German Shepherd Dogs born in the USA, registered with the USA Breed Registry, and surveyed at a USA Breed Survey
are included in the USA Breed Survey books. Dogs born in the USA
and surveyed in Germany may also be entered in the USA Breed Survey Books. In 1998, the USA Board passed the
regulation that dogs born in USA but surveyed in Germany will be presented in the USA Breed Survey Book if the owner is a USA member at the time they request
that the dog's survey be presented in the book. There are no retroactive additions to published USA Breed Survey Books,
so if your dog is breed surveyed in Germany be sure to request inclusion of that breed survey prior
to publication of the USA Breed Survey Book for that year.
The owner submits the Breed Survey Entry Form with the dog's original pedigree and scorebook to the Show
Secretary designated for the scheduled Breed Survey. If the dog's hip certification is not noted on the pedigree,
separate hip certification must be provided. If this is a lifetime survey, an original of the first
survey must be provided.
At the Breed Survey, the Koermeister evaluates each dog in the ring, making handwritten notes on a form.
The document itself is in both German and English for the printed items on
the form, while the Remarks Sections are totally in German and written or dictated by the judge.
The Koermeister completes the evaluations and remarks and gives the forms to the Show Secretary. The Show
Secretary sends this original documentation to the USA Office within one week of the day of the Breed Survey, and the
USA Office verifies that the information is correct and forwards it to the SV office in Germany. The SV records
this information into their computer database and returns the documentation to the USA Office. The USA office
keeps a copy of each Breed Survey Certificate on file, enters the information into a database, mails the
original Breed Survey Certificate to the owner of the breed surveyed dog, and provides a photocopy of
each Breed Survey Certificate to Lee for inclusion in the USA Breed Survey Reports for that year.
"Under normal conditions, the original documents are returned to the dog's owner within two to four
weeks," Lee comments. "Occasionally, an original pedigree may have to be sent to Germany for documentation
of teeth problems on the pedigree or for a special notation that must be placed on the original pedigree."
Because the owner is for a period of time without original documentation, Lee recommends that "certified
copies of all original documents be filed in a secure location."
Information Included in the Breed Survey Certificate
The Breed Survey
Certificate contains detailed information about the dog that is intended to identify the dog and its bloodlines
and evaluate the temperament, conformation, and overall breedworthiness of the animal. This document provides the
dog's name, registration number, sex, tattoo number, date whelped, training degrees, hip certification, breed
survey class and breed survey time span. It also provides the sire and dam, the paternal and maternal grand-sire
and grand-dam, linebreeding, and the breeder, owner, and co-owner if applicable.
The Breed Survey Certificate also details the evaluations provided by the Koermeister and any recommendations
or warnings. The first evaluation is Assessment on the Day of Survey. Remarks found here are the same as those found on your pedigree.
The judge gives an overall general impression of the dog - its size, topline, croupe, angulation, and gait. An evaluation is also provided
for the dog's courage, temperament, and hardness. "The character, courage and temperament of the German Shepherd Dog is of foremost importance in every role the German Shepherd
is asked to perform" states Lee. "For this reason, the protection phase of the Breed Survey is an
important part of the Survey."
The second evaluation is Generalities. This includes
height, depth of chest, circumference, weight, pigment and marking, coat, and testicles. The third area of
evaluation includes six categories covering temperament, nerves, gunsureness and fighting drive. This is followed by Assessment While Standing and While In Motion. The Koermeister
examines and evaluates the skeletal structure, the muscle development and firmness, and the correctness of gait.
Close scrutiny is given to the drive that is produced from the back of the dog to the front, and to the reach of
the dog's forelegs. The dog's teeth, both lower and upper, and the dentition are examined by the
Koermeister and recorded for the breed survey.
Special Attributes/Shortcomings are also indicated on the certificate. Lee provides some examples:
"Male who tends to heaviness with especially good temperament and working ability;" "Male should be in general
more substantial;" and "Very typey female with good expression." She concludes, "If a breeder is looking for a medium size male with
good type, they would note this evaluation on the dog's Breed Survey and consider this a potential breeding
candidate to match their breeding goals."
The last comprehensive evaluation on the Breed Survey Certificate is Breeding Recommendation, Advice and Warnings. The
comments in this section might include "Suitable to improve working ability and to preserve the grey color.
Avoid females with loose structure;" "When choosing breeding partners, prefer large females with strong
secondary sex characteristics;" or "Pay attention to a good forehand and correct croup in the breeding partner."
The Breed Survey Book is a supplement to the USA Breed Registry, and together with it and the show and
trial reports, serves to advise breeders in their goal-oriented breeding activities. The Breed Survey evaluations
published in the USA Breed Survey Books are based on comparing each dog against the official written standard
for the German Shepherd Dog. This breed survey data is not only of
interest and value to those whose primary interest is conformation -- it is a valuable resource
for all breeders committed to breeding to the standard. As Lee observes, "One of the problems is that
the Koerbuch, in the eyes of so many people in this country, only applies to conformation dogs. This is not
true. It is for the German Shepherd Dog." She further emphasizes, "The standard clearly demands
working ability and correct conformation. The better construction the dog has, the better it is going to
work, regardless of the task at hand." It is just as important for the breeder of working bloodlines to
ensure that their working dog has good structure and that a working lines bitch is bred to the right male
as it is for the person who is into conformation with predominantly showlines breeding stock.
"Breed Survey Books," Lee reflects, "allow domestic breeders to evaluate how well we are doing
in our breeding programs and helps us to stay on target. These records provide the information that
breeders need to remain aware of good conformation and achieve balance in their breeding programs." This
information assists the breeder in evaluating their own dogs and in selecting potential breeding candidates.
By becoming aware of the breeding candidates in this country and their surveyed characteristics, breeders
have an informational resource to assist them in maintaining the qualities that they already have in their
bloodlines or correcting the characteristics that they seek to improve.
Most North American breeders are aware of the German Koerbuch, the hard bound compendium of Breed Surveys
awarded in Germany for each year. "Because of the greater numbers of SV clubs conducting breed surveys in
Germany and the higher volume of dogs being surveyed in any given year," Lee advises, "the number of dogs
included in the German Koerbuch is greater than that of dogs annually surveyed in the United States." One of the
significant benefits of the USA Breed Survey Books is the collection of vital statistics about all of the
breedworthy candidates born in the United States. "We're such a big country that it's hard for any one
person to get to know the whole country," observes Lee. "Breeders can know their region, but not their whole country."
Having official documentation for all of the breed surveyed dogs and bitches born in this country in one
centralized resource enables breeders to evaluate and select breeding candidates with greater confidence
and expertise. "If the ancestors came over here, were breed surveyed here in the States, then the information
will be in the USA Breed Survey Book" Lee advises. Coupled with the German Koerbuchs, the American breeder has
an even more comprehensive informational resource. "If you can read German and if you have all the German
Koerbuchs every year, then you would have a complete history," Lee suggests. "You would be able to trace
your dog all the way back. If previous ancestors were born and showed in Germany, then you would have
the information available through the German Koerbuchs.
Browse other informative articles in the NWK9 Reading Room. . . .