The Breed Survey Scheme

The Breed Survey Scheme has been set up to evaluate the soundness and quality of breeding stock throughout Australia.
All the presenting dogs must be over 18 months of age, tattooed or microchipped for positive identification, must possess the `A` and `Z` stamp and present a 5-generation pedigree at time of survey. Some animals are also required to possess a Haemophilia Certificate (see below).
The dogs are all weighed, measured and examined for correctness of dentition, construction and soundness of nerves, (this involves a gun test and crowd test).

A breed survey book is produced annually which contains the results of all breed surveys within Australia as well as the dogs which passed the `A` &`Z` stamps during the year.


The GSDCA Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Schemes

This scheme involves the X-Raying of the hips and elbows of breeding stock over the age of 12 months. It is required that the dog be anaesthetized at the time of x-ray, and the tattoo in the right ear (or microchip) is checked and noted on the x-ray plate.

The plates are sent to Dr Roger Lavelle in Melbourne or Dr Richardson in Perth and are scored and graded.

`A` stamp scheme – Hips that have a sufficiently low score – a maximum of score 8 per hip (out of a possible 53), with no more than 3 points in any one area, receive an `A` stamp. The results are all correlated so that statistics on the breed average and that of the major producing sires can be analyzed in an effort to lower the breed hip average and to avoid poor hip producing lines.

`Z` stamp scheme – Elbows are measured for any degree of arthritic change, and are Graded as Normal, Near Normal, Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3. Arthritic changes of greater than or equal to 3 mm of change will fail the scheme. Breeders avoid doubling up on the condition where ever possible.

Statistics are printed on both the hip and elbow results, encouraging breeders to use the lines that are producing the soundest progeny.


Zap Character Test

Why is character and temperament important?

The German Shepherd Dog standard states that he must be well balanced (with strong nerves) in terms of character, self-assured, absolutely natural and (except for stimulated situation) good natured as well as attentive and willing to please. He must possess instinctive behaviour, resilience and self-assurance in order to be suitable as a companion, guard, protection, service and herding dog.

The ZAP character test enables us to make assessments of our young stock early in their development and provides information regarding how sound their temperament is and the inherent qualities they may possess. This information can be utilised in future decisions regarding traits that are suitable based on the purpose of breeding programs. E.g. Play/prey drive, self-assuredness etc.

The GSDCA has adapted and developed its own ZAP Character Test from the SV in Germany. It is a voluntary scheme at this stage and the data gathered will be entered into the GSDCA Database where Breeders and members will be able to view the results.

The ZAP Manual is located at the following link

Information about the test can be found on the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia website at the following link

ZAP Character Test – German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia (

Link to Video of a Zap test.