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10 Years Deutsch-Drahthaar World Association Review and Prospects

by Wolf Schmidt-Körby

Business Manager, Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weldverband e.V.

Vice-President, Jagdgebrauchshund-Verband e.V.


Reprinted from the Centennial Issue of the Deutsch-Drahthaar Blätter, November 2002

Translation by Helmut Hings


The actual international activity of the VDD e.V. began with the founding of Group North America thirty years ago in 1972. Soon after another VDD-Group was formed in Canada. Both groups became members of the JGHV and joined the VDD in endorsing the breeding goal of the VDD to achieve a versatile coarse-haired pointer following the motto “via performance to the type”. Both groups were able to become direct members of the VDD only because their national umbrella organizations (American Kennel Club [AKC] and Canadian Kennel Club [CKC]) were not associated with the Federation Cynologique International (FCI).


It was a bit more complicated for the VDD with those DD breed clubs whose national umbrella organizations are members of the FCI. The desire of these DD breed clubs to be accepted as a group in the VDD and to conduct their business accordingly could not and cannot be realized because the regulations of the FCI permit the acceptance of only one umbrella organization for matters concerning dogs within a country. (Principle of one position/voice only). The national organization has full responsibility for breeding matters including hunt-related testing for its hunting dog breed clubs.


Nevertheless, there developed a growing interest of foreign breed clubs, their breeders and also of individuals, mostly active hunters, in the events of the VDD, especially the regulations for breeding as well as the regulations for hunt-type testing of the founding club in the motherland of the breed. Breeders inside Germany sold pups into other European countries, and frequently the buyer became a member of the club within which the acquired pup had originated.


After the “Turnaround” and the opening of hunting and of hunt-related cynological matters in the countries of the Eastern Bloc, the problems of the national DD breed clubs became evident. The VDD was forced to acknowledge that on the one hand the Deutsch-Drahthaar was being bred in some states on the basis of a FCI Standard, but on the other hand the breed was classified under the general breed designation of “coarse-haired pointer”. Discussions inside national DD breed clubs concerning determination of a name were not uncommon. That applies particularly in Russia, where four different DD breed clubs inside the umbrella organization associated with the FCI breed Deutsch-Drahthaar. The vastly different goals of breeding here and in other countries require the harmonization towards a versatile use coarse-haired pointer for the field, in the water and in the forest. It was further concluded that the international regulations of the FCI for coarse-haired continental pointers in the multi-faceted hunt-related reality required improvement for some aspects. The Executive of the VDD had this total complex in mind when it decided to form a Deutsch-Drahthaar World Association (Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weltverband e.V.)


The long-time Head Breed Warden Georg Greller had already recognized in the early eighties the significance of a close collaboration with the VDH (the association within Germany concerned with matters related to dogs) and the FCI for the continued development and safety of the Deutsch-Drahthaar in the national and international arenas. He achieved with great effort and in the face of a lot of opposition the membership of the VDD in the VDH on 11 November 1987 and thereby VDD became a member of the FCI as well.


Georg Greller, with his immense experience, was a competent respondent for all people interested internationally. He also gave the initial impetus when he proposed the formation of a Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weltverband at the first session of the Executive after the elections in 1992 and on occasion of the commemoration of the 90th anniversary in the fall of that year. The task of preparing for the founding of the Weltverband was handed to the elected Vice-President, Gideon Freiherr von Redwitz.


The VDH President Uwe Fisher and DK (Deutsch Kurzhaar/shorthair) President Claus Kiefer involved themselves in this task and with their comprehensive international experience supported Vice-President Freiherr von Redwitz in the planning and realization of the project.


It then became possible on the 24th September to form the “Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weltverband” — abbreviated “DD-WV” — on the occasion of the 60th Hegewald in Oberrossbach near Neustadt/Aisch in the 90th year of existence of the VDD. The formal document of the founding and the bylaws was signed by representatives of Finland, France, Italy, Croatia, Norway, Austria, Russia, Sweden, Slovenia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany, and by the VDH President Uwe Fischer.


The goals of the DD-WV, defined in the preamble to its constitution, are to advance the breeding, management and distribution of the German hunting dog Deutsch-Drahthaar in all countries for the purpose of maintaining the high standard of the breed and to harmonize the conditions and circumstances for breeding, training and keeping the breed. The elimination of political obstacles and the regained freedom of exchange are to be utilized for the constructive and productive collaboration of all Deutsch-Drahthaar-related entities in the world and international relations are to be broadened.


The DD-WV is to be understood as a voluntary, international merger of national breed clubs of the German hunting dog Deutsch-Drahthaar and it supports all effort that serves to fulfill this purpose. The basis for this is the maintenance and strengthening of this breed in conformance with the valid Standard deposited with the FCI and to achieve continuity of the purity of the breed, its character, its constitution and of its hunt-orientated employment on a world-wide basis.


