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100 Years of Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar 1902 to 2002

by Professor Dr. Dieter Birnbaum

Translated by Jody Zuelsdorff

This translation made available by John Fetzer of Wisconsin. John reports: “When I set out a year or so ago, I was hoping I would learn more about the club through the mother land Blaetter, and reading this article, shows me the discipline, effort and rewards that the forefathers of VDD wanted to see from our Draththaars. After reading the article I am rewarded by being a member of such a great organization.”

The First Half-Century History

100 years ago, the pioneering creators of a rough-coated, high-performance hunting/utility dog found development impossible with the method of “pure-breed” breeding used at the time. When the Hegewald-developed “Pointing Poodle Idea” did not produce the wanted results, the pioneers decided to establish their own breed registry to help promote the realization of their dream. After the press announcement calling all interested to the founding meeting, only three of the active supporters of the hunting/utility dog attended: C. Koch, from Thueringen; G. Meier, Kurzwalde, and J. Kohlhase, Guenzerothe am Harz.

On May 11, 1902, in the Sportsmen’s (Gun) Club of Sangerhausen, the “Verein Drahthaar” was founded and the three men present elected a board of directors, of which, the first president-elect was the absent Alexander Lauffs, and other absentees were elected to office. With that, 100 years ago, one of the most successful organizations of hunting/utility dogs in history was started.

Two years later at the meeting in Berlin on May 7, 1904, it was decided to change the name from “Verein Drahthaar” to “Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar” and the by-laws were amended. In by-laws paragraph 2, the “purpose” of the organization was made clear and precise:

The purpose of the organization is the breeding and testing of wire-haired (stressed in the by-laws) pointing dogs which by inconspicuous exterior coloring and qualities demanded in testing, are as close to the ideal type represented in the founding pedigree book of Deutsch-Drahthaar, volume 1, page 3. 1

This phrase states the goal of Hegewald, the spiritual father of our utility dog idea, to breed a fitting utility dog (stressed by Hegewald), of all-around use to these honorable men, for daily protection and to supply always present joy, and as long as I live I will not rest my feathers until this goal is met. 2

Hegewald, whose civilian name was “Sigismund Freiherr von Zedlitz und Neukirch”, was a theorist and his ideas, as explained in the previous sentence, were propagandized with “feathers” but were attained by others.

One of them was the long-time president Alex Lauffs, who in an article of the DD Newsletter 3 wrote: “The will for a high-performance utility dog was present at our beginning.” As he ascertained this a quarter-century later, he could show positive results. The growth of membership during WWI was stagnant, but grew quickly in post-war years and in 1920 there were already 454 members. Even the number of registered dogs steadily grew and in 1927 reached 124, which surpassed the registered number of German Short-Hairs. That is why Horst Detert, long-time editor of the DD Newsletter, called the last years of the first quarter-century the “golden 20’s” in the 75th Anniversary Edition. 4

During this time, the Hegewald Federation was founded in 1920 and the first Hegewald trial was held under the name “First Breed Show for Rough-Coated Yearlings” in Luebbenau. Show-chairman was C. V. Koenig from Rostock. The original idea of the Hegewald was to bring all rough-coated clubs together to work and compete. There was to be a mutual studbook with four sub-divisions and independent registrations for each of the individual breeds (Deutsch-Drahthaar, Deutsch-Stichelhaar, Pudelpointer, Griffon). This mutual studbook failed at inception and at the beginning there was a true working relationship between only Deutsch-Drahthaar and Poodle Pointer.

Because of differences amongst the breeders, a union of the registries, under the uniform “rough-coat idea”, never happened. Thus, the Hegewald show, until it’s 9th year, was held under the official roof of the Hegewald Federation, but after the failure of negotiation with the “rough-coat pure-breed association” in 1927, the Hegewald became a complete VDD show and that started the successful history of the VDD Hegewald Breed Shows.

