The Doberman Pinscher in America
by William Schmidt – 1940
This article follows on from The Dobermann Pinscher (History and Development of the Breed). By Philipp Gruenig 1893 -1931
Chapters 9 to 20
THE ANCESTRY OF THE DOBERMAN
We cannot pride ourselves to know a great deal about the exact ancestry of our breed. Notwithstanding the fact that ours is a young one, we can only relate and accept as facts, if we wish to do so, certain theories which were advanced by one or the other oldtimer.
Long before the fanciers organized into a club —according to an account given by the late Peter Umlauff of Hamburg, Germany, in 1926—the breed was known mostly in Thueringen, Mecklenburg and other territories, and already in 1858 the butcher Christian Dietsch of Schoeten near Apolda was the owner of these dogs which enjoyed a great popularity because of their loyalty, watchfulness and utility qualities.
There lived in the city of Apolda, belonging to the small principality of Thueringen in central Germany, from 1834 to 1894 a man by the name of Louis Dobermann. Among other functions, he was also the town’s dog catcher and as such it was his privilege to dispose of dogs which were unclaimed the way he saw fit. We are told that Herr Dobermann also took to breeding. At that time, as we are further told, the townspeople seemed to have had a preference for snappy dogs, which means for dogs that were sharp, if not vicious, fearless and good watch dogs. Louis Dobermann, with whatever stock of unknown origin he had at his disposal, apparently interbred those dogs that were possessed by such traits and undoubtedly satisfied the demand in this manner. No one can state as an absolute fact that at that time Dobermann was the owner of one or more dogs that resembled to any degree the breed of dogs later on known as the Dobermannpinscher.
What then do we know to throw any light at all on the breed’s seemingly mysterious origin? We know, for instance, that at the time Herr Dobermann bred some of the products of his dog pound rapid means of transportation as we know them today, disregarding of course any travel by air, were not commonly known. As a result the average townspeople did not take to traveling and therefore were in a span of a lifetime confined to their native soil, and the same rightfully of course held true so far as local livestock was concerned. We may therefore safely assume that the various breeds of dogs, purebred and otherwise, in and about the city of ApoIda or within the small state of Thueringen interbred with each other, thereby creating a number of offspring which in the course of decades, without a question, to a considerable extent showed similar exterior characteristics. We do know for a fact of one breed of dogs, now extinct, then called the smoothhaired Thueringer Pinscher, of the large variety, with any number of similarities in makeup directly traceable to this breed of dogs which one could later on easily discover in our own breed. This refers to the black and smooth coat as well as to the markings, ranging from straw yellow to rust red.
There were of course a number of other breeds of purebred stock owned and raised thereabouts which were claimed by one or the other to have been used to help produce our own breed, such as Great Dane, Dachshund, Setter, the old German Shepherd Dog (with the same color and markings as the Doberman Pinscher), a number of hunting dogs, especially the Weimaraner. The latter breed, originating from the city of Weimar, most likely, if not exclusively, was the producer of the blue and tan shade of our Doberman Pinscher because this breed of dogs according to its Standard corresponded in color and markings insofar as the blue shade is concerned with that of our own dog. The Standard of the Weimaraner describes this dog to be of medium size with a coat ranging from slate grey to mouse grey (called blue in its variations) , white on chest and toes permissible. It was recommended however to breed the white out. I venture to say this accounts for the white which still appears on the chest of a number of our dogs and at times on their toes. As a matter of fact, a few years ago there was a red Sieger with a white toe. Because he was so outstanding otherwise, it was felt the title award should not be withheld.
Otto Goeller, one of the earliest breeders of the Doberman Pinscher, if not to a very great extent the originator of our breed, substantiated the theories of the orgin of our breed as related heretofore. Incidentally, it was through the efforts of Goeller that the Doberman Pinscher found official recognition by the then highest German dog authority, the Commission of Delegates, in the year 1899. Otto Goeller on August 27 of that same year had organized the National Doberman Pinscher Club.
Referring back to the dog’s ancestry, it is also claimed that the French Shepherd dog did his share in creating our breed. Known by his correct name of Beauceron (BasRouge = Red Sock), when looking at a picture one can at once discover a remarkable similarity between this breed and ours. The Red Sock, like our dog, showed the same color and markings, that is, black and tan. Other theories advanced introduce into the breed what is now known as the Rottweiler. At that time the more common name was Butcher dog, because they were used by cattle drovers, bringing cattle into Germany from Switzerland and having made their appearance in the little state of Thueringen also. It would be well to assume that any number of these Rottweiler dogs, originating from the South German city of Rottweil, remained in and about ApoIda and certainly made their appearance felt in respect to reproducing qualities because this breed of dogs has the identical coat, color and markings of our own dog. The Rottweiler, while having also the same size as the Doberman, with his tail cropped but ears untrimmed, differs from the latter in two major points, namely: This Butcher dog is built heavier and as a result does not possess the elegant appearance of our own dog. In addition, he is considerably heavier in forehead, so that we cannot speak of a typical wedgeshaped head when mentioning the Rottweiler. This also accounts without a question for so many Doberman Pinschers, when the breed was in its infancy, that showed broad skulls. Even today we find an undue number of Doberman Pinschers with skulls that must be considered too heavy. The opposite picture we found in the dogs of original breeding that showed the characteristics of a pinscher head, the head being short and snipy around the part of the muzzle, a head where the dimensions of the forehead and those of the bridge of the nose are alike, a head with a typical pinscher expression, which cannot be described on paper.
From the foregoing we can see that different breeds of dogs, purebred as well as others, in a happy mixture produced a breed of dogs which by sheer luck transmitted certain characteristic features so stubbornly and dominantly that there appeared all of a sudden a new breed of dogs. We may therefore, as stated at the beginning, accept the various theories advanced in the way they were meant, which means, no more at best than an attempt was made to account for the ancestry of a breed of which not even those so closely connected with its inception could tell for certain how it really originated.
THE DOBERMAN IN PREWAR DAYS
Sylvester Frey in his small work on the breed, published in 1912, doubts seriously that Louis Dobermann played any part in the development of a breed of dogs which was eventually recognized and given the name of Dobermannpinscher. As mentioned in the preceding chapter, in 1899 the first Doberman Pinscher Club was originated and then the breed became officially known by the name it has been called ever since. In 1900 the breed as such became officially recognized. There were efforts made to change the name of our dog and it was suggested more than once to call him Thueringer Pinscher. Yet, because of the then existing and popular large variety of the somewhat longer haired Thueringer Pinscher it was considered advisable not to change the name of Doberman Pinscher, once selected, in order to avoid a possible confusion between the two breeds.
At the beginning of its development the black and tan variety was the only one recognized. There were a number of fanciers who objected to any other color variety and not until in the year 1901 were the other two shades, namely red and tan and blue and tan, officially recognized. At that time the black and tans were preferred to the others because there were still a number of those interested in the breed who could not become reconciled to the fact that our dog should make its appearance in more than one color variety. It was claimed that from a standpoint of appearance even a combination of the darkest chocolate brown with rustred markings could never create the beautiful contrast shown by the black and tan. Furthermore, it was claimed by those opposing more than one ground color that a clear cut definition of the chocolate color coat could not be given because the variations in color shades of the browns were too great, especially during the time of shedding their coats.
