JUDGING THE DOBERMAN
When the judge approaches, questionable temperament is evidenced when the dog's eyes are rolling (showing white), if his ears are pinned back, if he is shaking, or looks like his skin is crawling, if he is leaning on his handler, or racking back upon approach. These are signs of improper Doberman temperament. He may be the best looking and moving dog in the ring, but he should not win. If there are no other good dogs on that day, withhold ribbons. That is how important temperament is. If I see a dog with questionable temperament, I give them more time to help make the experience positive. If the dog is superior, I tell them how lovely their dog is and that they need to correct the problem. I get complaints from exhibi- tors and handlers when they witness a shy dog winning. Unfortunately, it happens way too often. We don’t want you to give a temperament test in the ring. We just want the Doberman to display breed type as described in the first paragraph of our standard. The procedure I use with the Doberman is the same as what I do with every breed. Walk up to the dog from a slight angle, not straight on. I extend my hand palm up and put it under the chin. This is a non-threaten- ing gesture that allows me to feel the underjaw and check the muzzle and skull planes and view the almond-shaped, moderately deep-set, dark eyes. With the DQ for missing teeth and incorrect bites, I ask the handler to show me the mouth. From the front, I see the bite and incisors. Then with mouth closed (to also view occlusion), they show the premolars on each side, then open the mouth to view the molars. I put my hands on both sides of the head to feel the clean line of the blunt wedge, and then view the par- allel planes and a slight stop from the side. After the head exam, I proceed toward the rear of the dog, feeling the forechest, shoulder and upper arm, and depth of body. I feel the topline, short, wide loin and well-filled out croup, and the tail, which is slightly off the horizontal. It is amazing how few people know that is what the standard says about the tail. Our breed is plagued with high tails and handlers who push up the high tails to adver- tise the fault. I guess they are also advertising the fact that they haven’t read the standard, but that is for another article. Then I check the testicles and feel the muscling in the rear. At this point the hands-on exam is over.
IT IS AMAZING HOW FEW PEOPLE KNOW THAT IS WHAT THE
STANDARD SAYS ABOUT THE TAIL.
OUR BREED IS PLAGUED WITH HIGH TAILS AND HANDLERS WHO PUSH UP THE HIGH TAILS TO ADVERTISE THE FAULT.
222 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2020
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