Shortly after its 25th anniversary, the VDD and its breed principles was recognized by the “Deutsche Kartell fuer Hundewesen” (DKH) [German AKC equivalent, j.z.] — undisputedly an important milestone in the development of the organization. To attain this recognition, the VDD fought for years against the resistance from the Pure-Breed-Idea. The recognition of the DKH as parent organization for all breed clubs meant the recognition of the Deutsch-Drahthaar as an independent breed with its own breed standards. This was finally the official breakthrough for the idea of a wire-haired utility canine among German hunting dogs.

Even in the following years of poor economic status (worldwide economic crises), the VDD still attained positive development and a strong position among hunting dog breeds. The number of members grew to 2,000, in over 20 organized groups. Horst Detert referred to the “first meeting of the Breed Wardens” in a 1929 anniversary newsletter 5, and this meeting is said to be the originator of modern Breed Warden conferences.

During the time of fascism, there was much regimentation that affected the VDD mostly organizationally, descriptively, and in leadership. The VDD was required to take the name “Fachschaft DD” (FDD) [representatives of DD] and was integrated in the “Reichsverband fuer das Hundewesen (RDH)” [Empire Association of Canines], which was a member group of the German Shooting Sports Organization. 6 The successful work of the club was not seriously interrupted thanks to excellent work by the executive board. In 1938, of the 561 dogs entered in the German studbook, 270 were Deutsch-Drahthaars and in 1939 there were 3,000 members. Even in year-of-war 1941 more than 2,000 pedigrees were dispersed. 7

Other activities, like the implementation of an annual conference, were very restricted in war years. That is why the Hegewald show and conference fell through in the first year of war, 1939. Also there was no annual conference in 1940, and Hegewald trials were not held during war years.

By war’s end, there were 4,000 members, but the war and its consequences had left huge holes in breeding material and breeding potential. In his article in the 50th anniversary edition newsletter of the VDD 8, Dr. Uter described the precarious situation at war’s end, but simultaneously drafted the ways and means to rebuilding the breed. Soon after the war people all over Germany, even in the previous Western and Eastern zones, were attempting to take up the work with the available breeding material.

After March 1949, under the editor Friedrich Ostermann, DD newsletters were published again after a five-year pause, and after a 10-year break the Hegewald show was held in Hamm, with 83 dogs participating. In 1950, the VDD had slightly over 2,000 members and consisted of groups from Baden, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg, Middle Rhein, Lower Rhein, Lower Saxony, Upper Frankland, Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen, Westfalia and Wuerttemberg and the small groups Altmark, Artland, Harz and Magdeburg. 9

Unfortunately, the division of VDD into Western and Eastern parts was already present at this time. Initially, the president of the Eastern VDD was on the executive committee and also custodian for eastern members. In 1954 they were given secondary presidential status, or rather, honorary positions. Even until the mid-50’s, the DD newsletters carried dates and deadlines and show results from the Eastern groups, and until 1960 these groups participated at Hegewald.

With the political development of the DDR (East Germany), the contact to VDD was continually restricted, and with the building of “the Wall” in 1961 came the total division of the VDD.

The VDD in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD)

[Federal Republic of West Germany]

This political division did not hinder the development of two independent breeding pools (there were very isolated instances of “bloodline exchange” through personal contact by motivated breeders).

In the western part of the BRD, was the quantitative development that gave the BRD the reputation of being one of the most successful hunting/utility dog breed associations. Membership rose continually through the following decades until 1990 when 9,404 members in 26 groups were accounted for. These groups were Artland-South Oldenburg, Baden, Berlin, Bremen, Essen-Ruhr, Hamburg, Hessen, Lueneburger Heide, Middle Rhein, Lower Rhein, Lower Saxony, North Bavaria, Upper Swabia, Osnabrueck, East Friesa-North Oldenburg, Porta Westfalica, Rhein-Maas, Rhein-Neckar, Schleswig-Holstein, Saarland, South Bavaria, Uelzen, Westfalia and Wuerttemberg in addition to both North American continent groups Canada and North America.

The groups North Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein each had over 1,000 members. The number of litters surpassed 500 in the 70’s and hit the highpoint of 572 litters in 1984 with 3,900 puppies. This intensive growth of breeding was attributable to long-time breeders as well as new ones in the VDD groups. It was also due to a steadily increasing demand of Deutsch-Drahthaars as the most successful and beloved all around dog in German hunting and in many countries of the world.