In this connection it is of interest to state that Otto Goeller considered the introduction of the Blue Dane into the breed as responsible for the blue and tan variety. As mentioned in the chapter dealing with the ancestry, I am more inclined to favor the theory that the Weimaraner hunting dog was primarily, if not exclusively, responsible for the producing of the blue color. A fancier by the name of Strebl was of the opinion that the theory of having used the Blue Dane, if only for color and size, cannot bear any weight. He also disregards any theory in connection with the use of hunting dogs. However, he believed that in order to reproduce constantly the pure black color of the coat with pure markings that the Black and Tan Terrier was used to fix our dog’s appearance in this respect. The exact year or years during which the black and tan may have been used to ennoble our breed in appearance cannot be stated but it was claimed by Goeller that this breed could not have been used at the time the Doberman Pinscher was still in its infancy of development because the presence of the black and tan at that time in Thueringen was not known.
Sylvester Frey goes so far as to state because of the outstanding qualities of our dog his color should be of no importance whatever, unless it would show certain disadvantages in connection with his utility as a working dog. He also states that Otto Goeller a few years prior to 1912 entertained the idea of having other color combinations, such as Brindles, in Dobermans recognized. Goeller however refrained from taking the necessary steps for fear he would not succeed. One of the greatest canine authorities in Germany, the late E. von Otto, could not see any particular objection to the recognition of additional color combinations. These interesting side glances are merely injected because I am sure that very few, if any, of our breeders ever knew that years ago an attempt was made to have Brindles as well as Checks recognized, in addition to the other three varieties.
The main objection to this was raised by those who felt that it was sufficient to judge our breed in three distinct classes and the recognition of more color varieties would necessitate the judging of them in so many more additional classes, which in their opinion was too far leading.
It is also of interest to mention that at the time Otto Goeller was actively engaged in the breeding of Doberman Pinschers he considered the blue ones the largest in size, the black and tan inbetween and the red ones of the smallest size.
At the beginning of the breed considerable troubles were experienced with the shade of the markings because there were altogether too many dogs showing a straw color. It was of course recognized that the tan should be a rust red. This did not mean however that they were successful in producing it.
The rise of the breed and with it its development within the first ten years of recognition were truly amazing. With the organization of the original Doberman Pinscher Club so much interest had been created that in rapid succession new clubs came into existence. In 1906 the first stud book was published, followed by volumes II and III, respectively, in 1909 and 1912. The breed grew so rapidly that at the 1910 Cologne show there was an entry of 105 black and tans and 37 other colors. The quality of the exhibits had already reached a high stage of perfection, according to Otto Settegast, one of the greatest breed authorities.
The secret of success was largely, if not solely, due to a number of outstanding sires and bitches which exercised such an influence upon future generations that an optimistic viewpoint in respect to the future healthy development of the breed was entirely justified. While the great prewar dogs can to a very small measure only be of any influence upon our present breeding activities, they will receive mention in a later chapter where outstanding producers are being reviewed, this more for the purpose to catalog them according to their family classification.
THE DOBERMAN IN POSTWAR DAYS
It was to be expected that during the Great War breeding activities in general would suffer a considerable setback. In spite of it, most fortunate for the breed, a number of outstanding producers carried on and left, while of course diminished in quantity, the foundation for a new generation of Doberman Pinschers that were destined to play the most important part in breed history. They will receive proper recognition in a later chapter.
It was a great blessing for our breed that in 1919 the various independently functioning Doberman Pinscher clubs amalgamated into one main body, establishing numerous branch chapters throughout Germany. The result was a membership of 3495 in the year 1924. In July, 1922, the club issued again an organ of their own, called, “Unser Dobermannpinscher.” Registrations into their stud books began to flourish. To cite an example, entries amounted to 11000 for the period of April, 1924, to October, 1925. This is almost unbelievable. In February, 1924, each branch chapter delegated one of its members to act as breed ward. His function was to counsel all members within his branch club in respect to the selection of a suitable stud dog for their bitches, another step leading toward better breeding products.
From 1921 the Sieger shows became an annual affair. For an explanation of these fixtures please refer to Chapter Thirtythree. Doberman Pinscher entries were judged by specialists who received their license from the main society. In 1927 there were barely more than three dozen judges permitted to pass on our breed and of this number about one half was non active.
Delegates from the various branch chapters gathered once each year in order to attend the annual meeting held in different parts of Germany. Likewise, all licensed judges were expected to meet once a year, usually at the places where the Sieger shows were held. Guide lines for judges became their most important issue, referring to the application of the breed Standard requirements in the show ring, rating awards, the policies referring to the designation of the annual Siegers, etc.
The major part of the foregoing account may appear a bit like ancient history. So it is, in certain respects. However, there is a very definite reason for having enumerated facts which lead to just one conclusion, referring in this case specifically to German Breeding successes.
We realize, of course, that in a country smaller than the State of Texas like results may be or could be obtained. Nevertheless, the fact remains that it takes an efficiently organized system to accomplish these results. We, here, for the good of all concerned, have greatly benefitted by it because we could not have shown any improvement without resorting ‘to the importation of great dogs and bitches. In the course of years many of these have reached our shores. They and their offspring will enable us to carry on by making the American bred Doberman Pinscher the finest the world over.
THE DOBERMAN IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Already during the period of dissention among German Doberman Pinscher organizations covering the years from 1900 to 1912, there were to be found lovers of our dog in other European countries. The North German Dobermannpinscher Club at Hamburg could count among its followers, in the form of membership, fanciers covering Great Britain, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Russia and not to forget our own country. There also has been a lively group of fanciers in Belgium. After the Great War a considerable amount of interest was shown for our breed by both France and Russia.
One may safely state that the Doberman Pinscher spread like wildfire. One may expect to find him in every civilized country.
Mr. Sidney A. Moss, in his Foreword, refers to our breed in connection with its use by the Russians in what is now Manchukuo.
A few years ago I received a letter from Japan, advising me that my book, “The Doberman Pinscher,” third edition, published by Judy Publishing Co., Chicago, was in the process of being translated into Japanese.
Mr. Harry Gibson of Hales Corners, Wisconsin, former secretary of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, received a letter dated June 28, 1939, signed by G. H. Ellis, Hon. Secretary, Doberman Pinscher Club of South Africa, advising him that our dog is a very popular breed in his country, particularly in the Transvaal, the Province in which their dog club headquarters is situated. He goes on to say that in and around Johannesburg there are at least two to three hundred Dobermans, mostly up to show standard. In 1930 the club counted some 150 members. My aforementioned book was adopted as the club’s standard work of reference.
