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Pure Bred & Champion Bloodline German Shepherds 

There are many Schutzhund Trials for testing training and the German Sieger Show, that a Champion Class German Shepherd can compete/train in. The goal is to receive the highest awards possible. A dog is awarded certain letters and abbreviations to label them as the best of the best from these events.  So, what do all these letters and abbreviations stand for behind our Champion German Shepherd’s name mean?

Schutzhund Training & Certification

The Schutzhund Training is the most mentally and physically demanding training of all and a must to receive the highest achievements. German Shepherds are trained for obedience, protection, and tracking.


A Schutzhund training certification is then rewarded on the training they were able to accomplish. A Schutzhund trial for certification is done in one day. Here are examples of trials a dog has to do for the judges: track a scent, perform off the leash commands, jump over a 6-foot wall and do defense work. They must also be able to gait 9 miles at about 6mph. This makes a dog its best in obedience, confidence, courage, protection, and temperament.


They are then awarded a label of IGP 1, 2 or 3.3 Being the best showing he/she passed all trials. Schutzhund award names have changed over the years starting with Sch 1, 2 or 3 then to IPO 1, 2 or 3 and now to IGP 1, 2,3. All meaning the same thing so that countries now have the same name for the training certification.

Adult German Shepherd dog on leash walking on grass
Adult German Shepherd dog being walked on leash by male handler in black outfit in front of crowd

Sieger Show

Now let’s cover how to become a VA or V and what that means. A designation of VA can only be awarded at the annual German Sieger Show where 100’s of dogs come together in hope of being in the top world champion placings. A dog has to be at least two years old and be titled with Sch/IPO/IGP 1, 2 or 3, as well have received KKl and have a German “a” Stamp showing it is hip & elbow certified. Having all this is the minimum requirement for the dog to enter the German Sieger Show and have a chance at receiving the V or VA.


The Sieger Show is a 3-day event. The first day the dogs must pass their Schutzhund Trials or else disqualified. The second day the remaining dogs are inspected by a German Judge and Koermeister. This is a very thorough inspection including their movement, obedience, temperament, and confirmation. If they pass, they then move on to day 3 which is the show ring to award the top German Shepherds.

The dogs have to gait around the ring for hours while the judges watch their movement and monitor their stamina. Only a top-notch healthy dog with the correct structure can pull on a lead for this amount of time. At one point they will even shoot a pistol to test its courage. The judges then determine which of the final group with receive a V rating. Again, many do not receive this and only the best do. From the V rated dogs around a dozen get a VA rating which is the best of the best. The VA1 being the top championship dog known as the Sieger will then be crowed. Again, around another dozen receive the VA2 to VA12. It continues then with a V! and up to V80’s or V90’s. These VA & V ratings can only come from the annual Sieger Show from German Judges.

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German Shepherd Breed Standard

CHARACTERISTICS Purpose and Usage: Versatile Utility, Herding, Guard and Service Dog The main characteristics of the German Shepherd Dog are: steadiness of nerves, attentiveness, loyalty, calm self-assurance, alertness, and tractability, as well as courage with physical resilience.


TEMPERAMENT: The German Shepherd Dog must be of well-balanced temperament, steady of nerve, self-assured, absolutely at ease (except when provoked), and good natured as well as attentive and easy to train. He must possess the instinctive drive, resilience and self-confidence in order to be suitable as a companion, watchdog, protection, service and herding dog.


COAT:  The German Shepherd Dog is bred in the coat varieties: stock coat (normal) and long stock coat, both with undercoat. Stock Coat (normal): The topcoat should be as dense as possible, straight, harsh and close lying. It should be short on the head, including the inside of the ears, the front of the legs, and on the feet and toes; it is a little longer and heavily coated on the neck. The hair lengthens on the back of the legs to the pasterns or hock joints; and on the back of the thighs, it forms moderate breeching. Extended Breed Standard of the German Shepherd Dog - Page 14 of 19 Long Stock Coat (Long Coat): The topcoat should be long, soft and not close fitting, with feathering on the ears and legs, bushy breeches and bushy tail forming flags below. It should be short on the head including the inside of the ears, the front side of the legs, on the feet and toes, it is longer and heavily coated on the neck, almost forming a mane. The hair lengthens on the back of the legs to the pasterns or hock joints, and on the back of the thighs, it forms distinct breeching.


HISTORY: The German Shepherd Dog, whose planned breeding commenced in the year 1899, after the founding of the GSD Verein, was bred from the central German and south German strains of the existing herding dogs of those times, with the final goal of creating a working dog, predisposed to high working aptitude. In order to reach this goal, the Breed Standard was laid down, which relates to the physical attributes, as well as to those of temperament and character. World Wide Spread The breed quickly spread to other European countries, and the Swiss Breed Club was formed in 1902. Others followed suit throughout the world, and ultimately, they banded together to form the World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs (WUSV), of which the German Shepherd Dog Council of America (GSDCA) is a member. It would seem that the first German Shepherd Dogs to reach the United States arrived in 1906. A few went to Great Britain prior to the 1914-1918 War, but it was not until soldiers returning from that war, impressed with the breed, brought them home with them and they became popular in the United States.

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