1. BST-Breed Suitability Test - BH

STAHLGRIFF ROTTWEILERS strongly believes that these tests are vital to maintain the Rottweiler in type and temperament and should be the cornerstone of any breeding program.”

What is the Ztp/BST

The Breed Suitability Test is an evaluation of a dog's temperament, character and working ability.

The ZTP/BST OBJECTIVELY and DEFINITIVLY performs an analysis of the dog. It creates quantifiable evidence that the dog is structured in accordance with the standard. Evidence can be measured over time against dogs of previous generations. Trend analysis. Compare head size to earlier ancestors.

The ZTP/BST is designed to select those Rottweilers that are worthy of being bred and is modeled after the standards of the breed test by the German Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (ADRK), the Zuchttauglichkeitsprufung. The test evaluates the dog's conformation and character to determine if the dog is a suitable candidate in a breeding program in both type and temperament. In Germany, a litter may not be registered unless both the dam and the sire have passed the Ztp!

Only Qualified Dogs are Eligible for the ZTP/BST
There are several prerequisites prior to taking the test:

1. The dog must have passed the BH.
2. The dog must be tattooed and registered (In Australia microchipped in place of tattoo)
3. The dog must not have any disqualifying faults according to the standard of a Rottweiler.
4. The dog must have a passing hip evaluation.
5. The dog must have a 3-generation certified pedigree

Conformation & Stability: Part 1 of the ZTP/BST

In the first part, the dog is critiqued (judged on physical appearance) by a qualified international judge (usually an ADRK or FCI judge) and compared to the FCI Standard. The critique will be performed in much greater detail as compared a typical show critique. The color of the eyes are graded and the teeth are checked with an emphasis on full dentition and a scissors bite. Then everything on the dog is measured: height from the withers, body length, muzzle, chest depth, chest circumference and the skull. The judge inspects the dog's tattoo or microchip to ensure it matches with the paperwork submitted. The dog is then weighed. The dog is then required to do a short obedience routine such as heeling through a group of people, the group then converges on the dog (it must be stable) and then is heeled down the field. Gunshots are fired. If the dog shows a reaction, it must recover right away.

Character: Part 2 of the BST (Germany)

The second part of the test is similar to the SchH I protection routine. There is an attack out of the blind and a courage test. Many dogs fail the test at this point because they cannot take the threat is more ominous that in a typical SchH I routine. The helper hides in a blind, the dog is heeled towards the blind. The leash is taken off the dog. Upon the judge's signal, the helper comes out of the blind towards the dog when the dog is almost at the blind, at which point the handler releases the dog. The attack surprises the dog. The dog must bite the sleeve fully, is given two stick hits over the withers with a padded stick, the helper drives the dog until directed to stop by the judge. If the dog does not 'out' (release the sleeve) the dog fails. After outing, the dog must stay by the helper and guard him. Upon a signal from the judge, the handler returns to the dog and picks it up. The dog and handler then go into a blind.

The last part is the courage test. The judge directs the helper to come out of the blind at the opposite end of the field (approximately 100 yards) than the dog and handler. The handler is not permitted to encourage or agitate the dog. The helper runs half way across the back of the field and then runs directly at the dog and handler, threatening with the stick. The dog is released. The dog must run at the helper at a full run and bite the sleeve. The handler is not allowed to move from the position from where the dog was released. The dog is given the command to 'out' by the handler who is still at the original position. If the dog does not 'out', the dog fails. Once the dog has outed, the dog must stay with the helper and guard him. The judge signals the handler to return to the dog. The handler returns to the dog and a leash is put on. The test is ended. The handler and dog report to the judge. The dog's performance is then critiqued to the spectators. There is no score given. It is either a pass or fail.


Character: (Australia) 

There is no requirement for Rottweilers to pass the BH prior to breeding in Australia. The character test is modified in Australia, there is no requiement for the dog to bite a figurant/helper coming out from a blind. The figurant agitates and threatens the dog, the breed surveyor records the reaction of the dog. Dog's that shy away or retreat may be disqualified/fail the test. The vast majority of Rottweilers in Australia have never attempted this test. More than 95% of dogs appearing in our pedigree have passed this test.

