The GSDAC Tattooing scheme and Register is the only tattoo identification recognised by the New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC).

All German Shepherds can be tattooed either as a litter or as individual adults. The scheme has been in operation since May 1981 and has very extensive records. Only members of the GSDAC can have litters or individuals tattooed at members rates. Other breeds can be tattooed on application.

The tattooing scheme originated from a need for identification in the following areas.

A: If the animal is lost or stolen

B: Proof for an animal undergoing hip and elbow x-rays* ( to eliminate the chance of "ring-ins")

*(microchip numbers are now also accepted as ID for x-rays)

KTS Registration

Before joining the scheme a breeder applies to the GSDAC through the Tattoo Registrar or Zone Tattoo Organiser for a Kennel Tattoo Symbol (KTS) Initial application is made on the GSDAC form and costs $30.00, annual renewal is $5.00. A 3 digit symbol is issued which is your unique kennel symbol for your exclusive use within the scheme. An application form for each litter is obtained from the Zone Organiser and, if returned within 2 weeks of birth, a fee of $30.00 is payable.


Litters are tattooed by trained tattooists, using pliers. The pup is held firmly by a helper, the pliers applied quickly, then the ink is rubbed into the pinprick holes. The pup experiences only momentary discomfort, similar to what they do to each other when they "play bite". Each pup's tattoo has a three letter kennel prefix (the KTS) followed by a number. Pups are numbered sequentially starting from 001 and are tattooed in the right ear between 6 and 9 weeks.


NZ is divided into 5 zones for tattooing purposes. With 2-3 tattooists in each zone. A national Registry is maintained by the Tattoo Registrar. Easy access to the records enable dog pounds, vet clinics, police etc to quickly identify any lost or stolen dogs and to verify the numbers for a breeders next litter.

For more information contact:
Tattoo Registar Liz Scheres













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