Peter Umlauff wrote in 1926 in his historical review, touching upon the organization and development of the various independently functioning Doberman Pinscher Clubs in Germany up to the year 1919: “Already years ago could our organization look upon with satisfaction to foreign countries which turned their eyes with an increased interest to our breed. Many countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Holland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Finland, etc., have organized their own Doberman clubs or hold associate membership in our organization. The same applies to Transvaal, South Africa, and especially to the United States of America where systematical breeding has been sponsored long before the war by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, and by The Doberman Pinscher Fanciers Association of the United States.” One may go on and mention the fanciers of our breed in China and in Australia. Suffice it to say, as stated before, we are bound to find our dog all over the world.
THE DOBERMAN IN AMERICA
Similar or identical to other breeds from an historical point of view we find at first those interested who are developing a new breed of dogs during the period of pre-organized fancierdom. As a general rule detailed information as to their activities and accomplishments is scarce. So it is with our early Doberman Pinscher fanciers in America.
According to Mr. Howard K. Mohr of Philadelphia, who gave an account of this early period in Schmidt’s “The Doberman Pinscher,” Third Edition, published by the Judy Publishing Co., Co., Chicago, the names of Mr. Jaeger of Rochester, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Meyer (von Fern Felsen Kennels) of Phiadelphia, and Mr. and Mrs. Vucassovitch (St. Marychell Kennels) , near Boston, were associated with those who could be considered among the earliest breeders of Dobermans in this country.
Our breed received its first real impetus with the organization of a club to be known as the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. Breeders and exhibitors of Doberman Pinschers at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1921 met and decided to cast their lot together by fostering the interests of our then not too well known dog. The outcome was the aforementioned club, with its abbreviated name of D.P.C.A. The American Kennel Club was contacted in order to find out if any similar club held the charter as an A.K.C. parent club.
Mr. George H. Earle III was asked to secure the official Doberman Pinscher standard of the breed from Germany which was adopted by the D.P.C.A. on February 13, 1922, as the official Standard.
In order to secure firsthand information in regard to a more intimate knowledge of our breed it was decided to invite Herr Peter Umlauff from Hamburg, Germany, to officiate at the 1923 Westminster show. The late Herr Umlauff, recognized as an outstanding breed authority, unquestionably enlightened our American fanciers quite considerably. He was followed by other German judges in due course. A more thorough understanding of the various points of our dog was badly needed, and the several German experts made it possible to acquire additional information and knowledge.
Increased membership and along with it a more substantial treasury made it possible for the D.P.C.A. to offer trophies to Doberman exhibitors at various fixtures.
On March 6, 1923, for the first time a debate ensued in respect to plans for holding a Doberman Pinscher Specialty show.
In 1924 the matter of club judges to officiate at various shows came up for discussion.
Any number of subjects of vital importance which concerned the Doberman Pinscher fancy at large was brought up from time to time and was acted upon for the benefit of everyone, be he a member or nonmember. One of the subjects referred to anti cropping legislation, another to monthly articles in the American Kennel Gazette, still another to a revision of the Breed Standard and last but not least the granting of charters to those who met the requirements in order to establish D.P.C.A. Branch Clubs in different parts of our country. In 1929 the question of the publication of a pamphlet was touched upon. This publication materialized not until last year when Dr. E. H. Garry of Milwaukee was instrumental in having the first D.P.C.A. pamphlet printed.
It is not possible, nor is it necessary, to enumerate every single action taken by the D.P.C.A. whereby a definite benefit was derived by all of us interested in the development of our breed. Much has been accomplished in the past which was only possible because of the efforts of an organized group of fanciers. In the course of years many of the most outstanding Doberman Pinschers were imported by fanciers of means. To them we owe a word of thanks. Without their keen interest and desire to improve our breed in quality, the Doberman Pinscher would not have developed into one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
It was most fortunate indeed that at no time during those short forty years of officially recognized and recorded Doberman Pinscher breeding was there any lack of dominant sires and dams. That the sires played a more important part in propagating their influence is clearly understood if we consider that a brood bitch cannot produce as large an offspring as a stud dog, especially when bred to quite a few bitches.
In reviewing the pillars of the breed we find any number which from our present point of view have done their share to lay a solid foundation in prewar days upon which to build and develop in the years to follow.
In every breed of dogs there are productive as well as nonproductive sires. The latter are frequented because of their imposing bench show records, but they are lacking the sufficient power of transmitting their own qualities to future generations. In this type of dog we are not interested so far as the subject matter of this chapter is concerned.
The long line of dominant sires dates back to 1898 where on June 13 Sieger Graf Belling V. Thueringen, sired by Lux v. Groenland ex Tilly —with no other ancestry known—made his entrance into this world. Graf Belling’s sire Lux established himself as one of the fountainheads of Doberman ancestry.
The late Fred W. Randolph of Chicago, who was a very keen student of the breed, prepared a “Chart of Families, arranged in Lines of Sires.” His chart lists three fountainheads, branching out into twentynine families. Mr. Randolph’s chart is included in Schmidt’s “The Doberman Pinscher,” Third Edition, published by Judy Publishing Co., Chicago.
Graf Belling, through one of his bitch offspring, established the second fountainhead of the breed with Sieger Landgraf Sighart v. Thueringen, the sire of Sieger Hellegraf v. Thueringen. The third fountainhead was established with the appearance of Junker Slenz v. Thueringen by Rambo ex Elly.
Each one of those fountainheads branched out into a number of families, with Junker Slenz leaving the smallest number and Landgraf Sighart the largest ones.
Leporello v. Main was the most noted one to carry on the Junker Slenz line.
Of the Lux v. Groenland line the Graf Belling branch in direct line of descent shows Tell v. Kirchweyhe, sire of Fedor Aprath v. Deutz, he the sire of Theo. v.d. Funkenburg as the most prominent ones.
The other Lux line, going over Prinz v. Ilm-Athen, shows one branch with Graf Benno v. Thueringen as the sire of Prinz Carlo Victoria, a second branch with Graf Edel v. IlmAthen as the sire of Graf Belling v. Berlin, while a third branch, beginning with Sturmfried v. Ilm-Athen, leads to his son Moritz v. Burgwall, the sire of Fernando v. Merseburg, he the sire of the Hollandbred Rival’s Adonis.
Hellegraf v. Thueringen, the son of fountainhead Landgraf Sighart, left by far the greatest number of family branches.
Hellegraf’s sons Lord v. Ried and Lux Edelblut v. Ilm-Athen each established eight families. Lord established the Saxonian strain leading to Zeus v. Parthengrund, the South German strain of Prinz Leuthold v. Hornegg and in direct line of descent Achim v. Langerode, Alex v.d. Finohoehe to the Saxonianbred Stolz v. Roeneckenstein, the Bavarian strains of Isarstrand and Siegestor as one family and with Roland v.d. Haide, sire of Salto v. Rottal, as the other one. Troll v. Albtal, representing another family branch was used to establish new strains in Holland. Prinz Bodo v. Hoernsheim, in general a nonproductive stud, sired Alex v. Simmenau who showed his dominance.
Lux Edelblut sired one of the greatest producers in Prinz Modern v. Ilm-Athen. Prinz Modern gave us the Silberberg dogs with Arno v.d. Gluecksburg and Burschel v. Simmenau in direct line of descent. Another Bavarian strain of the Ostersee dogs appeared with Edelblut vom Jaegerhof (the son of Prinz Modern) as the sire of Bodo v. Ostersee.
