Frequently Asked Questions

Rather than promote individual breeders or stud dogs, we recommend that you visit one of our GSA Ireland local training groups or Ortsgruppe, and look at lots of different dogs in training before you make your decision.
GSA Ireland strongly recommends buying a puppy or adult German Shepherd from parents who have attained the relevant health tests*, working qualifications** and show grades*** for the breed, both in order to promote the healthy, versatile German Shepherd Dog, to reward those breeders who adhere to international breeding guidelines and to ensure the best chance of your dog living a long and happy life.

*GSA Ireland promotes the use of the parent organisation’s Health Scheme which provides hip, elbow and back x-ray assessments and permissible grades (A Stamp) from which animals are approved to breed. This is the SV HD/ED Health Scheme. If you wish to avail of this scheme, contact info@gsaireland.com for more details.

GSA Ireland would advise any potential purchaser of a German Shepherd to pay strict attention to the ancestry/health requirements outside of WUSV (the World Body of German Shepherd Dog Clubs) approved schemes. For example; the British Veterinary Association/UK KC Scheme strongly recommends no higher than the following scores for RESPONSIBLE BREEDING:

Breed median score for – HD (Hips) Total of 11, ED (elbows) Total of 0

**The World Body – WUSV recognises the IGP Trial system providing the disciplines of tracking, obedience and protection as a suitable gauge to fulfil the retention and display of necessary traits required from a working breed such as the German Shepherd Dog. These qualifications are mandatory in the parent organisation’s prerequisites for breeding. It is also highly recommended that breeding animals have the Körung, or German breed survey.

***Show grades should be achieved at suitable Breed Shows. These shows are licensed by WUSV organisations in their respective countries and should adhere to the parent club’s guidelines as all factors are taken into consideration for any animal to be awarded a grade.

Grades are as follows: –
VA Excellent Select
V Excellent
SG Very Good
G Good
NG Insufficient
U Ungraded

Any German Shepherd Dog requires a minimum show grade of G to meet breeding requirements.

Click HERE to go to our ‘Health and Wellbeing’ page to find out more on health testing.

GSA Ireland affords German Shepherd Dog owners the opportunity to avail of health testing for hips, elbows and spine under the German SV system.

These results are logged under an international database and help contribute to future study of the health of the breed.

In addition, to take part in international competitions and to attain top honours in breed shows, or indeed be bred from under international guidelines, German Shepherds must meet a minimum standard of health tests and working titles.

To read about our shows, click HERE

To read about our trials, click HERE

To read about our health tests, click HERE

IGP, formerly known as Schutzhund, translates as ‘International Gebrauchshund Prufung’ or International Working/Practical Dog Test

IGP combines tracking, obedience and protection and is used to identify sound temperament and physical excellence of a dog over the three phases.

Designed as a way to select breeding animals, today IGP is a sport which takes place across the world and culminates in the WUSV IGP World Championships.

Over many years, GSA Ireland members have proudly represented the organisation at this prestigious competition, with a number of podium places, including second and third places over the years – an amazing achievement.

GSA members can take part in the BH temperament test (‘Traffic-safe companion dog’), the AD endurance test (20 kilometres beside the handler, riding a bicycle) and IGP levels 1-3.

There is also the opportunity to take part in ‘standalone’ tracking and obedience phases.

For more about our trials, click HERE

For full rules, forms and helpful downloads relating to our trials, click HERE

All initial general queries via email should go to info@gsaireland.com where your question will be answered or forwarded to the relevant GSA Ireland Executive Council member.

If you wish to sponsor or support GSA Ireland or want to ask about a media issue, contact press@gsaireland.com

If you are interested in joining a club, please go to the ‘GSA Groups’ page and make an appointment to visit one of the clubs listed via the contact details provided – you cannot be a GSA Ireland member without being a paid member of one of our local groups. Click HERE for a list of groups and HERE for how to join.

The GSA Ireland Executive Council 2021-2024 is:

Cedric Blackbourne – GSA Ireland President

Brian Simpson – General Secretary

Mike O’Brien – National Working Warden

Clare Higgins – National Treasurer