The executive of the DD-WV is made up of the current president of the founding club of the breed (Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar e.V.) as President, a Business Manager appointed by the President, and two Vice-Presidents, who cannot come from the country of origin of the breed (i.e. Germany). The Vice-Presidents are elected at a regular meeting of members for a term of four years and they must be elected members of the executive in their respective country.


To date the following Presidents and Business Managers have led the DD-WV in accordance with the statutes:


DD-WV Presidents and Business Managers


PRESIDENTPERIODBUSINESS MANAGERPERIOD


Theodor Schnepper 1992-1995

Gideon Frhr. V. Redwitz 1992-1995

Gideon Frhr. v. Redwitz 1995-1998

Dr. med. Hansjörg Heller 1995-1998

Prof. Dr. Dieter Birnbaum 1998-2001

Wolf Schmidt-Körby since 1998

Dirk Frhr.v. Eller-Eberstein since 1998


Its membership in the VDH empowered the VDD as the founding club in the country of origin of the breed to decide on the Standard for the breed. Any amendments to the Standard will be submitted to the FCI for approval in harmonization with the VDH. Currently the FCI Standard Nr. 98/29.11.2000/Deutsch-Drahthaar is in force and is binding on all national umbrella organizations of the FCI member countries and their affiliated breed clubs.


The Deutsch-Drahthaar has been classified by the FCI within the “Continental Pointers, Group 7”. That means that a dog bred as a hunting dog of the breed Deutsch-Drahthaar by a national DD-breed club, of which the country’s umbrella organization is affiliated with the FCI, will be tested in accordance with the hunt-oriented rules of the FCI. The “official international hunting-type tests for continental pointers” of the FCI required some adaptation to the tests as they were being applied in Germany in order to be consistent with the standard-directed goal of breeding the Deutsch-Drahthaar as a versatile hunting dog in the field, water and the forest, before and after the shot. Not only the “Field and Water Tests” but also the “Versatility Tests” of the FCI test regulations for Continental Pointers allow today a testing of the breed Deutsch-Drahthaar that not only satisfies the requirements of the FCI but also is close to the demands of the VDD for hunt-related tests. Essential portions of the test regulations for the HZPO (VZPO) and VGPO of the JGHV, namely parts of the work in the water on a live duck and parts of tests in the woods have in the meantime been integrated into the “International Hunting Test Regulations for Continental Pointers”. In Mexico in June of 1999 the General Executive of the FCI adopted the revised Test Regulations that were to come officially into force on 1st January 2000.


The FCI Commission for Continental Pointers met on the 26 October 2001, in Herm, France. On this occasion it was decided amongst others and upon request by the VDH to recognize the Hegewald Breed Test of the VDD and the Verbands-Herbstzuchtprüfung (HZP-Fall-Breed Test) of the JGHV with respect to Field and Water Hunting Tests and the Verbandsgebrauchsprüfung (VGP-Utility Test) of the JGHV with respect to Versatility Tests.


In retrospect, it was possible during the first ten years of existence of the DD-WV to achieve important results, which opened for the national breed clubs of the Deutsch-Drahthaar all opportunities to reach their goals for breeding in compliance with the FCI Standard 98 “Deutsch-Drahthaar”. The VDD and the DD-WV owe thanks for these achievements not in the least to the active support by the President of the VDH, Uwe Fischer and to the spokesperson within the VDH for matters concerning hunting dogs, Claus Kiefer, President of the DK-Club, Germany. Thankfully, they were always open in the past for concerns of the VDD and the DD-WV and have represented them actively within their assemblies.


The membership of the DD-WV comprises in the year 2002 a total of 13 international breed clubs for Deutsch-Drahthaar. Argentina, Spain and the newly formed DD breed club Croatia joined the DD-WV during recent years and the Danish “Dansk-Ruhar Klub” (DRK), founded in 1928, became a member early this year.


The DRK counts in excess of 1500 members and there are about 250 breeders. The breeding successes of the DRK are worthwhile noticing and they are further evidenced by the Deutsch-Drahthaar appearing in the upper range of popularity amongst active hunters.


The VDD and the DD-WV have during the last five years initiated intensive contacts with the Russian Deutsch-Drahthaar breed club “Russische Assoziation Deutsch-Drahthaar (RADD)” in Jekaterinburg in the Ural. The current Business Manager and his wife (Wolf Schmidt-Körby and Uta Körby) conducted a 10-day information seminar in 1997 that was attended by some 40 experienced breeders, hunters and hunters with a dog. Two whelps donated from within Germany were also handed over. The umbrella organization in Russia, the “Russian Cynological Federation (RFK)” is associated with the FCI and generally looks after matters concerning dogs in the country. The Breed Books of the breeds bred and recognized in Russia are kept by the umbrella organization for hunting matters (RFOS) in accordance with an agreement with the RFK and this conforms closely with practice followed in Germany. The 2nd Vice-President and Breed warden of the RADD, Alexander Solomentzow, the Business Manager of DD-WV Wolf Schmidt-Körby and his wife Uta Körby had an extensive discussions at August 2001 in Moscow with the two presidents of the Russian umbrella organization for matters of hunting (RFOS) with the goal of bringing together the different breeding trends of the four active DD breed clubs in Russia with nearly 8000 members and to unite them in one club for the breed Deutsch-Drahthaar. The discussions were highly promising and it was officially stated that this concept should be pursued. The DD-WV received in August of 2002 a copy of a document according to which the two umbrella organizations RFK and RFOS officially recognize the “Russian Assoziation Deutsch-Drahthaar” and maintenance of the Breed Book is by the RFOS. Uniting all four of the breed clubs into one breed club “Deutsch-Drahthaar” is anticipated as the next step.


