FINDING BREED TYPE IN THE DOBERMAN
CORRECT FRONT AND REAR MOVEMENT
THE FOURTH ELEMENT OF BREED TYPE IS THE COAT
The dog world is teeming with different types, textures, lengths, and colors of coats. It is clear- ly one of the most important components in breed type. This element is the easiest to understand in the Doberman. It has no unusual characteristics, but it’s coat does help to define the breed. The Doberman coat is a short, hard, shiny coat, with little or no undercoat. If undercoat exists, it will typically be in the neck area. The coat should always be hard. There are coats that are soft, smooth, and shiny. They can be very attractive, but they are not correct. There are four colors; black, red, fawn, and blue, all with tan or rust markings. The only allowed white is a small patch on the chest, measuring no more than 1/2 inch square. Any other color is a disqualification. THE FINAL ELEMENT THAT DEFINES BREED TYPE IS BREED CHARACTER The elements of breed type discussed above deal with the physical appearance of the breed. That’s all that has been described and many people would stop there, but those elements don’t tell the whole story. The breed must present the proper character for its breed. The AKC Glossary of Terms defines character as “Expression, individuality, and general appearance and deportment as considered typical of a breed.”
“THE ELEMENTS OF BREED TYPE DISCUSSED ABOVE DEAL WITH THE PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF THE BREED.”
In addition, the dog must maintain a look that is very similar to the dog when he is in a stacked pose, including topline and underline, with a slightly for- ward head carriage, and tail carriage as shown. The Doberman figures above show the correct movement for the down and back. Notice that the front leg forms a straight-line column and moves in the same plane as the rear leg on the same side. The legs converge toward a centerline under the dog. “Which is more important, the side gait or the down and back?” The answer is “both.” The char- acteristics that are important in side gait are not observable in the down and back. Conversely, the characteristics of correct movement in the down and back are not observable in the side gait. Even though you can see more characteristics in the side gait, the down and back is equally important. Both must be observed to find a sound dog.
262 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION
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