The DDR Zucht

DDR Tracking Dogs

Many stories are told in the DDR regarding the German Shepherd. Some talk about the dog as if it were a legend. “Aus DDR Zucht” nowadays too is a regularly used quality typing for a specific type of German Shepherd one is trying to breed.

It still is a most interesting period of time in history such as the DDR-era, their dogs, their systems of inspection and selection as well as the unique “Wesen-Wertmessziffern-system.”…:: German Shepherd breeding ::…

The Section Dienst und Gebrauchshunden (SDG) was executing the inspections and registration of the German Shepherd breeding. They drew up the following breeding targets: Breeding targets
Breeding temperamental dogs with a strong character, and with good sharpness, that have a good working drive and are easy to train.

Breeding healthy usable dogs in the most wide meaning of the word, that can reach an old age, have a good constitution, are fertile and have little hereditary shortcomings.


The breeding of well contoured dogs, with a good pigmentation. All varying as little as possible from one and other, with the best possible (walking) endurance.

For breeding German Shepherds there were strict criteria:
Breeding only allowed with breed surveyed dogs. Young dogs must appear at a Nachwuchs Beurteiling (young dog inspection) before they reach the age of 12 months (breeding bitch including her nest) Only HD-free dogs are bred with (no a-fast normal or a-noch zugelassen allowed)

If one of the above mentioned criteria was not taken into account, the sanction was clear: no pedigree….:: De Nachwuchs Beurteilung ::…

After one year the owner of the breeding bitch had to appear with the complete nest of off-spring (exported dogs excluded). This was one of the demands on obtaining a pedigree for the pups. The dogs were judged on: position of the ears, teeth, temper, and (male dog) presence of both testicles, fur, total appearance of the dog and the presence of the a-imprint (HD-results). The results of this judgement were added to the breeding value of the bitch, and especially the breeding dog.

This information was publicized periodically to breeders by use of regional clubs, samplers, and in writing in the so-called “Rundschreiben”. This made it possible for a breeder to look into the status of the dog in regards to number of off-spring and possible shortcomings.
This was a unique system within the dog breeding. Comparable inspections were found, for example, in horse breeding….:: The breed survey ::…

There were 2 inspections regarding breeding suitability:The “Zucht Tauchlichkeits Prüfung” (ZTP), for dogs not older than 24 months. This inspection was valid for 2 years.


The (ultimate) “Körung” for dogs aged 24 months and up. This inspection was valid for 3 years after the first time.

The “Körung” has a great breeding value. Both include an obligatory re-inspection of the inspected dog before the end of the validity of the inspection. If not done so, the dog can not be accounted for in the inspection. The central position of usability of the dogs came to the expression by the fact that character, sharpness and roughness were inspected by a “Wesens-beurteiler” (training inspector).

In the inspection books advise was given to specially select toughness and nature’s sharpness. In the 1979 inspection book Werner Dalm (“Körrichter”) writes: ‘The tough dogs described in the breeding target are represented about just as much as the usable dogs. It is not satisfactory that their numbers decreased compared to 1971, and are even less than the minimum of usable dogs in 1976-1977’….:: Wesen Wertmessziffernsystem ::…

At inspections the “Wertmessziffernsystem” was used. This was a unique system for displaying the dog’s quality. It was based on clear points and terms of judgement and for each part it was possible to score points. This way, every dog had its six figure appraisal (test inspection), such as: 4554/44 where the first three figures represent the anatomy and the last three figures tell you something regarding user value. For a detailed explanation see: Wertmessziffern.…:: Training in the DDR ::…

Training in the DDR in those days had more similarities with the modern day KNPV (Police Dog Training) than with the VH or Sch dog program.

Known in sports training were:Tracker dog FH 1 up to 3
Defence dog SchH 1 up to 3 Service dog training: Police training:
Police defence dog PSH 1 up to 3
Police tracker dog PFH 1 up to 3

These training certificates were acknowledged and registered in the pedigree.

The differences with the West were:Using a dead straight fence (1,5 and 1,8 metres)
At the roll call one of the elements is the balance beam
At the tracker dog exam there is an element of roll call and bitework included
Stability was tested independently of the exam with: to recall the dog is on its way to the owner/handler and while fetching and bringing back objects, as well as at the command “stand” during slow pacing . And with the exam tracker dog while laying the track.

All Schutzhund (Sch) exams used 10 blinds, 6 forward and 4 back. Also judged was the independent behavior of the dog. With Sch1 the dog has to stay down at 5 meters of the biteworker. With Sch2 and 3 at 10 meters. The handler went out of sight with a distance of 50 meters with Sch3. The biteworker then made his attack on the dog after a sign of the judge. The dog received a stroke with a stick before and after the biting. The dog had to succeed in the attack, as well as prevent the attack without one doubt. When the biteworker ceased his attack, the dog had to stand guard. The dog was not to leave the biteworker, or to return to its owner / handler.

And, as final point of interest, the lengths of the tracker dog tracks:
FH 1 1,500 meters, 7 angles
FH 2 2,000 meters, 10 angles
FH 3 3,000 meters, 16 angles