In 1993 Henning Bergmann, currently editor of the DD-Blätter, founded the “Club Deutsch-Drahthaar Argentina” (CDDA) during his three year stay in that country. The CDDA encounters significant difficulties in being recognized by the national FCI umbrella organization because of the prevailing conditions for acceptance. The VDD group Hamburg took on the role of godparent for the CDDA and supports it actively by advice and action in its endeavour to overcome these difficulties. Thankfully, it was possible that, upon application to the JGHV, a former judge of the JGHV who had immigrated to Argentina could be reinstated and that three other active dog owners/hunters could be recognized as judges of the Association or judge candidates respectively. All tests for aptitudes and for performance are carried out by the CDDA in Argentina in conformance with the Test Regulations of the JGHV.


The very active and successful “Club Español del Deutsch-Drahthaar” (CEDD) of Spain was accepted as member by the DD-WV in the year 2000.


The relations with some other member clubs must clearly be improved. That requires obviously some prerequisites of an organizational nature that are still to be created within the DD-WV. The DD-WV attempts to find for the international DD breed clubs that have either already achieved membership or that desire to do so, persons who have command of the country’s language and who are prepared to serve the cause as a godparent for communicating between all parties concerned. The VDD members Heide Haverland (Italy), Hanna Large (Finland), Uta Körby (Russia), Henning Bergmann (Argentina, Spain) and Goran Zubanovic (Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia) merit special mention in this regard. They have already assumed the role of a godparent thanks to their knowledge of the respective language.


The DD-WV will in the immediate future have to concentrate on assisting its members in the realization of the goals of breeding DDs, as in many instances the hunt-oriented breeding goals are being neglected in favor of appearance. It is not a question that the FCI regulations contain aspects pertinent to the complex of “show”. This is an essential part of the cynologically-based activities of the FCI umbrella organizations. The DD-WV, however, intends to pursue and advance independently from this a performance-aimed breeding of the Deutsch-Drahthaar in all countries.


A difficult and long-term goal for the VDD and the DD-WV is to be found in maintaining the name of the breed “Deutsch-Drahthaar”. The content of the FCI Breed Standard is contradicted when international breed clubs agree with this official standard, but then apply terms of the country’s language, e.g. “Coarse-Haired Pointer”, “Coarse-Haired German Pointer” or “German Wirehaired Pointer”. Certainly, it will not be an easy task, but the DD-WV has set for itself the goal to get the national DD breed clubs to adopt the official name “Deutsch-Drahthaar” on a worldwide basis.


Another goal to be pursued in the long term is the harmonization of breeding activities on an international scale. Dr. Schürner has previously functioned as judge during breed shows in Finland and Argentina, amongst others.


That VDD judges from Germany will judge the DD that are bred in the various member countries of the FCI for form and coat will become of ever increasing significance for the DD-WV in the future. In this manner the VDD will be able to contribute as much as possible to the uniform judging in the member countries of the DD-WV and thereby assist in attaining the goal of breeding in accordance with the FCI Standard “Deutsch-Drahthaar”.


A further task of some priority for the DD-WV is to arrange, in cooperation with the VDD, that Deutsch-Drahthaar whelps or adult, trained dogs sold by German breeders to other countries are reported to the DD-WV and by the DD-WV to the respective breed clubs in the various countries. With this measure it will be possible to deal with the dogs and their owners in their country in an appropriate manner. That applies as well for dogs that are sold to North America or Canada.


The interest and the demand in foreign countries for the Breed Regulations and equally for the Test Regulations for proof of performance and of genetic variety is increasing steadily, especially because the Deutsch-Drahthaar has been successfully developed by the founding club in the country of its origin for 100 years following the motto “Through Performance to the Type”.


It appears justified with respect to the results achieved and with an outlook to future tasks to conclude after 10 years of its existence that the forming of the “Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weltverband e.V.” was at the time a decision necessary for the continued advancement of the breed “Deutsch-Drahthaar” on a worldwide basis.


This article appeared in Drahthaar News, May/June 2003.

Permission to reprint this article may be obtained by contacting

Sandy Hodson, Tel.: 902-757-3116, E-mail: hodsonhaus@eastlink.ca hodsonhaus@eastlink.ca


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