In addition Edelblut established another Holland family branch headed by Urian v. Grammont, the sire of Sieger Benno v.d. Roemerhof, the former an outstanding producer, but the latter of no productive value.
This does by no means exhaust the list of great sires of prewar days; however, the most noted ones have received mention.
The names of any number of these dogs may be found on our present day pedigrees. It appeared, therefore, of sufficient importance to justify a review of their family origin.
The number of great producers covering the period after the war to the present time is so impressive that one could almost fill an entire volume with their description. Of necessity, an account can be furnished only in a condensed form.
It is truly amazing that with hardly a handful of dominant sires left a new generation of outstanding Doberman Pinschers was developed over a period of a few short years.
After establishing one main society of Doberman fanciers in 1919 and along with it branch chapters all over the country, the number of those interested in breeding grew so rapidly that in 1921 at the first postwar Sieger show held in Munich we could already discover great results. The red 1921 Sieger Salto v. Rottal was the first outstanding product of the old generation. Salto sired the 1921 Sieger Harras v. Ostersee and the 1922 Sieger Benno v. Burgholz. This made Bavaria the leader in building up our breed right after the war.
Already in 1922 we could notice the breeding successes of the Hollanders when in Berlin Benno v.d. Roemerhof won the Sieger title.
In 1923 was the beginning of a new era. Lux v.d. Blankenburg won the title and established himself as the greatest living sire. His offspring, direct and otherwise, dominated at the Sieger shows to follow. To mention all outstanding offspring, including that of the second generation, would take up a number of pages. Troll v.d. Blankenburg, his halfbrother, did his share in building up the breed. Lux and Troll, the former sired by Burschel v. Simmenau, the latter by Graf Belling v. Berlin, had Asta Voss as their dam. Asta was one of the greatest brood bitches that ever lived. A daughter of Edelblut v. Jaegerhof, she was a sure producer with every litter, although bred to a number of different stud dogs. Troll v.d. Blankenburg’s influence was mostly felt through his daughters, of which Siegerin Asta v. Stolzenberg was the best known. She was the dam of Int. Champion Claus v. Sigalsburg, sired by Lux v.d. Blankenburg, and of Int. Champion Figaro v. Sigalsburg, sired by Lux’s son Sieger Alto v. Sigalsburg. Alto duplicated Lux’s achievements by establishing a long line of great families.
The list of prominent sires truly reads like a fairy tale, because their offspring carried on in like manner. A practical demonstration of it you will find in Alto’s son Luz v. Roedeltal, the sire of Sieger Muck v. Brunia, conceded to have established a great reputation as the sire of Siegers and champions. Muck’s son Trmt. Champion Troll v.d. Engelsburg, the only dog to have ever held the title of World Sieger, not only equalled his sire’s producing record, but by far exceeded it. Troll, for instance, twice German Sieger, twice winner of the Wanderpreis, American and Canadian Champion, sired all of the 1938 Siegers. In addition, he sired eight U.S. champions and the World Siegerin at Paris, France, Alfa v. Hollingen. This constitutes but a fraction of Troll’s actual producing record.
The great Saxonian stud dog Stolz v. Roeneckenstein also established a long line of outstanding as well as producing offspring, with his son Helios v. Siegestor as the best known. Helios, in turn, sired Cherloc v. Rauhfelsen. A great bench show winner in Germany, he scored nine excellent ratings in first place. Later on sold to Italy, there his record became even more imposing. In 1935 in Merano, Italy’s greatest show with an international entry, he was awarded the King’s medal for best in show. As a sire he established an equally great reputation.
In bitches we find Lotte v. Roeneckenstein, next to Asta Voss, one of the greatest, as the dam of Sieger Alto, American Champion An v. Sigalsburg, Siegers Modern and Mars v. SimmenauRhinegold and a number of other prominent offspring. Siegerin Jessy v. Lohenstein was the dam of Siegerin Freya v. Burgund, American Champions Kaspar v. Lohenstein and Jockel v. Burgund, and Champion Bajadere v. Brandenburg the dam of Sieger 1933 and Siegerin 1933 Desir v. Glueckswinkel and Daisy v. Glueckswinkel.
A number of other outstanding and productive bitches, with their champion offspring will be referred to in a later chapter. Detailed tabulations of the greatest sires and dams, together with their progeny, you will find in a later chapter.
Of the European countries, and for the sake of completeness speaking of all other countries outside of that of the homeland of the breed, none can compare with the breeding activities of and results obtained by the Holland fanciers. Before proceeding, please bear in mind that in this chapter our own successes will not be related.
These you will find in the chapter immediately following.
The Hollanders organized at an early stage of breed development. In 1935 they could look back to thirty years of Doberman Pinscher club activities, as related in the August issue of that year of “Onze Dobermann.”
The readers are told of the early importations from Germany, resorted to in order to obtain the best possible blood. The Kennels “von Grammont” with Heer Kloeppel as owner and most outstanding figure in Doberman breeding deserve first place. It is stated that there are few dogs to be found that do not list the blood of the “von Grammont” dogs on their pedigrees.
Success in breeding was accomplished by the acquisition of products from the “vom Jaegerhof” Kennels with Sieger Edelblut vom Jaegerhof as the best known. (The Jaegerhof Kennels were located in the Rhineland.) Next in line to Edelblut the writer lists Ch. Sieger Prinz Modern v. Ilm-Athen and Sieger Lord vom Ried.
At the beginning, next to the “von Grammont” Kennels, the “Rival” Kennels were the most prominent ones, the latter well known by their Rival’s Adonis and Rival’s Asta, litter brother and sister.
The climax in breeding art, so goes on this account, appeared with the “A” litter of the Grammont Kennels in Angola v. Grammont, later on in life imported to our country by the White Gate Kennels. Angola’s bench show record was phenomenal, having placed best of breed at the Dortmund (Germany) show with an entry of 119, among other successes.
Heer van Akkeren, owner of the “van de Koningstad” Kennels, enthusiastically followed breeding by starting with the “v. Grammont” product “Waltraute.” His wellknown Bubine v.d. Koningstad was the dam of Sieger 1922 Benno v.d. Roemerhof, sired by another Grammon t dog, the red Urian v. Grammont, the latter out of Carmen v. Kraichgau and Sieger Edelblut.
Heer van Akkeren was also the breeder of Ch. Prinz Carlo v.d. Koningstad, famous for body perfection and outstanding as the sire of Int. Ch. Prinz Favoriet v.d. Koningstad, out of Ch. Angola v. Grammont, and of the Germanbred American Champion and 1924 Sieger Apollo v. Schuetzeneck. Favoriet and Apollo, in my opinion, were the finest red and tan Dobermans ever bred.
