Back to all articles

2018 DPCA Judge Synopses

2018 DPCA Judge Synopses

Karin Fox

2018 DPCA Regional Puppy & Veteran Sweeps

I was honored to have been selected to judge Sweepstakes at the DPCA Regional Specialty in St Charles, IL. What a thrill it was to have such a large entry and the depth of quality made it very exciting for me. It always amazes me to think that less than a year ago many of these youngsters were no bigger than a potato. What a delight it was to watch them shine as they tried their best to do everything they were taught only months ago!

As I surveyed each class I was pleased to see the overall good quality. In general a majority of the puppies had good shape and underlines. I did not observe many with over-angulated rears or exaggerated fronts. I thought that overall I saw more balance front to rear than in the past. Eye shape and color was good overall – some round but hardly any overly light eyes. Mouths in general were good, many with big teeth and good occlusion. Generally I saw good bites however I did see a few with missing or extra teeth, some in the way back. However, there was more length of body than I would like to see. I noticed some paddling and several that were restricted when moving from the side.

My best puppy came from the 6-9 AOAC class. She caught my eye immediately! She had the make and shape that I love, with an excellent topline and underline to match. She had a correct head with a pretty face, expression and beautifully arched neck. She also was a very sound mover.

My best junior and eventual Best in Sweepstakes came from the 15-18 black class. As I was walking down the line to get my first impression I have to say that she gave me goose bumps. To me, she possessed the type I believe to be correct. Her outline was crisp and lovely yet she appeared powerfully built. Again, good topline and underline to complement it and when she moved, she covered ground efficiently.

It was so pleasurable to look at the Best Puppy and Best Junior together in the ring! Both made me want to cry they were so beautiful! In the end I selected the Junior bitch for Best in Sweeps. She personified the standard: medium sized, square, compactly built. She had lovely nuances as well: smoothness, lovely head and neck. She moved well both coming and going and she got around the ring in a balanced manner with good reach and drive.

Both of the puppies were excellent examples in their own right and I am sure that both will have brilliant careers ahead of them.

And oh….the Veterans!!! I LOVE the old people!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed judging them. Several had a little cloudiness in their eyes from days gone, by but they knew what they were there for and had a blast! The owners and handlers exhibited them with great pride. All moved so well for their ages and their condition was very, very good. My Best Veteran came from the 7-9 class and was she a rock star! She didn’t look her age at all and she took command of the ring. She was beautifully shaped with a good solid topline. She was still light on her feet with great power when she moved around the ring. What a girl!

In closing I want to thank the membership once again for selecting me to judge your beautiful puppies and veterans.

Dr. May Jacobson

2018 DPCA Regional Dogs and Puppy Bitches

I was honored to judge Dogs and puppy bitches at the DPCA 2018 Regional. I found that there were many quality dogs in the classes. However, there was a great variation of breed type. The standard states that the appearance is that of a medium size, square, muscular and powerful dog. The front and rear angulation should be in balance. We have to be careful that if conformational fads are not held in check by functional requirements it will lead to an erosion of the breed.

There were many dogs with flat croups and high tail sets. We need to correct the croups to be slightly rounded, as a flat croup changes the angle of the pelvis and causes the legs to lift too high and wastes the dog’s energy. I also saw many dogs with over angulation in the rear quarters which causes loss of speed, agility and leads to instability. Good movement was lacking in many dogs as they flipped their elbows and pasterns while moving. We are doing better but still need to improve the front angulation, neck sets into the shoulders and more underjaw. These are important for the function of a working dog. The underjaw is important for a strong grip and holding the man firmly.

The good news is that there were many dogs with good substance, bone and medium size. My Winners dog came from the 15-18 months black dog class. He was a male with good bone, substance and musculature. Balanced front and rear angulation with good reach and drive. My reserve Winners dog came from the American bred class and also had good bone and substance but did not move as well as my Winners dog.

There were some very nice puppies in the puppy classes and I was pleased with my class winners.

