"Rebuild the (Berlin) wall, we need a new DDR!"
The Dogs of the "DDR" ("Deutshe Demokratishe Republik" or East Germany) are an interesting phenomena, from a hisorical and cynological standpoint, due to the political history of that region of Germany and its' effect on that society and its' dogs, especially within the last 40-50 years. The German Shepherd Dogs of that region of Germany, (also known as "DSH" or "Deutsche Schaferhunde") especially so, for they were definitely the most popular and populous of the working breeds in terms of numbers. With a close contention by the "RS" ("Riesenschnauzer" or Giant Schnauzer), and the Rottweiler, they were the most conspicuous breed on the winners podium at the working dog trials there, and the most commonly used breed for defense duties in all levels of government. They were a favorite and trusted breed as a home companion and guardian also. All of the trials, shows, and registration services were held through the VKSK and the SDG, both government directed. The SDG, or Sektion Dienst und Gebrauchhundewesen was principally concerned with the registration and trialing of the working breeds, such as the DSH. One of the most fascinating things about the SDG registry are that no dog recieved his registration papers until he had been evaluated as a young adult, and that this evaluation concerned the overall quality of the young dog, ie: ears, teeth, temperament, the presence of both testes, the presence of an 'a' stamp (normally formed hip joints), coat, the overall quality of the dog, whether an "sg" (sehr gut), or "very good" or better... Further, such information was indexed to the sire and the dam, with the resultant quantitative information being published and made available to the breeders, primarily through the regional clubs and main breeders and judges, also through annual or periodic publications such as the "Rundschreiben". Thus, a person interested in breeding to a particular dog could easily reference to both the actual number of offspring surveyed, and the actual number which were dysplastic or normal, or with faults of coat, testes, ears, dentition, temperament, and overall conformation. Such results were not only given in actual numbers but also in percentages!