Character and Working Assessment Test

The GSDCA has introduced a voluntary Character & Working Assessment (CWA) test, in place since February 2016.

Objective of the CWA

The aim of the CWA is to promote and offer guidance for the uniform development of the German Shepherd Dog Breed and to consolidate and improve its character and temperament as part of the breed’s inherent working qualities.
Dogs and bitches shall be awarded classification of a pass in the CWA if it is expected that they will contribute to the overall improvement of the breed in Australia.

Criteria for Classification

German Shepherd Dogs shall be graded provided that they meet the following requirements:
1 At the date of the assessment, the dog or bitch shall have attained the age of no less than twelve (12) months or no more than eight (8) years.
2 An overall grading will be given based on their character and temperament during all phases of the assessment.

Character and Temperament

An overall grading will be given based on their character and temperament during all phases of the assessment.
Dogs or bitches that either show trepidation, or are overly suspicious, or are apprehensive, or wary, or visually fearful, or are aggressive without provocation, shall be graded accordingly in the CWA.
Dogs or bitches that display significant or continuous aggressive behaviour without provocation towards other animals at the Assessment, shall be deemed not to be graded in the CWA and with agreement of the Assessor(s), may be excused from the Assessment. Any aggressive behaviour must be noted as comments on the relevant work sheets and reports.

Gun Test

Only those dogs and bitches which are sufficiently firm and unaffected during the gun test can be
admitted to CW classification.

Components of the Assessment

1 Control in public – Loose Leash Walking recommended a 1 or 2 meter lead.
2 Evaluation of touch sensitivity
3 Evaluation of sound sensitivity
4 Evaluation of sight sensitivity
5 Interaction with strangers and dogs
6 Evaluation of play response

Sequence and Description of the Exercises in the Assessment

Walking on loose leash
Polytarp, followed by Mesh grating
Car radio turned on, followed by Car door slammed
Bicycle approaches from the front, and then returns from behind
Halt – sit or stand
Approach person on chair with umbrella – umbrella opens
Approach by a friendly stranger
Walk through a group of people
Stand for examination
Retrieve article, and play


You can read the full rules in the GSDCA CWA Manual here

Check the GSDCV Claendar for dates of future CWA tests.

If you have further questions, contact the GSDCV CWA Coordinator by email