8. Describe ideal Doberman movement and its impor- tance in judging. A Doberman should move with purpose at a moderate speed on a loose lead, head just above the shoulder, tail just above the level of the back with a firm and level topline, front foot reaching the plane of the nose and the rear leg straightening the hock, with all feet close to the ground for efficiency. Feet should not cross, but meet in the middle like two pairs of scissors opening and closing, feet should move toward a center line, with the rear moving the dog forward. Movement is very important because when the dog moves you can see not only how the legs and feet are used, but you see how all the parts fit together, like standing in motion 9. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? I think most judges try to do a good job, but many judge generically, rewarding dogs with non typical movement, poor heads, ignore the mouth faults (DQ) and many don’t understand what square looks like, selecting dogs that are actually too short. An adult bitch can be the same size as an adult dog, but should never be larger and we are seeing many very large bitches being rewarded. 10. What previously campaigned Doberman(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. There are two, a dog and a bitch that represent the closest to my ideal that are not being shown today. As described in the standard, both have correct profiles, cor- rect balance and proportion, ideal size (the male 27 ½ ", the bitch 25"), strong features described for the head, sound movement and solid temperaments. 11. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? From my observations, the North American dogs are overall more refined and longer bodied than many of the European dogs who are heavier boned and more com- pact; but are more similar to the South American dogs, with the biggest difference being that the South American dogs can be taller and can have a less angu- lated shoulder to upper arm. 12. Do you have anything else to share? The Doberman is not a robot, but an energetic, elegant, noble animal, with a proud carriage and confident enough to look you in the eye instead of staring at a piece of bait. PATRICIA W. LAURANS 1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. 1. The essence of type: square, compact, powerful, elegant 2. Temperament 3. Proper and balanced outline 4. Head, expression and demeanor (the look of eagles)
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3. Do uncropped ears and/or undocked tails affect judging?
Uncropped ears do not affect my judging decisions. No matter the ‘intent’ of the wording, because the descrip- tion in the standard is unintentionally ambiguous, I judge on the placement of the ears, how they are set and how they are used. The standard is clear that tails are docked. 4. What are the most controversial breed topics? How do you address them? One of the most controversial points at the moment is the description of the ears as written in the standard, “normally cropped and carried erect”. We can only judge by what is written in the standard, not by what someone states the intent is. 5. Which traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? I think that there has been an exaggeration in the lack of balance of shoulder and rear angulation, with a short straight upper arm and over angulated rear. I also have seen eyes that are oblique, too deep set, exaggerated movement that is not characteristic to the Doberman. Also showmanship has become a hallmark of the breed to the extent that the most well trained and showiest dogs are rewarded over better quality animals. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Some of the things I have observed that are distracting to the presentation are throwing bait, moving the dog too fast, keeping the collar tight, head up too high, using a very short lead to keep the dog close to their body for total control when moving. When stacking, pulling up on the neck, leaning the dog too far forward to show more forechest or to straighten the topline and having the dog’s nose pointing to the ground for an exaggerated arch in the neck. When showing the mouth, they imme- diately open it so you can’t see the bite and occlusion. 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? The Doberman head is getting very weak with snipey muzzles, small teeth, round eyes, down and dish faced, low ear sets, also seeing ewe necks and sagging toplines.
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