Prinz Carlo and Prinz Favoriet were brought to our shores by the Westphalia and by the White Gate Kennels, respectively, recognizing in these dogs body and type perfection as well as outstanding breeding qualities by virtue of a strong ancestry. Favoriet in particular, as a sire, has been of inestimable value to the breed in the country of his adoption. Apollo was brought over here also. Apollo, though a half brother of Favoriet, did not have the power as a sire to project his physical qualities in succeeding generations and left behind him, both in Germany and this country, little of breeding value.
The Koningstad Kennels distinguished themselves further by their breeding of Prinzessin Elfrieda and Prinzessin Illisa v.d. Koningstad, both of which reached our shores eventually where they carried on in accordance with their carefully selected breeding background, and through White Gate and Westphalia Kennels produced offspring which when exhibited in Germany won astonishing success.
Another, later breeder of note, has been mentioned favorably in the person of Heer van Es (Kennel van Oevanes) , especially successful with his “C” litter of which the American, French and Belgium Champion Carol van Oevanes is carrying on the Koningstad tradition.
To the Holland breeders has been devoted a considerable amount of space; however, in comparison with their small number of breeders they have truly achieved marvelous breeding successes.
The story of our producers in America is best told in the form of tabulations. They have been compiled as a result of pedigree studies comprising over 400 U.S. Doberman Pinscher champions of record.
In order to assist me in my task the files of Dog World magazine, with the kind permission of the Judy Publishing Co., Chicago, were made available to me. The records of all Doberman champions under review were prepared from official publications of the American Kennel Club, up to November 1, 1939. In addition, the listing of champions of record from July, 1939, to and including June, 1940, which appeared in the August, 1940, issue of “The Dog News,” Cincinnati, Ohio, was used. One or the other dog, having won the title in the meantime may be found on the tabulations also.
The basis for the listing of the leading sires was arrived at by taking into account only those who produced at least four U.S. Champions, and for bitches the minimum was set at three. In this manner the facts disclosed are uniform and fair, although for all practical purposes it appears of no particular importance whether a certain sire shows a progeny of seven or eight champions, as long as he established himself as a producer, and the same applies to the progeny of the dams.
My survey established thirtythree leading sires and twentytwo leading dams. These sires left as their progeny more than 200 champions. Two of the sires, Alto v. Sigalsburg and Helios v. Siegestor, never left Germany, yet they produced the majority of the aforementioned 200 champions in direct line of descent. Two other sires, Prinz Carlo v.d. Koningstad and his son Prinz Favoriet v.d. Koningstad were imported from Holland.
Twenty sires were imported from Germany, while the remaining nine sires are made up of American breds.
Among the leading dams we find Lotte v. Roeneckenstein who remained in Germany, two imports from Holland, Angola v. Grammont and Prinzessin Elfrieda v.d. Koningstad, nine German imports and ten American breds. Contrary to the picture presented of the leading sires, almost one half of the outstanding dams are made up of home breds. This indicates clearly that the importation of bitches was small in comparison with that of dogs.
The leading sires are presented in four tabulations, one of which is headed by Helios v. Siegestor and his champion offspring, and by Dewald v. Ludwigsburg. Both Helios and Dewald were sired by Stolz v. Roeneckenstein. Another tabulation records the champion offspring of the Hollanders Prinz Carlo and Prinz Favoriet v.d. Koningstad. A third list is headed by Lux v.d. Blankenburg. Together with the Lux get appear Claus v.d. Spree and Troll v.d. Blankenburg. Claus and Lux had Burschel v. Simmenau for their sire, while Troll and Lux had Asta Voss for their dam.
This accounts for the grouping of these three sires. A fourth listing is headed by Alto v. Sigalsburg, the son of Lux v.d. Blankenburg. Alto produced by far the largest number of U.S. champions in the first and succeeding generations. This record speaks for itself.
To follow the line of descent on the tabulations, please refer to the one of Alto v. Sigalsburg showing nine direct champion offspring. Heading the list with his son Figaro v. Sigalsburg, we read down to Boby v. Hohenzollernpark. Boby’s champion offspring appears directly underneath him, denoted by indentation. Reading down we come to Carlo v. Bassewitz with his champion offspring listed directly underneath, denoted by additional indentation. The same holds true in all other cases, showing an especially interesting flow of descent from Luz v. Roedeltal to Ora v. Sandberg Lindenhof. Beginning with Alto, in this case we get a most impressive picture of dominance, carried on from generation to generation where one sire after another follows directly in the footsteps of his famous ancestor.
The listing of the bitches disregards any interrelationship in order to avoid confusion. Those printed in boldface type are the producing dams, with their champion get following.
An exception to the rule was made in the Helios offspring where two of them are no champions. One proved his great strength as a reproducing sire while the other sired the greatest living bitch, Jessy v.d. Sonnenhoehe, at the same time through Jessy’s champion progeny, earning his place as a reproducing sire also.
The tabulations of the bitches do not show with what studs they were mated.
Ever since the advent of purebred dogs the most efficient method of their perpetuation has been occupying the minds of those interested in this particular field of the dog game.
Disregarding that class of dog owner who for his own amusement raises a litter of puppies occasionally, we are concerning ourselves here only with those who desire to achieve results by their attempts to improve future generations, thereby rendering their chosen breed of dogs a definite as well as valuable service.
Right at the start let me state that I am not an advocate in the application of an undue amount of scientific principles. Over a period of years I have arrived at the conclusion that overindulgence in so-called breeding of dogs according to blueprints has not proved very successful. I am, to state it plainly, a believer in commonsense breeding.
This means that in my opinion the first requirement in breeding consists in a determination as to whether or not two animals to be bred are good enough to transmit their qualities and characteristics. In this case the application of the Rating or a similar system as outlined in a previous chapter would be of great help and of immense value. Also the application of the Scoring System would serve likewise as a gauge to establish a definite breeding value for such animals which are meant to be mated, thereby being enabled to know in advance whether an effort to accomplish an improvement in the next generation would be worth a breeder’s while.
This requirement, and I defy anyone to contradict me on this point, is of considerably greater importance than any other means in dog breeding known. You may be the owner of a bitch with outstanding blood lines. She may be a product of perfect line-breeding. She may have for her sire one of the greatest bench show winners known but unless you are sure that this bitch is worthy of her illustrious ancestors by rating no less than Very Good, the equivalent of a score of 80% or better, you are not at all certain what to expect in the offspring, irrespective of what stud dog you may be using to improve the breed.
The majority of fanciers have made it a practice to overcome or at least tried to overcome the deficiencies of their brood bitch by the use of a successful sire. This motive while understandable is nevertheless theoretically wrong because a dog is in the first place the product of his composite ancestry. His closest ancestors, such as parents, grand parents and even great grand parents, play under ordinary conditions the major part in the perpetuation of desirable as well as undesirable qualities. An outstanding stud dog, one that is known as a proven sire, will of course add a number and in some instances a great number of outstanding points, possessed by himself, to his offspring. This cannot be denied. But how can one be so unreasonable as to expect all the improvement from the stud dog and assume whatever deficiencies the bitch is possessed with will be overcome by the sire of the puppiestobe? This has been, I am frank to state, our greatest drawback in the history of Doberman breeding, especially in our country. Altogether too little weight has been placed on the brood bitch and in altogether too many cases bitches were used for breeding that had they not had a pedigree the breeders would have been better off. I have seen bitches bred to international champions of truly outstanding quality, bitches so inferior I would be ashamed to be seen with them on the street, even at night. What then can we expect of such a mating?
