Showsight Presents the Doberman Pinscher

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? MB: Medium size, square, head fits body and good temperament. BLC: Proper temperament, correct mouth (bite, 42 correctly placed teeth), compact build and correct size with heavy bone, a firm back, balanced angulation and long wedge head with parallel planes and strong underjaw. Also, dark almond eyes, tight cat feet and docked tail carried only slightly above the horizontal. MJ: Having desire to work and the protective drives they were bred for along with stability. LK: Correct type including correct size and outline (pro- portion and balance); soundness standing and moving; correct head, stable temperament and some semblance of a correct mouth. FS: Temperament first. Then I want a smooth muscular powerful dog that is agile and looks poured into his skin. He is a one-piece dog. Our standard is all about balance, head to neck and body, length to height, depth of chest to length of leg, front angle to rear angle and upper thigh to lower thigh. He is medium size, but looks bigger because he has heavy bone. This is a well-angled, square breed. Standing on a loose leash, he has the look that says he is in control (determined, fearless, noble and alert). RV: They must have the correct outline with proper size, substance, angulation, topline and tailset. After that, I’m looking for the soundest movement, followed by a correct head. As always, you’ll have to compromise, but those are my priorities. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? MB: Incorrect proportions, bodies too long; snipey heads, muzzles too long. BLC: Over-angulated rears, often with narrow second thighs and sickle hocks; very short rib cage and long loin; lack of underjaw and straight upper arms. MJ: We have lost much of the working character, as well as, the functional conformation our standard describes. The structure is becoming exaggerated and non-functional. We should never favor exaggerated attributes because we may like a particular look. LK: One trait that has continued to be exaggerated is the emphasis put on a statuesque stack instead of the virtues of the dog. Necks are too long and thin, exaggerated fore chests that do not balance the rear, longer bodies; short legs, flat croups with high tail sets and carriage; unchar- acteristic movement including dogs moving too fast and over extension. FS: We have many dogs with long lower thighs that make their toplines slope to much combined with straight fronts. Or fronts with exaggerated posternums but not well-angled fronts. Some judges are so worried about picking a big dog that they choose the medium bone dog doberman pinscher Q&A

WITH DR. MARY-HELENE (MIMI) BROWN MD, BONNIE LINNELL CLARKE, DR. MAY JACOBSON, LINDA KRUKAR, FAYE STRAUSS & ROBERT L. VANDIVER

“MEDIUM SIZE, SQUARE, HEAD FITS BODY AND GOOD TEMPERAMENT.”

that looks like a Whippet. This is a breed that asks for a broad chest and heavy bone. We don’t want a Rottweiler, but the breed is substantial. RV: We went down that road well over a decade ago with oversized, long bodies, over-done rears and very slop- ing toplines. Most of this was from the influence of one stallion of a dog that was very impressive, but incorrect in many ways. The breeders flocked to this look. Fortu- nately with a heavy push by DPCA’s Judges Ed and our Breeder’s Ed, this slowly turned around. These extremes are not common today. Our larger problems today are mostly in substance, angulation and toplines. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? MB: About the same. Although the number of entries is down, the quality is there. BLC: Yes and no. In the 70s and 80s, bloodlines were easy to identify. Today, there are only a couple of breeders with a recognizable style. With the more out-crossed pedigrees, the gorgeous heads, correct eye shape and placement has been lost. The dogs today have more angulation than in years past. But, that has not come without problems. There have always been outstanding examples, just with a slightly different style. MJ: The dogs are not better now than when I first started judging. They are exaggerated structure wise. They have extremely long, refined necks, over angulated rear quar- ters and straight front assemblies. They are very unbal- anced structurally. They have bubble chests that has no function other than hiding a straight front. LK: Overall, I think the quality was better when significant entries were needed for majors. While there are some quality dogs in the ring, since majors have gone as low as single digits in some areas, anything and everything is in the ring and finishes. Dogs that would never see the show ring are now finishing titles. Maybe the question should be why has the breed lost popularity in the show ring? RV: Like a lot of other breeds, the Doberman has had its ups and downs. In the 70s, there were very few dogs with good movement, especially in front coming to the judge. The angulation was more moderate than today. This improved in the 80s, 90s, and into the turn of the century. Beginning about ten years or so ago, we started having a serious downturn in quality. This may be the

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