Showsight Presents the Doberman Pinscher

Correct Occlusion

Pleasing Heads

dark eyes and high ear set, but they are not even close to resembling a Doberman. Dobermans have a dry head with a fl at skull, smooth planes on the side of the head, erect ears and a vigorous and ener- getic expression. Th e head should give the impression of planes, not curves and inten- sity, not softness. Th e standard’s wording of a blunt wedge is not an exact measurement. A blunt wedge can vary from very wide (think Rottweiler) UPWFSZOBSSPX UIJOL$PMMJF  A heavy-bodied Doberman will likely have a wider angle to the blunt wedge, whereas a narrower skull may be more appropriate on a dog with lesser substance. Both could be acceptable as long as the head fi ts the rest of the dog. You must know the limits of the wedge that are correct for a Doberman. You can do this by having the image of the ideal head stored in your mind’s eye for reference. Of major importance of the head is a full muzzle with a full complement of teeth. Th e Doberman was bred as a per- sonal protection dog. To protect against threats, a Doberman needs the strength of head to manage a full sized man that threatens the dog or his owner. Th e standard calls for a disquali fi ca- tion for dogs with four or more missing teeth or overshot more than 3/16ths of an inch or undershot more than 1/8ths of an inch. Th e most frequently miss- ing and easiest to fi nd teeth are the pre- molars. Missing teeth can occur at any part of the mouth, incisors, pre-molars

or molars (usually the rear-most molar). It is imperative to check all teeth for proper dentition. Extra pre-molars are quite common in the breed. Th e standard calls for 42 cor- rectly placed teeth. More teeth is not bet- ter. More actually represents two faults. First is that there are more than the 42 speci fi ed by the standard and second the teeth cannot be correctly placed if there are too many of them. Having said all of that, a missing or extra tooth is incorrect, but a dog should not be excluded from consideration for this singular fault. Another consideration in the mouth is the occlusion. Occlusion is best exam- ined with by examining the bite, then lift- ing the lips to reveal the upper and lower premolars. Th ese premolars should fi t such that the they mesh symmetrically between each other as shown here. A good understanding of the correct head will lead you to become a better Doberman judge or breeder. The Next Element of Breed Type is Gait Each breed has distinct gait, but there are many common factors of the gait that are typical of many breeds. Dobermans tend to have a strong, pow- erful gait, yet with light footed action. Th ey tend to have wider strides than many breeds. As an example, some herd- ing breeds call for similar structure in their standard with strong reach and drive, but

in comparison they have a more moderate gait than a Doberman. When observing the “running gear,” the essential characteristics for Doberman side gait movement are correct reach and drive, interchange of the feet under the dog and feet close to the ground. Th e reach and drive should be balanced with the front foot reaching near the nose and the rear drive extending in a like angle and with the hock joint fully open and the rear pastern fully extended. Th e exchange under the dog should be with the back foot stepping into or near the exiting front foot. In addition the dog must maintain a look that is very similar to the dog when he is in a stacked pose including topline, underline, with slightly forward head car- riage and tail carriage as shown below. Th e fi gures below show the correct movement for the down and back for a Doberman. Notice that the front leg forms a straight-line column and moves in the same plane as the rear leg on the same side. Th e legs converge toward a centerline under the dog. “Which is more important, the side gait or the down and back?” Th e answer is “both.” Th e characteristics that are impor- tant in side gait are not observable in the EPXO BOE CBDL $POWFSTFMZ  UIF DIBSBD - teristics of correct movement in the down and back are not observable in the side gait. Even though you can see more characteris- tics in the side gait, the down and back is equally important. Both must be observed to fi nd a sound dog.

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