Evolving "pretty" over function

Ravenbird

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I saw this random photo on DPCA's facebook page yesterday. They post random photos and don't list registered names, I guess so it doesn't appear to be favoring one breeder or another. All the public comments on this photo were "beautiful" & "stunning" etc. as would be expected. What so many people don't understand (and this may include show ring judges) is that when the stop on a dogs head changes, this is a change in the skull, which is a change in the jaw stucture and teeth alignment. I will absolutely be sick if this type of head becomes "trendy" in the show ring and breeding goals. Of course I have no idea if this dog is a champion since I don't know his name. Here's the "Arabian-headed Doberman" I refer to, with a stop twice as long below his eyes than above, and what looks like a dished snout.

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In my lifetime of nearing 65 years, I watched the beautiful Arabian horse go from beautiful to exotic then to extreme and then to dysfunctional because pretty heads were winning the classes over good body type and straight legs.

Pictured is Cass Ole, the Arabian (born in 1969) that was the main horse in the movie "The Black Stallion" and then a horse (born 2017) bred by Orrion Farms, a grand champion halter horse that has a head so extreme he has become extremely popular and all the rage and a new goal for breeders to copy.

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Fads be fads. Stick with the standard, it's there for a reason! Dobermans have enough physical problems, let's not let a dished face and bad teeth be added to the mix.
 
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Rits

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I think the picture is deceiving and his head is quite lovely?

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Oh Little Oji

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I initially hoped the first photo was deceiving in an optical illusion type of way. So, that's the same Dobe there that Rits posted?

Well, I do see that it has a significant stop and there's just a wee bit of the dish faced look – very subtle.

I totally agree, though, with what you're saying in theory, Ravenbird.

I had no idea about that issue in the Arabian horse. That is very distasteful, unattractive and a shame indeed.
 

Ravenbird

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I think the picture is deceiving and his head is quite lovely?
Thank you for finding that for me. It is a better photo, but I still think it's a little too refined, especially for a male.

So, that's the same Dobe there that Rits posted?
Yes, it's the same dog

I had no idea about that issue in the Arabian horse
Kinda the same road so many dog breeds have gone down, I just used the Arab horse because of what happens over a few generations of a dished profile. So many dogs that use to have a short snout, now have a shorter one, dogs that use to have short legs have shorter ones, dogs that had a long back have a longer one - and so forth. I just hate it when things get exaggerated to the point of not only being harmful, but not even attractive anymore.
 

JanS

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I couldn't agree more and it's sort of the same thing as the extreme long swan necks you see in some of them these days. It sort of does look like the photo was photoshopped and distorted in the top photo so it looked exaggerated. I have been seeing some NA Dobermans that I don't care for the stops at all.

This a photo I took myself and while these dogs are champions, I personally don't care for that head and neck style at all.
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Rits

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I will say, from watching shows, they all very much have their flaws. There isn't one perfect dog. There have been many dogs that have won in front of me that I didn't like a certain this or that. This is also just one dog. The rest of him is very nice. Can't throw out the baby with the bathwater, especially in this breed. To me when I look at him, overall he is very much a boy and looks proud and noble. A judge shouldn't discredit all the nice qualities this dog brings because of one thing. They should be looking at the overall picture.

I understand what you are saying about being worried about the breed when it comes to heads. Fortunately, this breed's DQ are the teeth and bite, as they should be.
 

Ravenbird

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I totally get it @Rits - just knowing how fads go, and how fast the changes come about, that photo from FB really looked alarming to me. I do so like a pretty head, but with strength and structure but this one just looked so over-done (for lack of a better word) I was afraid it was a trending thing. I was content to not know who it was, but since you knew or found his name/breeder I had to look them up too. Nope, just not my kind of breeder, too many dogs, multiple breeds, must be a huge kennel with very little personal to see how they actually are to live with. I'm sure I came across them when puppy-hunting and it was a fast pass. I do like everything about this dog except the neck up, so we agree on that. :thumbsup2:
 

Rits

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I totally get it @Rits - just knowing how fads go, and how fast the changes come about, that photo from FB really looked alarming to me. I do so like a pretty head, but with strength and structure but this one just looked so over-done (for lack of a better word) I was afraid it was a trending thing. I was content to not know who it was, but since you knew or found his name/breeder I had to look them up too. Nope, just not my kind of breeder, too many dogs, multiple breeds, must be a huge kennel with very little personal to see how they actually are to live with. I'm sure I came across them when puppy-hunting and it was a fast pass. I do like everything about this dog except the neck up, so we agree on that. :thumbsup2:
Ha, I get it. Personal taste! I would stay away from SA dobes then if that's not your thing! As that's what a lot of those lines are heavy in. In fact, a member's dog's sire comes from that breeder.

too many dogs, multiple breeds
To be fair, I think those win pics of other breeds are from the past. A lot of their dogs are co-owned and live in another home. and if they are well taken care of and actually out there doing something to contribute to the breed? I think that's good! I couldn't imagine trying to accomplish all of that on my own. I think a successful breeder of that size relies heavily on great puppy owners! A breeder is just one person and there's no way they could possibly do it all alone.

