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Winning ‘Best in Show’ isn’t always for the best

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by JanS, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    By Lindsay Louters
    Posted at 11:22 AM

    I have grown up with dogs ever since I was little and they will always be my favorite animal. On some days, I prefer them over humans. They can sense when something is wrong and try comforting you.


    I competed in obedience, showmanship, and agility dog shows in my 4H years. Pearl was my championship dog and best friend. She was a Dalmatian and had three beautiful litters. Each puppy had their own set of spots. It was fun watching them all grow up and go to their forever homes.

    In our family household, it is always tradition to watch the Thanksgiving Day and Westminster Dog Shows. We hoot and holler at our favorite breeds and hope they get the Best in Show award. The Westminster show is in New York and was on February 10. Before the televised portion, dogs are judged by breed to determine who follows the established breed characteristics best. The best dog moves onto the group where they compete against the top of each breed. The best of each group competes to receive the Best in Show award.

    This year the Standard Poodle won the award. Poodles are now going to be the center of social media and in high demand.

    I have learned about previous winning breeds, like Old English Bulldogs and Doberman. The Doberman’s original purpose was to be a high strung guard dog. After winning the Westminster, Dobermans were the hot commodity. That resulted in overbreeding and even some in-breeding. The genetic pool became smaller and along the road caused changes in behavior. Every Doberman I have encountered in the last 10 or so years, is the most timid dog. Winning the Westminster changed the Doberman and many other breeds. The Old English Bulldog is another victim, but that is another whole story.

    Original source: Times Feature Column - Winning 'Best in Show' isn't always for the best
     
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  2. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    Wow.... well, I think that's a crock of :poop:.
     
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  3. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I agree, along with the statement about the breed being a high strung guard dog. That definition is really off base from what a true Doberman is supposed to be.
     
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    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 1
  4. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Where is she seeing all these timid Dobermans? I haven’t seen timid Dobermanns anywhere. Not that I live in a metropolis area where many reside, Lol
    but that is painting with a broad brush.

    Only thing I can agree with is that once people see the dog win a show, take down an evil terrorist or do something extraordinary they all of a sudden want one. It doesn’t mean they are being bred to the point of timidity.
    That just means stupid people are buying from greedy BYB.
     
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  5. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    I think MOVIES are the downfall of many breeds, starting way back with Rin Tin Tin (German Shepherds), then Lassie (Collies) then Lady & the Tramp (Cocker Spaniels) etc etc Dalmations and Dobermans had their movies too. And yes breeding for quick profit will result in timidity, amongst other mental and physical health problems. This is puppy mill business, not just backyard breeders - they make as many litters as they can knowing that the popularity will only last a year or two, so breeding all they have, brother to sister, father to daughter, knowing they have to produce before the craze dies out. Sick sick sick. And the smart ones have papers, and AKC won't refuse registration just because it's inbred to a fault, because it's $$$ for them too. OK, stepping off my soapbox on a subject that really pisses me off.

    I agree with you that it is so off base of what a true Doberman was bred to be. This breed was bred to walk easily along the streets with his tax collecting master and be totally neutral of all people or dogs or FFS squirrels, until someone wanted to bash the tax collector, then this noble dog would defend his master to the Nth degree. Sadly, I've seen the Doberman go from a calm cool collected dog that would attack an intruder with no training to a hot nervy dog that is high maintenance to keep from coming unglued at every instance. I don't know how or when it happened, and I know many many Dobes are not like this, but there are more than I care to think about that can be called high strung. German Shepherd Dogs, Labradors too. Lots of other breeds not just Dobes.
     
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  6. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Very interesting. I often feel all alone when I wish against a Doberman in a high level dog show. I have expressed that I don't want the Doberman to rise in popularity, and I meet with resistance. I do realize, however, that something may need to be done about a limited gene pool.

    I don't know whether the Dobermann was high strung in its earliest days. I understand that it was very sharp and a dog that was probably unsuitable for modern day life in America.

    I will say that I have met and seen many timid Dobermans, and winding up with one is my greatest fear in buying a pup.
     
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  7. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    High strung guard dogs, what a joke of a statement. Those things don’t really go together. I would definitely not want a guard dog that was high strung, not really a good combination. Obviously, just this persons opinion on the breed and they have little knowledge about it. But, As much as most doberman owners don’t like hearing it, our breed has been dumbed down by breeders not wanting to deal with working drives and crazy puppies. Not just a BYBers problem, Show breeders have been breeding away from work ability for quite awhile. Most of these dogs will not do what the breed was designed to do. They use the words, form and function, to justify the dogs ability. “If they don’t have the proper form, the dog can work”, they say. There is much more to it than that. Then everyone breeding back to the most popular stud dog doesn’t help either. This is a problem on both side of the pond not just America. Show and working breeders alike all trying to get the winning dogs magic.
    As for the statement, every doberman she has meet in the past 10 years is timid, that seems a bit far fetched. Unfortunately if she would have said have said, most of the Doberman’s she had meet over the past 10 years were timid, that may very well be correct.
     
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  8. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber


    While I agree with you when you say the doberman has under gone a temperament change, I disagree on the reason. I think it has a lot to do with puppy buyers. The demand for the original temperament just isn't there. Society has changed, people are busier than ever and just want to come home to a sweet lap dog. Add to that most don't understand temperament and are leery of the sharp temperament of the original doberman. How many newbies have we seen over the years say my dog is aggressive? People with experience explain it's normal behavior. The demand for a dog that easier is to live with is definitely there.
    For those that can dedicate the time and energy for a true working dog, there are breeders that still breed for that temperament.
     
