shepherds can no longer be compared in any way with American show shepherds, because they have been bred to two very different breed standards, making them two different breeds with the same name.

Dogs with Schutzhund titles exported from Germany are usually show bloodlines that look good, but often are too weak in temperament for Germany. Itís relatively easy to put a Schutzhund title on a dog in Germany, since Schutzhund is wide spread and generally accepted and accessible to most people. The majority of breeders in Germany are show breeders, and only a small minority are working dog breeders. One indicator of this are Germanyís two annual top GSD events: There are usually 1500 to 1800 German Shepherds competing in Germanyís annual Bundessiegerzuchtschau (National Grand Breedshow), and only 115 German Shepherds compete in Germanyís annual BundersiegerprŁfung (National Grand Trial). Thatís a ratio of 15 to 1, meaning that you will find 15 show GSDs before you find 1 working GSD in Germany.

Since the grand victor in both of those events is called a ďSiegerĒ, most references made to ďSiegersĒ are usually German show winners, and only 1 out of 15 is a trial (working) sieger.

It all boils down to the fact that most dogs imported from Germany with Schutzhund titles are not necessarily working GSDs, but most likely German show champions.

The difference between a German "show" or "working" GSD can not be determined by itís titles, but by itís bloodlines (the ancestors in its pedigree). Breeders in Germany will do everything they can (within the SV breed rules, to have their puppies/dogs win in as many local, regional, and national trials or shows as possible. Those that succeed repeatedly, soon make themselves a name, either in trials as "working dog breeders", or in shows as "show dog breeder" (rarely in both). This is why some kennel names and/or individual dogs have become famous, either as "working" or as "show" bloodlines.

If the majority of ancestors in a given pedigree are known for repeated high achievements in trials or for having produced many offspring that achieved high trial results, then you are looking at a pedigree of a working dog. If most of the ancestors in a pedigree have high show ratings and are noted for repeated high show achievements, you are looking at a show dog pedigree. If you donít know bloodlines, you may get a hint from the titles in a pedigree. All males, regardless if show or working, usually have a SchH 3 title, females usually a SchH 1. However, if several of the females have a SchH 2 or 3, it may be an indication of a working pedigree. The best pedigrees are those with a "well balanced proportion" of show and working bloodlines, as 100% either way can be too extreme and is being discouraged by the SV.