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About us

The WGSDCA is focused on the importance of responsible dog ownership through training, education and hosting trials and seminars.

The organisation was formed in 1990. It is the largest and longest-standing organisation in Australia who is dedicated to the preservation of the German Shepherd Dog as a working animal. We have numerous clubs in Australia and New Zealand who offer IGP dogsport as well as other activities.



Board of Management

Board of Management



Sanne Pedersen


Natalie Woelfel

Director of Judges

Reg Worth

Admin of Records

Karyn Worth

Director of Helpers

Mark Gomersall

Online Shop

Lyn Ellerton

Assistant Secretary

Lisa Galloway

Vice President

Samantha Hendricks


Clint Wehmeier

Public Officer

Anna Jones

Breed Warden

Clint Wehmeier

Magazine Editor

Karyn Worth


Mike Harper

The German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog

The first GSD arrived to Australia in 1904

The first German Shepherd dog, Horand von Grafrath, was registered in 1899 by Max von Stephanitz who also founded the SV.  Efficiency test were introduced in 1903 to identify breed-worthy animals. These tests were a huge success. Civilians started to use the test as a recreational sport for the welfare of their GSDs and from that IGP dogsport were developed and the first vestige of today's GSD.


A versatile dog

Family, sport, service, guard, rescue, therapy, guide, herd dog.

The German Shepherd dog is a secure and self-confident, robust, natural, attentive, very resistant physically and mentally. It has a good and secure social behavior, gets along very well with humans and animals in the family environment after corresponding socialization.

The GSD wants to be challenged and stimulated. It's an active dog that needs regular exercise and mental stimulation to be balanced and stay healthy and fit.


Training is a must but do not expect too much from puppies too quickly.

It is not difficult to train a GSD.  Consistent, patience and understanding are basic requisites.
People who have never trained a dog before will understandably have many questions. It is not the dog that makes mistakes, or not wanting to learn or listen - the problem is usually at the other end of the leash.

If a dog and handler are a well-rehearsed sportive team, they have an opportunity to earn titles by participating in WGSDCA sanctioned trials.

IGP Dogsport

The IGP trained dog is not only more robust and healthier than inactive dogs, but also generally more balanced in their character as it is in the nature of working dog breeds to want to be challenged and stimulated.

A completely healthy, capable and sound dog is a requirement for IGP training. Character traits such as self-confidence, drive predisposition (not to be confused with aggression) and a desire to work must be a distinctive features in the dog. Neither the training as a working dog nor the sport itself present a danger to others.


The sport focuses on developing and evaluating working traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners. The joy of the dogs in working with their handlers is evident to anyone who attends an IGP trial. 

The sport of IGP (International Prüfung Ordning) took its roots in Germany in the early 1900s.


Originally developed as a means to assess GSDs' working abilities, intelligence and endurance. In many countries the sport is used to identify dogs that have (or  not)  desired traits of working dogs:  a strong desire to work, courage, intelligence, trainability, strong bond to the handler, protective instinct and sense of smell.  The sport also tests for physical traits such as strength, endurance and agility.


The world union of GSD (Weltunion der Schäferhunde (WUSV) was formed in 1968 by 11 countries who aimed to conserve uniformity of the breed. Today, more than 90 countries are affiliated with WUSV. The first WUSV World Championship was held in 1998 and represents one of the largest highlights in the international working German Shepherd. Our national championship is the qualifying event to represent Australia at WUSV  World Championships.

The sport is enjoyed by people of all ages and of varied professions who join together in camaraderie born from their common interest in working with their dogs. Other breeds may participate in the sport.


FCI IGP Rule book - here.

A "Condensed Summary" is available here.

Download the WGSDCA BH Booklet

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IGP Dogsport is adopted by many working-dog breed organisation for the well-being of such dogs owned by civilians.
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IGP Dogsport is adopted by many working-dog breed organisation for the well-being of such dogs owned by civilians.
IGP Dogs Know Their ABC  
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To get an IGP title, a dog has to pass three different disciplines:

A. Tracking

The dog must retrace the path of a person (300-800 paces with 2-4 turns) after 20-60 minutes have elapsed and be able to find 2-3 lost articles

B. Obedience

Includes heeling, gun shots, sit, down, call-ins, retrievals, jumps, send-away. The dog is judged on attitude/level of enthusiasm and accuracy.

C. Sleeve-work.

A person wearing a padded sleeve helps with this discipline.  There are several simulated situations where the dog must show an ability to obey command.


Each discipline is judged on a 100-point scale.

Minimum passing score is 70 point for each discipline


IGP Sleeve Work

The Misunderstood Discipline

IGP Sleeve Work teaches a dog to obey command under high stimuli. The sport identifies dogs with a genetically sound character and dogs who are extremely trainable.

We want that because such dogs are confident dogs.

IGP dogs are most likely safer dogs than the untrained dogs as they have been taught rules and context. Valuable traits for any given dog in today's society.

The Sport doesn't teach a dog to 'bite'. All dogs bite - it is integral to a dog's natural social behavior.  The purpose of the sleeve-work in IGP dogsport is to show a dog that is highly trainable and capable of following instructions under high stimuli.  Aggressive dogs are not tolerated nor trained in IGP Dogsport.

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