Again, I wish to thank the DPCA for giving me the opportunity to judge. Thank you to my stewards for all there help in making my day flow without problems.

Luiz Fernando Ribas Silva

2018 DPCA Regional Adult Bitches & Veterans

First of all, I would like to thank all DPCA officers, membership, exhibitors and the Doberman community present at the 2018 DPCA National for the great honor to judge and for the kind hospitality, friendship, respect and all support I received during the whole week.

I had the great honor and pleasure of judging adult bitch classes, Winners Bitch and Veterans at the very prestigious 2018 DPCA Regional Specialty. In an overview from my memory, I liked the quality of most bitches I judged and especially the ones I placed. I really loved my Winners and Reserve Bitches, also my Veteran Bitch and Dog. I also liked very much almost all my class winners, some 2nd and 3rd placements in some classes too, especially the 12 – 15 and 15 – 18 months, Bred by Exhibitor Black & AOAC classes and all Veteran dogs & bitches classes of all ages I had the pleasure to judge.

My Winners Bitch and Reserve choices are still young and really beautiful. I am sure both will mature nicely and become even better later. Maybe the Reserve winners will be completed earlier than the younger WB. Both are balanced with correct and balanced angles, beautiful profile picture when regular and free stacked, also when moving around and up & down, nice heads and expressions, excellent topline and tail sets, excellent temperament and show attitudes for their young age and as I said before, just need to mature, get more natural substance and with a potential handling and conditioning, certainly will become even better and better. I really expect it.

In a positive overview, I found many good quality bitches, square bodied females, correct and balanced front and rear angles, some good head shapes with parallel plans, and correct proportions, nice eye expressions, beautiful necks in length, shape and set, nice toplines and tail sets, good movements, especially when up & down, all of them were well handled and in excellent show condition (as well all the veterans for their ages). Most had good bites and very few, I think only two bitches I judged, had a missing tooth or missing teeth (2). None were close to a disqualification. On the other hand and in a bit more critical overview, I found some too light on bone with narrow muzzles, poor good heads and expressions, a few with round shaped eyes and just few also had big eyes. Also saw some bitches showing a beautiful profile picture when stacked, but many didn’t show the same nice picture when moving, especially around the ring and/or when free stacked, not showing the same nice neck set or topline, croup or tail set. Some females were a bit long, but many of these “bit longer ones”, especially in the loin, moved better around than some short-bodied ones. The best movers were the ones who had better balanced front and rear angles, even with a correct square proportional body, of course. Some just looked a bit long sometimes, but actually some had a bit longer low thigh and used to stay a bit stretched and looking longer than they really are. Some bitches lacked balanced front and rear angles, especially with straighter fronts and over angulated rears.

I didn’t judge the puppy bitch classes, but judged these class winners in the WB competition and remember that I liked a red puppy bitch from 6-9 AOAC class, which I kept for the final cut group for consideration at the WB and RWB level. My Best Veteran dog won after the Best Veteran and Best of Opposite Sex of the Regional Specialty and also my Winners Bitch was Best of Winners and my Best Bred By Exhibitor bitch AOAC class was the Best Bred by Exhibitor of the Regional under Mrs. Linda Krukar!

I really loved my judging assignment and enjoyed everything there during all the National week. Thank you, all!

Mrs. Linda Krukar

2018 DPCA Regional Breed & Juniors

I was looking forward to judging the beautiful entries at the Regional Specialty, and what better way to showcase each dog, than to bring them in the ring individually for their exam. It gave not only me as the judge, the opportunity to evaluate each individual against the ideal parameters of the standard, but also those watching. Starting with type, based on general appearance, my evaluation began with the overall outline, which included balance, proportion, and size. Hands on gave me the details of the mouthteeth size, occlusion, number; head and eye shape, and muscle tone. Side gait showed balancelegs moving like two pairs of scissors opening and closing, feet close to the ground for efficiency, head lowered a bit with the reach extending to the plane of the nose, free and vigorous. I also observed how how the parts all fit together, how the neck fits into the shoulder, topline, tailset, how the dogs feel about themselves, and if they move with purpose. I observed much of the above, plus expression, which includes eye shape/color, and ear set when the dogs are standing on their own. When the dogs returned to the ring as a group, standing side by side it also gave everyone the opportunity to see the dogs from the front and rear; bone, width of chest and rear, head shape, ear placement, and feet. By looking down on the dogs from the rear, I could observe transition from neck to shoulder, lay on, and width of shoulder/ribs/hip.