Objectivity and Enforcement is Critical to Breed Maintenance.If the dog is not within the FCI standard (i.e. too tall or too short etc.), or has a disqualifying fault, the dog may NEVER be retested and will NEVER be bred.

If the dog fails the second part of the test, it is allowed to attempt the test once more upon the judge's discretion, however, if the judge believes the dog is of faulty character, the dog can be banned from future testing. After failing twice the dog may NEVER be retested.

These penalties may seem harsh, but they enforce the confirmation breed standard better than any subjective judging opinion and most importantly, they assert that ONLY DOGS OF SOLID CHARACTER PASS and are used in breeding.


2. Dogbase Software

DOGBASE includes all of the ADRK-Rottweilers along with their standard breeding values.

ADRK have 6 values, figures above 100 show an increase in the value, figures below 100 show a decrease.

1 = HD

2 = ED

3 = undershot

4 = skull size

5 = cheek bones

6 = bone strength

As an example: If a dog shows for its Value 1 (HD) the number 115, statistically there is a greater chance of hip dysplasia in offspring of that dog. If a dog has in Value 3 (skull size) also 115, this means that he has a high probability of being dominant for larger skull sizes.

(HD & ED scoring systems vary from country to county. It is believed that the Australian scoring system is the most stringent. Scores from country to country cannot be compaired).

Very Important! As with any statistical evaluation, the results are only as good as the data used. These values must be interpreted with that in mind. If a dog has only been used once at stud, there will still be a value available, the value of relatives contributes to the value of individual dogs, so even a dog who has not yet been used at stud will show projected values. But if a dog had been used at stud 100 times, the numbers will be much more accurate. However, breeding will never be an exact science. Don't forget, there are lots of very good old breeders, who had great success with a good understanding of, and instinct about Rotts and some good common sense. DOGBASE is very helpful and I'm glad that we haveit, but it's not everything. Conversely, these days I personally couldn't imagine breeding without the additional input of DOGBASE.

DOGBASE requires an ADRK membership.

More.....from Dr. M. Herrmann (ADRK)

DOGBASE is both a database and a browser for all ADRK-Rottweilers born since the registration data was transferred to electronic processing in the mid 1980's. In addition the ancestors of these dogs, at least four generations back, are stored as well. All important information such as ancestors, name, stud book number, date of birth, breeder, hip and elbow score, stud tests (ZTP, Koerung), performance tests (SchH, IPO, AD, BH) and show titles are recorded. Dogs are indexed according to name or stud book number, and can be found easily. There are several ways to sort and extract data using keys such as time period, hip score, performance etc.

In order to improve breeding information there are six traits which are used for breeding value evaluation. Breeding values are given for informational purposes only, but you may be closer to the genetic truth. The breeding values given are no guarantee of the quality of future offspring, but may provide a better base from which to make breeding selections. To get an idea of inbreeding the index of inbreeding can be calculated for every dog. All ADRK-Kennels together with their breeding history are stored and can be found according to breeders' name, kennel's name or kennel's number.

The ADRK uses a computer database program called 'Dogbase'. Since July 1, 1999, ADRK breeders are required to use Dogbase as a tool for selecting the most suitable breeding partners. Dogbase is updated quarterly and is available on CD.

This database provides a numerical score in 5 categories: HD, ED, Head, Cheekbone, Bone strength . For every trait, "100" is neutral (average). A number higher than 100 means that a dog is more likely to exhibit that trait, a number lower than 100 decreases the likelihood of that trait. The first two categories (HD, ED) are the most important, they must not exceed 110 (Must not exceed 20 in Australia) (if they are higher then the scheduled breeding is not allowed). The last three categories are "recommended". Optimally, for the first 2 categories the lower the number, the better. This means the dog is less likely to throw these traits. An example of a "good" HD number is around 95, a great one is around 85-90. It is not hard to find hips under 100, but good elbows (since they have only recently been examined) are more difficult to find. As a result, "100" is almost a good number for elbows, less than 100 is great and less than 90 is outstanding. For the last three categories, (Head, Cheekbone, Bonestrength), a higher number is better. Good bone strength is 110 and greater, with some numbers as high as 125. Head and cheekbone ratings are similar, anything over 110 is very good.

