As for the black shoe polish--I think most of them have graduated to either dye or to black waterproof marker to cover up those white strips on the chest--but there isn't a DNA test for spotting in a Dobe and I've been watching them do that since the first show I went to in 1958.
There is now, it's the S Locus (White spotting, piebald or parti) testing/gene. And it is far more prevalent in our breed than people would like to admit. I know of a stud dog who has tested homozygous for it, who is by an Am/Can GCH sire from sensationally famous US and South American lines and a Can Ch dam out of very well known North and South American lines.
But I can't think of any reputable breeders that have actually started testing for it. I don't think they should, either, as the last thing this breed needs is yet more reasons to create a genetic bottleneck. Also, personally I think this should be struck from the standard as a fault, how do white hairs impede the original function of the doberman? I don't think it's linked to deafness or blindness in our breed, and thanks to DNA testing we now know it's not a sign of cross-breeding or 'impurity' (let's call a spade a spade), nor is it related to albinism. I suspect if we did test we'd realize it is extremely widespread and if that's the case, maybe it's just part of our breed, why penalize it? (I can understand it not being preferred, but for it to be a disqualifying fault... people already cover it up all the time anyway, this would just cut out the pretenses).
The conformation standard as far as size and general appearance is just fine and I would have to vehemently disagree with making the breed larger or taller. Do we want more cardio problems? That's how we get more cardio problems.
However, I think temperament is too weak in far too many modern NA Dobes and few seem to care. When breeders indiscriminately linebreed, because they don't understand how to apply it and think they're going to get a winning ghetto clone of a popular sire, well, even in severely inbred humans, temperament & sanity are usually the first noticeable things to go.
Anxious Dobes are just not correct. Breeders are failing their dogs and themselves when they desensitize & train to evaluations like the WAC, and take it multiple times until their dogs pass. They are failing their dogs and the breed (and scamming buyers) when they claim to have "working bloodlines" based on a sire who only a WAC, TT, ATT and the tracking & obedience phases of IPO. What does passing ALL the temperament evals in the world mean if the dog has weak nerves or whatever other mental issues and can't pass protection phase of the most basic level?
I'm sure I'm in a minority here, but I'm of the opinion that, if the ferocious 70s & 80s Dobes were on the hard side of stable temperament, they had a chance in IPO and doing the work that matches their reputation. I realize that there are a host of reasons that Dobes are seldom seen in real protection jobs anymore, but there's definitely a problem when DVG clubs either don't accept Dobes for training in their programs, or laugh them off the field because they've seen so many failures. The illusion of Dobermans as fierce protectors persists for the general public, but those who are serious about protection sports or training policing dogs have all but abandoned the breed. It's a major thing when someone titles a Dobe to an IPO1 degree in the USA, a Dobe achieving IPO3 is a once-in-a-blue-moon event.
It's really sad that Dobes have lost so much respect in working circles.
I whole heartedly agree. Especially the first part... during my time at the Ring Club, we were discussing the increasing trend in European show dobes being oversized... males advertised as 120lb and this from winning kennels... Trainer looked at me in shock, laughed and said that's not a dobermann, and it sure as hell ain't a working dog. He also said it's one of the reasons you see less and less GSDs in Ring as they're getting bigger too and there's a point at which a 120lb dog hurtling over a 2m palisade is going to seriously injure or strain itself... also won't have the ability and stamina to endure a RingIII test from start to finish.
I saw a comment on facebook the other day in one of the many doberman groups, from a self-professed show breeder actually saying she didn't want, nor was interested in a proper working temperament (we are talking about temperament here, not Drive) and I just about keeled over. She basically just admitted she doesn't like Dobermans... just dogs that look like them and that made me unbelievably sad. I almost asked her if she had any idea what a proper Dobe temperament was like (I'm thinking she had to have some misconceptions about what that entails. Aloof does not mean aggressive, suspicious doesn't mean unfriendly, alert and active doesn't mean anxious, and so on...)