man-made features such as these. I would only consider them a minor penalty. I would never, in good conscience, put up an inferior specimen that is cropped and docked over a superior one that was not. 4. What are the most controversial breed topics? How do you address them? Obviously, it is cropping and docking because many of the hardliners in the Doberman establishment cannot see quality past the natural ears and tails and feel it is the most important feature of a Doberman. Secondly, is the lack of proper temperament and working ability of many of the Dobermans. Many breeders do not seem to have the concept of what correct temperament is for a Doberman, or simply don’t care as long as they stand for examination and win in the show ring. Third is the lack of masculinity and heavy bone of many of the males in the show ring today. The other issue is the lack of balance with dogs that are too heavy in the front to balance their rear. As a judge, you must choose the best specimens that are presented on the day. As a breeder, I do not select sires that do not embody the proper Doberman characteristics. 5. Which traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? As noted above, the recent fashion has been for the exag- gerated front without enough rear to balance it and to the exclusion of the overall dog. A Doberman is supposed to be the same width at the shoulders, the ribcage and the hips. Too many are triangular shaped from the top view being much heavier muscled and wider across the shoulders than the muscling and width across the hips. Many are also out of balance being much more angled in the rear than in the front with excessive length of tibia. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? I do not have a problem, as a whole, with what handlers do in presentation. I prefer the presentation style of some better than others, but judging should be about the dog instead of the presentation anyway. I have more of a problem with the influence that some handlers have over certain judges. This is one of the contributing issues with the declining entries at dog shows today. 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? I do think that shoulder angulation has improved in many cases over the years, many of the overall outlines/ profiles have improved and many have nice tight feet. As noted before, I do think that some of the traits going in the wrong direction include lack of proper tempera- ment, lack of heavy bone, poor heads, exaggerated fronts that do not balance the rears and those nice tight feet that do not stand straight and supported by straight legs. I think much of the exaggerated fronts are a matter of “if a little bit of a trait is good, then a lot must be better” mentality. There are also a lot of dogs that are out of square with legs that are too short for their length of body. 8. Describe ideal Doberman movement and its impor- tance in judging.
top to bottom: nello’s Lex Luthor, irinland Zara Ziefe (Photo by D. matson) and Ch supeta’s spells trouble (Photo courtesy of owner).
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