Broad base

From the Baltic Sea to the Lake Constance, from the Rhine to the Oder: The SV offers its services area-wide in the federal republic. This is the reason for its strength and a part of its attractiveness: all members are able to train their animals optimally and to take part in sporting events. In addition, a competent local person is always available to talk to in case a problem arises.

The broad, active basis – it has tradition in the SV.

Central to the SV’s activities is developing what makes the association’s heart beat faster – the German Shepherd. The active collaboration of the breeders, trainers and owners guarantees its worth and strength on its own. The circa 1,800 local subdivisions are therefore the real base of the association – the local groups. Each of them has a correspondingly big training arena, including clubhouse. Of course, all necessary equipment is also at the members’ disposal for training and trials.

Apart from the traditional offer of working and companion dog training, local groups also establish Agility and Obedience in their programme, which, by the way, is not characterized solely by dog sports activities. Many local groups also actively engage in the social life of their community – through open days, exhibitions with information stands and events for school classes and kindergarten groups. Furthermore, almost all local groups have a tight connection with the local animal protection associations.

If you are looking for the SV’s soul

- you will find it here at the base.

Certified local groups

Quality is the future

Around 5.4 million dogs live in Germany, with dog-owning households accounting for 13% of the country’s households. The demand for species-appropriate training and sociability of our four-legged friends is unbroken. With its nationwide infrastructure and its knowhow on-location, the German Shepherd Association has contributed to promoting the dog’s integration as the human’s social partner.

The SV, which has 60,000 members all over Germany, is starting a quality offensive with a trend-setting certification concept which has the aim of preparing the round about 2,000 local groups of the association on-site in the competition for attractive association offers.

Required quality standards are, among others:

  • Species- and animal protection appropriate training
  • Wide range of dog sports activities (puppy school, training courses, dog handler license, sport and ring training and many more)
  • Qualified trainers with corresponding license
  • Exemplary organizational structure (modern and functional training facility, secure training equipment, well looked after clubhouse, etc.)
  • Exemplary public relations work (own website, youth promotion, awareness rising events, etc.)

Such a quality standard makes the local groups interesting for new members and offers them the chance to design and secure the SV’s future.

The certification criteria

In the following, we will give you an overview over some essential certification criteria. Examine the points self-critically, independently of whether you are a board member or an active or passive member:

Have you ever thought about how your association’s offer looks to the outer world?

  • Your local group is maintaining a functioning and regular training organization for at least one of the activities offered in the SV and/or offers training courses, puppy play hours or offers of fun sports with the dog.
  • Your local group guarantees species- and animal protection appropriate training according to recognized training methods.
  • You organize an IPO sports or Obedience trial, an Agility tournament, a cup competition or a breed licensing at least once a year.

Take the time to visit your own association from an outsider’s point of view:

  • The access road to your local group is well signposted, the association facilities and the clubhouse make a well-kept and clean impression. The training equipment is secure
  • Guests and interested persons are not left to themselves in the local group – they are taken care of. Your local group is making an effort to gain members for the SV
  • In your local group there is a friendly atmosphere

What do you think: how is your local group perceived in public?

  • You organize an IPO sports or Obedience trial, an Agility tournament, a cup competition or a breed licensing at least once a year.
  • Public relations work: your local group manages its own website; at least twice a year reports of the local group are published in the local press.
  • At least once a year there is an awareness raising event: be it the participation on the “Day of the Dog”, an “open day”, school or kindergarten visits or at communal events or animal tradeshows.
  • Your local group has at least 15 members. It is open to other dog breeds, but German Shepherds have to be a common sight in the local group.

Let’s be honest: how is life organized in your local group and in the association?

  • Your local group is led by a statutory board of management; the annual reports are sent to the federal group regularly. 
  • In your local group, general meetings take place regularly. The delegates of the local groups regularly participate at the federal group’s assemblies. 
  • The local group‘s chairmen are licensed and regularly participate at chairmen conferences and further education.
  • Your local group actively supports youth development and maybe even organizes its own youth event.

If you can confirm most of the above mentioned points, then you are well on your way to get certified!

Of course, the main club will gladly assist the local groups in fulfilling the certification criteria. The local groups receive up-to-date and modern information material regarding our association offers. Certified SV local groups receive an attractive, homogenous association sign by the main club. A guideline and online offers with hints and ideas for the intensification of your press work are available free of charge.

The certification procedure


The complete certification catalogue comprises 25 criteria and can be downloaded easily.

The next procedure is quite simple: your local group fills in the solicitation to the best of its knowledge, attaches the required documents and then sends the completed solicitation documents to the SV head office. The head office then examines the attributed criteria and requires eventually missing documents, if necessary. Subsequently, it forwards the solicitation to the federal group.

The federal group examines the criteria for which it is responsible and afterwards sends the confirmed solicitation back to the head office.

Congratulation, certification criteria fulfilled!

If all requirements are fulfilled, the main office sends the solicitation with the corresponding confirmation comments, a letter of congratulation and a certificate back to your local group. Your local group furthermore receives an association sign in the format DIN A4 landscape format which distinguishes your group as local group certified by the SV. The costs for the initial certification are 75,- EUR, the sign is included. 

Optionally, your local group can acquire an attractive SV flag with different motifs for a reasonable price.

Of course, your local group can do effective PR work with this rating. At the SV website, these local groups are made to stand out with a special rating stamp.

The head office sends the certificate to the federal group. It is then handed over to your local group in a worthy setting.

The certification is valid for the duration of three years, as is common with the certification of quality management systems. It is also oriented towards the term of office of a local group’s board of management. In good time before the termination of the certificate, the head office will contact your local group for the recertification.

Certification application

Below you can find the complete certification application for your local group.

On the application, please take special note of the explanations on pages three and four. After completing the application, please send it back to the main office, together with the required appendices.


We will gladly answer questions regarding the application procedure! 

Tel. 0821 74002-42 (Mrs Dempf)


We wish you the best of luck for the certification of your local group!