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Breeding procedures

The information provided here is a general overview of various aspects related to breeding the Deutsch-Drahthaar. For more detailed information, please see the Breeding Regulations. Contact the Group Canada Breed Warden for clarification of regulations and procedures.

The Breed Registry

The Breed Standard and associated performance characteristics of the Deutsch-Drahthaar are maintained through careful supervision of the breeding process by the Breed Registry Office (Zuchtbuchamt) in Germany. The Head Breed Warden (Hauptzuchtwart) and the Breed Registry Administrator (Zuchtbuchführung) are responsible for assuring that all DD litters are bred in accordance with the Breeding Regulations, issuing registration documents for the puppies, and publishing an annual Breed Book (Zuchtbuch). The Head Breed Warden is assisted by Group Breed Wardens (Zuchtwart) from each of the Groups within VDD. All documentation from members is first submitted to the Group Breed Warden who will then forward it to the Breed Registry Office in Germany.

The Breed Book

The Breed Book (Zuchtbuch) is issued at the end of each year. The first section of the Breed Book contains a listing of every litter produced during that year, including the name and address of the breeder, information about both parents, the dates of mating and whelping, the number of puppies whelped and registered, and the name, registration number, sex and color of each pup. Another section provides a statistical analysis of the performance of the offspring of the various stud dogs, while a third section has the test scores (VJP and HZP) for dogs that were whelped during the prior year, arranged by sire. Finally there is a listing of the dogs that have been evaluated at a Breed Show, which includes their coat and conformation ratings and their Zuchtregister (ZR or Breed Register) number.

Collecting (or having access to) a Breed Book for each year allows you to trace the scores and ratings for each dog and its ancestors, which can be very helpful when considering buying a puppy or finding the ideal stud dog for breeding a bitch. While these books are published in German, they are fairly user friendly for non-German speakers due to the data nature of the content. [See Using a Breed Book.] You may purchase a copy of the Breed Book annually from the Group Canada Business Manager, or the Breed Warden has a fairly complete set of the Breed Books should you need a specific piece of information.

Certification for Breeding

Before a DD can be bred it must first be certified for breeding. As of 2012 this certification takes place at a Breed Show. More information about Breed Shows, the Breed Show Schedule, the entrance requirements and an entry form are available elsewhere on this website.

A number of the breeding requirements are recorded on the score sheets that you received at the VJP and HZP (Formblatt 3 and Formblatt 5). These forms will report the dog's test scores and reaction to gunfire, as well as any deficiency regarding eyes, teeth, sexual organs, coat, conformation, or temperament. To be certified for breeding the dog must not have shown gun sensitivity or game shyness in the field or water. It must also have a minimum score of SUFFICIENT (3-5 points) in Tracking and in Independent Search in Water with Dense Cover.

The dog must have a Toughness Certificate (Härtenachweis or HN Certificate) that indicates the dog responded appropriately when confronted with a furred predator or with feral game during a natural hunt. This must have been observed by at least one independent (i.e., unrelated) witness who must sign a form attesting to the dog's performance. Please contact the Group Breed Warden for more information about the certification procedure and to obtain the required form. Prompt submission of the signed form is important because the Breed Warden MUST submit it to the Breed Registry Office in Germany within four weeks of the event in order to have a certificate issued.

As of 2012 it is mandatory that the dog be rated not only HD-free but also OCD-free before being certified for breeding. X-rays should be taken by your local veterinarian according to the specifications of VDD. Forms and instructions for these orthopedic evaluations can be found on the Forms page of this website. The x-rays must be submitted to the Group Canada Breed Warden who will forward them to the authorized veterinarian in Germany for evaluation. It takes some time for the x-ray evaluation to be processed, so be sure to allow a sufficient amount of time to get the results before you need them for the Breed Show. Note: OFA evaluations and Penn Hip procedures will not be accepted! If you have further questions, please contact the Group Breed Warden.

While it is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that a dog intended for breeding be tested for the blood disorder vom Willebrand's Disease Type 2 (vWD). This is a rare but serious disorder that must be kept out of our DD breeding stock. Instructions and a form are available for submitting blood for vWD analysis to Germany as part of a larger VDD genetic research project.

