Showsight Presents the Doberman Pinscher


By Bob Vandiver

B reed type is much more subtle and much more complicated than what can be de fi ned by words alone. One of my favorite sources on the subject of breed type is a book written by Richard Beauchamp enti- tled Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type. In his book Mr. Beauchamp examines many breeds and discusses qualities of type that are important for each breed. He gives the reader an appreciation of how diverse the dog species is... and how di ffi cult it is to describe breed type in words. After considering these many breeds and identifying their de fi ning qualities, Mr. Beauchamp concludes that there are fi ve elements that determine breed type. Th ose elements are: Very Good Dog

Very Good Bitch

First Let’s Look at Silhouette Th e visual outline of a dog is the major way we identify a breed. You should be able to see a dog at a distance and be able to identify the breed by outline alone. Th e silhouette conveys much about breed type; size, proportion, substance, angulation, topline, underline, tailset, head carriage, along with a myriad of other traits. All of these traits must combine in a unique way to become that breed and to be unlike any other breed. You can describe a dog until you exhaust your vocabulary and still not have a person visualize a breed that he has never seen before. But show a live dog or a photo of a correct Doberman and that person has an immediate appreciation for how the breed should look. 4JODF PVUMJOF PS TJMIPVFUUF JT EFDJE - edly a mark of breed type, it is important to have an image of the breed in mind to determine breed type. Below are photos of very good male and female Dobermans. Th ese images should be so a ffi xed in your mind that you can very quickly compare a Dober-

man standing before you to the mental image of the ideal. You can see from these images the compactness, the correct head propor- tion, the proper neck that fl ows smoothly into the 90º front angulation. You will observe the solid slightly sloping topline ending in a 2 o’clock tailset with a mod- erate underline and with rear angulation that matches the front. With the silhou- ette, you will see the strong substance, cat tight feet and athleticism. Once you have the ideal silhouette committed to memory and after observing many representatives of the breed, you will be armed with the tools to help you iden- tify that element of breed type. Now Let’s Look at Heads Just as you should be able to identify a breed by pro fi le alone, you should be able to identify the breed of any dog when only the head is visible. Th ough the description of our head is similar to other breeds, the Doberman head does not look like any other breed. Many breeds ask for parallel planes, blunt wedge,


I believe Mr. Beauchamp is spot-on in de fi ning the components that constitute breed type as it applies to Dobermans as in other breeds.

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