After evaluating individual dogs, it was a beautiful sight to see all the dogs in the ring together. Since there were so many quality dogs, the cuts was based on getting down to more of the details in the standard. My final selections were medium size, with correct balance and proportion, elegant, smooth one piece dogs, compactly built and well muscled, moving with purpose. Temperaments and toplines were solid, chest was well defined, and tails carried just above the horizontal.

The standard is the blueprint for the dogs we ‘build’. We need to focus on the blueprint we are given and do our best to create what the standard calls for. While the standard allows for much interpretation, it is specific in some areas, such as size, proportion, shoulder angle, tailset/carriage, strongly developed teeth, occlusion, and more. It’s wise to refer to the standard often so that the breed maintains type as intended.


I enjoyed judging our Juniors who showed so much promise for the future. All of the Juniors showed great teamwork with their dogs and presented their dogs well. Watching them set their dogs up for examination showed that they have spent time working on training, knew what to expect from their dogs, and knew how to make their dogs look their best. It was a difficult task to select the best of such a talented group. The best handler is one that isn’t noticed. Timing and leash work needs some improvement, but I believe our future is in good hands.

Eve Auch

2018 DPCA Regional Owner Handled Sweepstakes

The Owner Handled Sweepstakes was the first of its kind anywhere in the country as it was the brainchild of the DPCA. This event drew an entry of 108 in five divisions. What a night it was!

The five divisions were: Puppy (6- 9/9-12 month), Junior (12-15/15- 18 month), Bred By, Adult, and Veteran. The winners of each division were:

Puppy: Hierach’s Meant To Be V Notori (6-9 month puppy bitch)

Junior: CH Bolero Thunderstruck (12-15 month dog)

Bred By: CH Mojave’s Gateway To Gold (dog)

Adult: GCH Lyndobe’s Game Changer (dog)

Veteran: CH Perfex Cyclone Mahina (11+ years, bitch)

There were no losers in these dogs. The puppy and the Veteran, both females, stole my heart, but it was the Bred By red male that stole the show. His name: CH Mojave’s Gateway To Gold

Beautifully handled, he was an excellent mover, had bone and substance (something that seems to be declining in some of the males), a strong top line and balanced angles. His headpiece left no doubt he was a focused male. He was powerful in his movement with good reach and drive.

Overall, there were some outstanding dogs. For the most part the teeth and bites were good. The conditioning of the entries was overall excellent. The top lines were strong in all but a few and the rears were well filled out and strong. Tail sets were good with very few gay tails. I was impressed with the movement of the vast majority of the dogs with little toeing out or in. All in all, the entry was of high quality.

This event should grow year by year. There are perhaps a couple of places it could be tweaked but that is true with any new event. Kudos to the DPCA for having the foresight to petition the AKC for this inaugural event. It was an honor to be voted by the membership to judge the very first Owner Handled Sweepstakes and it was an experience that I will always treasure.

Amy Tourond

2018 DPCA National Futurity & Maturity

The morning of the Futurity/ Maturity, I woke up giddy with anticipation. As I made my way through the classes, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of quality. Many had the square body, moderate/balanced angles, smooth neck to shoulder transition, and heavy bone called for in the standard. In addition to these qualities, I was also looking for pleasing heads with good expression and strong under jaw, correct tail sets, and perhaps most importantly – dogs who held their profile when moving around the ring with the proud carriage called for in the standard.

We know that Doberman handlers are a very talented group, but certain characteristics cannot be camouflaged when the dog is moving (neck sets, gay tails, weak toplines to name a few).

