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UDC Rules and Regulations
for the ZtP/FFB

ZtP = Zuchttauglichkeits Prüfung = Breed Suitability Test
FFB = Fit For Breeding US Test

ZtP in Germany
An old picture of a Ztp Test in Germany

The meaning and purpose of the ZtP/FFB is to identify those Dobermans which are, according to the breed standard, suitable for breeding and to promote the best dogs for that purpose. The ZtP shall be for Dobermans with protection training experience. A BH is required prior to a dog participating in the ZtP. The FFB shall be for Dobermans without prior protection training experience (or Dobermans, which do not meet the ZtP's specific conformation standards). A working title, as defined by our rules and regulations for entry into the working class in conformation, is required prior to a dog participating in the FFB.

The ZtP/FFB can only be held if authorization from the UDC has been given and can only be judged by approved breed judges. A maximum of 20 dogs can be judged in one day by one judge. The judge shall be responsible for determining the suitability of the test location, equipment, and helper.

The dog must have a means of permanent identification. The UDC registration number is recommended; however, any tattoo number unique to the animal is acceptable. Microchips will only be acceptable if the owner is able to provide the necessary scanner. And in order for a Doberman to earn either the ZtP or the FFB, the following health documents must be provided: OFA hip certificate (HD-1 or 2 are acceptable substitutes), CERF results, Michigan State thyroid panel results, VetGen DNA vWD results, and echocardiogram (performed by a cardiac specialist) results. The health results should identify the dog using the registered name, the registration number, and/or the tattoo number, along with the attending veterinarian's signature if applicable. Dogs must have passing hip results; the other tests are of a test-and-tell nature (passing score not required). And the CERF, thyroid, and cardiac testing must not have been done more than 12 months prior to the test. Any dog missing one or more pieces of health documentation has up to six months to submit the required material in order to actually earn the title. If the owner fails to submit this information within the six months following the test, then no title will be awarded. All dogs must be registered with the UDC.

Age Requirements:
The minimum age for a dog to participate in the ZtP/FFB shall be 18 months. Dogs which do not yet have their hips certified as approved above can participate in the test, but the results will be pending the receipt of the OFA/HD data. Dogs, which are held over on their first attempt, may retake the test one time after a 3-month waiting period. Dogs, which fail, may not retake the test.

Other Requirements:
The test chairperson is responsible for checking the required documentation and preparing the necessary papers. The chairperson is also responsible for obtaining the test location and all necessary equipment. A qualified helper must be available.

Objections regarding errors must be brought to the test chairperson's attention on the day of the test. If a resolution cannot be achieved, the matter will be referred to the UDC's ZtP committee for a decision and/or ruling. (Only the UDC board of directors, however, can make substantive changes.)

Duration of Title Earned:
The ZtP/FFB rating is applicable for the duration of the dog's breeding age unless revoked by the ZtP/FFB committee because of newly discovered, or earlier concealed, serious genetic faults. This revocation would be made in writing to the owner via a registered letter.

Who can enter:
No dog owned or bred by a judge, his immediate family (parent, spouse, child), or someone in his household, can be judged by him.

Prong or shock collars are not permitted. All dogs in the testing location have to be kept so as not to disturb the testing in any way.

ZtP Test Procedure

Prior to the start of the ZtP, the judge briefly explains to all competitors the meaning and purpose of the test and the exercises involved.

The dog enters the testing area, and the tattoo (or microchip) is checked. The teeth and testicles are checked. The ZtP requires full dentition (correctly placed) and correct bite. The FFB allows up to 2 missing teeth. Overshot (more than 3/16") and undershot (more than 1/8") bites are disqualifying for either test. Extra teeth will be identified. The behavior of the dog during the examination of the mouth is to be specially noted, as it may serve as an indication for certain temperament problems. In addition, dilution-colored dogs (blues, fawns) are allowed to earn an FFB.

In a conversation with the handler, the judge informs himself about the dog's training, care, and developmental history, making note of the dog's general behavior at this time.

The dog is then positioned for the conformation critique and, following that, gaited at the judge's direction. Special attention will be paid to faults, which affect the dog's working ability (i.e. weak muzzle, long/weak back, straight fronts, bad movement, etc.). The conformation evaluation is done according to the guidelines set forth by the DV, its rules and regulations and breed standard.

Dogs shall be judged first, followed by the bitches. The critique is filled out by the judge, and the dog is given a conformation rating. In the ZtP/FFB, passing dogs must receive an "Excellent" or "Very Good." Bitches must receive an "Excellent," "Very Good," or "Good."

Temperament Test

Group Encounter:
After the conformation evaluation, the judge will instruct the handler to lead his dog in different directions over the testing area for a duration of about 300 paces, with the dog's leash being held loosely. During this walk, the dog/handler team has to encounter 4 - 6 people who are either moving or stationary.