I edited the original pic to save the name as I don't want this to turn into anything. I hate to say it, but I would personally use caution judging a living dog on a public forum without the owner's knowledge or consent, whether it is our own photo or not. It would hurt my feelings, and I'm sure others, to find your dog being critiqued without knowing, you know?
 

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To aid in the discussion here and to add to visuals, here is the illustrated standard on heads.

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Source: Illustrated Standard -

I have seen a few cheeky heads and heads with wrinkles! I've also seen female heads which are way too refined and thin. On a quick glance on a dobe, I look for parallel planes on muzzle and backskull - equal length. Level planes - no curves. Wedge shape when viewed from the front and side. A nice full muzzle - not too boxy or too snipey. Earset level with the backskull when alert. I've seen a little bit of all of these things on picked dogs though, again no perfect dog 😅 they may have had something better to offer elsewhere where the dogs with pretty heads that day didn't.
 

Ravenbird

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My bad on posting a living dog. I certainly don't want to hurt anyones feelings, which is why I was happy to leave him anonymous. I was posting about trends and how extremes happen. My dog would probably be laughed out of the ring for being too much bone, or not refined enough. Photos are set up to make a dog look a certain way and obviously the professional photo that I posted was pleasing to the owners, who must like that look, whether the dog really looks that way or not. Which is advertising, and is promoting a look of a dished head.

You have my full permission to remove this entire thread, because I don't want to hurt anyones feelings by my personal thoughts. As for South American - I have nothing but respect for what I've seen in the 3 that I know of here on DC - their looks and the fact that they are so athletic. You know I favor doing something athletic with Dobermans over everything else.
 

Ddski5

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I think @Ravenbird brings up a good point though….my thoughts are that it’s a shame that breeder taste wind up screwing up the original product. Yes, the Doberman has come a looong way since tax collecting and will most definitely continue on. But I definitely do not appreciate nor want the spoon bill look to catch on or the drop in hind quarters that has affected the GS stance.
 

Rits

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My bad on posting a living dog. I certainly don't want to hurt anyones feelings, which is why I was happy to leave him anonymous. I was posting about trends and how extremes happen. My dog would probably be laughed out of the ring for being too much bone, or not refined enough. Photos are set up to make a dog look a certain way and obviously the professional photo that I posted was pleasing to the owners, who must like that look, whether the dog really looks that way or not. Which is advertising, and is promoting a look of a dished head.

You have my full permission to remove this entire thread, because I don't want to hurt anyones feelings by my personal thoughts. As for South American - I have nothing but respect for what I've seen in the 3 that I know of here on DC - their looks and the fact that they are so athletic. You know I favor doing something athletic with Dobermans over everything else.
I totally understand your point and the want for a discussion, so do not feel bad! Discussion is good! Trying my best to figure a way for that while still remaining respectful. Maybe a closer crop on only the head. It was my bad for posting the full pic. I actually didn't realize it came with the name and everything when pasting it over. I agree anonymous is better that's why I went back to edit those details out. Thank you for understanding 😊
 
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Rits

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….my thoughts are that it’s a shame that breeder taste wind up screwing up the original product.
Judges taste. Breeders won't breed for what isn't winning, lol. It's a damn shame when judges put up "flavors of the day." It's their duty to know the standard but some interpret it very differently... Or look at the wrong end of the lead.

That's one of the reasons I can see and agree on the occasional, carefully selected, unfinished Dobe being bred. If the breeder is breeding him/her to a CH and has plenty of CH stock... Then they must have felt this unfinished mature Dobe was valuable to their program. Showing is expensive and sometimes they just don't do well against the dobes in the area. Yes, I have learned an area can have types.
 

Ddski5

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Or look at the wrong end of the lead.
Not to derail but I went to a show with Ragnar years ago and met a very old lady there. She must have been in her high 80’s and was using a rolling walker to get around. She “showed” Dobermans for years upon years she said. We talked for a while and the one thing she said that really stuck out was how political the judging has gotten- said it was too bad that it was more about the owner/handler than the Doberman. Now that could be a remark from a disgruntled person or a fair statement? I thought it was interesting coming from someone who no longer was actively showing….
 