Two classes in the Futurity stood out above the others: the 6-9 AOAC bitch class and the 15- 18 black bitch class. There were multiple exhibits in both of these classes who could have easily won the entire event. What a fortunate position our breed is in to have this quality on the horizon, especially in our bitches.

It is no surprise then that my Best Puppy and Best Junior winners came from these two classes. Best Junior was awarded to Mirabel Scandalous Love, who was one of three sisters I placed in the class. As I entered the ring and walked down the line, this bitch immediately grabbed my eye with her beautiful neck placement, smooth hard body and balanced angles. She moved effortlessly around the ring and had a stronger head and more correct tail which set her apart from her siblings for me on the day.

When Rahdy’s Ciao Bella first entered the ring in the 6-9 AOAC class, I admit that she didn’t immediately grab my eye, but the longer she was in the ring, the more she shined. I could go on and on about her quality, but essentially it was her compact yet deep body, beautiful eye, strong under jaw, solid bone, and soundness of mind, body and joints which elevated her. With each successive entry into the ring, the twinkle in her eye grew more confident, and her movement became more effortless. Despite her youth and presumed inexperience, she never faltered or stopped showing. She grew into a seasoned show dog right before my eyes, and during the final go-around she affirmed what I had been seeing in her throughout the day.

As I moved into the Maturity classes, I was saddened by the lack of entries, but despite the low numbers, the quality was deep. In fact, the most difficult decision of my day was for Best in Maturity. Two beautiful black bitches, dripping in quality, stood before me. I would have taken either one of them home with me! In the end it was the Junior Division winner, CH Holly Woods Vengeance N Seven Days, that stole the show. Her stunning headpiece, cocky attitude, sound movement and poured into her skin body made her impossible to deny. I am confident she will have a remarkable specials career.

Now for the bad news, because not everything is wine and roses. I was absolutely stunned by the number of level and undershot bites that were shown to me. Extra pre-molars are a problem. Gay tails are not going away. Further to the tail issue is the call for education on docking to the correct length. Our standard calls for tail to be docked to two digits – not four and certainly not five. And finally – we are losing our feet! The days of beautiful tight cat feet with high arched toes and thick pads are in the past. I did not realize this until I was wearing the judge’s hat, but I feel strongly that it is something we need to address.

Thank you again to the members who elected to have me officiate this event. It is an experience which I will always cherish, and I look forward to following the careers of my winners.

Victoria Seiler-Cushman

2018 DPCA National Class Dogs

Judging dogs at the 2018 DPCA National Specialty was an honor, and I was thrilled to see many wonderful examples of the breeders’ hard work.

I am happy to report we are headed in a wonderful direction with dogs of good balance, structure and some indication of improvement in tail sets.

My winners class was delightful, to see so many choices that would deserve the ribbon for winners dog this year. Any judge would be thrilled to have these dogs in their winners class (or Best of Breed class) at an all-breed show.

A few I remember that filled my eye with delight:

6-9 AOAC puppy dog – Wendorfs One’Der Boy V. Ruler

This was a superstar. Square, compact, lovely angles, everything flowed smoothly from his neck to his perfect tail set. Once he begins to move like an athlete, he will be a big winner in the future!

Bred By Exhibitor Black Dog – Protocol Liberator Pagani Without Compromise

A lovely outline, smooth, pretty head with dark almond eyes. His angles were lovely front and rear. Good tail placement. He was a very lovely 11 month old puppy!

More on this class. It was outstanding! I believe my 4 placements were all young puppies and of outstanding quality. It was a class that made my heart happy. I’m so proud of our Doberman breeders.

Reserve Winners Dog was the 9-12 Black Puppy, Horizon’s Houston Strong bred and owned by Linda and Rick George and Scott Sommers and shown by Linda George.

He is a beautifully made dog, square and balanced. His head was a lovely wedge with fill under the eye and a strong underjaw. Beautiful neck into shoulder and poured into his skin.