Kennel Registration

All breeding of the Deutsch-Drahthaar must be done by a breeder who is the owner of a VDD-registered kennel (Zwinger). The bitch can either belong to the kennel owner or be leased back to the kennel that bred her for the sole purpose of producing a litter. The kennel owner must be a member of VDD, and must be an individual rather than an organization. VDD breeders are not allowed to sell puppies commercially.

Application for kennel registration is made through the Group Breed Warden. The owner must submit a form with a kennel name for approval by the Breed Registry, along with two alternative kennel names. The Breed Warden will forward this application along with the current fee to the VDD Breed Registry in Germany. The Breed Registry will determine whether the name is sufficiently different from any others that are registered and will give approval for the use of the name. This kennel name becomes the surname for all dogs bred in this kennel.

Kennel registration is granted for life. The kennel must be located such that the owner has direct influence and responsibility for all happenings regarding it. See Articles 6 and 7 of the Breeding Regulations for more detail about kennel registration and ownership responsibilities.

Selecting a Mate

Breeding dogs within VDD is a serious responsibility. The founders of the breed and their successors worked diligently to produce an exceptional dog. It is our responsibility to ensure that the standard they set is continued. It would not take long for careless breeding to have a lasting negative effect on the breed overall.

All breeding within VDD must be between dogs that have been certified for breeding; however, that does not mean that any two certified dogs will make a good match. Breeders should be well informed about the dogs they consider breeding and the possible genetic outcomes of those pairings. Articles elsewhere on this website provide some initial information for consideration when breeding. Consultation with the Breed Warden of Group Canada and of Group North America is highly recommended. Obviously this research takes time and must be done well in advance of the bitch coming into season to be bred.

The term Performance Breeding is often attached to litter announcements. This refers to the mating of two dogs both of which have successfully completed a VJP, an HZP, and a VGP, and have also met the requirements to be entered in the Breeding Register (Zucht-register) and have a ZR number. To be eligible for the Breeding Register a dog must meet all of the requirements for breeding, have a beard, be at least 15 months old, be HD-free and OCD-free, receive a minimum rating of GOOD in both conformation and coat at a Breed Show, and have passed at least an HZP or VGP. Performance scores of at least GOOD in the categories of tracking and independent search in water with dense cover are also required. These dogs are deemed especially suitable for breeding. The pedigrees of puppies from a performance breeding will be stamped “aus auf Form und Leistung geprüften Eltern” (out of parents tested for form and performance) on the front page.

Stud Service Certification Form must be completed at the time of mating. This certificate is a legal document verifying that these two specific dogs were mated on these particular dates for a specific fee or other compensation. The breeder completes the sections of the form relevant to the bitch and forwards it to the owner of the stud dog. The stud dog owner completes his/her sections of the form and returns it to the breeder. This form is submitted to the Group Breed Warden along with the Litter Registration materials [Litter Registration Form, Page 1 and Page 2].

Any agreement on compensation between the owners of the dam and sire is to be determined between them. VDD does not control this process other than to expect that it be done ethically and legally.

Having a Litter

Having a litter of DD pups is both a joy and a great responsibility. A new breeder should realize that it requires both a suitable physical environment and a good deal of time. It can be very helpful to consult with the Group Breed Warden and to visit the kennels of other breeders to learn what has worked well for them.

An excellent printed resource for breeders is the book The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies by Muriel Lee, which is reviewed in the Resources section of the website. Additional information and support should be available from your local veterinarian.

Once the puppies are born, the application for Litter Registration should be made as soon as possible (within three weeks, ideally sooner) so that the Ahnentafels will be back from Germany in time for the tattooing and release to the new owners.

Naming Puppies is done according to a particular protocol outlined by VDD. While a prospective owner may have input to the naming of his puppy, often the breeder does the naming and there is no choice in the matter. Thus it is quite common for a puppy to have two names — the official name that appears on its registration papers and its 'call name' that the new owner has chosen.

The official surname of the puppy is always the kennel name under which it was born; e.g., vom Dan-Son, vom Highcresthof, vom Willow Rock.

The first name of the puppy is dictated by how many litters this particular kennel has produced. The names of all puppies in the first litter must begin with A, in the second litter with B, and so on through the alphabet. A particularly productive kennel will then begin the alphabet again, this time adding the roman numeral II to the names to indicate it is the second A litter. Some kennels have reached a third round of the alphabet and thus have puppies with names such as Pascha III v.d. Wupperaue. The first name must be chosen such that the sex of the puppy is readily identified.

