About the VDD
The Breed Club for the Deutsch-Drahthaar was founded in Germany in 1902 as Verein Drahthaar (Drahthaar Club) and was renamed Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar (VDD) in 1904. The purpose of the club was and continues to be the breeding and testing of the Deutsch-Drahthaar, the coarse-haired breed that had been promoted by Hegewald. It is a credit to our predecessors that the breed and the club have continued to thrive despite the many economic and political crises of the 20th century. [Members can find a more detailed history of the VDD in the Member Resources section of this website.]
As you can imagine, two wars and the division of Germany into East and West took its toll on the organization, but today the reunified VDD boasts over 11,000 members distributed among 35 Groups. All but two of the Groups — Group North America [USA] and Group Canada — are located in Germany itself where the DD is the most popular versatile hunting dog. Associate Groups have recently been formed in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey.
Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weltverband e. V.
Deutsch-Drahthaar World Association
Unfortunately DD breed clubs from other countries were not able to become member Groups within VDD because they were already affiliated with the Federation Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Organization, or FCI), which does not allow its members to belong to more than one umbrella organization. Yet it became increasingly important to VDD to have a formal relationship with these clubs so that the standard for breeding the DD would be maintained. In 1992 — with the approval of FCI — VDD established the Deutsch-Drahthaar-Weltverband e. V. (Deutsch-Drahthaar World Association, or WV-DD) as a way to merge all of the DD Breed Clubs around the world. Today DD clubs from countries such as Argentina, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands are affiliated with VDD through the WV-DD. [Members can find a more detailed history of the WV-DD in the Member Resources section of this website.]
Group Canada began its life as Club Drahthaar of Canada in 1974 under the leadership of John Bock. John and a small group of other German-Canadians wanted to set up in Canada the same breeding and testing systems for the DD as those established by VDD and JGHV in Germany. They set up a breeding registry and testing system modeled on the German systems, but their goal of actually becoming a member Group of VDD was not realized for another ten years. After a great deal of negotiation, VDD Chairman Paul Kuehne finally informed John Bock that their membership application had been approved and Group Canada would become active within VDD effective January 1, 1984. [Members can find a more detailed history of Group Canada in the Member Resources section of this website.]
In the early years Group Canada was based almost exclusively in Ontario. As Canadian interest in the DD evolved, a breeding kennel and small enclave of members developed in Nova Scotia. Today (2015) we have members in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, although the larger concentrations of members remain in Ontario and Nova Scotia. While Group Canada is the smallest of the Groups within VDD, we strive to offer our members all the benefits authorized by our parent organization.
Activities of Group Canada
Breeding the DD according to the FCI Standard and the motto From Performance to Type remains the most important function of Group Canada. In 2015 we have thirteen breeding kennels, with some producing several litters a year and others producing only the occasional litter. Our Breed Warden is responsible for ensuring that the parents of these litters meet the criteria set forth in the VDD Breeding Regulations and are certified for breeding by the Head Breed Warden in Germany. A buyer of a puppy from a Group Canada kennel can be assured that it comes from certified breeding stock and has the potential to be a fine versatile hunting dog.
Group Canada regularly holds tests that are sanctioned by JGHV, the German organization responsible for testing the various versatile hunting breeds. Spring and fall breed tests (VJP and HZP) are held in Ontario and in Nova Scotia each year. In recent years we have also held tests in Newfoundland and Alberta whenever there is sufficient interest, and in 2015 we will hold our first test in Manitoba. Members outside of ON and NS may travel to the tests in Eastern Canada; however, they are also eligible to enter VDD tests held in the US that might be closer to them. Advanced tests such as the VGP and Btr are scheduled in the fall whenever there are sufficient dogs prepared for them. Training days are held to orient new members to the breed tests, and a group of interested members may set up a schedule of regular training days for subsequent tests with the assistance of experienced members. Members can purchase test regulations and some training publications from the club.
Communication in a small club spread out over this large country is very important. Our newsletter Drahthaar News is published six times a year (January, March, May, July, September, and November). It includes announcements about tests, regulations, and litters, as well as articles on training, testing, and breeding. Members also regularly contribute articles about their experiences with their DDs. A German-language newsletter published by the parent club in Germany is also available.