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  9. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    Conformation shows were started in the later 1800's to evaluate both structural (stability) and mental (ability) qualities for which tasks/jobs they were purposely bred for. Shows were developed to provide "fair play" for all that exhibited. Dogs were shown by either their owner or breed/owner. When the Professional Handler Association kicked in (1931), FAIR PLAY went out the window.
     
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  10. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    I just read an article on how nerve can be mistaken for drive in working dogs. I'll start a new thread for discussion on that because I think we are getting off topic from the show dog conversation.

    I think the Doberman breed is certainly split into two groups now, show & work. Nothing wrong with that, there are Quarter Horses that are bred for cow work and some bred for flat track racing and some bred for Halter Class shows. Few, if any, could ever win - or even work well - at a venue that was outside it's pedigree, yet they are all still Quarter Horses. To retain integrity of the breed, I think a working dog should still fit the standard for size & conformation and I think a show dog should not be shy due to boldness being bred out of it.
    So why don't they get a Frenchie or King Charles Spaniel? This is the part I really don't get. We all know our Dobermans can be sweet lap dogs, but we also know what the original purpose was.
     
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  11. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    It's interesting here because I actually don't have the time and energy to really take advantage of a working Doberman's potential; but I've gone with a working Doberman for my last two pups. Ideally, I'd like a rather mellow, chill Doberman that also would step up and defend the home and family in the face of a real threat.

    Not this:

     
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  12. obbanner

    obbanner $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    This isn't an article I take seriously. It appears to be a space filler in a local paper written by a staff writer. I don't see any dog experience other than watching tv and showing in 4H (I was a 4H leader/dog trainer for eight years). She's a human fitness trainer, not a dog trainer.

    From the article -

    ABOUT THE WRITER

    Lindsay Catherine Louters “LCAT” is the classified advertising manager and receptionist at the Crookston Times. She is a certified personal trainer at the Crookston Anytime Fitness.
     
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  13. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    I think that's what we'd all like, but not sure it would be easy to find, or predict in a puppy. If you get the mellow, you may not get the defense.
    Also, that guy in the video is a total duffus, doesn't have a clue in my humble opinion, and it's no way to pressure your dog that hasn't been trained.
     
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  14. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Yeah, I wouldn't pressure a dog to its breaking point. Maybe I shut off the video early and didn't see him pressure the Dobe. The split second I saw the Dobe lose all Doberbase in its voice and retreat I knew all I needed to know about the animal.

    I would actually love to see someone test my Dobe – at least by just hopping the fence. Ideally, even if the person sweet-talked him, my Dobe should stand his ground and be defensive. I want to say I'd like him to launch into a bite immediately, but honestly a stupid cable guy or meter reader might jump my fence and it'd be a lot more trouble for me if he got bitten badly.

    But yes, maybe I should search for a thread on this topic on here and copy and past this in there.
     
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  15. obbanner

    obbanner $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Look for a Working Aptitude Evaluation test. Every member club of the DPCA is required to hold a WAE at least every three years.

    DPCA | The Doberman | Temperament | WAE
     
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  16. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    I was just going to suggest the WAE. Joker is going in April... I just I hope I can hold onto him when the threatening stranger comes out from behind the van.
     
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  17. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I should! One thing Oji displays is a startle reflex. If I recall from reading years ago, the Dobes are allowed to startle at the umbrella opening but not must move into investigate soon.

    So, @Panama , a stranger jumps out from behind a van? That's new to me, but again, I haven't read about it for years. Oji might startle at that, but should act defensively after.

    Are the handlers allowed to give a command to their Dobe? If so, I just need to say the word or even breathe a certain way and Oji will light the guy up.
     
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  18. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Not supposed to say anything to the dog.
    If you really want to test your dog do a breed survey or ZTP. WAE or TT is a generic temperament test. DPCA uses it to get Working titles on there show dogs. It is surprising how many actually fail this test.
     
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  19. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Not every puppy in a litter will have the qualities need to excel at protection, just like not every puppy from a show litter will be a show quality dog. Unfortunately the public does have some to do with it but then again not everyone should own a Doberman, Malinois, GSD, Border Collie ect.. dogs are supposed to be breed according to the standard and temperament for which they are breed. I just don’t see many doing it, and this carries over to many other breeds as well.
     
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  20. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    No, he doesn't jump out.

    A. Handler/dog proceed downwind (if possible) toward Decoy hidden behind van. When dog is
    20’ from hidden Decoy, Decoy staggers out and crosses dog’s path making weird motions and
    sounds. Handler ceases to move forward as soon as he has reached the marked spot.
    B. After Decoy has crossed dog’s path for a distance of 20’, he then turns toward dog and,
    continuing to make weird sounds and motions, slowly and tentatively advances on dog. If dog
    exhibits positive reaction, continue with Part C. If the dog does not have a positive reaction, at the
    discretion of the Evaluator, the evaluation may be terminated.
    C. Decoy then raises stick and makes threatening gestures toward the dog. Weird vocalizations
    should change to a growl. The Decoy will continue these actions until the Evaluator blows the
    whistle. No contact is to be made between dog and Decoy. For all parts of this exercise, the handler
    must not allow the dog to advance beyond leash length of the handler’s stopping point. Pressure on
    the leather collar should not be in the form of a sudden jerk.
    D. At the conclusion of the evaluation the dog must be brought under control within 15 seconds
    after the Decoy retreats behind the van. Protective behavior must stop, carriage and bearing return
    to normal or the dog will fail the exercise. Handler may verbally instruct dog.

    The full WAE can be read here under Handing your Doberman Through the WAE or Handbook for Handlers: DPCA | The Doberman | Temperament | WAE
     
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