Interpreting VDD Pedigrees
ZR Number - The ZuchtRegister number is a breed registry number, expressed as nnn/nn. The digits in front of the slash are simply for record keeping purposes, the last two are the year of the dog's birth. The abbreviations are the dog's official conformation and coat ratings, expressed as g/sg. G = gut or good, SG = sehr gut or very good, and V = vorzüglich or excellent. ZR ratings are assigned only to dogs that are rated good or better in both categories, and which have passed at least an HZP. If no ZR rating appears for a parent, it means that while all breeding prerequisites were met, the dog was rated as Sufficient in coat and/or conformation, rather than Good or better. If no rating appears on the pedigree for an ancestor, it may mean that the dog was found to be only Sufficient in one or both categories, that it lacked one of the prerequisites for a ZR rating at that time, or that it was not taken to a breed show. In the modern VDD system, all dogs must be HD-frei and must be evaluated at a breed show and found to be at least sufficient in both coat and conformation before breeding.
Hip Dysplasia Rating - The HD-frei rating means that a radiograph of the dog's hips was examined in Germany, and when compared to theoretically perfect hips, it was determined that there was no indication of hip dysplasia. For a dog whose hips do not fall in the HD-frei category, ratings are determined as to the degree of dysplasia, from HD-1 (mild), through HD-3 (severe). Under the German system, the dog's hips can be rated as early as one year of age. If you are looking at a planning pedigree from any breeder and HD-frei is not indicated, it means that the dog was dysplastic or was never x-rayed. In any case, inquire about it. Nowadays, all Deutsch-Drahthaars must be rated HD-frei before they can be certified for breeding. Regardless of registry, beware of the breeder who tells you that his dogs are all sound and there is no reason to do hip radiographs of his breeding stock.
Registration (ZB) Number - To the left under each dog's name on the pedigree is a five or six digit number. This is the dog's registration (ZuchtBuch or studbook) number; it is tattooed in the right ear of all Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar puppies. They cannot leave their breeder's kennel until this has been done.
VGP Number - Some of the dogs on the pedigree may also have a five digit number to the right under their names. This shows that the dog has passed the Verbands-Gebrauchs-Prüfung, or utility test. The VGP is a two day test involving about two dozen different scoring areas. It includes many aspects similar to the HZP, plus a fox retrieve, a 400 meter blood track, steadiness to wing and shot, and land and water independent hunting exercises. In this test, the dog and handler are judged as a team; natural ability is not rated.
Naming Puppies - In the Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar system, the names of all the pups in a given litter start with the same letter. In the kennel's first litter, all the names start with "A", the second litter "B", and so on. Starting in 2001, all dog names in litters coming from a breeder's repeat trip or trips through the alphabet are appended with a roman numeral whether or not that particular name was used in a prior litter. (So, now if you see a Suzy II or Suzy III, you know that Suzy came from the breeder's second or third S-litter respectively. Before 2001, the roman numeral was only appended if the name had been used by the same breeder in a previous litter.) Before a puppy leaves the breeder's kennel its registration number is tattooed in its right ear. All tests and other examinations are recorded annually in the Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar Breed Book. By knowing the dog's first name and kennel name, or its registration number, you can look up all of its scores and ratings, as well as those for all of its siblings.