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.
I have just returned from the annual DVG business meeting in Germany. I spent about 14 hours in various meetings, including meeting with office staff discussing various administrative issues such as our membership management system and data security concerns. I showed them our database and they asked for access so they could use it to check handwritten information they get from us, a major source of errors in their database.
It's a pleasure to be able to talk in person to all the great office staff who provide us with excellent service. It's very useful to discuss administrative matters in person because there's less of a language barrier.
Here are some highlights of all these meetings. If you want to know more give me a call.
Most German dog organizations are losing members. DVG is holding steady at just under 40,000 members but it's a struggle. Agility and rally obedience are still growing. IPO lost a lot over the last 10 years but seems to have stabilized the last couple years. Last year there were the following successful trial completions:
IPO 1. 364
IPO 2. 278
IPO 3. 1076
This includes LV America numbers.
There are a couple new sports in DVG. They have started participating in the competition version of search and rescue. I am trying to get more information on this. If you are interested let me know.
There is also "man-trailing." This is not well developed yet. They are still trying to decide whether to consider it a part of search and rescue or of IPO. It seems to be intended as an entry level sport for people just getting into training.
I am still looking for someone interested enough in agility to put in a little time figuring out whether it's worthwhile for LV America to try to start a DVG agility program. Get in touch if you're interested.
Starting next year all NEW judges in VDH organizations (including DVG and SV) will initially get a 3 year provisional license. After that they will get a 5 year license but will have to renew it every 5 years. There are no details yet about what that means.
We were encouraged to seek one or possibly two apprentice judges.
DVGs new policy about LV OFGs is that they should be a judge but they are not required to be a judge. For awhile they were proposing that LV OFGs must be judges, but too many LVs (ours included) complained that that was not practical.
DVG is working on developing a secure intranet that it would use to send information to, and get information from, the LVs. They hope to have it ready by the end of the year.
DVG is planning on fully automating trial applications. Applications would be filled out online, transmitted to headquarters for approval, and sent back to the clubs electronically. They are doing this in conjunction with workingdog.eu and that site would host the form. I don't know if we will be able to participate in this program but I'll keep on top of it.
We are still expecting major rule revisions next year. The LRO will attend the 2016 Nationals to explain them.