The dominance of Deutsch-Drahthaars in the pointing breeds is best documented by the entries in the German Utility Dog Pedigree Book. It showed a total of 1,210 entries in 1984. Of those, 529 are DD’s; that is 43.7% and almost as much as all other pointing breeds together. Likewise, the success of the Hegewald Breed Show continued. There were 200 dogs entered at the 25th Hegewald in 1954, and this number was surpassed many times in the following years and the 42nd Hegewald hit the highpoint of 261 dogs.

This number of participants set high demands on the stock of wild game and not many areas of Germany were suitable. For this reason, there was no Hegewald Show in 1979. That year, under the direction of the then-breed warden Georg Greller, the first Breeding Selection Test was held in Hollabrunn, Austria. Under the direction of Greller and built on these experiences, the preliminary criteria (participation at VJP and in water work, minimum valuation in confirmation and hair) for Hegewald were developed, so that the trials became true Selection Tests.

These criteria were in effect for the first show in 1980 in the city of Bosen, resulting in only 82 entries. Entries increased, however, in following years to over 100 and at the 54th Hegewald held in Husum in 1986 the number was 201. This rapid development of the VDD had its roots in the stable base of the quick consolidation of the available breeding stock and its consequential advancement.

In his already mentioned article in 1952, the then-Breed Warden Dr. med. W. Uter, purported his thoughts of the 3 Phases for the rebuilding of the breed and the guidelines for the work needed in breeding for the coming years, yes, even decades. Considerable thought was the primary effort when using the available breeding stock during the first consolidation phase. After conclusion of the second phase, more emphasis may be placed on conformation and beard after prioritizing the breeding material in the third phase.

Another important idea was the demanding of an easily trained and willing DD. While breeding, we must put trainability more in the foreground. . . . . If we can add trainability to the other good features of our DD and embrace him as our own, our dogs will conquer the hearts of hunters more than ever before and our breed will spread further.

He used this same program in his own kennel “von der grossen Rehkuhle” and many conscientious breeders did the same. Year to year at Hegewald the results of this endeavor are clear and one can see how performance has developed and how conformation and hair of the high-performance dogs has come closer the desired goal.

Georg Greller took over from Dr. Uter in 1968. Greller pushed on with Dr. Uter’s goal-oriented work. At the 1971 annual member’s meeting, the framework for breeding and the DD standard were decided on. At the annual Breed Warden conferences, Greller and the local club stewards evaluated the results of breeding, discussed upcoming problems, and suggested ways to attain the goals of selective breeding so that the role of the DD among hunting/utility canines could be determined.

The vital principle at the base of the breeding system was breeder freedom, for which the Head Breed Warden declined unnecessary controlling of any kind. This was also in effect later for the x-ray examination of HD (hip dysplasia), which Georg Greller wanted to be kept absolutely “free-will”.

Proof that this was the correct way show in the fact that the VDD never had a significant problem with HD as evidenced by the analyses at the annual Breed Warden conferences. An important step for the high-performance development and the betterment of performance differentiation was the implementation of the 12-point system for skills trials. After much thought and opposition in the beginning, this system was adopted at the annual meeting of the JGHV in 1973 and was implemented in 1975 at the VJP and HZP (Hegewald Trial). The years following until the present suggest that this was the right step and it gave the superior breeding program an important thrust. Especially clear is the significance of this differentiated 12-point system in the annual statistical scoring which has been compiled by the president from the group in Uelzen, Norbert Feuerbach, and published under the title “Statistical Analyses of Offspring from DD Studs” since 1989 in the DD newsletters, and since 1999 in the DD studbook. Through comparison of the average scores of the traits, as well as the conformational and temperamental short-comings documented at the VJP and HZP from at least 25 offspring of studs who have a minimum of four litters in a breeding season entered in the registry, important perceptions for the choice of a stud are available to the breeders.