The numbers are dynamic, as the dog get its HD/ED ratings, its numbers will change and affect its parent's numbers (and further back), as well as its siblings. The numbers on a prospective (or already born) litter are simply the average of both parents until the offspring themselves get HD/ED ratings, Ztp / Koerung reports and show critiques.

Dogbase is a very interesting tool. It is no substitute for good research, but it is a huge step in the right direction. German bloodline dogs are superior because, in Germany, they take dog breeding seriously.

3. Schutzhund
(The training and evaluation for this part is not available in Western Australia. Vonstrath Alexia has had some private training from an ex Police Dog trainer.)

Schutzhund (german for protection dog) is a dog sport that was developed in Germany in the early 1900s to test whether German Shepherd Dogs act and perform in the manner that the breed was intended, rather than simply evaluating a dog's appearance. Today, many breeds other than German Shepherds can compete in Schutzhund, but it is a demanding test for any dog and few of them can pass this kind of test.

Schutzhund originated in Germany as a breeding suitability test for the German Shepherd dog and was quickly adopted for use by other working breeds such as the Malinois and Rottweiler. It provided breeders with a method to evaluate temperament, character, trainability, willingness and mental and physical soundness and to select and use only the highest quality dogs for breeding programs. Today, German Shepherd dogs in Germany may not be bred without aquiring Schutzhund titles, a breed survey, a conformation rating, hip (spine and elbow) x-rays and a certificate of endurance.

Schutzhund (German for "protection dog") tests dogs of all breeds for the traits necessary for police-type work. Dogs that pass Schutzhund tests should be suitable for a wide variety of tasks: police work, specific odor detection, search and rescue, and many others. The purpose of Schutzhund is to identify dogs that have or do not have the character traits required for these demanding jobs. Some of those traits are:

* Strong desire to work

* Courage

* Intelligence

* Trainability

* Strong bond to the handler

* Perseverance

* Protective Instinct

Schutzhund training tests these traits. It also tests physical traits such as strength, endurance, agility, and scenting ability. The goal of Schutzhund is to illuminate the character of a dog through training. Breeders can use this insight to determine how and whether to use the dog in producing the next generation of working dogs.

There are three schutzhund titles: Schutzhund 1 (SchH1), Schutzhund 2 (SchH2), and Schutzhund 3 (SchH3). SchH1 is the first title and SchH3 is the most advanced. Additionally, before a dog can compete for a SchH1, he must pass a temperament test called a B or BH (Begleithundprüfung, which translates as "traffic-sure companion dog test"). The B tests basic obedience and sureness around strange people, strange dogs, traffic, and loud noises. A dog that exhibits excessive fear, distractibility, or aggression cannot pass the B and so cannot go on to schutzhund.

The Schutzhund test has changed over the years. Modern Schutzhund consists of three phases: tracking, obedience, and protection. A dog must pass all three phases in one trial to be awarded a schutzhund title. Each phase is judged on a 100-point scale. The minimum passing score is 70 for the tracking and obedience phases and 80 for the protection phase. At any time the judge may dismiss a dog for showing poor temperament, including fear or aggression.

The tracking phase
The tracking phase tests not only the dogs scenting ability, but also its mental soundness and physical endurance. In the tracking phase, a track layer walks across a field, dropping several small articles along the way. After a period of time, the dog is directed to follow the track while being followed by the handler on a 33 foot leash. When the dog finds each article he indicates it, usually by lying down with the article between his front paws. The dog is scored on how intently and carefully he follows the track and indicates the articles. The length, complexity, number of articles, and age of the track varies for each title.