We have in the foregoing seen very plainly that the quality of the parents is of greater importance to decide whether or not they should be bred at all than any other feature to be discussed in the following.
Assuming now that we have met at least these requirements of agreeing to breed only such animals which to a considerable extent correspond to the Breed Standard requirements, we should of course make certain that animals possessed by major faults, regardless of what good points they may have otherwise, are eliminated from breeding right at the start. I do not wish to be too critical, but as referred to heretofore I am and I confess to be a believer in commonsense breeding. Assuming now that our bitch is a fair one at least, and by fair I mean one that would deserve a score rating of no less than 8o%, we then may turn our attention to a prospective stud dog. Here too one should apply common sense more than any other element and by this I mean specifically that I am in favor of matching two animals in accordance with their exterior characteristics as well as features. It cannot be overemphasized to give this last sentence your most serious consideration.
We have in our Doberman breed, just like breeders of other breeds, different types of animals. We cannot point out just one type which in our opinion is the ideal one. The word “type” in this case refers to both head type and body type. They must be segregated in connection with this discussion and treated separately.
Under body type we have that kind of dog that resembles the so-called working type dog, a dog possessed of heavy bone, lots of substance, muscle and weight. The opposite holds true in the case of the so-called elegant type dog, where the bone is smaller or lighter, likewise the weight, so that the entire appearance of the animal reflects grace and swiftness. Of the faulty type, among which are the so-called greyhound typed dogs, one refers to such animals that are typically high legged, too light in weight, lacking substance, having narrow briskets, although usually very deep, an exaggerated tuck-up, a narrow forehead and a pointy muzzle. This is not the type we should ever care to use for breeding purposes.
Speaking of head types, there are a number of variations, each of which may be quite typical and as a result good enough for the use of future betterment of the breed. We have known for one head type the so-called Holland type of head. This head is a well proportioned one with a long forehead and a good and deep muscle. The eye expression of this type as a general rule is a mild one. For a typical fiery expression a number of the so-called Blankenburg, as well as Sigalsburg dogs, were known. They possessed neither as long nor as heavy a head as the Holland type, but their heads like that of the Hollanders being perfectly wedge-shaped as well as typical are to be considered outstanding types. Among the so-called Blankenburg dogs we had one particular branch with Troll v.d. Blankenburg as the titular head. Here we find a type of head which resembles neither the Hollanders nor the LuxBlankenburg strain, a head in shape inbetween the two, being neither too light nor too heavy, being of the proper length and possessing a well placed half-round eye with an expression not as fiery as some of the other Blankenburgers and yet more so than those of the Hollanders. All of these three heads are most desirable for breeding purposes and in any number of cases we have seen in the past the transmitting of these characteristics from generation to generation. Lux von der Blankenburg produced a number of offspring that possessed outstanding heads. His offspring in turn, to mention just one, the incomparable Alto von Sigalsburg possessed with an excellent head, transmitted these features in like strength. This we have seen in the head of Sieger Hamlet von Herthasee. He too carried on the tradition of his noble father Alto by giving us any number of his offspring with outstanding head types.
The same held true of Troll v.d. Blankenburg, who transmitted his head type to Asta von Stolzenberg, she in turn to Claus v. Sigalsburg and Figaro v. Sigalsburg, the former sired by Lux, the latter by his son Alto.
The Hollanders achieved the very same successes. Prinz Carlo v.d. Koningstad, an example of an outstanding head type, carried on through his famous son Favoriet v.d. Koningstad. He, in turn, fixed his most desirable head features in any number of his American offspring.
In the foregoing an example has been made of types referring to the head only. One may cite like examples as to body types.
When reviewing some of our successful sires and what they have meant to the breed, we must not overlook the material of quality bitches which contributed to their success. This brings us right back to where we started, when we spoke of the breeding value of both parent animals.
Great bitches have produced great offspring. They need not necessarily be or have been Siegerins. To prove this, let us mention just a few. Toska v. Luisenheim was the dam of Siegerin 1933 Ella v. Graf Zeppelin and her litter sister Ch. Erna. Bajadere v. Brandenburg was the dam of the litter brother and litter sister Sieger Desir v. Glueckswinkel and Siegerin Daisy v. Glueckswinkel. Bubina v. Deutschen Eck was the dam of Sieger Moritz v. Roedeltal and Marko v. Roedeltal. These bitches, all rated Excellent, and a great number of other high grade bitches, were largely responsible for upholding the breed and improving future offspring. The listing of all Siegerins which contributed their share toward breed perfection would cover a considerable amount of space.
It is not difficult to conclude that by combining exterior characteristics of outstanding dogs with such bitches that correspond in these characteristics we are more assured to produce a satisfactory offspring than by resorting solely to so-called pedigree breeding. In this connection it may be well to mention some other factors, in many cases if not altogether omitted are eliminated in the consideration of breeding better dogs.
We have seen for instance in our Doberman Pinscher different types of coats. Lord von der Horstburg had a very desirable sort of coat. It was short, hard and thick lying. A different type of coat had Orest von Kranichstein. This dog had also a short coat lying very closely but it felt silk like, a beautiful coat to be sure. Lux von der Blankenburg had a very short, highly glossy coat which he inherited from the Silberberg dogs. These Silberberg dogs by the way, the most prominent of which were the Austrian Ch. Bayard and the German Ch. Sybille, introduced into the breed exactly what many years ago the great E. von Otto predicted, namely, by breeding dogs for too short coats in consequence the skin is getting thinner, the bone structure is getting lighter; the same applies to the muscle, teeth, etc. However it must be stated that the Silberberg dogs did not exercise their influence to the detriment of the breed because they were not used to such great extent that any damage could be done. The’ did however much to improve the breed in nobility, largely expressed by beautiful short coats.
Then on the other hand we have the typical long coated dogs of which Sieger 1921 Harras von Ostersee was an example with a coat long enough to show feathers on the legs. To summarize, you will see for yourself how even in the coat our breed varied and still is varying to a considerable extent. So far as the coats of the aforementioned animals are concerned I am going on record to state that I personally have felt and examined these coats in the homeland of the breed.
Then we have a number of dogs whereby the position of the croup is considerably lower than that of the withers. This is no fault but is also characteristic of certain strains. This we find to have been the case in any number of dogs of Bavarian origin. They stand extremely high on the withers, making the backline fall off more abruptly to the croup than is the case in all other strains. These are but a few side glances illustrating the variations in exterior appearance in our breed.
In summarizing the aforementioned points, bear in mind once more that it is best to match two animals in points of body and type likeness, thereby assuring a more uniform litter than by any other means known. Before we touch upon the next and last point dealing with what I term commonsense breeding, we do not want to raise puppies from one or both parents that are nervous, shy or vicious. These three traits are considered major faults and perhaps it was not necessary to call your attention to it.
