During the Cold War era from 1949 to 1989, a unique system was used to rate DDR German Shepherds in East Germany called the DDR Wertmessziffer Rating System. It was created out of necessity since breeders didn’t have many choices when it came to breeding stock.
They wanted to make sure that they picked the best candidate for producing puppies. To accomplish this, the DDR, or Deutsche Demokratische Republik, created a one of a kind system to rate the dogs.
What Is The DDR Wertmessziffer Rating System?
In English, the word Wertmessziffer translates to “measured value number.” Some DDR GSD enthusiasts believe that this particular rating system is the best because it allows breeders to quickly evaluate any dog without seeing any pictures or videos.
Conducted by the German Democratic Republic, the system is split into two different sections. One is for younger dogs and one for older dogs.
Zucht Tauchlichkeits Pruefung (ZTP)
DDR German Shepherds between the ages of one and two were evaluated based on the ZTP or Breed Suitability Test. It consists of three parts: conformation, temperament and protection.
DDR German Shepherds over the age of two were tested tested and assigned a unique 6-digit number called a Körung (German Shepherd Dog Breed Survey). Each individual number in the Körung ranks a certain aspect of the dog.
Fun Fact: The assigned number was like a license and would expire two years from the date it was given. Permanent numbers could be given following three tests and examinations by the age of five years old.
The first four digits in the number are based on a scale of 0-9. The last two digits following the slash are based on a scale of 1-5.
Let’s break down the example:
- The first digit (6) means it has a powerful body type
- The second digit (5) means it has an ideal constitution
- The third digit (4) means it has good angulation in the hips
- The fourth digit (5) means it has a relaxed, friendly temperament and isn’t easily provoked
- The fifth digit (4) means its sharpness is good
- The sixth digit (5) means its courage and hardness are very good
Here is the official DDR Wertmessziffer Rating System Chart:
|First Digit||Second Digit||Third Digit||Fourth Digit||Fifth Digit||Sixth Digit|
|Value||Body type with respect to breed standard||constitution||build (structure)||temperament||sharpness||courage and hardness|
|0||little resemblance||delicate, weak, sensitive||cryptorchid||nervous, afraid, very shy|
|1||poor representative||deficient sexual characteristics||poor angulation||spooky, timid, noise-sensitive||none||none|
|2||too fine||poor pigment||faulty proportions||insecure, fearful at times, possible sharp shy||some||some|
|3||too tall||faulty coat||average angulation||reserved, suspicious or aggressive||sufficient||sufficient|
|4||sufficient||maturing problems||good angulation||aggressive, sharp, hard, dangerous||good||good|
|5||average||ideal||excellent||relaxed, friendly, very hard when provoked||very good||very good|
|6||powerful||course, resilient||good angulation||relaxed, friendly, hard when provoked|
|7||short||weak ears||long body||relaxed, friendly, sensitive|
|8||heavy||soft||over-angulated||relaxed, friendly, indifferent|
|9||coarse||crippled||excess in any of the points above||soft, indifferent, depressed|
Table information for the DDR Wertmessziffer Rating System courtesy of East German Shepherds.
DDR Wertmessziffer Rating System Examples:
There are different ranges of Körungs that breeders would look for depending on the dog’s occupation.
For instance, if they were looking for a GSD that was good for Schutzhund training or working, they would look for dog with a 5555/55 rating.
GSDs that were lower on the spectrum in between ***3/33 and ***7/33 could still be used for military and police work.
An exceptional German Shepherd would have a rating with a 6 at the beginning (for power), followed by a minimum of 4s and 5s, and finally two 5s at the end. A good example would be 6545/55.
To this day, German Shepherds from the true DDR bloodline carry the same exemplary traits that make them so admired and revered. In fact some breeders are still working steadily to preserve the heritage of this amazing breed.
It is hard to deny that the DDR German Shepherd rating system set the standard for the breed’s mental and physical abilities. While it isn’t used as widely today, it remains one of the top tests in the industry. It has since been replaced by more modern tests like the SV Rating.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
What do you think about this rating system? Which one is the best in your opinion? Let us know! We would love to hear what you think!