These are or should be working dogs. Efficient movement helps increase their stamina and athleticism. Based on this, I think it is very important. I have found over the years that you do not have to be forgiving of bad move- ment. There should be enough dogs in an average entry that you should not have to pick trait one over the other. There should be dogs in the entry that look good stand- ing and moving. I say “should”, but frequently it is hard to find one that can single-track and also show good reach and drive. One big concern is that I am seeing too many Dobermans that move high behind. This is not good at all. The topline should be level in movement, but not necessarily standing still. 9. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? Many concentrate on the individual pieces and miss the best overall picture. Many pick the best of the ones that look alike in the class, but can miss a superior specimen that may be of a different type. This is a square, one-piece breed that should be smooth and look poured into their skin. Others that do not really know the breed depend on the familiar faces of the well-known professional handlers instead of having the confidence to put up an unknown (to them) owner-handler that just may have a better dog. 10. What previously campaigned Doberman(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. I am not sure I can name just one. Nello’s Lex Luthor was certainly a game changer. He came to the US from Argentina and changed the breed here. Another stun- ning bitch was one bred in Russia from Italian bloodlines and lived in France, Irinland Zara Ziefe. An exceptional young bitch currently being shown in the UK is Supeta’s Spells Trouble. All of these specimens have great profiles and beautiful heads, the two icons of the breed. They also have good balance with smooth bodies and excel- lent character and charisma that cannot be seen in a photograph. An ideal, world-class Doberman should have a balance of heavy bone and body with elegance and agility. The Doberman is the original personal protection dog. They need to have the strength, mass and courage to stop an assailant, the agility and stamina to catch one if they flee and the mind to discern a threat from a friend or a neutral stranger. 11. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? It may be an overgeneralization, but throughout the world the breed is generally divided by the “American type” and the “European type”. Other than the Western Hemisphere, Japan and China where the American type seems to dominate, the rest of the world seems to prefer the European type. One of my favorites noted earlier, Nello’s Lex Luthor, was bred in Argentina from the lessor known siblings of some well-known American show dogs that stayed in the US. They bred a dog that won our National at his first show in the US and has left a last- ing mark on the breed. The UK is mostly a mixture of traditional British and continental European lines. I think
that Australia seems to be the best of combining many bloodlines from around the world including European and American types. There are quality specimens of both types around the world. I like various traits of each type. The American type typically has better shoulder angulation, shape of neck and feet. The European type typically excels with heavier bone, better heads (better planes, eyes and underjaw) and correct Doberman temperament is seen more often. Some claim that a Doberman is not a “head breed”. No, it is not everything, but it is a defin- ing characteristic of proper breed type and one of the icons of the breed. In Europe, a Doberman(n) cannot win on a good head alone, but usually cannot win one of the large shows without a good head no mat- ter how good the rest of the dog. In many countries a Doberman(n) cannot be bred unless they have passed a ZTP ( Zuchttauglichkeitsprufung , Fit For Breeding Test) which is a very rigorous temperament test that evalu- ates the stability of character and protective instincts, or they must possess an IPO (International Police Orga- nization) working title. Mainly, there are quality Dobermans bred all over the world and not just in the US. It is sad that in most of the world Doberman breeders seem to only like the regional type they are familiar with and cannot seem to see the quality of dogs bred in other countries or of other types. This is equally true in Europe as well as in the US. Both continents bemoan that the gene pool is too small, but few have the courage to incorporate dogs from other countries into their breeding program. BOB VANDIVER
1. In order, name the four most important traits you look for in the ring. 1. Breed Character: does it look, act and respond as a Doberman should 2. Profile: including proportions and angulation 3. Correct Movement 4. Correct Head 2. Are there any unforgivable faults in the breed? Lack of breed type and unsound movement.
3. Do uncropped ears and/or undocked tails affect judging?
Cropped and docked is in the North American stan- dard. This breed was originated by one person, Louis Dobermann, who envisioned the breed as a cropped and docked breed. The breed has been cropped and docked for nearly 150 years. It’s been cropped and docked for so
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