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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Okay, this might sound silly... but... I'm going ask for thoughts on it anyway. It is just interesting to me, and I would like some educated answers from all you smart doberfolks.

How do they "test" temperament? Or do they? Is it only extremes that are ruled out? Like the overly shy dog that shies away, or the overly aggressive dog that tries to bite the judge when they get near? Other than actively competing in Schutzhund or Obedience, how do they test the character of these dogs?

I know that health testing, conformation, and such is a priority before breeding. Do breeders/owners just go off of what they know about the two dogs that they are breeding?

I guess what I am saying, is .. (1) Are most dogs close to the "standard" and (2) Do you think Dobermans getting away from the temperament and purpose that they were originally bred for? Just curious what you all think.

Quoted from the DPCA website: "The Doberman temperament is the "essence and persona" of what the doberman is and what sets it apart from other breeds and even other breeds of Working dogs."
 

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The main temperament test for Dobermans is the Working Aptitude Evaluation (WAE). http://www.atlantadpc.com/wae.html
http://www.dpca.org/waepic.html
The dog cannot take the test until 18 months of age. Although it is a pass/fail test, the evaluators do gauge a range of behaviors that the dog exhibits, which does provide the owners of the Doberman with valuable information.

Some various other tests that can gauge a range of temperaments are the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test, Therapy Dog test (TDI), http://www.tdi-dog.org/tditesting.html, and the Temperament Test (TT), which is somewhat like the WAE.

Other titles that are offered for instance, the BH (Begleithund) in Schutzhund, which the dog can take at 12 months, obedience titles (CD’s, CDX’s, UD’s), agility, flyball, and rally titles etc. do tell something about the dog’s temperament, although they may not be the most revealing, they still say something about the dog and their workability and/or temperament.

I really do think more breeders should be using the WAE before breeding Dobermans as a tool to assess temperament. I know I appreciate seeing any of the above titles in breeding dogs and will only obtain a Doberman from breeders who do show in some venue (as well as health test, have Am. Championships on parents, etc.). Seeing a WAC behind the dogs that are being produced is important to me and I think it does tell a lot about the breeder and their Doberman breeding program, as well as the other temperament assessing titles they take the time to obtain.
 

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I don't know anything about it...but the description from AKC is...
Temperament
Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient. The judge shall dismiss from the ring any shy or vicious Doberman.
That describes Duchess perfectly...She is energetic...definatly watchful...alert...the only time she is fearful is from a loud crash or something falling. When it comes to being watchful she is definatly fearless and will stand her ground and not necessarily be tempermental but she will go right up to them and bark until she feels comfortable with them. And definatly obedient. She would never be vicious...she has a very calm disposition and and sweet with everyone...
I think what my point is...
Whenever it was that Dobermans were overbred and known as vicious tempermental dogs was when they got away from what they bred for.
The dobermans today are all still very loyal watchful alert and naturally protective that they were probably meant to be before.
again I dont know much about it...but that is what my opinion is on what I know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How many breeders do the WAE with their Dobermans before breeding though? Again, I am just honestly curious. It seems that as long as the dogs are of "sound" temperament (i.e. not crazy) that, that is good enough. I guess I just haven’t really heard of many owners/breeders "testing" temperament like they do conformation and health. It seems like it would be one of the first and foremost things to be tested, and maybe it is, I was just curious.

In my opinion, the BH or Schutzhund is one of the best ways to test a dog’s true character. You put them under alot of stress, but the dogs of good character are absolutely amazing to watch. To watch them in obedience, and then protection, and tracking...they are so versatile, it just shows what awesome dogs they really are.

I am FOR SURE no Doberman expert, and I have only scratched the surface when it comes to reading up on what it takes to choose a "fine specimen of the breed” but in my opinion, breeders should be able to back up the character and temperament of their dogs, just as they do their health and beauty. It seems that not alot are as concerned with this though.

I got a Doberman because I love the brains, loyalty, protective nature, yet great ability to adapt themselves to family. The beauty was an afterthought.

Just my .02
 

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I'm no expert either but I dont think to many Breeders do the WAE Test. Those that do are into Schutzhund *usually*. Most of these Breeders just focus on major working Lines. Not every Doberman can work some have it and some dont. Those that can are amazing to Watch.I love watching Videos of Schutzhund. Most of these Working Breeders Produce top of the line Dogs. there dogs are all titled and that working ability gets passed down through genetics to produce other greats and you can deff. tell it works. http://www.deiDohse.net is a great Breeder there dogs are spectacular. I'm starting to really get intrested in Schutzhund i'm considering getting a working prospect from Deidohse.
 