The successful accomplishments of VDD were evident almost four decades after Dr. Uter’s article at the 58th Hegewald show in 1990 in Holdorf, the last show before the re-unification. The results clearly showed that VDD already came very close to their goal in breeding for performance as well as conformation and beard. Of 158 participating dogs, already a few with East-German handlers, 97 attained a score of 200 or more points and in conformation and beard 65 dogs were awarded the title Sg/Sg, 2 were awarded Sg/V.

Deutsch-Drahthaar in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)

[German Democratic Republic — East Germany]

The detachment of the East German DD Association occurred gradually and over several years. In 1949 groups had formed in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Thueringen and later in other states, statewide associations formed and small groups like Altmark, Harz and Magdeburg developed. Two executive board members of VDD representing East German members as vice-presidents, custodians or other honorary positions coordinated the efforts of these groups.

The hunting regulation of November 25, 1953 in the DDR gave hunting dogs a significant thrust because the law demanded that the use of performance-evaluated hunting dogs be stressed in all areas of hunting. In 1952, the Drahthaar breed of the DDR was integrated into the Hobby Gardeners, Settlers, and Small Animal Breeders Association as a specialty breed society. In 1956, breeding hunting dogs and the hunting/utility canine were admitted to the sport- and pre-military organization of Sport & Technology (GST). In 1958, the Central Registry Office was equipped in Halle/Saale and compiled registries for the hunting dogs of the DDR and dispersed pedigrees. According to Klaus Rolfs 10, 41 DD litters were recorded in 1958 while 45 more litters from East Germany were recorded at the West German Registry Office.

The registry was organized through the Breed Management (ZL) of the DD Department at the Central Registry Office and through the local district breeding attendants. Occasionally, breeders and handlers of DD would join their efforts together and their work would be coordinated through the local district clubs. A permanent membership in a special DD organization did not exist anymore, rather only a membership in the Hunting Association.

There was an important organizational change in 1962 after the separation of the VDD due to the building of “the Wall” in 1961. Hunting dogs were removed from the organization of Sport & Technology and the supreme hunting authorities of the DDR directed husbandry, but the central registry office remained to further coordinate and regulate the breed. This organizational structure remained until the CDD was founded in 1990, and in those practically 30 years the organization provided successful works that served the prosperity of the breed.

Because there was no special DD organization, the quantative development of DD’s was not dependent on membership numbers. There are, however, other numbers that show the role and dominance of the DD in the DDR.

An impressive number out of the Central Registry files was published in 1984 in the newsletter. 11 According to the number, there were 6,005 pointing dogs with performance evaluation certifications in the DDR in 1982. Deutsch-Drahthaars accounted for 3,274 of that number, well over 50%. One utility test had 872 dogs, 458 of which were DD’s and an “ESP” (20 hour trail test) had 399 dogs with 245 DD’s completing it.

Even the annual number of litters shows the increasing development of the Deutsch-Drahthaar. In 1955 there were only 51 litters, but that almost tripled in the following ten years to 148 in 1965. After a backslide in 1975 to 126 litters and a paramount in 1978 of 156 litters, the number of litters each year averaged itself out to slightly over 100. But even with that number, the DD was clearly ahead of other breeds. So it was in 1986 that 103 of 167 litters of pointing dogs whelped were Deutsch-Drahthaar litters, over three times that of German Short Hairs and almost five times that of the breed Small Muensterland.

The main breeding principle in the DDR was also performance. From 1958 to 1967 there were clear requirements for the registration of Deutsch-Drahthaars and their approval to breed. The prerequisites were a valid GP or HZP, but also a valid ESP or Vbr at which a difficulty score of 2 (satisfactory) was needed in the beginning, later a 3 (good) was needed. In 1968 these requirements were increased through the raising of the necessary ability points needed for breeding permission. 12

The organization withstood a difficult fight in the mid-80’s. Through the Central Office of Hunting Canines (previously central registry office) came a “Testing Order for Hunting Dogs of the DDR”, a testing method valid for all breeds, that was implemented on January 1, 1987. This manner of testing entailed specific tests for the individual breeds, suitability tests, utility tests, breed tests and special tests. A totally new 9-point system was used for all of the tests. The DD organization spoke out against the new point system because it did not correspond to previous years’ scores. The main problem for the Drahthaars was that now there was only one abilities test for all dogs that could be held either in spring or fall. This test corresponded to the VJP of the VDD and included a water test and a “circle test” as temperament exams.

