The British Association for German Shepherd Dogs was formed in 1933 under the direction of Frank Riego; Frank had such notable enthusiast as the late Squadron Leader Cecil Wright and Lt. Colonel Baldwin to help him form the then Birmingham and District Alsatian Club. 1946 the name changed to the British Alsatian Association and finally in1976 the kennel Club recognised its rightful name after a lot of representation to bring the name of the breed to its rightful name The German Shepherd Dog.

In 1937 Frank Riego was nominated as Chairman and he held this position for 32 years. Frank had a vision, this vision was very much German orientated and the structure of the British Association for German Dogs was formed under his influence.

This organisation was under the guidelines of The English Kennel Club and its first show was held in October 1934 with an entry of 120 German Shepherd Dogs judged by Mr Sam Coxill. Our first President was also elected and Mrs Cecil Wright held office for many years.

Herr Huhn, Frank Reigo & Herr Wiser   BAGSD 1974

By 1943 he had instigated the first of many championship shows, he also held a Rally and Comic dog show, and on Boxing Day of 1944 he raised a staggering £215 a figure which later proved to be a record for any event.

In February 1968 Frank Riego held the position of President and Chairman; he received a letter from the Secretary/Director of the SV in Germany Herr Kremhelmer informing him of the proposed meeting with all the leading German Shepherd Dog Clubs in Europe. This meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a European Union for the German Shepherd Dog. Frank Riego, always eager to further the interests of the Breed and Association, particularly within Europe, hence the associations early imitative in engaging foreign judges for our championship shows, felt that we should attend this meeting and he had the full backing from the executive council. The BAGSD's first SV judge was the President DR. Werner Funk who judged males in 1960,   Dr. Christopher Rummel Judged in 1963 and Dr. Funk again returned in 1964, we have continued to appoint SV judges at our Championship shows ever since.

The German Shepherd Dog League of Great Britain were also invited at this stage, but refused as they did not want to be dictated to by a foreign country. The reason why both clubs were invited was because the League was the oldest club, but the BAGSD was the largest.

The Kennel Club were also informed of this meeting and permission was granted on the understanding that a full report was submitted, on submission of this report the Kennel Club agreed that the BAA ( British Association for German Shepherd Dogs) could join the European Union for GSD, this report was submitted by Frank Riego.


This meeting was chaired by Dr Werner Funk also from the SV was Dr Christopher Rummel, Herr Costa, Herr Schulsheiss and Herr Kremhelmer. Delegates from Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and   The British Association for German Shepherd Dogs for United Kingdom.

It was explained that the purpose of this meeting was to discuss problems within the breed in different countries, the unification of the breed standard, judging methods and the hope that dogs could be shown in unification throughout Europe.

The meeting took place on May 16 th and 17 th 1968 at the SV head office in Augsburg, West Germany.

Dr Christopher Rummel Judging the BAA in 1965


The BAA (BAGSD) explained although in principle they agreed with this unification the Kennel Club controlled and ruled the organisation of shows and judging in the U.K. It was agreed at this meeting the SV would provide the Chairman and Secretary of the Union, as they already had the mechanics to achieve this, but all decisions would be made by member clubs. It was agreed only country's recognised by the FCI would be permitted to join the union, and at this point the BAGSD was given the voting rights for the UK as the English Kennel Club had a reciprocal agreement with the FCI.   In due course the kennel Club gave permission for the BAA (BAGSD) to join the Union on the understanding that the union was for the exchange of ideas. After just a few years so many countries had applied to join that it was agreed at the meeting in 1974 the organisation would be called the World Union for German Shepherd Dogs. In this year the BAGSD agreed and helped the GSD League become an affiliated member to the WUSV but the main delegate representing the UK was the BAGSD and the voting system remained with them. The President Frank Reigo was not a well person during these important times and although he attended the Inaugal meeting and one other (Frank Reigo was involved with the BAGSD from 1933 to 1980 when he sadly died), his Vice Chairman Mr Frank Gater has attended all the EWSV and WUSV meetings since its instigation representing the BAGSD, Frank has also attended every Sieger show since 1972, now in his 90 th year he still looks forward to this years show in ULM. Frank Gater joined the Association in 1956 and was chairman from 1982 to 2002 and still oversees the Association as President.

The structure of the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs has been based on the WUSV system, under the guidance of our President Mr Frank Gater the association has seen the structure develop. In 2005 the association still under the guidance of the Executive Council, on this body are 4 members of The Kennel Club who help oversee the three sectors each governed by a regional council, North, Midlands and South and within these councils are 43 training branches, which train weekly covering the U.K. The association has 100 fully trained instructors, which covers all disciplines required, with emphasis on training the GSD to be sociably accepted in today's environment. We all have our passions weather it be Showing, Obedience, Agility, Working or just a general pet we need a sociable dog, currently we have a membership of 2455 members in 2005.

The sole policy of the association has always been to work for the continuous

Improvement of the breed, and to implement practical measures calculated to give

enhanced pleasure in the ownership of the German Shepherd Dog. Our aims and objectives were established to unite all those devoted to the breed into one friendly body so that the best interests of all GSD owners may be studied and the greatest measure of co-operation obtained.

Being a founder member of the WUSV and with its unique set up has the same objectives, however we live in a country which has its own ruling body the Kennel Club which the association adheres to. Recently at one of the WUSV meetings, the then President Herr Messler agreed that stipulations required by the WUSV would allow such countries as the United Kingdom and USA a 10 year period to conform to the regulations and practices required. With this in mind our association in two years have made great progress, the British Schutzhund Association have affiliated to us and with their help are training our trainers to the Begleithund standard. Recently four member dogs of our association have achieved their BH test.

Mr Frank Gater (President 2002-2010)

Several seminars are currently being processed for the association's instructors. A BH manual is currently being developed and will be approved by the WUSV prior to its release. We already have introduced a manual covering the breed standard and movement which has been approved by the Kennel Club and WUSV, our trainers have been or are being assessed to help improve their knowledge of the breed

Our intentions are to unite the breed and we intend to open our seminars to all GSD fanciers to improve knowledge and train for future events whether in the UK or Europe.

The association is currently running a Breed Championship Confirmation show, yearly Obedience Championship Show, 2 Working Trial Championship shows and several Agility Shows, our obedience shows draw entries of 1000 plus, in 2008 we will be hosting the prestigious Kennel Club Working Trial Championships. In 2001 the BAGSD and GSD League formed a small working party; this party is not identified as an organisation but rather two clubs sharing ideas to benefit the GSD fraternity. To date we have introduced the "a" stamp hip-grading scheme to standardise the European grade into our British bred GSD, this has been quickly followed by the DNA profile system using both these schemes in close association with the originators, the German SV.

  An historic event will also be taking place this year, after several years of negotiations and debates with the Kennel Club, they have approved the first ever British Sieger Show to be held under the SV system.   At this stage our thanks must go to the WUSV and Herr Lux in particular for his help and guidance and the Aktuell for giving us the opportunity to do this article on the BAGSD.

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