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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I know half of you are fuming, ready to do battle, whilst the other half are surely looking heavenward and asking 'what is this woman on about?' But I really would like your opinions on this subject. You see this past weekend I went with my friend to a Dog Show, or what passes for one hereabouts should I say. Anyhow, as I was sat watching several rather mangy looking Dobes who I wouldnt give houseroom too, much less show, parade around I got to thinking. Here in Spain we really do not have legit Breeders as you seem to do in the US and indeed in other parts of the world, instead we have BYB's by the bushel and then some. Now as I watched I recognised a man and his Dobe, a rather twiddle toed, gangly monster who measured easily 32inches tall, I noticed and came to realise something. He was wearing a shirt on which there for all to see was his Kennels name and the fact that he was a breeder. Now he was showing what in my opinion was a poor Dobe, yet he won 'best of breed and horror of horrors he was actually placed in the final 3 for 'best in show', now the fact that he got an 'excellent' and won his best of breed, (there were 13 Dobes entered and trust me none were a patch on what I see on this forum) meant he was already able to claim he was a champion, which to the average Joe speaks volumes. No end of people are swayed by the fact that Dad was a Champion, mum was a champion etc, etc, that the Breeder is heavily into showing. Which to all intents and purposes would indicate that the BYB is legit, he is a proper bonafide breeder of Dobermans and he can be surely trusted. Now I know just owning a dog that has titles does not make you legit for want of a better way of putting it. But fact is, most folk do not have (at least hereabouts they dont) the benefit of you guys recommending a breeder, warning of a breeder etc, etc.

How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

When does a BYB become legit, when he has champions in his kennel, when he makes the noises, of DCM tested etc, etc. Here in Spain it means nothing, I could claim my dogs (were I to be a breeder) were tested and had passed and if your pup (which you bought from me) developed DCM later on, you could do nothing about it. You can't sue me, there is no one you can report me too, as the Kennel Club here in Spain do not seem to be that bothered. I should know, I contacted them recently to find out if they had any breeders of Boxers on their books who actually bothered to Hip, Elbow score and of course test for heart problems and they said they do not bother to record such things. Now this may be true of America but one would think if the authorities that supposedly promote the well being of dogs cannot be bothered to even have such concientious breeders on their books, they don't have to recommend, just give me the breeders contact details how the heck are we the uninititiated supposed to know which dog to buy and from whom?

Any thoughts?
 

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Paralibrarian
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It is an interesting quandary.

"Legitimate" would certainly suggest that they breed the dogs to standard. Granted, judges must also judge to the standard, and my understanding is that judging can be a horribly political bit of business. Attention to temperament (which does tend to be mentioned, if briefly, in the standard) is also important. If the dogs are as bad as you describe, just having champions isn't good enough. In fact, the ease of finishing a dog might make it easier for European BYB's to market to other countries.

I've discovered that, personally, I'm developing a taste for breeders who both work and show their dogs. So, a championship is what it is, but a working title? It's a little harder to duck walk through that, one would think (HOPE!)

However, if somebody started out as a BYB and then sought to legitimize themselves and their breeding program, such as it was, by getting championships in the show realm and then, with subsequent litters, breeding closer to standard, ostensibly health testing (yeah, they can lie), and doing the Schutzhund stuff...yeah, I can see somebody educating themselves and turning a program around. Or again, I can hope that such a thing might occur.
 

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Sea Hag
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How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

QUOTE]

I think this is kind of like that famous quote one of the US Supreme Court justices made about pornography, paraphrased: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it".

Lots of variables, lots of different criteria and opinions. There are people that some of the board members here think are very reputable that I'd consider nothing but a higher class BYB.

My personal experience after being in the dog world for over 30 years is that very few byb's actually change their stripes, become legit and stay legit.
 

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I so thought this morning that this thread would get jumped on and there owuld be no need for my response so i didnt reply but to my surprise no one did
 

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"Legitimate" would certainly suggest that they breed the dogs to standard. Granted, judges must also judge to the standard, and my understanding is that judging can be a horribly political bit of business.
I totally agree with this.

