Doberman Pinscher Q&A


  • May 01, 2019
  • ShowSight Readers

From the April 2019 Issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe. Above photo:  CH Rancho Dobe's Storm, Best In Show at Westminster in 1952 and 1953. From the article "Doberman Pinscher History" by Theresa Mullins & Marj Brooks, ShowSight Magazine, May 2012 issue.

 

We asked the following questions to people in the Doberman Pinscher community. Here are some responses. 

1. How many years in Dobermans? Do you judge? Also tell us a little about yourself: Where you live, what you do for a living, what you do outside of dogs.?

2. Who was your mentor? What did he/she teach you that you value most highly? 

3. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general, and your breed in particular.

4.. What is the biggest health concern facing the breed today? 

5. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder?

6. Advice to a new breeder?

7. Advice to a new judge of your breed?

8. What’s the most common fault you see when traveling around the country?

9. How has the docking/cropping controversy 
affected you?

10. What’s more important to you, a win at an all-breed show or at a Specialty?

11. What’s your favorite dog show memory? 

12. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show?

13. Anything else you’d like to share? 

 

RESPONSES

Dr. Mary-Helene  (Mimi) Brown

I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I retired in 2016 after 37 years as an OB/GYN Dr. I am the current president of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.

I judged intersex at our 2016 National specialty and found a great depth of quality Dobermans.

My biggest concern is Dilated Cardiomyopathy and the decreasing longevity of our Dobermans because of it.

Biggest problem as a breeder is finding owners that want a multidimensional dog. Dobermans need to have a job to do and excel in many venues. They are not just house pets. They are working dogs.

Advice to new breeders: Look at health testing and talk to your mentors, but don’t just base breeding on test results. Breed for the total Doberman. Breed for phenotypic appearance and good temperament and working ability.

Advice to new judges: Apply our standard, as you do with any other breed you judge. Look for a balanced dog, medium size, square, with a correct head.

Most common fault I see when traveling is long bodies, snipey muzzles, straight fronts, over angulated rears, lack of bone and substance.

Dobermans are a wonderful breed to share your life with. You will never go to the bathroom alone again.

 

Margarita Files

I currently live in Illinois and outside of dogs, I care for my parents.

I feel the current quality is not great. It’s not horrible but I do feel that we as breeders should do more to improve the breed. Research is needed to produce better quality. If you own a bitch the first question you need to ask yourself is how can I improve her? whether it be health, temperament or conformation. That’s the foundation for this breeding. Then you start your search for the best stud dog for her. Not the dog of the day, or the top dog that is winning. This is not the fix for every bitch.

I have two concerns one is DCM, my opinion is easy use the test as a tool. We also need to use the pedigree to determine where the DCM is in the genetics and not breed it so close together. we don’t breed VWD affected together or VWD affected to carriers together so why do we do it with two animals that may each have a parent that died from this dreadful disease. The other concern is the strait fronts. There is nothing more unappealing to me than a straight front. 

The biggest problem facing me as a breeder is health.

My advice to a new breeder and to a new judge is to get a good mentor. 

The most common fault I see when traveling around the country is bad fronts and gay tails.

Love your breed with all your heart. Breed like this may be your last litter. Always try to move forward and most of all remember you cannot fix every problem with one breeding. Not all puppies in a litter have to be shown and bred.

Years ago I had my girl Blue MOA’s once ina blue moon. I was just starting and was told that my bitch always need to relieve herself prior to going into the ring. So I matched her and put her in a public x-pen. Well Blue was not having any of that and refused to go so I put another match in, she will still not go. Another match. Finally she goes but, oh my god, was she mad. I gave her to my handler, they went in the ring and she showed like something I had just untied her from a tree. My handler gave her back to me and asked what was wrong with her. I told him what I had done and he laughed. 
Blue stood there and would not acknowledge me at all. Everyone else would come and speak to her and ask for a kiss which she gave with no reserve. I asked repeatedly and she would just turn her head and look the other way. This was hilarious to me that she was so human. She did finally forgive me. That was one of my heart dogs. I miss her to this day.

 

Eric Glofka

I have been involved with Dobermans for eight years since we purchased our first pet Doberman—Niko. Lucia was my first show bitch and our world has never been the same since we went to our first AKC show. I knew from that point on that helping support this breed in any way possible was my life’s work. My wife Lynda and I, along with our four Dobermans Lucia, Liberty, Justice and Niko live in Dade City, Florida which is just north of Tampa. I am a Regional Asset Protection Operations and Safety Director for Lowes covering the South East. Outside of dogs, we love the outdoors such as fishing, hiking and going to the beach.

Carol Petruzzo from Carosel Dobermans has been my mentor for the last eight years. Carol taught me all about the proper breeding of Dobermans as well as the ins and outs of the dog show world. Carol also co-bred and helped me with my first Litter. Carol taught me most importantly to enjoy every show, the people, and the atmosphere. Carol would always say “Don’t try to figure things out.” Just enjoy the process. If you have the right quality Doberman your time will come. Enjoy every show and enjoy watching your dog perform in the ring. 