As our final step in successful breeding, we must of course resort to pedigree studies. In the majority of cases the average fancier being confronted with a barrage of kennel names becomes so confused that he does not understand the meaning and the value of the various kennel names appearing on a pedigree. The average fancier lets himself be guided by the fact that the siretobe is a champion and if possible even an international champion, that the siretobe is the product of a champion and should he be so fortunate as to possess a champion bitch he will quite naturally be inclined to believe that an assortment of a number of champions cannot but insure success in the litter to come. It is all well and good to use animals possessing the championship title. They at least in the show ring proved to be superior to their less fortunate competitors. This does not however necessarily mean that bitch and dog will make a perfect match, even though they may correspond in type and other points heretofore mentioned at length, because they may by accident be too closely related.
For instance, the sire, unless the owner of the brood matron happens to study the pedigree of both carefully, may turn out to be the brood matron’s son. This would come under the heading of inbreeding, which, among other breeding theories, you will find ably described by Captain Will Judy in the chapter to follow.
The subject of breeding, based on pedigree studies, will be dealt with in later chapters. There you will be presented with a discussion of the main strains known and their importance to us in respect to their dominance. A careful study then should enable you to resort, to say it once more, to common sense breeding, which I believe is a sure way as well as a safe method to elevate our breed to greater heights.
DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP IN BREEDING
By Captain Will Judy
The relationship of ancestors is a vital factor in breeding, clearly due to the consideration that related specimens are nearer like each other than are unrelated ones, and that the nearer alike two particular parents are, the greater is the probability that their offspring will possess most of their qualities and in turn, the offspring be more uniform among themselves.
The variations of heredity are reduced both in number and degree. It is as though we were seeking to draw one red ball out of a bag wherein all other balls are blue in color. The probability of drawing it is greater when there are a total of ten balls rather than 15 in the bag.
The relationship of parents is represented in the following, in order of nearness: inbreeding, line-breeding, outbreeding, crossbreeding, mongrel breeding.
Inbreeding is first generation breeding and embraces only four possible matings. Three of these are of the first degree—father to daughter, mother to son, brother to sister. The remaining one is of the second degree half-brother to half-sister.
Line-breeding is inbreeding at a distance but well within the family relationships. Line-breeding of the first degree embraces mating wherein the parents are within two steps of descent, or a total of six possible matings — namely, grandfather to granddaughter, grandmother to grandson, grandson to granddaughter, first cousin to first cousin, uncle to niece and aunt to nephew.
Line-breeding of the second degree embraces all matings showing a relationship but not as close as those of the first degree. There must be at least one common ancestor within four generations, for instance, the same grand parent, a grand sire or a grand dam, in common. There are many possible combinations.
Outbreeding is hardly relationship breeding: It is within the breed and hence pure breeding but there is not any common ancestry within five generation. To go back to the tenth or later generations is needless for it is surprisingly true that in many breeds approximately 90% of all dogs have many common ancestors beyond the tenth generation. To compile a twelfth-generation pedigree of 20 dogs of a breed is not as huge task as it seems for much of the pedigree of each dog is a duplication of the pedigrees of the other 19.
Crossbreeding is the mating of parents of two different breeds but each purebred in itself. Mongrel breeding is the mating of a dog of mixed breeding, not a purebred, with a purebred or with a dog of mixed breeding like itself. Such matings unless for experimental purposes do not interest the dog breeder; they most often are matings springing out of alley romances and resulting in league of nation litters, the members of which in turn can boast little pride in ancestry or posterity.
BLOODLINES AND STRAINS
This subject, if presented in a too complicated manner, might easily lead to confusion, thereby becoming valueless. For this reason I am going to base my discussion on actual facts, dispensing with the usual presentation and analysis of a pedigree specimen.
In Doberman Pinscher breeding we cannot speak of bloodlines, because they are nonexistent. To my knowledge no one has really tried to achieve results in establishing a bloodline of his own. This means that no breeder selected a pair of dogs of common ancestry as a basis to build up a family by various means of systematic inbreeding, branching into line-breeding eventually so as to look upon an ancestry so closely bred which would give him a purebred family following through five or more generations. The best we can do is to speak of the blood of a certain producer who by himself and through his progeny carried on a strain which because of its dominance in reproducing qualities became, as a result, quite conspicuous.
In the chapter on outstanding producers in America we saw that our leading sires numbered no more than thirtythree. We also discovered that this small number was responsible for one half of over four hundred U. S. Doberman champions under review. The decided influence of these few great producers was so strong that it might well be worth our while to try and determine what is “in back of them.” This is not difficult to accomplish when reducing our studies to and concentrating on their pedigrees, arriving thereby at the following results:
This tabulation enumerates the producers of producers, the former numbering fourteen. This means, in other words, that out of a total of thirtythree leading sires, fourteen of them originated within their own ranks. Again Alto v. Sigalsburg proves his dominance as the sire of six producers, while his father Lux accounts for five. This makes a common ancestry (LuxClausAlto) for twelve producers on the sire lines. The HeliosAstor combination leads to Stolz v. Roeneckenstein (not listed) as their common ancestry which should also include Dewald v. Ludwigsburg, thus making Stolz the second strongest common ancestor.
To preserve the sire lines, the listing of reproducing bitches was omitted.
Now let us see which sires were the strongest in producing our twentytwo leading dams. Here we find Troll v.d. Blankenburg as the leader with three to his credit, followed by the Alto son Hamlet with two, Hamlet’s son Hans with one and Alto and his sons Jockel and Figaro account for one dam each, and so does Astor v. Thumshoehe, a Lux son and Claus v.d. Spree, Lux’s half-brother. The Stolz v. Roeneckenstein strain is represented twice by Dewald v. Ludwigsburg and Cherloc v. Rauhfelsen respectively, the latter Stolz’s grandson.
We may now raise the question: What does this all mean? So far it has not taken on a full meaning because we considered only the sire lines of the producers. In order to complete our picture we must, of course, turn our attention to the dams of the producing sires and of the producing dams.
In so doing, we determine that there were only three dams with two producers each to their credit, namely, Asta Voss: Lux and Troll v.d. Blankenburg; Asta v. Stolzenberg: Claus and Figaro v. Sigalsburg; Ilisa of Pontchartrain: Prince Claus and Prince Noah of Pontchartrain. All other dams whelped no more than one producer each. But we do find dominance in existence when checking into the sires of these dams. Here we find strength equally distributed between Troll v.d. Blankenburg and Alto v. Sigalsburg, followed by Claus v.d. Spree, a very close relationship indeed because Alto’s sire Lux and Claus were half-brothers, and so were Lux and Troll.
The facts just illustrated lead to one definite conclusion, and this is the primary purpose of this review.
When making a comparison of the dominating frequency of the sires just mentioned and by referring to the tabulations appearing in the chapter on outstanding producers in America, we find an analogy of names which leads us directly to the point whereby in order to discover a common ancestor we need not go back many generations. As a matter of fact, the first two (in some cases three) constitute common ancestry, originated by a very few of our top ranking sires, and even these show interrelationship, either on their sire’s side or on their dam’s side of the pedigree.