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Breeders "should" do a lot of things. Some of them do, some of them don't. The U.S.A. doesn't have minimum breeding requirements like Germany does.
I used to think we should, but now I don't, because I have found that in Germany the breeders do the required minimum of health testing and that's it. For years it was just hips, now I think it's hips and eyes. I have heard that it may someday be cardiac testing also, but most Euro breeders still don't do cardiac of vWD testing. Why? Because it's not required.

Temperament. Back in Black, you asked a question and then a few posts later answered it yourself. You think schutzhund is the ultimate temperament test. So you already had your answer.

Personally, I don't think schutzhund is a great temperament test, and many people who participate in it say the same thing. In fact it was a schutzhund judge who first told me that and I was very surprised to hear it. He said an average stable dog could earn a schutzhund title. Now I realize he was right.

Schutzhund is a competitive sport. As such, it is trained for, just like AKC obedience. Yes, the dogs are versatile, it's a versatile breed, and I love versatility. Schutzhund is a very ritualized procedure. For instance, in tracking, the dogs are not allowed to just follow the scent to the end of the track, they have to keep their noses buried in the footsteps of the track layer, what's called a "deep nose" the whole way, they are not allowed to air scent or follow scent off to the side of the footsteps on vegetation. They are not supposed to go too fast. These things don't mean squat in real tracking work, in the real world the dog needs to find the person or thing they are tracking, it doesn't matter *how* they find it, just that they do find it. Dogs who are real working trackers can't compete in schutzhund tracking because they don't have the right "form".

The protection phase of schutzhund is also trained. Most Dobermans can learn to do this, even the ones who don't take to it naturally the first time they are on the field. And again, control and obedience are paramount in this phase as well. It's not really a temperament test, the whole Schutzhund trial is really a test of obedience. In tracking they talk of "obedienc to the track", meaning the dog must keep its nose in the footsteps at all time. In the protection phase, in the search of the blinds for instance, the decoy is always hiding in the same blind. After all the training, the dog knows this, but it is not allowed to run directly to that blind, it must "search" all the blinds. This is taught as an obedience exercise, with varioius ways of making the dog run around all the blinds.

The WAE on the other hand *is* designed as a temperament test. It was created by the DPCA, and most of the people who participate in it are not "working" people. A lot of schutzhund people do take their dogs thru it, but a lot of them also badmouth it because there's no actual bite in it, because of other things as well.

It is a temperament test designed to be taken by an untrained dog. Dogs get some amount of training just going thru life, that can't be helped, but training for the specific exercises in the WAE simply denies the owner the chance to see what his/her dog would really have done.

The breeder whose link you posted is breeding only European dogs, they belong to the ADA, which is an organization I really dislike, they want to replace the American Doberman with the European model, go to their website and read their mission statement. I also haven't seen where that breeder has been actually titling their dogs, just breeding them, i.e. riding on the coattailis of the breeders who went before them, using the titles of their dogs' ancestors. They one SchIII titled do who they purchased already titled. But I haven't looked at their website in awhile, maybe they have gotten more titles since I saw it.
 

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micdobe said:
I used to think we should, but now I don't, because I have found that in
micdobe said:
Germany the breeders do the required minimum of health testing and that's it. For years it was just hips, now I think it's hips and eyes. I have heard that it may someday be cardiac testing also, but most Euro breeders still don't do cardiac of vWD testing. Why? Because it's not required.


I think that some testing is better than no testing.


micdobe said:
Temperament. Back in Black, you asked a question and then a few posts later answered it yourself. You think schutzhund is the ultimate temperament test. So you already had your answer.

I was asking for others opinions on it. I thought that this might be an interesting topic of discussion. I don’t think it is the “Ultimate” test… but in MY opinion, Schutzhund is a great test of a dog’s temperament. I wasn’t sure if there was a way that they "test" the dog’s temperament when showing, or how exactly that works. It seems to me like, if a dog is going to be called a champion, for being a great example of the Doberman, then temperament, would be equally important as good looks.

Once again, this is just my opinion. I think that there will be alot of different views on temperament "testing" and whether it is important, and if so...how important.... I'm not only talking about working dogs, I'm talking about show dogs as well.

micdobe said:
Personally, I don't think schutzhund is a great temperament test, and many people who participate in it say the same thing. In fact it was a schutzhund judge who first told me that and I was very surprised to hear it. He said an average stable dog could earn a schutzhund title. Now I realize he was right.


I agree an average stable dog.

micdobe said:
Schutzhund is a competitive sport. As such, it is trained for, just like AKC obedience. Yes, the dogs are versatile, it's a versatile breed, and I love versatility. Schutzhund is a very ritualized procedure. For instance, in tracking, the dogs are not allowed to just follow the scent to the end of the track, they have to keep their noses buried in the footsteps of the track layer, what's called a "deep nose" the whole way, they are not allowed to air scent or follow scent off to the side of the footsteps on vegetation. They are not supposed to go too fast. These things don't mean squat in real tracking work, in the real world the dog needs to find the person or thing they are tracking, it doesn't matter *how* they find it, just that they do find it. Dogs who are real working trackers can't compete in schutzhund tracking because they don't have the right "form".

