It’s very easy for me to slip into a German Shepherd Pedigree induced Coma. The history, and the mystery, absorb me and fascinate me. As I’ve written before, I’m a certified “Pedigree-o-phile” which is not nearly as bad as it sounds.
I enjoy sharing the lineage of our German Shepherds with you, especially when new puppies begin to go to their new families. I want you to know the rich heritage and tradition behind your puppy. I also want you to know how the pedigree reveals your puppy’s physical, emotional, and professional prospects…Revealing your dogs potential is very important to me, and I hope it encourages you to, at the very least, give your dog training that keeps alive the spirit of Max von Stephanitz, as well as his legacy.
Recently, a new Omorrow puppy owner posted on the Facebook page, wondering what difference a pedigree makes in your dog. In a way, she was asking, in a humorous way, why I always post certain pedigree’s when new pups are born, and why she should care. The language of pedigree’s has its own subtleties, and to many it’s just gobbledy-gook. I’d written about this subject before, and I reposted the link for her. I was shocked at how much I’ve learned since writing that original post in November 2011. So it’s time for Pedigree 2.0. My goal is to make pedigrees informative, if not entertaining. Let’s select a single pedigree and find out what is can tell us with only superficial reading…
I’m going to choose the Great Grandsire ( x 3) of my dog Hans, thru his Mothers side. The dog’s name is Fado von Karthago. Always be mindful of the name your particular dog carries. The Europeans were especially careful to advertise themselves with the name. In this case” Karthago” is a HUGE indicator of the quality of the dog. Von Karthago is a name that you will encounter in many pedigree’s. Zwinger vo Karthago (Karthago Kennel) is a very celebrated kennel in Erkelenz, Germany. This is west of the city of Dusseldorf. The kennel was founded by Artur and Ursula Kemmer, and they have been breeding Champions (Seigers, German) since 1974. Researching a dogs name is quite revealing…
The first thing that you’ll notice, linked to his name are the words “1989 WUSV SIEGER”. This tells you that in the year 1989, Fado was The best male GSD at the National conformation specialty show in the United States. Other countries also have Seiger competitions, which are indicated by the notation, (WUSV-USA, WGSA-Germany and so forth). This is the BIG-TIME kids, and these are WORLD Champions in conformation, temperament, and working ability. There are none better.
Next you’ll see this: SCHH3– This indicates that Fado had earned his Schutzhund titles to the highest level of achievement. 4 levels are required to get this title, BH, SCHH1, SCHH2, and finally SCHH3. Again, this is the highest achievement. Now in Fado’s pedigree, there are ancillaries to this degree. Next you’ll see the letters FH . This is an advanced title for Trailing Dog. It is possible that the dog was used in Law enforcement as a Man-trailer, or even the Military. What it means is that the dog had training and skills above and beyond in this endeavor.
Next, you’ll see the letters IP3. This is the equivalent of an International Schutzhund degree, beyond the confines of solely American competition and achievement. The dog was bred and traveled in pursuit of achievement. No small job for dog or trainer.
Next, is a familiar word to trainers that use German with their dog. This might confuse some, as the meaning of “PLATZ” is often thought to be be “DOWN”. Well, it’s not. “Platz” actually means “Place”. Therefore the entry 1°PLATZ WUSW 89, 2° PLATZ WUSW 90 means that Fado won First place WUSV Champion in 1989 and #2 in the World in 1990.
Now we come to something special. The entry, Kkl 1. This is acknowledgement of the dogs Breed Survey Class, in this case #1. Top of the line in the breeding desirability department. This dog would have been highly regarded as a stud dog, and as such, highly sought out by other breeders. Top dollar would have been passed to enter this bloodline. There are many details to this ranking, including health, temperament, and work ability. That’s a whole different post. Evidence that Fado was a fine stud, his pedigree lists 262 progeny or offspring (that are recorded) by 56 different bitches from around the world.
Next we find the dogs date of birth. Sire Born : 23. September 1985
Under the photograph, you will find his registration number. SZ/1659724, which happens to indicate a German Registry.
The next set of information is one we are all keenly interested in, his Hip Rating. This can be an OFA # or appear this way: HD-SV: HD a-normal (a1). Let’s talk about hip ratings. In this case, Fado’s hips were surveyed in Germany, (SV) and his rating was “a” Normal Certified Hips”. An “a” rating is required for passing breed survey. You may also see “a” (still passing) Fast Normal near normal hips or “a” noch zugelassen-(Still Permissible to breed). Again, Fado tests as top of the line in Hip formation and development. I’m going to allow you to digest this info for now. Next I’ll address the listed “Line Breeding List for Fado, a walk down parentage lane.