German Titles and Their Meanings

This is a listing of German titles found on German Shepherd Dog pedigrees. Some of these titles are rarely if ever seen in modern dogs, others are very often seen. As time progressed, there was little need for some of the skills represented by certain titles, and the more common titles usually reflect skills or conformation aspects that have evolved into modern competitive dog sports. Some of the rarer titles may just hardly ever be seen except in dogs actually utilized for that particular ability, such as BFH (Blindenfuhrerhund-Guide Dog for the Blind), because a dog working in that capacity would likely be on the job and beyond the actual task there would be little interest in competitive events based on the skill. The most common titles are the ones which reflect competitive events more than they reflect actual usage in service.

Conformation is basically a beauty contest, with some skills and endurance included, much like human beauty pageants where women compete showing off their physical assets, talents, and personality. Dogs show off their physical conformation, working ability and intelligence, and endurance in the German conformation shows. German conformation dogs are required to earn working titles as proof of their intelligence and trainability, but it must be remembered that only a PASSING score is required to earn the title. People who compete in WORKING events seek to train their dogs to perform as close to perfection as possible, and seek perfect scores in all phases of the working events (in Schutzhund the perfect score is 300, 100 points each for tracking, obedience, and protection.)

The information below is given on pedigrees that have been written in English. Official SV pedigrees and how to read them will be included on this site at a later date.

GERMAN CONFORMATION SHOW TITLES

These precede the dog’s name on a pedigree.

VA-Vorzuglich-Auslese-excellent select(only awarded at the National Specialty GSD show in the country the VA is awarded in. Other countries besides Germany do have similar systems and title representations.)
V-Vorzuglich-excellent
SG-Sehr Gut-very good The SG rating is the highest offered in young dog competitions, 12-18 month and 18-24 month age groups, as well as following the VA and V awards in the adult classes.
A-Ausreichend-sufficient
M-Mangelhaft-faulty
U-Ungenugend-Insufficient
KKL1-Breed Survey Class 1-the best breed survey classification given
KKL2-Breed survey class 2. There are a number of things that determine which breed survey classification a dog receives.
Lbz.-Lebenszeit-Breed surveyed for lifetime. A dog is required to be presented for breed survey to be used for breeding, and then again, must be presented at which time his producing ability as well as changes that the dog has undergone are taken into consideration.
Korung 19-zuruckgestellt(M)-did not pass breed survey in protection work
Korung 19-zuruckgestellt(K)-did not pass breed survey due to structural fault

A dog that did not pass the breed survey will have to wait one year before being presented again. If he fails the second time, he can never breed surveyed.
A + in front of a dog’s name on a pedigree usually means that the dog has been breed surveyed.

Titles seen only in puppy classes are
VP-Very Promising
P-Promising
LP-Less Promising

HIP Certifications-the “a” stamp is required for a dog to pass a breed survey.
“a” normal-certified normal hips
“a” fast normal-certified near normal hips
“a”-noch zugelassen-still permissible
I have been told that moderates and severes are not permitted to be used for breeding in Germany. Thus, the moderates must also be considered as severe, because in the listing of dogs rejected from the Zuchtbuch (German breed book) dogs listed as being rejected for HD are always listed as being severes.

Show Classes and Awards

Sieger-the best male at the national conformation speciality show of that respective country, countries other than Germany also have Sieger shows.
Siegerin-The best female at the national conformation specialty show of that respective country.
VA-The Sieger is VA-1, and a few other extremely good dogs also usually receive the VA rating, meaning they were very close to the Sieger in the judge’s opinion. The German Sieger show working dog class males, from which the Sieger and VA awards are made, are always judged by the SV President. It is up to the judge as to how many VA ratings he wishes to make. There have been times in history when the Sieger/Siegerin titles were discontinued and only VAs awarded, to discourage everyone from only wanting to breed to the one dog who was Sieger, when there were other animals similar in quality and maybe better suited to some of the lines of bitches whose owners were seeking to breed to the Sieger.

Of the show titles that follow, some of them were common historically, but are seldom if ever seen in contemporary dog pedigrees, for a variety of reasons. Others are quite commonly found.

WS-Weltsieger-World Sieger at the FCI all-breed show-FCI being an all breed worldwide dog organization, that all the various countries’ recognized registries, such as the SV, are members of.
Hutesieger-Herding Dog Champion at the German National Herding competition.
Bundesleistungssieger-The winner of the annual SV National SchH3 working competition, where dogs are competing for perfect scores in SchH3 and the coveted title. Working scores also are evaluated similarly to the conformation titles, V is the highest and the dogs are placed on down in order of the scores they receive.
Bundeszuchtsieger-Another term for the Sieger at the SV German National conformation show.
Landesgruppensieger-Rarely seen in contemporary pedigrees, this title reflects the first place winner at a regional show in Germany.
Junghundsieger-Another rating rarely used nowadays, reflecting the first place winner in the 18-24 month young dog class at the Sieger Show.
Jugendsieger-Also rarely used today, it reflects the winner of the 12-18 month youth class at the Sieger Show.
Landesgruppenjunghund Sieger-First place winner at the regional 18-24 month young dog class.
Landesgruppenjugend Sieger-1st place winner at the regional 12-18 month dog class.
These last two could be loosely compared to the regional futurity/maturity conformation winners at the GSDCA specialty regional futurity/maturity shows.

Europameister-European SchH3 Champion-highest scoring SchH3 dog in annual multi-country SchH3 competition.
Stadtmeister-Very rarely, if ever seen today, it means the winner at the city SchH3 competition trial.
Landessieger-Not often seen today, it means the winner of the German annual Regional SchH3 competition. Dogs must compete and meet certain requirements at the regional level to be eligible to compete in the Bundesleistungssieger Prufung.

WORKING TITLES

SchH1,2,3-Schutzhund includes three different phases which are tracking, obedience, and protection. A dog must pass all three phases and have an overall passing score to earn a SchH title. The dog only has to compete once and pass to earn the title, versus AKC obedience which requires three passing scores under three different judges.
FH-Trailing Dog (separate title and competition from the SchH tracking.)
FH2-Higher level of Trailing Dog competition.
INT-International SchH title. This term is often used interchangeably with the IP or IPO title (If anyone reading this has a clear concise explanation of the differences between these titles, please email me so I can add this information.)
DPO-Police Dog competition title
AD-Endurance test sometimes represented as a separate title, but required as part of the breed survey process in Germany.
BDH-Railroad Service Dog
BpDH 1 & 2- Railway Police Dog title
B-Begleithunde-Companion dog-title required in recent years for a dog to being earning Schutzhund titles, consisting of basic obedience, control, and test of courage.
BFH-Guide Dog for the Blind
DH-Service Dog
DPH-Service Police Dog
GRH-Border Patrol Dog
HGH-Herding Dog training title
LawH or LwH-Avalanche Dog
MH-Army Messenger Dog-often seen in historical pedigrees, especially 1940’s on back to the breed’s beginnings.
PDH-Police Dog PFP 1&2-Police Tracking Dog
PH-Polizeihund-More commonly seen police dog title PSH1,2,3-DDR(East German title)-I believe that it is similar to the PSP title.
PSP1,2,&3-Police Schutzhund dog)
RtH-Rescue Dog
SH-Red Cross Dog
SuchH-Search Dog
WH-Watch Dog
ZFH-Customs Tracking Dog
ZH-Customs Dog
ZPr-Seen in very old pedigrees, meaning that the dog in question had passed the breed survey of that time.

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