without them I might have lost hope and that is far more important than any wins or assignments. It is my wish that we could all recognize this special family and stop the controversy, taking sides and political BS that has been going on lately. This sport is too small to burn bridges and cause us to pull apart instead of together. We are supposed to be in this for enjoyment and for the dogs, the club and the sport. I love the dogs, we all need to be more like them in being tolerant and forgiving, honest and loyal. HOUSTON CLARK
1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring.
The first thing I look for is the complete package—general appearance. A good one must all fit together with a square body, smooth straight topline with a balanced front and rear as well as a smooth outline. This breed MUST be elegant in appearance, of proud carriage reflecting great nobility. Always energetic and watchful. Ears up! I love pretty heads with dark almond- shaped eyes. 2. Are there any unforgivable faults in the breed? An improper temperament cannot be rewarded. 3. Do uncropped ears and/or undocked tails affect judging? Uncropped ears and undocked tails are deviations from the standard and must be judged according to the sever- ity of the deviation. Actually the standard calls for the ears to cropped and carried erect, therefore if they are not cropped then they can not be carried erect so the uncropped dog has two very obvious deviations. The standard calls for a tail to be docked at approximately the second joint so an undocked tail also has two obvious deviations—not docked and not the correct length. 4. What are the most controversial breed topics? How do you address them? I serve on the DPCA Judge’s Ed committee. There are 5 of us and we do not have any controversy. We all judge according to the written standard. It is very specific. 5. Which traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? Many breeders like an extreme amount of forechest. This can sometimes be a problem. We went through a period of over angulated rears which caused extreme slope to the topline but that has been much better lately. I think we have excellent breeders who really try to breed according to the standard and not just for a fad. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? I think that the Professional Doberman handlers are excellent at presenting this breed. In days past we had some that I laughingly called beggars, but not so much now. Or maybe they just know better than to do it under me? We also have some excellent owner/handlers that do a great job as well. 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? I really don’t see any traits consistently going in an improper direction. As I said, we have excellent breeders and when something starts going in the wrong direction, they start going in the right direction.
1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. 1. Breed type 2. Good wedge Doberman head 3. Body square as possible with proper movement 4. Proper angulation of shoulder- good layback of shoulder blade and length of upper arm with balanced rear 5. Proper tail set—no terrier tails.
Photo by Booth
2. Do uncropped ears and/or undocked tails affect judging? The standard is my Bible in judging all breeds. I do not like them. 3. What are the most controversial breed topics? I only judge by the standard. I don’t get into controversial points. 4. Which traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? Rears are too angulated and we rarely see a square dog. 5. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Too much bait used, for instance, throwing bait and giv- ing bait just prior to examination. 6. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? Long backs and extreme rears; Irish Setter toplines are wrong. Nothing is getting better… not a thing. 7. Describe ideal Doberman movement and its impor- tance in judging. With reach and drive with a level topline. Movement is all a part of the package and important to Dobermans. 8. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? I do not watch non-breeder judges when they judge, or for that matter, anyone who judges. That isn’t my job. 9. What previously campaigned Doberman(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. I am sorry, but there are a number of dogs that have been good representatives of the Doberman breed to whom I have given best in shows—and not time to list them all.
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