I'd guess, from what you've said, there arnt alot of dobes around you and the judge doesnt really know the standard. Or maybe that huge dog was the least awfully bred dog out of all the other awfully bred dogs? If its like the UK Kennel Club, you cannot be disqualified like you can in the AKC. Of course, in the UK they can refuse to judge an aggressive dog or a dog that they think has been bred in a way that is detrimental to the health of the dog, but faults are not disqualified in the same way.

Would have loved to see some pics of the entries and the winners!
 

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I think the answer is fairly easy and straight forward. Keep in mind the images of true champions of the breed and compare them to any other with that title.

Almost comparable to seeing a carfax. Ask the breeder for the dogs 'carfax'. If they can't provide a lineage that can be researched/viewed with images to boot, and no one has ever heard of such dogs...the pedigree probably isn't worthwhile.

My pups pedigree has a lot of european/russian dogs in it. I don't know how they do things in Russia. When I think Russia, I think Fedor the mma fighter.

Russian breeders might be very serious about their dogs or they could be like the feller you are speaking of. They might think they have outstanding stock, but maybe they don't know any better??

When I think of near abouts perfect dobermans, I keep coming back to Fitzmar dobermans. Her dogs are absolutely gorgeous. Then there is Pdubois' dobe (member here), whom I have a man crush on. His dog is just a complete bad ass.

If I was still in highschool and I batted for the same team, I would take Pdubois dog to the prom.

Wow, did I just write that out loud?

;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We are off to a show in January in Tarragona so I will definitely dig out my decent camera and try get some photos, just my luck only decent Dobes will show up. Saying that the same faces were at this show as the one before so I may be able to get some pics to show you the kind of dogs we have round here.
It seems to me that all the ones that are being shown are really big Dobes, 30 inch is the smallest I have seen, one was a good 35 inch, surely seeing as the breed standard is 29 inch for a male these dogs should be penalised, bigger is not always better.
To be honest the judges hereabouts judge at least 10 classes each, which to my mind means they are not experts in a certain field, but general dog people.
When my friend was placed in the final she had to stand with her Malinois male next to a bearded collie and guess what won, yep in fact all 3 top slots went to shephards with long flowing coats that looked more like a duster than a dog. (I would love to see any one of them try do a days work with coats down to the floor). Hos the heck can you judge a short coated breed with a long one, the latter is bound to look more spectacular, by dint of flowing locks, however, if you looked at the dog and its musculature you would surely place a Malinois above a Scotch, simply because you can see the dog instead of the coat.
 

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Thoughts? Yeah, the situation in Europe (including Russia and the Baltics) is much different than North America. The mentality is different, the structure and organization of dog clubs and shows is a bit different, the willingness to submit to all kinds of rules and regulations is different. So it's not a direct comparison.

The Doberman authorities in Finland continuously impresses me with their ethics…

In North America there are ZERO regulations imposed by the clubs or authorities. Everything is achieved by the culture and peer pressure. As a result one gets a very wide range of outcomes, including some of undoubtly the very best in the world. Breeders of very high character and standards. In a way it’s almost another dimension to compete on. When standards are imposed, one meets the standards and then stops. So in Europe for decades you test hips, eyes and you’re done. Everything else is an “American problem”. It must be, because they test for it. (Look at the DV regulations on American imports).

With that said, in ten years time all of the best Dobermans in the world will be in America. Show and work. And we’ll still crop and dock.

/end of rant
 

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Sea Hag
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We are off to a show in January in Tarragona so I will definitely dig out my decent camera and try get some photos, just my luck only decent Dobes will show up. Saying that the same faces were at this show as the one before so I may be able to get some pics to show you the kind of dogs we have round here.
It seems to me that all the ones that are being shown are really big Dobes, 30 inch is the smallest I have seen, one was a good 35 inch, surely seeing as the breed standard is 29 inch for a male these dogs should be penalised, bigger is not always better.
To be honest the judges hereabouts judge at least 10 classes each, which to my mind means they are not experts in a certain field, but general dog people.
When my friend was placed in the final she had to stand with her Malinois male next to a bearded collie and guess what won, yep in fact all 3 top slots went to shephards with long flowing coats that looked more like a duster than a dog. (I would love to see any one of them try do a days work with coats down to the floor). Hos the heck can you judge a short coated breed with a long one, the latter is bound to look more spectacular, by dint of flowing locks, however, if you looked at the dog and its musculature you would surely place a Malinois above a Scotch, simply because you can see the dog instead of the coat.
Spain is an FCI country. That means they use the German standard for dobermans (country of origin), and that standard DQ's dobermans two centimeters or more over or under standard.

