So You Would Like to Breed Survey Your Dog?

If you are thinking of putting your dog through the GSDCV Breed Survey, there are a number of things you must do and prepare for before the actual day of the Breed Survey.
Read the detailed article and watch the video below for all the information you need to know.


by Jenny Yuen, GSDCV Breed Affairs Administrator

Photos courtesy Barbara Stone and Steve Mase

Breed Survey – Whats it all about ?

The GSDCV Breed Survey Panel

OBJECTIVES: To promote and offer guidance for the uniform development of the German Shepherd Dog and to improve its inherent working abilities

Dogs and bitches will be awarded a Breed Survey classification. Previously (until 1July 2017) two classifications were available: Breed Survey Class 1 (far above average) or Breed Survey Class 11 (above average) if it is expected that they will contribute to the overall improvement of the breed in Australia.

The Victorian Survey Panel at work: From left to right: Vince Tantaro, Alistair Henderson, Jenny Yuen, Fran Farley (retired 2017), Greg Green, James Rodger, Ian Urie. (Anita Pettenhofer not present)

Surveyors have a strict set of criteria to meet prior to applying for and achieving Breed Surveyor status. This involves both breeding achievement and participation at State Club administration level. They must also have the support of their State Club and their fellow Surveyors via the National Breed Commission meeting. This ensures they have the experience and expertise required to appropriately survey the German Shepherd dog


It is a good idea to come along and watch a survey prior to taking part so you will have a better understanding of the procedure

1. To be presented the dog/bitch concerned must be:

No less than 18 months and no more than 8 years of age
Must be registered with the State Canine Control on the Main Register (Blue form)
Have a Tattoo in the ear via the GSDCA scheme (dogs born prior to 1.7.17) or a microchip, the GSDCA recognised/approved identification scheme

Possess an ‘A’ Stamp for hip dysplasia and a ‘Z’ Stamp for Elbow dysplasia or a suitable equivalent accepted by the German Shepherd Dog Council Of Australia (GSDCA)

Imported males and sons of imported bitches must possess a GSDCA Haemophilia Certificate (H-neg).
Contact the GSDCA for details and an application form

2. Applying for Breed Survey

An Application for Survey Form (GSDCA BS1) may be downloaded from the GSDCA website.  Contact the State Breed Survey Registrar Gillian Cafari on 54207385 for all the information. The completed form together with the relevant paperwork must be received by the registrar at least 7 days prior to the Survey date

Relevant Paperwork
a. The required fee, chq/money order payable to ‘GSDCV Inc’, contact registar for exact cost)
b. A copy of the ANKC registration certificate (blue form) in the name of the owner. Note: animals on the limited register cannot be accepted for Survey
c. Copies of ‘A’ and ‘Z’ Stamp results/certificate
d. Five generation pedigree
e. For all imported animals a copy of the letter received from the National Breed Commission Chairman that details titles have been verified
f. All imported male dogs must possess a GSDCA H neg. certificate prior to being submitted to breed survey so if applicable include a copy of the H neg. form
g. All male progeny from imported bitches must possess a GSDCA H neg. certificate prior to being submitted to breed survey so if applicable include a copy of the H neg. certificate

3. On the Day

  • Give yourself time, arrive early
    Your dog should be clean and well groomed
    Remember the German Shepherd is a working dog not a ‘couch potato’ so he should be presented in a relatively fit, athletic condition

NB All the relevant documentation (see above) in its original form must be brought to the survey and shown to the officiating SURVEYOR on the day

The Survey begins

You will be given a numbered vest and lined up, first the dogs then the bitches. All the animals in the survey will then be moved in a similar manner to a show. The Surveyors will discuss the animals and their potential classifications.

On the move – dogs are moved around the ring

The Guntest BANG BANG The dog should stand firmly showing no concern or agitation

The Crowd Test – The dog is walked into the crowd and the Individual Approach. Again the dog should on a loose lead. The surveyors observe the dog’s behaviour. He should be calm, confident and relaxed
Verifying the microchip (or ear tattoo)

The Vital Statistics: The Victorian Breed Survey Registrar Gillian Cafari collates and checks the paperwork prior to the Survey. On the day she records the vital statistics as determined by the Surveyors – ear tattoo (if present), microchip, measuring height, chest depth and circumference, weight, testicles and dentition

Checking the bite. It should be a scissor

Checking the teeth. Any bite neither over or undershot variations/abnormalities are noted

Measuring the height, depth of chest and chest circumference Now on to the scales
Has he got 2 normal descended testicles?

The Individual Assessment
Now down to the details. All aspects of the dog are critiqued from his head right down to the colour of his toe nails, his temperament and movement

The general description is recorded – Does she stand correctly?

Are the nails dark? Hocks and elbows. Are they firm? Is he stepping correctly?
The very detailed Survey form is completed with the dog’s Particular Virtues and Faults noted. The classification is announced and finally the Breeding advice is given

The Survey concludes with the successful animals introduced to the spectators with a brief explanation
A photo of your dog/bitch MUST be forwarded to the National Breed Commission Chairperson within 7 days of the Survey.
The Survey photo is included in the database and is a lifetime record of your dog so ensure you send a quality photo

Watch the video below to find out all about Breed Survey

Watch the video below to find out all about Breed Survey – watch the dogs at survey, see what happens, whats involved and what does it all mean?  (12min video, 80MB)