The protection phase of schutzhund is also trained. Most Dobermans can learn to do this, even the ones who don't take to it naturally the first time they are on the field. And again, control and obedience are paramount in this phase as well. It's not really a temperament test, the whole Schutzhund trial is really a test of obedience. In tracking they talk of "obedienc to the track", meaning the dog must keep its nose in the footsteps at all time. In the protection phase, in the search of the blinds for instance, the decoy is always hiding in the same blind. After all the training, the dog knows this, but it is not allowed to run directly to that blind, it must "search" all the blinds. This is taught as an obedience exercise, with varioius ways of making the dog run around all the blinds.


I will agree with that, but it still takes a dog who is versatile, smart, willing to learn, willing to do it energetically, with enough "drive", but not to much.......to go very far in Schutzhund. (from what I have seen anyway) In my opinion, when you watch a dog on the field doing these things with their handler, you can see alot of "personality" right off the bat. Watch them long enough, and you could pretty much sum up their temperament. Just my opinion...

micdobe said:
The WAE on the other hand *is* designed as a temperament test. It was created by the DPCA, and most of the people who participate in it are not "working" people. A lot of schutzhund people do take their dogs thru it, but a lot of them also badmouth it because there's no actual bite in it, because of other things as well.

It is a temperament test designed to be taken by an untrained dog. Dogs get some amount of training just going thru life, that can't be helped, but training for the specific exercises in the WAE simply denies the owner the chance to see what his/her dog would really have done.

I might try to take Rommel to one of these. I agree, training for something like this defeats the purpose.
 

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I agree BinB, an ideal doberman is one that can work and show. ( I think you said that in summary :))
 

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I do think Schutzhund is somewhat of a temperment test. Some dogs just cant handle the protection phaze and go a little overboard - to much aggression. A dog has to be very diciplined to do Schutlund well.

I personally like a breeder to have both Championships and temperment testing done on their dogs. For instance the mother of my pup is a Champion and also has a TT, CGN, UCC. It tells me that this dog is a well rounded Doberman. And also that the breeder cares enough to take the time and train. :)
 

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Forgot to add, that I think the U.S. & Canada should have minimums for breeding:
Eyes
Thyroid
Cardio.
Hips
vWd
Sorry BinB if this is going off topic from your original questions :)
 

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Okie-dobie said:
Forgot to add, that I think the U.S. & Canada should have minimums for breeding:
Eyes
Thyroid
Cardio.
Hips
vWd
Sorry BinB if this is going off topic from your original questions :)
Once you had done that, then who would you say could be bred? Only dogs who tested clear of all those things? How many dogs would that be?

Plus, the cardio and thyroid results can change over time and in some cases so can the eye results, so would you require annual testing? If so then at what ages should the dogs be bred?
 

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As you said Germany only does what they have to do. Therefore by applying mins. to U.S. & Canada all breeders would have to do these tests. I can think of a breeder here that only does vWd, never tests hips or for that fact anything else. I think of course these tests should be done yearly.
Nobody is disputing that health can't change on a yearly basis, but at least some things could be caught before breeding. I believe the standards should be upped it may just weed out some of the byb's for starters. Like anything else testing could be used by some as a selling tool, saying their dogs are "cardio. free" but I think for the most part the breeders who are doing all the tests do have a geninue interest in making the dobe. a healthier dog.
 

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Okie-dobie said:
As you said Germany only does what they have to do. Therefore by applying mins. to U.S. & Canada all breeders would have to do these tests. I can think of a breeder here that only does vWd, never tests hips or for that fact anything else. I think of course these tests should be done yearly.
Nobody is disputing that health can't change on a yearly basis, but at least some things could be caught before breeding. I believe the standards should be upped it may just weed out some of the byb's for starters. Like anything else testing could be used by some as a selling tool, saying their dogs are "cardio. free" but I think for the most part the breeders who are doing all the tests do have a geninue interest in making the dobe. a healthier dog.
The breeders who are doing "all the testing" probably do have a genuine interest in health. But if the testing were required you'd have a lot of people doing what they could to get by who don't care about it.

Also,the system in the U.S. is very different than in Germany. First of all, the minimum health tests asked for in Germany have to be passed, not just taken. So I ask the question again, would you only allow breeding of dogs who passed all those tests as clear?

Then the German system is run by the Doberman Verein, which is equivalent to our DPCA. There is no equivalent to the AKC in Germany. So the DV can require what it wants, and the national clubs in other European countries can do what they want. The UDC is trying to do this here, by requiring certain health tests when a dog takes the fit for breeding survey. Ironically, they are meeting resistance to this, from the so-called "working" people.
They want to only be required to do the testing that is required in Germany.

