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vgfdobe's picture
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Joined: 2015-03-30

Ever since I decided to get a doberman, I started reading through forums like this one about the difference between Euro and American Dobes just to get informed. Aside from the temperament difference ascribed in the forums (which I take it with a grain of salt), I've noticed a difference in the current body type, which are obvious from colored images found in books and articles.

Recently I've been reading quite a bit about the history of the Doberman Pincher. I've looked through various sources (new and old published books and articles-both hard copy and in the internet). For the most part, I've noticed one interesting peculiarity.

Looking at historical pictures of post WWI dobermans, it seems that for the most part both the Euro and American Dobes look very similar up to the 70s. It's only in the decades after that when I start to notice a significant difference. Moreover, I note that of the two, the Euro Dobes of today seem to be quite different to their pre 70s counterparts in that continent. Finally, I've noted more variability in the body-structure of the modern Euro Dobes than in the modern American Dobes (again, just from pictures).

Am I blind? I don't see much of a difference in the Euro body-structure standard (aside from the recent cropping and ducking laws) over that time period (70s) to correlate for what I see today in the Euro body-structure.

(I note that I see some difference between today's American Dobe and pre-70s American Dobes--mostly the arch in the neck and the chest protruding in some dogs--but these transformation is not as a dramatic as the transformation I see in Euro Dobes.)

Can any long time breeder or Dobe historian care to answer why the dramatic transformation in the Euro dogs?

Note that this are my observations. I'm here to learn and get an intelligent discussion going. (Old pre-70s and new pictures of Euro Dobes to highlight points are welcomed.)

Some of the differences you see in pictures has to do with the different way that the dogs are presented in the states vs in europe. However, there are some basic differences in our written standards - they are minor but you can see them. The Doberman standard in the USA has changed very little - but the European standard has made some signifiicant changes.  The standard in europe changed to allow for a dog that is longer than tall - while the USA standard still calls for a "square" dog. The European standard also allows for a slightly larger dog (1/2"). 

No dog is perfect when compared to the standard and fads come and go - the exaggerated forechest on some America lines is a current case in point. However, the standard would not change to accomidate that and the majority of good breeders do try to breed to the written standard.

vgfdobe's picture
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Joined: 2015-03-30

I'm more interested in analyzing the evolution of the Doberman within each continent over time, especially the Euro lines. I don't think one can explain the evolution, for example, of the Euro Doberman in the post WWI era merely to the way the dogs are shown within Europe.

My point is that I don't see much difference in the Euro standard from then till now to account for the changes I am observing in the Euro Doberman over the past 30 years or so. More dramatic I think is the variations in body types that I observe within Euro lines. I mean some look closer to the American counter part and to the early Euro lines, but others look quite different.

AresMyDobie's picture
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Joined: 2015-02-28

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What you are asking is a difficult to answer but very simplistic at the same time. Point being dobermans aren't manufactured they are a living being. You'll never get the same result twice. That's like asking your parents to create the same you. That doesn't even happen with twins. There's always slight variations. 

Fitzmar I'm my opinion answered your question sufficiently. 

Part of what you might be seeing is a split within the European Doberman. There is the Large and heavy "Show line" European Doberman. Then there is the smaller and more agile Doberman bred by the serious sport people - those people who know that bigger is NOT better when it comes to schutzhund/IPO type sport. However the sport people in both Europe and the USA care little about Conformation that fits the written standard - so on a whole, those dogs are not as attractive as a show bred Doberman from any continent.

 

vgfdobe's picture
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How do the old East block dogs compare with the west Euro dog? For years there was a wall separating the two. How did that impact the Dobe in Europe? Could that be another reason for further variability?

There might have been cultural differences, which led to differences. I mean did the eastern block countries, submerged in a different economic situation, even care about standards. This era accounts for close to 50 years! During this time FCI standards changed too.

I see little discussion about this. I may be wrong, but this may have led to some of the variability.

I've never claimed to be that knowledgeable about European Dobermans, so really can't comment in depth on the questions you have. Sorry.