This “circle” test was so designed, that the handler went with their dog into a large circle formed by other persons. The circle was large at the start and through constant movement of the people toward the middle of the circle it became smaller so at the end it was 6 to 8 meters in diameter around the handler and dog. This could not intimidate the dog. Lastly, the dog had to stay sitting while the handler left the circle. At call or whistle, the dog had to leave the circle of people immediately. The circle test was chosen out of other possibilities (opening of an umbrella or presenting a wild game dummy at close range of the animal).

No other abilities trial was available, and it was expected that the HZP would not be needed anymore because the Breed Test DD (equivalent to HZP) was included in the new order for testing and was reserved for breeding stock and comparable to the Stud Dog Test, that evaluated potential studs, held since 1977. There was no comparable trial with the division “Tracking Ducks”, which could have been devastating to the breeding analyses. After much strong debate, the DD organization managed to have this test and “shooting soundness — water” added to the fall testing. This now meant that all other pointing dogs had to be tested in spring and only with exception were allowed to be shown in fall and for DD: Dogs of the breed Deutsch-Drahthaar are to be shown at the trial in fall, regardless if they were tested in the spring. 13 In the “shooting soundness — water” test, there is the footnote: 1) Only for Deutsch-Drahthaar at ability trials in fall. The DD organization, through persistence and firmness in the dispute, was able to obtain one of the most important ability subjects of water work, while other breed representatives of pointing dogs were passive.

After the political turn, on April 7, 1990 the Club Deutsch-Drahthaar e. V. (CDD) was founded as an independent organization without guardianship through a higher association. This made the independent negotiations about the reunification of both clubs possible.

The Road to a Unified Organization

Through the political changes in the DDR the relationships between both German states were also changed dramatically, and finally, after 3 decades of complete separation, the foundation for a close working relationship between the VDD and Drahthaar people of the DDR was present.

The first official contact, even before the founding of the CDD, between the VDD and the representatives of the Deutsch-Drahthaar of the DDR was on February 3 & 4, 1990 at Hotel Horwieden by Fulda at the Breed Warden conference. At the invitation of the VDD, delegates from the DD of the DDR participated at the conference. Head Breed Warden Georg Greller welcomed them and those present greeted them. The author of this article, as president of the DD, and the Head Breed Warden Dr. Horst Rambush, had opportunities to give lectures, and in the course of conference the first official meeting of the Deutsch-Drahthaar representatives took place and thoughts about working together in the future were exchanged. The DD invited the managing president of the VDD to the 14th Stud dog trials on April 30, 1990 in Kyritz in the state of Brandenburg. The VDD accepted the invitation and the president Theodor Schnepper, the Head Breed Warden Georg Greller as well as Mr. Kuehn und Mr. Freiherr von Redwitz and the president of the West Berlin Group, Mr. Neusel, were welcomed at the trial. Many other members of VDD were present as guests, and five handlers participated in the trials. The three days were used for intensive talks about furthering the future mutual undertakings.

The next positive step was the participation of seven handlers from the CDD and the presence of members of the board and many other guests from the DDR at the 58th Hegewald Show in Holdorf in the area of Vechta in Lower Saxony. At this Hegewald trial, many friendly and constructive discussions about the future took place between both members of the boards. An appointment was made for debate of the possibility of uniting both organizations into one for all of Germany. This deciding debate took place on December 1, 1990 in the restaurant owned by one of the VDD members, Rolf Heiden, in Guestrow.

A good prerequisite for this debate was the successful reunification of the fatherland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland, on October 3, 1990. After the example set by the joining of the east German states to the western states, it was suggested by the VDD and CDD boards, that the CDD form clubs in the new states that, according to the by-laws, could join the VDD. A requirement of the executive board of the CDD was that important rights and achievements of CDD members would be protected and guaranteed by the executive board of the VDD. That included all the achievements of breeders and their kennels as well as their dogs and all the results of adequate trials. Judges from the CDD were to be accepted by the VDD.