As it is now, testing can be presented as a positive goal, not a negative requirement. There are online data bases where purchasers can check out the health testing that a breeder does.
 

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breeders who are doing all the tests do have a geninue interest in making the dobe. a healthier dog.
yes! There are going to be great breeders that are all for the Doberman. I think you can always tell B.S. easily when you read or hear certain things from a breeder or their website. If you can meet or talk to the breeder you can really tell if they are a really big dobe enthusiast and that is there to do anything they can to improve the Doberman. My best example is a breeder that really wants to do great things for the Doberman will be like an A student with all the evidence and citations as well as a great finish product...but a breeder that isnt for the breed just for some quick cash would probably be like a C or below and have the finished product maybe some background and some other papers but no evidence, research and citations. lol :) In my opinion atleast...I think if you look at a website you can pick out some generalizations or stretching the truth.
...I have gone to some of the "oodle" and designer dog webpages just to see what they actually are telling people and I couldn't believe all the generalizations! It is good practice to read what inexperienced "breeders" all have in common when they talk about their dogs.
again I don't know much about all this...but I think if I can read and understand perfectly what is being said on a webpage about someones dogs and I have absolutely no questions about what might be confusing than it is probably written by someone as knowledgeable or less than me...and again I dont know much ;)
 

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Personally I think the breeders who do conformation and some kind of obedience or agility and have the wae with health testing are the best. but you have a lot of people that are just interested in one phase of the breed. and thats in all the breeds.
 

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Okie-dobie said:
As you said Germany only does what they have to do. Therefore by applying mins. to U.S. & Canada all breeders would have to do these tests.
The part you're not understanding is Germany can do that because their national breed club controls the registration of dobermans. They don't have an umbrella organization like the AKC that issues registrations for all breeds in that country. It's a totally different system, one that doesn't exist here...in some ways that might be a better system, in other ways I don't believe it is better.

The AKC will register ANY doberman who has AKC registered parents. This is a policy that ISN'T going to change..the DPCA fought this battle with them many times over the registation of albino dobermans. The AKC is too afraid of potential liability for their organization to go out on that kind of limb.

It would be totally impractical for the AKC to have different requirements for EVERY breed that had to be met before litters could be registered. That's what would have to happen, because each breed has different health issues, different tests that should be performed prior to breeding. The AKC is a HUGE bureaucracy now-this kind of policy would make it even larger and that wouldn't be a good thing.

I think that health testing is a worthwhile and necessary thing. But to be honest, I didn't need the DPCA or the AKC to tell me what was right when my bitches were bred. You really CAN'T legislate morality.

And I'm not convinced forcing people to do tests that aren't fool proof is the right way to go, either. If there were dna tests for each and every disorder that affects this breed that might be okay. But in reality, we have NO test for cancer or CVI, and a very ineffective form of cardiac testing..and the "three C's" are the very diseases that kill our dogs in large numbers.
 

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Murreydobe said:
The part you're not understanding is Germany can do that because their national breed club controls the registration of dobermans. They don't have an umbrella organization like the AKC that issues registrations for all breeds in that country. It's a totally different system, one that doesn't exist here...in some ways that might be a better system, in other ways I don't believe it is better.

Maybe we need to have something like this.

The AKC will register ANY doberman who has AKC registered parents. This is a policy that ISN'T going to change..the DPCA fought this battle with them many times over the registation of albino dobermans. The AKC is too afraid of potential liability for their organization to go out on that kind of limb.

Too bad, that's what happens when organizations have the monopely (sp) on things.

It would be totally impractical for the AKC to have different requirements for EVERY breed that had to be met before litters could be registered. That's what would have to happen, because each breed has different health issues, different tests that should be performed prior to breeding. The AKC is a HUGE bureaucracy now-this kind of policy would make it even larger and that wouldn't be a good thing.

I agree with you, but you would think in this day and age with computers and all they could come up with something.

I think that health testing is a worthwhile and necessary thing. But to be honest, I didn't need the DPCA or the AKC to tell me what was right when my bitches were bred. You really CAN'T legislate morality.

No, you do not need the DPCA or the AKC to tell you but many who have no morals do. Again, it falls back to the "buyer beware" and I don't totally agree with that either.

And I'm not convinced forcing people to do tests that aren't fool proof is the right way to go, either. If there were dna tests for each and every disorder that affects this breed that might be okay. But in reality, we have NO test for cancer or CVI, and a very ineffective form of cardiac testing..and the "three C's" are the very diseases that kill our dogs in large numbers.

Yes and this is unfortunate....maybe one day. I still feel breeders should use the tests that are available to them currently.
 

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Sorry I just learnt the quote thing and obviousley still need some practice. he he
 
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