By Faye Strauss, Doberman Pinscher Club of America, from the April 2016 AKC Gazette

As this is my last article as the Gazette’s correspondent for Doberman Pinschers, I will be touching on a few subjects.

To begin with, I have an update. How to Judge the Doberman Pinscher, the YouTube video by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s Judges’ Education Committee, has over 50,000 views in five months! Very encouraging. Here is the video:

Second, our puppy owners need to be educated. Not only should they be informed about how to properly care for and train their dogs, but also they need to familiarize themselves with the standard so they can view our breed intelligently. They need to understand what a Doberman is all about, inside and outside the ring.

Doberman Devon 2014smThis is why mentoring is so important. If you are an experienced breeder or exhibitor, please reach out and share your knowledge with newbies. New people are the future of our sport. What happens at ringside determines who will stay. Please encourage and not discourage. Good ringside etiquette is essential.

Third, every time I walk my dog people say, “We never see these dogs anymore.” When I started in the breed, show entries of 150 Dobermans were very common. Dobes were one of the five most popular breeds. Today we are almost a rare breed. The entries keep decreasing. It takes only 11 dogs for a four-point major in my area—this is pitiful. The reason for the low entries is that very few people are breeding. As I said in a recent column, we have subconsciously adopted the animal-rights agenda of “don’t breed your dog,” for myriad reasons.

Dobermans Delaware Water Gap 2007smRecently, someone made a blog post denigrating a breeder for breeding a bitch whose littermate had missing teeth. Really? As a breeder who has bred for over 40 years, I can tell you, breed long enough, and you will get everything. If we don’t breed our healthy dogs, who will? Disparaging someone for breeding a healthy dog does the breed a disservice. Remember, ignorance is bliss. Talk to a new breeder, and their dogs are always healthy and they never have any problems. Go to Europe, and all the dogs live forever. Maybe we should stop breeding in America; that is just what the animal-rights promoters want.

We need to encourage breeders. They are the key to our breed’s viability and longevity. Do all the sports you want, but if you don’t have a Doberman breeder, you won’t have Dobermans in the competition. Unfortunately, many new owners who have champions or top working dogs don’t want to breed their dogs. Animal-rights attitudes have made us think that breeders are doing too much breeding. Maybe it is time we rethink our position.

Today, I don’t know who to recommend when people call about purchasing a dog. It is sad that breeders I know have a long waiting list for their puppies. I fear these new people will go to the backyard breeder in the newspaper because the reputable breeders don’t have pups.

Doberman Fiesta Cluster 2015head smFinally, one of the most profound influences in today’s society is the Internet. It is truly a double-edged sword. It can be an excellent tool for educating and promoting useful information. However, there are those who have misused and abused this form of communication to hurt and defame people. The cyber-bashing has caused many people to leave this breed. Cyber-bullying is a leading cause of malcontent among Doberman fanciers. It’s a sad state of affairs when people feel the need to purposely cause havoc and mistrust within the fancy.

We love our breed; let’s work together to promote our intelligent and beautiful dogs. Show camaraderie for the other brilliant people who own our wonderful dogs. Congratulate them on their accomplishments. Encourage owners of quality specimens, and applaud their success.

Faye Strauss, Doberman Pinscher Club of America