Showsight Presents the Doberman Pinscher

Q&A

8. Describe ideal Doberman movement and its impor- tance in judging. A Doberman should move freely—balanced and vigorous, with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hind quarters. When trotting there is strong rear action drive. When moving at a fast trot a properly built dog will single track. Movement is quite important because that is the test that all of the parts are correct. 9. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? If they come from a smooth outline breed they are usu- ally okay with Dobermans; however, some who come from breeds that do not put emphasis on straight toplines with a very smooth look, have difficulty. They should be looking for a stable, alert dog that excels in breed type: a square, one-piece, smooth-appearing dog that is poured into his skin. A dog that stands his ground and appears confident with cropped ears and a docked tail that adds to the demeanor of a force to be reckoned with. 10. What previously campaigned Doberman(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. First there is not a perfect dog—not now, not ever! Close to ideal sometimes comes down to different categories as the most ideal dog for breeding may not (and prob- ably isn’t) the best show dog. I have handled and seen so many great dogs over 50 years of being involved in dog shows that I am unable to select only a few as in my memories there are many more. 11. Do you have anything else to share? In the last several months I have been to different breed seminars in Louisville, Oklahoma City, Houston and Greenville. I have met many new judges as well as group judges studying for additional breeds. All of those that I have spent time exchanging information with are very serious about wanting to learn the fine points of each breed that they plan to apply for. I am impressed with their willingness to spend so much time and money to hone their skills. I think our great sport is in good hands. PETER GAETA 1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. While I note these characteristics in roughly this order in the ring, the order does not reflect my priority. My overriding concern is the synthesis of breed specific characteristics. First, a dog must have a proper silhou- ette. Note, I said silhouette and not just outline. Second, proportions must be correct and this goes well beyond ratio of height to length. It includes length of chest cavity to length of body; depth of chest to total height, length of bones in limbs to each other, etc. Third, a dog needs to display balance. It must have a good balance of

bone and substance (muscle) and angles in order to per- form its intended function beyond just looking pretty. Fourth, a dog must move efficiently with purpose and authority while maintaining its proper silhouette. Last and certainly not least, a dog must have a proper temperament. Note again, I did not say a good or sweet temperament. It must be “proper,” and that includes a willingness to do what it was intended to do in the first place. 2. Are there any unforgivable faults in the breed? Despite the fact that they are a matter of human error (neglect), I find faults of poor condition and disposition most unforgiveable. Actually it may be because they are a matter of owner neglect. My eye is offended by long dogs with soft backs and straight fronts. Round eyes ruin the expression described in the standard and put me off in the extreme. 3. Do uncropped ears and/or undocked tails affect judging? I realize both conditions are a matter left to the judge’s discretion and I would use a dog or bitch that was undocked or uncropped if it exhibited strong enough breed characteristics to beat all other exhibits in the class. However, I must confess, both conditions seriously compromise my ability to appreciate the silhouette. 4. What are the most controversial breed topics? How do you address them? “Controversial” suggests matters that are of some debate. I participate in no social media sites or lists. The standards are the standards and I do not have a clue what things relating to specific breeds are talked about. 5. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Throw bait in the ring without picking it up. Bait dogs’ heads pointing up in the air causing the dog to lean back ruining the outline. Move dogs too fast. 6. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? There seems to be an increasing number of exhibits displaying overly refined bone and heads and too little substance. With respect to what is getting better, an outstanding specimen of 25 or 50 years ago would still be outstanding. On the other hand, over the years the pendulum has swung back and forth and we have seen various deviations from the ideal and then corrections. Breeders will never produce the perfect Doberman; how- ever, the best have remained consistent and outstanding and the type and quality of the rest has varied up and down with respect to look and quality. 7. Describe ideal Doberman movement and its impor- tance in judging. As trite as it sounds, movement is the proof of the struc- tural description of the dog. The Doberman is intended to be a powerful and willful dog and his movement

“...movement is tHe Proof of tHe struCturAL DesCriPtion...”

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