Tail Docking is mandatory for VDD-registered puppies. This is done purely for the purpose of reducing or eliminating task-related pain and damage to the tip of the tail during hunting in thorny brush, swamp or other hazardous terrain and not for cosmetic reasons. Puppies whose tails have not been docked cannot be registered.

In Germany the law requires that a veterinarian dock the tails, but this does not apply in Canada — although it is a good idea to have it professionally done. If the tails are docked around 36 hours there is little discomfort for the puppies due to the lack of developed nerves.

When determining the length to dock a tail, it is important to measure each puppy separately because they are not all the same length. There are individual preferences regarding the length of the tail. When in doubt, you should err on the longer tail than the shorter one because the tail aids the dog during maneuvering in the water. The guideline is that for a female pup the shortened tail shall, as a minimum, cover the vulva. In a male pup, the length of the remaining tail is more difficult to determine. Measuring from the anus to the tip of the tail, you will want approximately 40-50% left on the puppy. It has been suggested that the tail shows a visible reduction in thickness and docking shortly behind this place results in the proper length.

Litter Inspection and Tattooing of the puppies will usually take place in the seventh or eighth week after their birth, when the Ahnentafeln with the registration numbers for the puppies have arrived from Germany. At this same time the Breed Warden or his agent will visit the kennel and conduct an inspection to ensure that the kennel has appropriate accommodations and that the provisions of the animal protection laws are being observed. Any concerns regarding the accommodations, the bitch or the puppies must be recorded and reported to the Head Breed Warden or the Breed Registry Office.

At this time the registration (or ZB) number issued by the Breed Registry Office will be tattooed in the puppy's right ear and imprinted on the corresponding Ahnentafel. From this time forward the puppy will be identified by the name and number on that Ahnentafel.

No puppy can leave the kennel until it has been tattooed. If that were to happen, it would be considered out of the system (even if it was later returned) because it could not be properly identified without having been tattooed prior to leaving.

In recent years some countries have banned the tattooing of puppies, so chips with the ZB number are now being provided for each litter. The VDD policy is that a puppy MUST be tattooed IF it is legally allowed. Whether the chip is also inserted is up to the individual owners.

The breeder is responsible for any costs related to inspecting and tattooing his litter.

New Puppy Owners

VDD-Group Canada does not directly oversee the business practices of its breeders. The particulars of the arrangement for buying a puppy (e.g., the cost) are between an individual and the breeder. The club can only affirm that the litter comes from a VDD-registered kennel operated according to the Breeding Regulations of VDD e. V., and that the dam and sire of the litter have been certified for breeding.

The club will announce a litter from a registered kennel in its newsletter and on its website. When consulted, the Breed Warden will make known all of the upcoming litters and whatever factual information he has about the dam and sire.

Unlike the American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club, VDD does not follow the practice of restricting breeding rights with the sale of a puppy. An owner of a DD has the right to breed his dog when it reaches maturity as long as the dog has met the breeding requirements and its Ahnentafel has been stamped CERTIFIED FOR BREEDING by the Group Breed Warden. Breeders and owners can enter into a mutually agreeable contract whereby the breeder later has the right to breed with that particular dog if it qualifies for breeding.

The breeder is asked to report the names and addresses of all puppy buyers to the Breed Warden within six months of whelping. This allows the club to contact these new owners and make them aware of the benefits of joining VDD and testing their puppies. A letter of congratulations, a copy of our newsletter Drahthaar News, and a membership application form will be sent to each buyer when that list is received.

The Ahnentafel — the registration and pedigree document issued to each puppy — is a legal document that belongs to that particular dog. Every change of ownership, including name and address, should be entered on the Ahnentafel and it must be transferred with the dog to the new owner. This document represents the complete history of the dog with regard to ownership, testing, performance awards, etc., as well as any restrictive faults that have been noted.

Importing Dogs

Breeders in Germany and the US have been asked to advise the Group Canada Breed Warden when they export puppies to Canada, providing the name and address of the buyer. This allows us to contact these new owners and make them aware of Group Canada.


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