The irish wolfhound standard calls for a dog that's 32-34 inches...I don't think you really understand just how big 35 inches really is, and how unlikely it is you're seeing dobermans that size. I'm not doubting the dogs may be big, but I just can't buy they're THAT big.

Some of the best doberman judging I've ever seen has been done by "general dog people", rather than a doberman breeder judge, so I wouldn't automatically discard an opinion from an all rounder. It really is no different here in the US-people can get approval to judge many different breeds from the AKC.

And along the same lines, it's the NORM for dogs of varying type to be judged together at the group and best in show level. That means dobermans are judged in the working group in the same ring at the same time as newfoundlands and malamutes. Corgis are judged in the same ring at the same time (part of the herding group) as german shepherd dogs and puli.

In the group and best in show level the judge isn't comparing apples to oranges, in judging dissimiliar types against one another. They're comparing apples to apples, looking at how closely each dog compares to it's own breed standard-the dog they feel comes the closest to their standard wins.

One reason judges "go over" dogs by touch is to be able to FEEL how the dog is built, since coat may mask that to some extent. They also watch how the dog moves, and movement tells you pretty much everything you need to know about how the dog is built.

It certainly is a fact that there are countries where the quality of doberman might not be as high as in other countries. Not trying to be rude here, but I think most of what you're complaining about here is due to your own lack of knowlege and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spain is an FCI country. That means they use the German standard for dobermans (country of origin), and that standard DQ's dobermans two centimeters or more over or under standard.

The irish wolfhound standard calls for a dog that's 32-34 inches...I don't think you really understand just how big 35 inches really is, and how unlikely it is you're seeing dobermans that size. I'm not doubting the dogs may be big, but I just can't buy they're THAT big.

Some of the best doberman judging I've ever seen has been done by "general dog people", rather than a doberman specialist, so I wouldn't automatically discard an opinion from an all rounder. It really is no different here in the US-people can get approval to judge many different breeds from the AKC.

And along the same lines, it's the NORM for dogs of varying type to be judged together at the group and best in show level. That means dobermans are judged in the working group in the same ring at the same time as newfoundlands and malamutes. Corgis are judged in the same ring at the same time (part of the herding group) as german shepherd dogs and puli.

In the group and best in show level the judge isn't comparing apples to oranges, in judging dissimiliar types against one another. They're comparing apples to apples, looking at how closely each dog compares to it's own breed standard-the dog they feel comes the closest to their standard wins.

One reason judges "go over" dogs by touch is to be able to FEEL how the dog is built, since coat may mask that to some extent. They also watch how the dog moves, and movement tells you pretty much everything you need to know about how the dog is built.

It certainly is a fact that there are countries where the quality of doberman might not be as high as in other countries. Not trying to be rude here, but I think most of what you're complaining about here is due to your own lack of knowlege and experience.
I freely admit I know next to sausage all about Dobes, I have read up on them, I can admire them from afar, do often when I see your boys and girls, so perhaps you are right. But how is a person to learn when one sees dogs that are so different to say your boys and girls. Do I discard what I see on this forum and simply look at a picture of a Dobe say from Germany and judge everything I see by this? I have read what the standard should be and whilst my boy doesnt meet it, he is too small, I guess due to his not eating during the summer, (it was just too damn hot and he lost his apetite) and that there can be slight variations it seems to me that the average Dobe male in these shows is bigger and not at all graceful in movement.
Regards the tall dog, I stood next to him, and whilst I describe him as being 35 inches I have to admit I didnt measure him, (didnt have a tape measure to hand), however, I did speak to his owner and he proudly told me he was the biggest Dobe there and measured just under 87 cm's. Now granted this lot half the time talk about to the top of his head, so I apologise if I am in error and misled anyone when I said he was 35 inches tall. (I measure my boy to his shoulder) however this dog was a very big boy, far too big in my opinion to be a good specimen and yet he got a Very Good, which whilst not a winning mark it isnt a 'not placed' one either.
I simply wish to know how one sorts out the wheat from the chaff when looking at breeders, the Dobe that was placed in best of breed and later on could be described as being big and he most definitely didnt move very well. Yet he was made a 'Champion' at that show, which would surely fool some of us into thinking he was a good specimen.
 