The obedience phase
The obedience phase is done in a large field, with the dogs working in pairs. One dog is placed in a down position on the side of the field and his handler leaves him while the other dog works in the field. Then the dogs switch places. In the field, there are several heeling exercises, including heeling through a group of people. There are two or three gunshots during the heeling to test the dog's reaction to loud noises. There are one or two recalls, three retrieves (flat, jump and A-frame), and a send out where the dog is directed to run away from the handler straight and fast and then lie down on command. Obedience is judged on the dog's accuracy and attitude. The dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that is uninterested or cowering scores poorly.

The protection phase
In the protection phase, the judge has an assistant, called the "decoy", who helps him test the dog's courage to protect himself and his handler and his ability to be controlled while doing so. The decoy wears a heavily padded sleeve on one arm. There are several blinds, placed where the decoy can hide, on the field. The dog is directed to search the blinds for the decoy. When he finds the decoy, he indicates this by barking. The dog must guard the decoy to prevent him from moving until recalled by his handler. There follows a series of exercises similar to police work where the handler searches the decoy and transports him to the judge. At specified points, the decoy either attacks the dog or the handler or attempts to escape. The dog must stop the attack or the escape by biting the padded sleeve. When the attack or escape stops, the dog is commanded to "out," or release the sleeve. The dog must out or he is dismissed. At all times the dog must show the courage to engage the decoy and the temperament to obey his handler while in this high state of drive. Again, the dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that shows fear, lack of control, or inappropriate aggression is dismissed.

Schutzhund is a wonderful sport. It is fun for the dog and trainer, it's challenging and it's rewarding. But more than a sport, the schutzhund evaluation is the best way we have of testing a dog's temperament. There's plenty else we can tell about a dog off the trial field too — for instance, aversion to slick surfaces, dog aggression, gunshyness and other temperament and character faults that degrade working ability — but it's the best tool we have to evaluate breeding stock if we're honest with ourselves about what we see.

The true temperament test of Schutzhund isn't (or shouldn't be) about points or how tough or extreme the dog is — it's about how well the dog puts it all together.
4. Korung

The Korung itself is similar to the ZTP but the working requirements are higher.It's not really necessary for breeding, it's optional.

Dogs to be entered must:

- Be at least 36mths for (males) & 30mths for (females) & not older than 6yrs.

- Have passed the ZTP (BST)

- Have acheived 3 show ratings (two of them in adult classes) from 2 different ADRK judges, graded at least VG or V.

- Have aquired a working title VPG3 or IPO3 (males) / VPG1 or IPO1 (females)

- Have passed an AD test (Ausdauerpruefung) endurance test.

- Have good enough hip/elbow ratings.

- Eye colour 3A or darker

- Dogs who pass are endorsed (Gekoert) for 2yrs.The dog may take the Koerung test again.

- If the dog passes the 2nd time + showing progeny of at least 4 offspring *2 different litters, the dog is endorsed Gek Bis EzA (lifetime)

The Konung, or Breeding Qualification tests are the most selective breeding tests for Rotteilers. According to the ADRK breeding regulations, the purpose of the Korung is..."to select the best from among the dogs suitable for breeding to be able to utilize them more intensively in the breeding program. The minimum age requirements for the Korung are thirty months for females and thirty-six months for males. Only the best of the best Rottweilers are permitted to try for the Korung. The dogs must have excelled in conformation by placing at least Very Good (Sehr Gut/SG) at three conformation shows under at least two different judges. The dogs must have achieved working titles - shutzhung titles or IPO titles. Males must have a schutzhund III and females must have at least a Schutzhund I title. The dogs myst have received their Breed Suitability Test with hip ratings in the highest categories. The dogs must have passed a twelve mile endurance test called an AD (Ausdaurprufung). Another important requirement is that the dogs must have very dark mouth pigmentation and eye color.

The Korung is offered in the Spring and Fall each year. The actual test is very similar to the Breed Suitability Test but more intensified. Generally, less than half of the dogs trying for the Korung actually pass it. Dogs which pass the Korung are awarded the title for two years, abbreviated Angekort. During this two-year period the dog’s offspring are examined and if the offspring are good then the parent may try to obtain the highest breeding rating - Breeding Qualified until the end of Breeding Utilization Age, abbreviated Gekort bis EzA. For males a minimum of three good litters are required and for females one good litter is required.