In the following weeks, new clubs were founded in the new German states, and at the members meeting of the VDD on March 23, 1991 in Horwieden, the clubs from the Free State of Saxony, Maerkishe Heide, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niederlausitz, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thueringen and Uckermark were accepted into the VDD by a unanimous vote. The group in the Potsdam area joined up with the Berlin group to form the Berlin-Brandenburg club. In 1997, the club Flaeming-Havelland broke off into an independent group.

According to the by-laws under this same motion, Dr. Horst Rambusch, the Head Breed Warden of the CDD, was elected to a delegate position in the VDD executive board. With these resolutions, the VDD was once again the united Deutsch-Drahthaar-Organization for the Republic of Germany.

The United Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar of the Last Decade

Through the addition of the new groups to the VDD was naturally an obvious quantative jump in the development of the VDD. The membership climbed from 9,400 in 1991 to 10,100 in 1992. With 59 litters, the breeders in the new clubs significantly contributed to the total number of litters in 1992 (474), after a backslide in 1991 with 438; in 1990, there were 479.

In the years to follow, the membership in the new groups, including Berlin-Brandenburg and Flaeming-Havelland, continuously grew and hit 1,892 in 2000, of which 410 members were from the traditions-abundant group Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The membership of the VDD grew to 10,470. Sixty-nine of the litters born in 2000 were from the new groups.

After the completion of the reunification of the VDD and the new formation of a national organization for the Republic of Germany, another important incident occurred in 1992 that strengthened the organizations role and publicity internationally. At the 60th Hegewald Trial on September 23, 1992 the Weltverbandes Deutsch-Drahthaar e.V. was founded. (World Organization of Deutsch-Drahthaar) The invitation to this meeting was extended to 21 national DD-organizations and representatives from 13 national organizations that have committed themselves to our breed. The president of the VDH, Uwe Fisher, who as guest and initiator of the founding of the World Organization, explained to those present the constitutional spirit and purpose of the World Organization.

The signature of their respective presidents allowed clubs from the following countries to form the Weltverband Deutsch-Drahthaar e.V.: Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Russia, Sweden, Slovenia, South Africa. The VDD groups Canada and North America retained their statuses, but wished to participate in the efforts of the World Organization.

VDD executive board member Theodor Schnepper was elected with great applause to the position of president of the World Organization. Vice-presidents elected were Robert de Clerq, France, and Tiziano Rossi, Italy. President Schnepper appointed Gideon Freiherr von Redwitz business manager of the World Organization, and three years later he took over the presidency of the VDD as well as that of the World Organization.

In the years following this international occasion, the development and consolidation of the VDD on a national scale also occurred. The basis of this was the quick integration process of the new groups into the organization. After the one-year service of Dr. Horst Rambusch as delegate in the business managing executive board, the former president of the DD in the DDR, Professor Dr. Dieter Birnbaum, was elected managing executive of the VDD. Furthermore, the presidents of the various groups were equal members of the general board of directors. A significant step in the integration of the new groups was the allocation of the 61st Hegewald trial to the VDD group Sachsen-Anhalt in Magdeburg in 1993. The sustained support of club president Harald Almrodt and the experienced Hegewald team of North Bavaria under the direction of Georg Greller led the two groups to form a close relationship that truly helped the integration process.

The work of the then-president Theodor Schnepper and his successor Gideon Freiherr von Redwitz helped the integration to move quickly and uncomplicated. The integration process was finished when the author of this article was elected VDD president at the members meeting in 1998. Everyone involved in this process from the new and old clubs could see that the VDD, more quickly than other organizations, developed a tight inner unity that should work outwards to positively affect the closeness and steadfastness of the association. With that, the attacks from opponents of our breed trials, above all our annual international Hegewald, could be averted through poise and convincing arguments.

