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Breeding Philosophy

Breeding Philosophy

Deutsch Drathaar litter

Dr. Horst Rambusch, Editor40 Years Deutsch-Drahthaar in East Germany1951-1991

From the very beginning, the goal of the breeders who developed the Deutsch-Drahthaar was to produce an exceptional versatile hunting dog — one that had the ability, coat, conformation, mental stability and drive to handle the many demands of versatile hunting. Contrary to the philosophy of many other breed clubs at the time, appearance was of little interest unless it had a functional value. The DD was a working dog, bred for the characteristics that helped it to perform its job in the field, forest and water.

To ensure the continuation of this performance standard, the early German breeders had the foresight to establish a testing system as well as a breeding system so that breeding decisions could be based on reliable data. The Test Regulations are overseen by the multi-breed German Versatile Hunting Dog Association (Jagdgebrauchshund-Verband e. V., or JGHV), while the Breed Club (Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar e. V., or VDD) oversees the Breeding Regulations. Both organizations are rigorous in their demands that the DD demonstrate exceptional hunting ability and perform in such a manner that supports the ethical values of humane treatment and conservation of game.

At the same time that the breeding regulations are rigorous, breeders were given a great deal of freedom to experiment within that framework. We are still working toward the ideal that our predecessors envisioned. With many years of experience and a lot of good dog sense, breeders continue to refine the characteristics of the breed. They are aided in this process by the thorough documentation that has been made by VDD and JGHV since the beginning of the breed in 1902. It is possible to trace the lineage of a potential sire and dam back fifty generations or more, evaluate the scores and ratings of their ancestors, and predict whether this pair would be a desirable mating.

Every Deutsch-Drahthaar is registered with the Breed Book Office in Germany and has its registration number tattooed in its right ear. [Tattooing must be done wherever it is legally allowed; otherwise the dog has a chip inserted with its registration number.] The registration number is assigned soon after birth and the puppy must be tattooed or chipped prior to leaving the breeding kennel and going to its new owner. Each puppy is issued a pedigree document called an Ahnentafel, which certifies ownership and provides the history of the dog. It includes a four-generation pedigree for the dog and has an area designated for its test scores and other evaluations to be officially recorded. The Ahnentafel stays with the dog for its lifetime and will be signed over to any new owner at the time of sale.

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