Rits

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Not to derail but I went to a show with Ragnar years ago and met a very old lady there. She must have been in her high 80’s and was using a rolling walker to get around. She “showed” Dobermans for years upon years she said. We talked for a while and the one thing she said that really stuck out was how political the judging has gotten- said it was too bad that it was more about the owner/handler than the Doberman. Now that could be a remark from a disgruntled person or a fair statement? I thought it was interesting coming from someone who no longer was actively showing….
Haven't been in long enough to say 100% about the politics but everyone I talk to, even in other breeds who have been around for a long time, always always say the doberman ring is tough because it is full of handlers. I have found that to be true. I can count on my one hand how many owner handlers are there that day for the breed ring. As far as the judge looking at the wrong end of the lead it largely seems to be older long time judges. I always research the judges and gain feedback from those who have shown to them to see what the judges are looking for. Some like movement, some expression, etc. So expression for example you want to be prepared and be sure to show expression after the down and back and not a side profile if that is the case Sometimes you will come across judges that are across the board "looks up the lead". Even as simple as handling multiple dogs in the same ring, the judge may think, it is a professional handler and someone has the $$$ to put their dog under one, so the dog must be nice...
 

Oh Little Oji

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I understand and support the original reason for conformation showing, but I personally wouldn't want any part of it – at least in the AKC. It's such double speak. For instance, with the National Dog Show, you hear that Cavanaugh guy, who is quite likable, but he will recite that the competition consists of the judges comparing each dog to the written standard. You also hear him predict who will win, and it often includes mention of how that dog has been winning so much. Most of the time, that is indeed the dog that wins.

I've actually always disliked any judged sports. I did AKC obedience, which is more black and white, but I still felt the bite of a couple judges' interpretations.
 

Oh Little Oji

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As for posting pics of living dogs and commenting on them: Once on here, I was talking about what I saw as a trend in Dobes where the dog looks a bit, well, not intelligent in the eyes. The dog I posted as an example was the sire of a litter I (thought) I was being seriously considered for. He was a Grand Champion. The way I did it was I actually just cropped everything out but a rectangle-shaped image of the eyes and surrounding parts of the head :lolsign:

As for the Dobe in question in this thread: I looked over the illustrated standard that Rits kindly pasted in, and to me, the example of dish-faced looks very similar to the second pic of the dog which shows his head in profile.
 

Rits

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The way I did it was I actually just cropped everything out but a rectangle-shaped image of the eyes and surrounding parts of the head :lolsign:
That's a great way to do it I think! Still can use the visual information supplied to have a discussion on the point of interest but not show the entire dog out of courtesy to the owner. Of course, if someone posts their dog and asks for opinions, that's another story!

I'm not going to agree or disagree on the head of the original dog. The win pic is at a 3/4 angle so still some photo deception going on and not 100% accurate or fair to compare to the illustrated standard with, which is a complete side profile.
 

Ravenbird

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@Oh Little Oji I worked for a show barn (horses) way back when - the people were pretty big back in the day, went to regionals and nationals, but were hard pressed to beat the Big Barns. In 6 months I learned that I wanted nothing to do with showing. It was very very obvious that popularity favors by judges to barns/breeders/handlers were in place. The adults that lost could have temper tantrums like a 3 year old. I went into it excited to be part of such a popular (but not the tippy-top of the order) barn, but within just a few months I knew it wasn't for me. I wanted to do something that had nothing to do with opinions - just fact. Horses that were athletes who either knocked down a jump or didn't, came in first at the finish or didn't, where nobody's opinion could change the outcome. Of course there can be cheating anywhere there's a game, but the show ring with a few judges and top handlers was too much. I can't unsee what I saw. Probably smaller local shows (dogs & horses both) are not as bad, but the higher up you go, the more fierce it got. LOL - the movie Best In Show comes to mind, a hysterically funny movie worth watching.
 

JanS

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the people were pretty big back in the day, went to regionals and nationals, but were hard pressed to beat the Big Barns. In 6 months I learned that I wanted nothing to do with showing. It was very very obvious that popularity favors by judges to barns/breeders/handlers were in place. The adults that lost could have temper tantrums like a 3 year old. I went into it excited to be part of such a popular (but not the tippy-top of the order) barn, but within just a few months I knew it wasn't for me. I wanted to do something that had nothing to do with opinions - just fact.
I saw that first hand too and I even saw some of the big guys wining and dining the judge the night before a show. It's funny how their inferior horse won over a stunner.
 

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