While I understand that we can’t breed out every health condition, I do believe that we should try to do our best to pair up two healthy animals. I am a big believer in putting health and longevity first, then beauty and conformation. As I have learned pedigrees over the years I have been shocked to see some breeders intentionally pairing up animals that I know have passed away early from DCM and other significant health ailments. While you can’t avoid it all together, dogs that have had significant health issues should never be bred head to head. If the conformation process is to identify the best breeding stock of the future, health needs to be number one in that conversation. 

How has the docking/cropping controversy affected me: it has not affected me personally but I do fear what I am starting to see rise up in America. I believe that we need to do all we can to educate people about proper docking/cropping and aggressively fight any movement forward against docking and cropping in the US.

What’s more important to me, a win at an all-breed show or at a Specialty: a Specialty show for sure. Top dogs travel from all over the country to compete in specialty shows. To win a Doberman Specialty is extra special and memorable just due to the increased competition and the size of 
these shows.  

My favorite dog show memory: I have two memories that stick out the most. First, our first bred Champion “Liberty” GCH Carosel V. Epic Saturday Night Special CGC finished her Championship with two Specialty Majors at the Royal Canin National and the Atlanta Doberman Pincher Club of America. What incredible exciting memories those were to see Liberty win and be recognized against some of the top dogs in 
the country. 

Second, we started 2019 spot showing Liberty in the Special Ring to get her ready for her 2019 Campaign. In three weekends, Liberty finished her Grand Championship winning multiple breeds over Top 20 Specials. We are excited and optimistic about Liberty’s future. 

 

Cherie Holmes

I live on southern Vancouver Island and I am the current president of the BCDPC. I retired from being a musician in a rock band in 1995, sold my cabinet shop in 2004, and since my husband died in 2010, I have been doing home share/respite for persons with disabilities. This allows me time to work with my all breed club, and also with the four Doberman Pinscher clubs that I belong to.

I have been given the job of running the concession stand at our all breed show every May, and enjoy all the cooking, and serving the exhibitors. Our menu is becoming famous for home cooking and home made pies and squares. This is not only giving the people a great meal at a great price, it also helps pay for the wonderful building that we use for the show. We are lucky that this venue does not have a contract in place for the kitchen, allowing us to rent it every year.

I judge the Sporting, Working, Non Sporting groups, and have started working on Terriers and have owned and shown Dobermans and Smooth Fox Terriers since 1971.

I am pleased with the progress that Doberman breeders have made improving structure in the last 40 years. The ability to DNA test for some diseases has helped us to beat some diseases, but we still struggle with the eradication of cancer and heart disease. Our many dedicated fanciers work hard to produce the healthiest and soundest dogs possible. 

We had a lot of dogs a few years back with lower thighs that were too long, and were too high in the hock, but as we recognized this trend, work was done to remedy the issue on most dogs. It is a balancing act to produce good fronts and matching rears, and the pendulum swings while we all work on attaining perfection, without perpetuating health risks.

The biggest problem we in Canada face at present is the growing inability to crop and dock our puppies. This is a world wide issue facing us all, but I am hoping that the U.S. will not follow this trend.

The possible answer to this may be to open the stud registry (as other breeds have done) and continue the work of our predecessors in the 20’s and 30’s to continue to build this breed, this time with a prick ear. We may be able to breed a natural bob tail as well, as back in the first 25 years of the breed’s existence, some natural bob tails were born in litters. We need to re-think the process, and say that maybe we are just not done yet!

As I observe dogs around the world, I still see some dogs that are not balanced, but I know that each one is a work in progress, and we are all trying to breed the 90 degree lay back with a matching rear, in a short backed dog. As daunting as that is, we all are still trying to achieve that Nirvana! We are closer than we were 40 years ago, so kudos to those breeders who continue to strive for perfection.

I love dog shows, love watching all the breeds that are shown to us, and live for the thrill that comes from watching a superb animal, groomed and shown to perfection enter 
the ring!

 

Patricia Reinard-Kopsa

I got my start with Dobermans 15 years ago by purchasing a Doberman for obedience. A few people told me how beautiful she was and encouraged me to show, and show I did! 

After several shows, my now mentor, CarolAnne Havener, Rauschund Dobermans, befriended me and we became instant friends. She took me under her wing and taught me many valuable lessons, the most being to breed responsibly, especially for health and temperament. CaroleAnne showed a great deal of confidence in me and trusted me with my first true show dog, Husker. 

My most memorable show moment was when I handled Husker to winners dog in his first show at six months of age. Through CaroleAnne’s trust and encouragement, I got my foundation bitch from her and that is when my kennel, Gerhund Dobermans, was started. I am fortunate that I have very loving and dedicated puppy people. Two are starting their show careers with one of my boys quickly earning six points in very limited showing. My dogs are also very athletic and a couple will be pursuing performance careers with their owners.

I think the biggest health concern facing our breed today is DCM. I lost my first Doberman to DCM and it was devastating. We really need to find a way to eradicate this disease. In addition, the docking and cropping controversy needs to be met with resistance. I am fortunate that New York State does not have this law yet. We need to ban together and stop these laws from passing and ruining this beautiful breed.

I am dedicated to Dobermans and in my breeding program I promote good health and follow the Puppy Culture protocol where I can see the positive impact this brings in 
their temperaments. 

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