A severe set-back occurred, however, through the prohibition of the Hegewald 1998 by officials of the State Hunters Union and their Steering Committee, that was already prepared by the club Lueneburger Heide in Lower Saxony. Through this action, which looked like surrender to opponents of hunting, they caused much damage to the VDD and hunting canines. This setback was quickly overcome through the oneness of the VDD and through the demeanor of the executive board toward others by publishing convincing articles in hunting periodicals.

A big part in this was played by the long-term Head Breed Warden Georg Greller, who as president of the North Bavarian club and leader of the Hegewald team, took the bull by the horns and with the support of politicians in the Bavarian government held the 66th Hegewald Trials in 1999 in Neustadt/Aisch which was a big success.

At this time, Greller was no longer Head Breed Warden of the VDD because he did not campaign for the position in 1998 of his own choice. After three successful decades as Head Breed Warden, he pulled himself out of the front row into his position as president of the North Bavarian Club. With that, the “Greller Era”, so named by Gideon Freiherr von Redwitz in his article in honor of the 90th anniversary of the VDD 14, came to a close. No man, no name has so impacted or led the VDD in recent decades like Georg Greller. His charisma, his strong personality, and his persuasive power made the VDD strong and led outsiders and other organizations to see Georg Greller as ambassador of the VDD, yes, almost the synonym for VDD.

The efforts continued in following years through the constant, active involvement of Georg Greller through the managing board and especially his successor, Dr. Carlhermann Schuerner. In cooperation with the VDH, the Deutsch-Drahthaar standard was revised, especially in the area of performance. In addition, the breeding system was revised so that at the 2000 members meeting the revised standard and the updated breeding system were adopted. Already the year before, in understanding with the VDH, a “breed shows order” and a “breed judge’s order” were passed at the members annual meeting. The successful history of the Hegewald was also tied in.

The undisturbed 66th Hegewald Trial supported by politicians accepted by owners of hunting land and communities throughout the testing area and finally, its success, made it easier for other clubs to take over the hosting of a Hegewald. After the 67th Hegewald held in 2000 in the area of Moers and hosted by the club Rhein-Maas, the 68th was held in Ulm, hosted by the groups from Wuerttemberg and Oberschwaben with their presidents Werner Stein and Johannes Wied and under the direction of the newly elected managing executive of the VDD Dirk Freiherr von Eller-Eberstein, and was a new bright spot in the Hegewald history.

Now, in the year 2002, the VDD looks back on 100 years of its existence. It was ultimately a success story, small set-backs did not throw it off, attacks from the outside only made it stronger and tighter, and we can see with pride that its clubs and members have fully realized the goals of its founders for the Deutsch-Drahthaar and it can enter the next century with confidence and optimism.

Literature Index

Satzungen des “Vereins Deutsch-Drahthaar”, Deutsche Jaeger-Zeitung Nr. 12, S. 11-12, 1902

Hegewalds Schriften ueber den Gebrauchshund

Axel Lauffs, DD-Blaetter Bd. 5, Nr. 9; 1927

Horst Detert, DD-Blaetter Bd. 55, S. 20; 1977

Horst Detert, ebenda, S. 23

Horst Detert, ebenda, S. 26

Horst Detert, ebenda, S. 27

Wolfgang Uter, Der grosse Aderlass an unserer Drahthaarzucht und seine zuechterische Ueberwindung, DD-Blaetter Bd. 55, S. 30-32; 1977

Horst Detert, ebenda, S. 32 ff.

Klaus Rolfs, Der Deutsch-Drahthaar, Newmann-Neudamm 1996

Mitteilungsblatt Deutsch-Drahthaar 1984

Deutsch-Drahthaar in der DDR — Etappen der Entwicklung, DD-Blaetter 9, S. 267, 1992

Pruefungsordnung fuer Jagdhunde in der DDR, Zentralstelle fuer Jagdhundewesen, 1985

Gideon Redwitz, Die Entwicklung der DD-Zucht 1939 bis 1992, DD-Blaetter 9, S. 257 ff., 1992

The original German-language version of this article appeared in the Deutsch-Drahthaar Blätter Centennial Issue,November 2002. This English translation by Jody Zuelsdorff first appeared in the Verein Deutsch Drahthaar Group North America Newsletter, May 2003.


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