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Since it didn't appear that rtewell was going to answer any of my questions about what was so wrong with Dobermans today that was so much better 10 or 15 years ago I looked back through the archives to see if they might shed light.
For a very enlightening view of what rtewell is talking about and what seems to be wrong with todays Dobes, take a look at a thread started by rtewell, Newly Cropped Ears, started 9/7/2008. This thread turned out to not be entirely about ears and crops and posting and rtewell's view of the Doberman today is greatly influenced by the fact the preferred size for (him/her?) is 31 to 32 inches and the problem stems from the AKC's shrinking of required size over the years. There was also a comment (in 2008) that Dobermans 10-15 years ago were vastly superior to what was around then.
The entire thread got quite interesting and it made no difference what information was given in rebuttal to rtewell's view of size (and longevity) and since nothing seems to have changed much in rtewell's mind in the last nearly 10 years I'll stop trying to clarify anything--seems it would only be beating the proverbial dead horse.