The German Shepherd Dog Federation of South Africa was founded in 1984 and is fully recognised by the FCI (World canine body) and the WUSV (World Union of German Shepherd Dog organisations).

The objective of the Federation from inception was that breeding  takes place within the framework of international control and cooperation, based on the direction given by the SV (German Shepherd Dog club of Germany).

In line herewith, one of the organisation's earliest direct aims, and an aim to which it has remained true, was that all breeding of German Shepherd Dogs has to be controlled and subjected to minimum standards.

Controlled breeding

The first minimum requirement is that each dog, before it is allowed to be used for breeding, has to be identified by a permanent tattoo number in the (right) ear, it has to pass an official Hip Dysplasia test and it has to receive a grading of at least "G" (Good) from a qualified judge. The degree of inbreeding is controlled.  In addition, bitches have to be at least 20 months old and males at least 24 months old at the time of breeding. In order to receive the "G" grading a dog has to be free of disqualifying faults as laid down in the Breed standard, may not be afraid of a gun-shot and has to pass a basic temperament test. As of the year 2001 DNA profiling has become mandatory for all registered breed stock. All imported stock has to be DNA proven.

While the above is  the minimum standard, a second level of breeding has been developed (in line with the international dictates referred to above) whereby additional standards of parents are identified in the progeny by a special (pink) pedigree. To qualify for this level of pedigree, the parents of the puppies have to pass a 20 km endurance test (AD) as well as a very advanced temperament test. In addition the male dogs must have been awarded a BH (Begleithund/companion dog) certificate. Both parents further  require to have passed a Breed Survey ,which includes a very detailed examination of the conformation and a TSB test (drive, tolerance and courage).

Progressively dogs shown in the breed ring will require "working" qualifications in order to obtain the highest places. During the National Breed show the 'V' grading will only be awarded to dogs with a working qualification eg Schutzhund (Defence dog) or IPO (International defence test).


The Pedigree issued  is far more than just an indication of the parentage of the dog. It is part of the certificate of registration which certifies the authenticity of  ancestors over  five generations, each identifiable  with registration numbers, tattoo numbers as well as breed and working qualifications. The registration certificate also includes a full Breed Survey description of the immediate ancestors. The degree of inbreeding is indicated and litter mates are listed. Where applicable the certificate is endorsed with the HD and DNA stamp issued by the National office. The certificate of registration and pedigree is internationally recognised and accepted.

The Federation achievements

On an almost monthly basis Breed shows are being held in the country. The judges from Germany who monitor the quality of our dogs have indicated that over the last twenty years the standard of South African German Shepherd dogs have risen from a level regarded as one of the worst in the world to one of the top three countries outside Germany. The importation of German stud dogs has been a major contributor to this success.

During this period South Africa has changed from a nett importing country to where its German Shepherds are being exported all over the world, even back to Germany itself!

The training achievements have reached a level whereby for the last four years a National team has entered the World Union (WUSV) trials and our team has successfully competed against many international teams.


To date there are some 24 clubs operating in the various parts of the country. The committees of these clubs are  structured according to the constitution and include apart from the Chairperson, also a Treasurer and Secretary, a Breed supervisor and Training supervisor. The Chairperson, Breed and Training supervisor are also members of National bodies and give direction to the German Shepherd Dog Federation of South Africa at annual meetings.

Clubs provide training in "Schutzhund" or Defence dog, which originates in Germany and is ideally suited for the German Shepherd dog. It comprises tracking, control work and the defence of it's owner. The rules are fully in line with those of the mother country. In addition clubs  also provide social obedience and preparation of the dogs for the show ring.


Last updated: December 09, 2014 11:47 AM