East German Shepherds originate from the Deutsche Demokratische Republik or “DDR” (1949-1990). Generations of true “DDR” bloodlines are limited to a span of about, forty years of breeding in the former East Germany. DDR dogs have a strong, solid, lean, muscular body, heavy bone construction and a large massive head. They have deep dark pigmentation and are not as angulated as West German show dogs. These dogs have a strong temperament, great working capacity and are well suited for Schutzhund, police work, search and rescue and many other tasks. Most importantly, DDR German Shepherds have a very low rate and severity of hip dysplasia. The concept is, that of a well-structured, perfectly balanced dog capable of performing at the highest known levels and that’s what we strive to attain.

From the time the walls went up in 1961, until it came down in 1989 when Germany was “reunified”, the breeders of German Shepherds were limited in their choices of breeding stock. A separate breed registry had to be instituted in the DDR, and the SDG Service and working dogs came to be. In the (DDR) the physical, drive, and mental characteristics and traits of Schutzhund and working dogs were rated by the Wertmessziffer system. In English Wertmessziffer means “measured value number.” Breeders and buyers depended on this 6-digit rating system to provide a comprehensive and reliable method for easily determining the characteristics of each evaluated and rated dog. More on this system can be found here. DDR Wertmessziffer Rating System

For example, a dog with a 6545/55 rating would be powerfully built with ideal constitution and.and good angulations. It would be an even tempered, good natured dog, yet very hard against influence. As reflected in the last two digits after the slash, hardness and sharpness would be very good. It refers to a dog’s inherent stimulation threshold and desire to pursue and attack. It does not imply “nervy”, fearful, flighty responses. Only dogs that passed rigorous evaluations were permitted to reproduce. This information was organized according to sires and dams and published periodically as a tool for breeders. This provided an exceptional tool for the improvement of the breed.

You may have come across the expressions “no line 13”, or Line 5-A, etc. In the old DDR, certain much-used foundation dogs’ bloodlines (Zucthlinien) were given a corresponding number, sometimes seen on a pedigree as ZL:XIII-A (13-A) or ZL:XII (12) etc, When another dog in future generations became a very proponent sire, he was given his own corresponding number, and so on.

Their offspring carried the sire line’s number (never the dam’s). By learning a little about the bloodlines, and by knowing who the key sires were, you can glean a great deal of information about the dogs in their background, just by knowing the ZL#. More on Zucthlinien Here. Today’s “DDR dogs” originate from these lines.

DDR German Shepherd Lines::

5A: This line descends from Alf v. Nordfelsen and is predominantly propagated by Don v. Rolandsteich and his descendants. 11A: This line originates from Rolf v. Osnabruecker Land and is continued predominantly through Bernd v. Lierberg and his descendants like Pushkass v. Haus Himpel and Olf v. Fuerstendamm.

11B: This line descends from Ex v. Riedstern primarily through Cliff v. Bleichfleck.

11C: This line originates from V Ali vom Gränert,V Barry vom Andershofer Ufe,V Drusus vom Falkenwappen,V Geier vom Baruther Land,Bodo v Winkel, Casar v Rangental, Lars v Furstendamm, Seigo v Angerholz…Grand vd Ziegelwiese, Boy v Hohenwarthereck, Henk vd Moschelwith.

11D: This line radiates from Ingo v. Rudingen leading to Held v. Ritterberg and Jeff v. Flaemings Sand through his sons Flint v. Steiglerhof, Birko v.d. Wolfshoehle, and most famous of all Lord v. Gleisdreieck.

11E: This line comes through 2x DDR seiger Condor v. Maderpfahl and radiates through Ohle v. Rundeck into the studs Fels v. Kemmlerblick and Zorro v. Laagerwall. 12: This line today descends primarily from Golf v. Ritterberg and his brother Grand v. Ritterberg.

13A: This line today persists primarily through the descendants Alf v. Koernersee.