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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.
SV-STYLE BREED SURVEY IN THE USA
Copyright 1999-- Moc Klinkam; All Rights Reserved


Data on dogs born in the USA and surveyed in a given year at a USA Breed Survey are published, separated by gender, in the annual USA Breed Survey Book for that year. The Breed Survey Book contains comprehensive information for the dogs recommended or suitable for breeding, including physical characteristics and character. Also included is a directory of all of the dogs surveyed for the year, the judges who did the surveys, and the kennels that are represented. All Breed Surveys conducted by USA clubs in a given year are published in the USA Survey Report for that year. Only dogs passing the Breed Survey are included in the book. This information, together with the comments of the Breed Survey Master with respect to breeding recommendations, make these books comprehensive and indispensable reference sources for the serious breeder.

"A complete breed survey is available for every USA Breed Surveyed dog in the entire USA from 1990 to the present time," former USA Breed Warden Lee Weirick reports. "If you're breeding a dog this year, perhaps you're looking at a potential stud included in the 1997 USA Survey Book. If you want to, you can trace back at least some of the ancestors of that dog." The USA Survey Reports are especially valuable for those seeking breeding information for American-bred dogs. "If it's American bred, you can find additional information in prior survey books. So you might be able to find information on the third and fourth generation as well as having the first and second generation available in the Breed Survey Book," adds Lee.


The First Step: The Breed Survey

The information included in the USA Breed Survey Books originates at Breed Surveys hosted by USA clubs. The Breed Survey "facilitates the selection of breeding animals who according to their character, performances, and anatomical characteristics, are especially suitable for maintaining and advancing the breed with regard to its working capabilities." (USA Breed Survey Regulations, Rev. 1998)

USA BREED SURVEY REQUIREMENTS
(In United States of America)

  • Only German Shepherds entered in the USA Breed Registry are eligible for surveying.

  • Dogs must be at least two years old in the year of the survey.

  • Proof of completion of at least one SchH1 or IPO trial under an SV or USA trial judge.

  • For dogs under the age of six, proof of completion of an AD test under an SV or USA judge.

  • An "a" stamp must be in the pedigree or an OFA passing certification must have been submitted.

  • Proof of a breed show rating of at least "good" under an SV or USA Conformation Judge.

  • Sick animals may not be presented.

  • Females in season must be reported to the Survey Master who controls participation.

  • The dog must be identifiable by tattoo number.
SV BREED SURVEY REQUIREMENTS
(In Germany)

  • Only German Shepherds entered in the SV Breed Book are eligible for surveying.

  • Dogs must be at least two years old in the year of the survey.

  • Proof of completion of at least one SchH1 or IPO trial under an SV trial judge.

  • For dogs under the age of six, proof of completion of an AD test under an SV judge.

  • An "a" stamp must be in the pedigree.

  • Proof of a breed show rating of at least "good" under an SV Conformation Judge.

  • Sick animals may not be presented.

  • Females in season must be reported to the Survey Master who controls participation.

  • The dog must be identifiable by tattoo number.

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 Advantages

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.


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