NASS Puppy Classes
At NASS, the competition begins with Puppy classes, which are divided into male and female groups. These two groups are then further divided into three age groups: baby puppy class 3-6 months, junior puppy class 6-9 months and senior puppy class 9-12 months. The dogs are judged against national breed standards, with an emphasis on conformation and dentition.
Puppy Class Ratings Awarded
Puppies are given a rating of “VP” (very promising), ”P” (promising), or “LP” (less promising). Puppies with a “VP” rating are believed to be possible future breeding stock based upon their physical attributes. The puppy ratings include an indication of where the puppy finished in the class.
NASS Youth Puppy/Young Dog Classes and Ratings
The Youth Puppy classes are for dogs aged 12-18 months. The Young Dog Classes are for dogs aged 18-24 months. The best puppies receive a rating of “SG” ( very good), which is the highest rating allowed. This rating indicates that the dog meets the breed standards. If the dog is given a “G” rating (good), it indicates that the dog met the standards but exhibited at least one observable fault. A satisfactory rating of “A” is given to dogs that react negatively to the gun test or have anatomical faults that prevent the dog from meeting the breed standard. A rating of unsatisfactory, or “U”, is given to dogs that are gun shy or otherwise unfit for breeding purposes.
NASS Working Dog Classes
Working dog classes in NASS are held for dogs that already hold performance titles (such as a Schutzhund title) who are at least 24 months old. This is perhaps the most difficult of the show’s classes due to the elements required. The dogs must possess hip and elbow certification. They must pass the Schutzhund performance tests (courage and pursuit testing which evaluates the dog’s bite work, obedience and bravery) and then face the final evaluation, the Stand for Exam (physical examination and gaiting).
Working Dog Performance Testing
The courage and pursuit testing is the most exciting phase of the competition. The dog must locate the helper who is hiding behind a blind. The dog guards the helper until the handler escorts the helper to the Judge. The helper then either escapes or attacks the dog directly; the dog must restrain him by the arm until released by the handler. This exercise allows the dog to exhibit its training and courage.
Working Dog Ratings
The ratings award to the dogs in the working class include “VA” (excellent select), “V” (excellent), “SG” (very good), “G” (good), “A” (satisfactory) and “U” (unsatisfactory). The rating of “VA” is only awarded to the very top dogs in the competition. Dogs who receive this rating must completely meet the breed standards, prove to be confident, show no reaction to gun fire during the gun fire testing portion of the competition and have flawless teeth. There are additional requirements, making the receipt of this rating a clear indication that the dog is considered a superior specimen deserving of producing future generations of German shepherd dogs.
The dogs are also given a rating for the performance portion of the competition, where their bite work and courage are tested. The ratings they can receive for that portion of the testing are “a” (pronounced), “vh” (sufficient) and “ng” (insufficient). These ratings indicate the way the dog exhibited its bite work during the exercises.
NASS Progeny and Kennel Groups
“Future NASS sieger show contender?”
The North American sieger show also gives awards for progeny groups, evaluating the progeny of a particular dog. Finally, one of the most anticipated classes is the Kennel Group, where a Kennel shows 5 related dogs that exhibit enough similarities in type to exemplify the kennel’s direction in its breeding program.
The NASS or North American Sieger Show, with its long and distinguished history of promotion of the German Shepherd breed, clearly serves as the standard for evaluating German Shepherds that will serve as the leaders of the future. A competition of this level is an exciting event for anyone who loves German Shepherds. It serves as a clear indication of the direction that the German shepherd breed as a whole is heading. NASS or the North American Sieger Show is also a way to observe some of the best German Shepherd performance dogs in the country.