After this, those 4 - 6 people will form a group. The group formation should not be in any particular stiff and rigid pattern. Here the judge is encouraged to vary the proceedings in the way he orders the movement of the group towards the handler with his dog or the movement of the dog/handler team within the group.

During the stop in the group, it is important to create situations which are as natural as possible, such as they occur in day-to-day life (i.e. meeting a stranger by shaking his hand, dropping of items, opening of an umbrella, etc.).

During the above exercise, it is particularly important not to show any threat towards the dog. It shall strictly be used to evaluate the dog's self-confidence, fearlessness, temperament, obedience, and threshold of stimulation.

Gun Sureness:
After this, the judge orders the handler and his dog to the previously determined tie-out location. Two gunshots shall be discharged from a distance of about 15 paces, using 6-mm ammunition. Gun-shy dogs are unsuitable for breeding; gun-sensitivity is to be strictly distinguished from gun-shyness.

The Tie-Out Exercise in a German ZtPThe tie-out location is to be freely accessible from all sides (i.e. away from walls, fences, etc.). The judge shall approach the dog from a distance of about 5 - 8 steps and either pass him or walk around him at a distance of approximately 2 - 3 steps, without threatening him in any way. The behavior of the dog in the absence of its handler is to be especially observed.

After this, the handler shall return to his dog and take him out of the testing area.

At the direction of the judge, the helper shall proceed to the hiding place.

ZtP Protection Phase

Part 1 - Attack out of the Blind
The judge will direct the handler to walk his dog in a specific direction. The dog shall be on leash. At the direction of the judge, the helper will leave the hiding place and attack the handler and dog from the front. The dog should show his protective instincts and protect his handler.

The helper starts threatening the dog only after he has engaged in the fight. During the fight, the dog will be threatened verbally and physically but does not receive any stick-hits. Upon order from the judge, the helper stops the attack.

*Notes for Part 1 - It is very important that the helper wear a protective suit consisting of pants and jacket. The stick used for threatening shall not be too bendable. The helper must carry insurance for this test-work. The hiding place shall definitely be variable so that no pattern training of local club dogs can be done; cars, corners, recesses of walls, or tree/shrub groups can be selected for this purpose. The helper can only work upon order from the judge; in other words, the attack and the end-position are determined by the judge. The attack will always be done towards the front of the handler, not the dog. If the dog engages in the fight, the helper will turn to the dog and threaten him verbally and physically. The stick can be used only as a threat, never to actually hit the dog. The dog is allowed to bite the helper in locations other than the arm.

Part 2 - Courage Test
The helper now turns away and starts running a distance of about 50 paces. The handler holds the dog by his collar only, first shouting at the helper to stop, then sending the dog.

The helper flees at first but then, at the direction of the judge, turns and attacks the dog when he has gotten as close as approximately 8 -10 steps away. The helper tries to threaten the dog again; however, even here there shall be no stick-hits used.

A Great Courage Test! - Snoopy v.d. Weyermuehle

The handler may, at his discretion, encourage the dog verbally.

Upon order from the judge, the helper shall stop the attack. The handler shall return to the dog, place him back on leash, and report back to the judge.

*Notes for Part 2 - The helper must absolutely go to about 50 paces distance. The judge will instruct the helper as to when to launch the attack on the dog, at which time the helper must threaten the dog verbally and physically. The stick will again be used as threat only.

FFB Protection Phase

No actual bite work/contact is required in the FFB. The dog will wear a combination of strong, leather, agitation collar and a chain, choke collar, with a strong, 6'-foot line attached to both. On direction from the judge, the handler will walk with his dog toward the hiding place. When the dog is about 15' away, the judge will order the helper to attack the dog/handler team from the front with the initial threat being directed toward the handler. The dog should attempt to thwart the attack by going out with strong, forward movement (without avoidance behavior) toward the helper who is making verbal and physical threats. The handler may verbally encourage his dog. The judge will call off the attack, and the helper will leave the area. The handler must be able to bring his dog under control within a reasonable time frame.

Character Classification

There are 4 possible classifications:

  • 1A
  • 1B
  • Held-back (Held-over)
  • Unsuitable for Breeding

"1A" is for dogs, which are overall correct. A "1A" can only be awarded to a dog which gives a completely sure and correct impression in the static as well as the fighting periods of the test.

"1B" is for dogs, which are overall sufficient. A "1B" will be awarded to a dog which performs acceptably in the static periods of the test and which shows some protective and fighting drives.

"Held-back" is for dogs where there is sufficient doubt about the dog's behavior as it relates to soundness of temperament and breed suitability. A dog so rated may not be shown to another judge until the expiration of a 3-month waiting period. A dog can only be rated "Held-back" one time.

"Unsuitable for Breeding" is for shy, nervous, or timid dogs, which cannot be rated suitable for breeding.

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Danika Dobermanns ~ Britt Coffman
Quality Working Lines
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