“IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE GERMAN PINSCHER IS AN ACTIVE BREED, THEY ARE ALERT, INTELLIGENT AND VERY INQUISITIVE.”
that have a short upper arm, which is a structural defect that many breeders are working to correct. When examining the German Pin- scher it should be remembered that this is a medium-sized breed that is exam- ined on the ground. Like most dogs, they do not like someone leaning over them. It is best to approach the Ger- man Pinscher from the front. Once you have introduced yourself, most German Pinschers will stand for examination. Friendly hands touching their body are perfectly acceptable to most German Pinschers. However, not all German Pinschers are as pleased to have their bites examined since it can be uncom- fortable for the dog. The breed standard calls for full dentition. While most dogs do not mind having their lips parted, many do not like the “Doberman” approach of prying their jaws apart and opening the entire mouth. Again, size is the issue. Most German Pinschers stand around knee level to the judge. Therefore, the judge not only opens the mouth wide, he needs to tilt the head back and maneuver it from side to side in order to see all the teeth. This is just too much manipulation for many dogs. Therefore, it works much better if the judge examines the dog first and leaves the mouth for last. It is also important to understand that the German Pinscher is an active breed, they are alert, intelligent and very inquisitive. This does not necessar- ily make for an ideal show dog. Stand- ing perfectly still is simply beyond some German Pinschers. There are those that
feel the need to crawl into a judge’s lap for a good massage as soon as he starts touching them while others will twist and turn because they want to know what is going on everywhere around them. There have even been a few that have performed dances of joy and oth- ers that found it delightful to roll on the floor. German Pinschers always enjoy entertaining the crowd and embarrass- ing their handlers. However, since the hardest attribute to assess at a dog show is temperament, the German Pinscher’s natural enthusiasm and outgoing nature are positive traits in the breed as it gives the judge a good indication of each dog’s personality. A discussion of judging the Ger- man Pinscher would not be complete without addressing the natural dog. While the breeders in the United States mostly crop and dock their dogs, many imports come in as older dogs from countries that have outlawed one or the other or both. Even though the German Pinscher standard allows for a dog to have both natural ears and a tail, show- ing these dogs is difficult. Judges here are not used to seeing the natural ver- sion of a breed that is usually cropped and docked and it takes an exceptional specimen to have any degree of suc- cess. Much appreciated was a remark made by one judge upon seeing a recent import from Germany, “I hate the ears and I hate the tail, but I cannot deny the dog.” While the standard very spe- cifically describes the natural ear, the tail is simply referred to as moderately set, carried above the horizontal and
“customarily docked”. In judging the natural tail it is more important to look at the tail set rather than where it falls. Being an outgoing and generally happy breed, a German Pinscher with a natu- ral tail will often be seen wagging it constantly. Even judges who have trou- ble accepting a natural dog will often comment about how happy the dog is acting. Generally, the German Pinscher is still a work in progress. Since the breed has come into the United States there have been great strides forward in improving and stabilizing the tempera- ment. Many of the earliest imports were much sharper than what we see today. While today’s breeders work with what they have, there is a concerted effort to continue selective importation so that the small gene pool that is available here does not limit the continued devel- opment of the breed. Through careful breeding, the German Pinscher will continue to improve while maintaining his working breed nature. For more information, please visit the German Pinscher Club of Amer- ica’s official website at http://www. german-pinscher.com.www.german- pinscher.com . ABOUT THE AUTHOR Deidre E. Gannon has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs for over 35 years. She is a Past President of the German Pinscher Club of America and their current AKC Delegate. She is the author of several dog books includ- ing one on the German Pinscher.
“THROUGH CAREFUL BREEDING, THE GERMAN PINSCHER WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE WHILE MAINTAINING HIS WORKING BREED NATURE.”
276 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018
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