Winners Dog came from the 15-18 month Black class and was bred by Alison Merrick and owned by Tamara Champagne, Douglas Hafichuk and Alison Merrick handled by Ann White.

This dog was a stunning example of the breed. He was like a fine piece of art that was pleasing to the eye. His outline was a magnificent example of square with perfect angles (not overdone in front or rear). His tail placement was good. Lovely strong topline, standing and moving. In profile he was beautiful and then moving was just as he stood in profile. He was a strong and powerful mover. He was just what a Doberman should be, beautifully balanced and displayed great nobility.

AND my beautiful winner of the Veteran Class-GCHP Rio’s Luca Brasi Monster, was such a grand dog. He looked like a two-year old. Such quality and smoothness that has blessed him thru his seven years. Perfectly balanced, lovely medium size with large bone and still as smooth as icing on a sugar cookie.

The Stud Dog Class winner- GCHP2 Fidelis Ripcord was a splendid dog with superb dogs accompanying him. A stunning family of Dobermans.

Faye Strauss

2018 DPCANational Breed & Juniors

Thank you for the opportunity to judge Best of Breed at our 2018 National.

I arrived early Saturday morning and the lovely ring decorations were impressive. We are so lucky to have talented club members like Glen Lajeski and Hillary Zimmerman. The Mega Center looked lovely thanks to their decorating. My stew-ards had things under control. The team of Glen Lajeski, Greg Chan, Judith Smith and Robin Kelly ensured that every-thing ran smoothly. A special thank you goes to Adrian Woodfork for producing the hours of music that serenaded us throughout the day. It covered all genres of music and added to the festive atmosphere.

My first assignment was judging the junior handlers, the future of our sport. This fine group of young people did a won-derful job presenting their charges. I would hire many of them to show my dogs.

Then on to Best of Breed. My goal was to find the most deserving illustration of the standard and to showcase all 150 entrants so the fancy could appreciate their quality. With this in mind I had the entry broken into groups of no more than 20 dogs. People came from around the world to see our best dogs, and I wanted to ensure they had a good look at each one.

My priorities were temperament first. As our breed is all about temperament, if the dog was not stable that was a deal breaker. The dog must be confident, noble, determined, alert and fearless. Temperament is best viewed on a free stack after the dog does a down and back.

All other deviations were taken to the extent of the deviation. My other priorities were muscular and powerful, square, smooth, onepiece dog so they looked poured into their skin. The dog flows from well arched neck to well laid-back shoulders to a straight (almost level) back ending in the tail only slightly off the horizontal. I wanted a strong dog of me-dium size with heavy bone. It is surprising how many breeders think our medium sized breed has medium bone. I want a balanced dog with good angulation (the standard asks for 45-degree shoulder and 90-degree shoulder to upper arm an-gle) front and rear. I want a head that is a long, dry blunt wedge with parallel planes and slight stop between the dark almond eyes.

When a dog gaits they should hold their shape. The head moving forward in motion, the topline firm and smooth, the tail just off the horizontal. A dog with good reach and drive take fewer steps and goes farther. I wanted to see a smooth flow from neck to topline to tail. Unfortunately, this was a hard test for many entrants.

I had to eliminate many lovely youngsters. Our future is very promising as I know many will be the stars of tomorrow.

Then it was down to the top 25. I asked Moe Miyagawa and Glen Lajeski to help me present the ribbons. In the end the ten-yearold veteran ruled the day. She stood with pride and nobility at the end of the leash, asking to be admired. She moved with power and determination, her handler in tow. She was not to be denied. She had very tough competition and other dogs in the ring were very impressive and worthy competitors.

Thank you to all the exhibitors who entered the BOB competition. You made my job challenging but very rewarding. The overall entry was exciting. I was pleased with the demeanor displayed by most of the dogs. And was happy to see many dogs with big teeth and good occlusion. There were an unusual number of high tail sets. Ideal is slightly off the horizon-tal.

It was an honor to judge the DPCA 2018 National.

It's a Dog's Life