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Sea Hag
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I freely admit I know next to sausage all about Dobes, I have read up on them, I can admire them from afar, do often when I see your boys and girls, so perhaps you are right. But how is a person to learn when one sees dogs that are so different to say your boys and girls. Do I discard what I see on this forum and simply look at a picture of a Dobe say from Germany and judge everything I see by this? I have read what the standard should be and whilst my boy doesnt meet it, he is too small, I guess due to his not eating during the summer, (it was just too damn hot and he lost his apetite) and that there can be slight variations it seems to me that the average Dobe male in these shows is bigger and not at all graceful in movement.
Regards the tall dog, I stood next to him, and whilst I describe him as being 35 inches I have to admit I didnt measure him, (didnt have a tape measure to hand), however, I did speak to his owner and he proudly told me he was the biggest Dobe there and measured just under 87 cm's. Now granted this lot half the time talk about to the top of his head, so I apologise if I am in error and misled anyone when I said he was 35 inches tall. (I measure my boy to his shoulder) however this dog was a very big boy, far too big in my opinion to be a good specimen and yet he got a Very Good, which whilst not a winning mark it isnt a 'not placed' one either.
I simply wish to know how one sorts out the wheat from the chaff when looking at breeders, the Dobe that was placed in best of breed and later on could be described as being big and he most definitely didnt move very well. Yet he was made a 'Champion' at that show, which would surely fool some of us into thinking he was a good specimen.
You just have to keep plugging away at learning, and recognize it isn't going to come overnight. Understanding a breed standard and being able to apply it to a living animal is a learning experience that lasts a lifetime-there's always some nuance you haven't considered before that comes up.

One thing to look at is HOW a dog became a champion-where it was shown, what the competition was like, etc. In this country, lots of not-so-good dogs are taken to Alaska to be shown and made a champion..you can finish a dog with three five point majors there EASILY...the thing is it only takes an entry of 6 dogs to earn that 5 point major. So you compare that to a dog who finished with multiple majors when the entries were in the 20's or over, in an area with a lot of quality. Easy to see which one was probably the better dog!

There can be WIDE variations in appearance, even among good quality dogs. There are well bred dogs who would be considered good quality in that they meet the standard well that I find really unattractive and wouldn't be interested in owning.

I really didn't mean to sound rude or confrontational in my prior post..I meant to say that as you learn more, you'll realize why some things happen the way they do at dog shows, and that this is the norm and perfectly reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In this last show there were 13 entrants, 5 of them were bitches and didnt show with the males. At the show prior there were a lot less dogs being shown, so in a way it wouldnt be hard to see how they gain their 'Championship' titles over here.
Now I know my boy is small and I am probably biased but I just wish I hadnt had him castrated now, because I would have loved to show him to see what folk made of him. To me he is the best Dobe I have seen so far (here in Spain that is). Maybe a judge would agree with me. And then again because he is small, maybe he wouldnt.
 

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Sea Hag
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One thing that can really help you learn is to sit at a dog show and have someone experienced talk to you about the dogs you see. You don't even have to necessarily watch dobermans-you can learn volumes watching judging in any breed. The ideal obviously is different from breed to breed, but the terminology is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One thing that can really help you learn is to sit at a dog show and have someone experienced talk to you about the dogs you see. You don't even have to necessarily watch dobermans-you can learn volumes watching judging in any breed. The ideal obviously is different from breed to breed, but the terminology is the same.
I intend to become a sponge and learn all I can, though I have a feeling I will never become an officianado.
 

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I intend to become a sponge and learn all I can, though I have a feeling I will never become an officianado.
Felt the same way in the beginning! I would listen to people saying 'he doesn't have a very good topline' or 'he has good angulation' or 'she ha a snipey mouth' and had no idea what people were on about! After enrolling in ring craft lessons, reading books, opening all the show threads here and attending many shows, I finally think I'm getting the hang of it :)
 
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