“sounD movement is essentiAL in DoBermAns.”
long that it has become a part of breed type. Those who choose to ignore the history, the originator’s intent and the breed standard’s specified appearance are not being true to the standard. 4. What are the most controversial breed topics? How do you address them? Unfortunately, cropping and docking is the most con- troversial issue because the AR (Animal Radicals) have launched a very expensive and broadly publicized war on cropping and docking, brachycephalic and achrondo- plastic dogs and ownership of dogs in general. It’s a well funded war based on misinformation and half truths and is a threat to all of us. 5. Which traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? We went through a phase of exaggeration in the 1990s and early 2000s. Many of our breeders were breed- ing dogs that were not square, had extremely slop- ing toplines, rears set far behind the dog and a good
number of sickle hocks. The DPCA, led by the Judges Education Committee, issued many documents to breeders and judges describing the correct Doberman. Every seminar emphasized the correct make and shape of a Doberman. Over a few years, the breeders began breeding to the standard and the judges rewarded their efforts. I’m happy to say that those extremes are seen much less frequently. We have other problems in the breed, but I don’t see a consistently exaggerated ele- ment apparent right now. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Bait! So many handlers use way too much bait and don’t use it properly. If the handler is feeding the dog while trying to set the rear, you know that they don’t know how to use bait. The purpose of bait is to illicit attention and expression from the dog, not to control the dog. When I judge breeds that tend to abuse bait (I’m talking to you, Boxers and Dobermans), I usually post a sign that says that I allow bait, but not to throw it or use it during the exam. If it’s enforced, the handlers will comply and the ring will be clean afterward. 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? I don’t see a single trait or two. Unfortunately, breeders and exhibitors are showing dogs of much lower quality than we have seen in the past. They seem to think that just because a not-very-good-dog finished, they should be able to finish theirs too. We are seeing way too many straight fronts, gay tails, poor toplines and incorrect movement. The bar is becoming lower to become a champion and you can see the results in the ring every day. 8. Describe ideal Doberman movement and its impor- tance in judging. In my opinion, movement is a key part of breed type. Sound movement is essential in Dobermans. To describe how a Doberman should move is a big topic and too large to cover here. I wrote an article entitled Doberman on the Move that describes how a Doberman should move. That article is on the DPCA Judges Ed Website http:// www.dpca.org/JEC/judging-articles/doberman-on-the- move/doberman-on-the-move.htm 9. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? Some judges seem to think that square is everything, probably because when you ask a Doberman breeder to describe the breed, that will be the first statement. True, it is a square breed, but you can’t let that over-ride the many other issues that determine breed type, it’s just one of the components. I’m definitely not recommending that square be a lower priority, just don’t over prioritize it to the point that a square dog with many faults should be awarded over a more correct dog that happens to be slightly longer than tall. Judge the whole dog.
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