Wesensüberprüfung – Wesen Test – What is it?

The Wesensüberprüfung, or Wesen test, or Character Assessment test is to do be done between 9 – 13 months.  If done after 13 months their is a 100 euro penality fee and the test is called a ZAP test.

What is involved in the assessment?

The assessment consists of a number of tasks which have been developed to test the puppy’s natural behaviours and instincts:

  • Is the puppy sociable with people and animals?
  • How does the puppy react to noise?
  • Does the puppy like to play?
  • How does the puppy react to unusual situations?
The tasks are based on those used by service organizations when selecting puppies for working.  They are as follows:
    1. The assessor discusses the puppy with its handler
    2. On-leash:
      1. ID check
      2. Examination of Teeth
      3. Examination of Testicles for males
      4. Measurement of height
    1. On-leash the Dog is handed to the judge to hold, the handler walks away and calls the dog
    2. On-leash the dog is held by a stranger, the handler walks behind a group of people and calls dog
    3. On-leash the handler and dog walk toward a group of people and stop at the group
    4. Off-leash handler and dog walk through the group
    5. While in the group handler and dog casually greet a person in the group
    6. On-leash the dog meets another dog at a distance three paces 
    7. Noise sensitivity on losse leash:
      1. engine running (chain saw/leaf blower/lawn mower etc.) passes dog 
      2. chain dropped on metal plate – dog at a distance
      3. Gun test at 15 paces 
    1. Handler and the dog play off leash.
    2. Handler guides the dog onto a rocking platform and plays with the dog using a toy as the platform is gently rocked by the judge
    3. The dog is guided up a ramp or steps onto 3 long tables which are placed end to end with a turn and a small gap. The dog is encouraged by the owner to walk the length of the tables and back to the start position and off the table.
    4. On-leash, handler plays with the dog without toy,  then with a toy
    5. Leashed dog is handed to the judge. 
      1. With the dog watching the handler, toy in hand, walks away from the dog and places the toy under a box 10 paces away.
      2. Handler returns to the dog, takes the lead from the judge and then lets the dog off the leash so it may retrieve the toy from under the box and bring the toy back to the handler
    1. Reaction to smooth surface dog is taken into a club house and taken off the leash to walk around on the slippery floor, at some point a metal food bowl is dropped on the floor.
    2. The dog is tied to a securely fixed object in a suitable place. The handler walks out of sight.
      1. After about 5 minutes a stranger approaches the dog, pats it, reassuringly talks to it and then walks away.
      2. The handler returns to the dog.
What does my puppy have to do to pass the assessment?

The assessor is looking to see how the puppy reacts to each of the tasks, each puppy will react differently and the assessor will comment on the reaction in terms of how closely it fits with the expectation for a GSD puppy or what it tells us about the puppy’s aptitudes. There are no points awarded and no pass mark – the assessor simply makes comments about each task.

Is this voluntary?

For anyone wishing to obtain an SV Breed Survey (koerung) a ZAP Character Assessment is required for all dogs born after 1st July 2017.

Can any puppy enter a ZAP Character Assessment?

To enter ZAP, it must be a pedigree German Shepherd Puppy, registered in the country of its birth, micro-chipped and aged between 9 and 13 months. If the dog is entered after 13 months there is a 100 euro fine.

To see what the judge’s scoring sheet will look like and more detail with a  rough English translation, visit this page:  Wesen Test