LV / DVG America

What is DVG?

DVG stands for Deutscher Verband der Gebrauchshundsportvereine, or the German Association of Working Dog Sport Clubs. DVG is the oldest and largest Schutzhund training organization in the world.  Begun in 1903, DVG was Germany's first police and service dog club and has now grown to nearly 30,000 members. DVG exists for only one purpose -- training and titling dogs of all kinds. In addition to Schutzhund and advanced tracking degrees, it offers obedience and tracking titles, providing competition opportunities for all people who love to train dogs, even the smallest of breeds.

DVG is made up of fourteen geographic regions (Landesverbands), thirteen of which are in Germany. The fourteenth is LV/DVG America. The American Landesverband is divided into four local regions (Kreisgruppen), whose presidents sit on the LV Board.

LV/DVG America sends a representative to Germany each year to the annual business meeting to vote on Board and membership affairs.

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September 8, 2014

Information From Your President

Report to members on my trip to the DVG Annual Business Meeting

I attended the annual business meeting of DVG in Hemer, Germany, on April 5, and the annual membership meeting on April 6. It was an interesting and educational experience, and I want to share it with you.

In 2009, DVG moved into its new headquarters. They bought an old military facility that had meeting rooms, visiting officers' quarters, offices, and other buildings. They've converted the visiting officers' quarters into a "motel" for folks who come to meetings and other events. They also rent the motel and meeting rooms out to other organizations.

DVG has about 40,000 members. The largest group are the folks doing agility. IPO is really a rather small part of the organization. They do many other sports, but the main ones - either because of their size, or because they were some of the original ones, are IPO, Agility, Tournament Sport (more about that later), Obedience, and Youth Sports. Representatives from each of those areas, plus the President, two Vice Presidents, and the Secretary-Treasurer (who is an employee of DVG), make up the Executive Board (which they call the praesidium).  This group met on Friday.

The general board consists of the praesidium plus the presidents of all the LVs. That group met on Saturday. We started at 11 AM and finished at 9:30 PM - and they told me it was a short meeting, because there were few items of contention. During this whole time they are constantly bringing out food to make sure we didn't go hungry. There were not many items of interest to LV America. We were told that new requirements for training directors are being developed, but they won't be ready for some months yet.

The other LVs are all different sizes, although we are one of the smallest. We are also the only LV that does only one sport. Just about every LV does agility, and most of them do IPO, obedience, and tournament sport. Some also do sports like flyball, rally obedience, area search, and so on. I heard about a sport that's new to DVG, water rescue. So far it's a tiny part of DVG, although they expect it to grow.

Sunday's membership meeting was attended by many club presidents from all over Germany. Any club president and KG president is welcome, should you want an excuse to go to Germany sometime. Not all LVs have KGs, so in many cases club presidents go to represent their own club. This was also a "short" meeting - from 10 AM to 1:30 PM. Mostly they discussed upcoming events. They also gave out awards for longevity in the sport - two clubs got their 100 year plaque!

I stayed over and met Monday with Christa Bremer, past president of DVG and permanent senior advisor (and a member of the board of VDH), and Bianca Gruters, who is in charge of seminars, speakers, and new clubs.

As a brand new officer, I had lots of questions. They were very generous with their time and very helpful in response to my requests. For example, they are going to try to send me those almost-impossible-to-read club rosters as a PDF, so we can distribute them to the clubs electronically. And, starting with the next issue, they are going to send us an English-language version of Der Praxis.

Overall, it was a very successful trip, and I expect we can continue to enjoy a positive and helpful relationship with Germany.

Yours in the sport

Annetta Cheek

If you would like Annetta’s future

Message to members


Several things happened at the last board meeting that I wanted to tell you about.

  1. We formally created a Communications Committee to work on the website and other communication issues. I know I wrote to you about the Communications Committee before, and several members stepped up to volunteer for this work. The Board appreciates the membership's willingness to help us modernize our organization. If you want to help work on communication issues and haven't already volunteered, get in touch with me at And if you have comments on the new website,, please send them on to me. We want you to have the best possible website and we can't do that without feedback from you.
  2. We also formally created a Handbook Committee to update our woefully out-of-date handbook. We are looking for members for the committee. Kathy Foster, the SE KG Vice President and one of our representatives at the BSP in Germany this year, has volunteered to help put the group together. So if you are interested in serving on this important committee, or if you just have some ideas about materials that should be covered, get in touch with Kathy at I suspect there aren't many people out there with enthusiasm for this task, so if you have any interest at all please help us out.
  3. We will also be coming out with some more proposed changes to the bylaws that will address:
  1. If you have noticed any issues with the bylaws, or if you think we should make more changes, now is the time to let me know. The bylaws are posted here:  DVG BYLAWS
  2. General membership meeting at the Nationals. We've decided to have the general membership meeting on FRIDAY after the 1s and 2s are done. That means a late afternoon starting time. I wanted to let you know this as soon as possible, in case it affects your travel plans. That will leave Saturday evening free for that important socialization. . .