To summarize, it is a comparatively simple task to determine whether there exists a similarity of blood strains on the pedigrees of two animals intended for mating. If their closest ancestry is made up of producing or of reproducing sires there appears to be a reasonable assurance to benefit from previous results shown by other breeders.
We may, in the final analysis, condense our entire survey to three main strains, represented by the LuxTroll v.d. BlankenburgClaus v.d. Spree and Alto v. Sigalsburg combine as the most frequent as well as the most dominant one, by the SaxonianBavarian combine of Stolz v. RoeneckensteinHelios v. Siegestor as the next frequently appearing strain and by the Holland strain of Prinz CarloPrinz Favoriet v.d. Koningstad. To be sure, there were other strains to contribute their share in the development of our breed. Their importance should not be minimized, although they made their appearance felt more in the nature of a connecting link in arriving at the final result, the finished product, in the form of those sires and dams which among many impressed us mostly by their superior transmitting qualities.
THE AMERICAN BREEDER’S GUIDE
What is perhaps uppermost in the minds of those who are trying to solve the problem of how to breed Dobermans that can compare favorably with the great imports has not been made the topic of public discussion in the past. Yet, in my opinion, this is an issue of the greatest consequence. Since we do know that a great number of outstanding specimens had to be brought over here to improve our own stock, we certainly want to know the formula which produced them. We are definitely in need of information and the only way to secure it is to look for it. Therefore let’s go to work and see what we can find out, so that all of us may derive at least some benefit.
The chapter on outstanding producers in America, also the last chapter, furnished us with sufficient information upon which to build further.
With the best possible foundation stock at our disposal we should have no reason to believe that we cannot approach the accomplishments of the past. We know who our leading sires and dams are, and what they produced, also of their prominence in the frequency of their individual producing records we learned. Within the ranks of the leading thirtythree sires we discovered those that distinguished themselves by being producing sires of other producing sires, which makes the former reproducing sires of the highest rank. Finally, by a process of elimination, we arrived at the common ancestry of the three leading blood strains.
What we do not know as yet refers to the individually made up ancestry of the leading sires and dams.
Since we cannot speak of bloodlines, as we found out, we must resort to other means in order to find a gauge by which to measure the ancestry from the standpoint of makeup on both sides of their pedigrees. The only one at our disposal points to geographical localities.
In the course of some twenty years of postwar fancier activities we could recognize and follow distinctly the establishment of different breeding centers which assumed considerable prominence. These various centers confined their breeding activities to locally owned bitches and stud dogs in the majority of cases, thereby developing strains within certain districts. Those who were financially able to breed outside of their own sphere took their bitches to well known stud dogs, in many cases without regard to following along similar or closely related strains, because the dogs with the Sieger titles were frequented by them, in preference to other studs. Quite naturally this brought with it the deletion in the blood of local strains and as a result we can only look at a pedigree from the standpoint of a combination of these strains. As the most important ones, in alphabetical order, we find the
⦁ Berlin—North German
⦁ Central German
⦁ Hamburg—NorthWest German
⦁ Saxony and
⦁ South German strains.
In order to determine, for instance, whether a dog is a product of the Bavarian strain one should take into account where he was whelped, first of all.
If we do not consider any other factors, this might easily be misleading, because we have only to cite the case of Helios v. Siegestor, whelped in Bavaria, out of a Bavarian bred dam but sired by the Saxonianbred Stolz v. Roeneckenstein. Should Helios be classified as a product of Bavaria or as that of Saxony? Neither would be correct, because his ancestry should be scrutinized in order to arrive at the dominance of the local strains on both sides of his pedigree. By making a practical application of it we will be enabled to determine the frequency of the various strains contributing their share in the makeup of our leading sires and dams.
Since the average fancier studying a pedigree would not know whether a certain kennel name denotes South German or Bavarian, or any other local origin, I am making a listing of a number of kennel names appearing under their respective source of origin. This listing is based in accordance with the localities the dogs were whelped. The tabulation includes the kennel names appearing in the first two generations on the pedigrees of our outstanding producers under review.
This brings out as the leading strains in their combination used:
Berlin—Saxony 12 times
Berlin—East German 9 times
The combinations used in our producing dams, in their sire lines, show:
Berlin—Berlin 4 times
Berlin—Saxony 3 times
and in their dam lines:
Holland—Holland 3 times
Berlin—Saxony 2 times
Berlin—Berlin 2 times
South German—Saxony 2 times
Bavaria—Bavaria 2 times
This brings out as the leading strains in their combination used:
Berlin—Berlin 6 times
Berlin—Saxony 5 times
The U. S. champion offspring of the 22 leading dams was the result of 33 different matings. Most of these dams were champions themselves and so were the sires of these litters. This substantiates my claim that it takes a combination of a good bitch and a good dog to accomplish results. In the case of the aforementioned matings my statement is all the more justified because 27 out of 33 litters were sired by our leading producers, as tabulated in chapter Sixteen.
The most frequent combinations used on the sires’ side of the pedigrees were:
Saxony—East German 6 times
Saxony—Berlin 3 times
Berlin—Berlin 4 times
Berlin—East German 4 times
Holland—Holland 4 times
and the lineup on the dams’ side of the pedigrees was:
Saxony—Berlin 4 times
Saxony—Bavaria 3 times
Saxony—South German 2 times
Holland—Holland 2 times
Out of all these 33 matings there were but two each of the identical lineup, namely the combinations:
Saxony — South German
Saxony — Bavaria
Accounting for eleven champions
Holland — Holland
Saxony — Berlin
Accounting for five champions
In closing, let me suggest that it would be well to consider the chapters on “Outstanding Producers in America,” “Introduction to Breeding,” “Bloodlines and Strains” and this chapter as one unit in order to derive the greatest benefit from the various facts and tabulations presented.
We have made an attempt to pave the way for the breeding of better dogs. We can only learn from the results which other have achieved. I do not hesitate to state that it was a laborious task to compile all of the information. It is therefore my hope that some good will result from it.
A Monthly Magazine
Vol. 13, No.7 – July 1940
Mrs. Rhys Carpenter, Jerry Run, Downingtown, Pa.,
Peter Knoop, 274 Vincent Ave., Lynbrook, L.I., N.Y.
A hurried note from Mrs. Carpenter has reached me, with the information that she expected to be back in the United States early in June. While in Italy, Mrs. Carpenter was successful in her effort to enter Germany and visit some of the foremost Doberman kennels there. During this visit it was her good fortune to purchase Assy von Illerblick, a daughter of Ch. Gretl v Kienlesberg and sired by Int. Ch. Moritz v Rodeltal. Several of our prominent breeders had made efforts to purchase this bitch before the war started, but were unsuccessful as the owner did not really want to sell her, believing, as did others, that she would have been the Wanderpreis winner had the Sieger show been held. However, due to the present situation in Europe, the owner reluctantly let Assy go, consoling himself in the knowledge that in Mrs. Carpenter’s hands she would get the love and attention he felt he could not give her under the circumstances. Having made this most fortunate purchase, Mrs. Carpenter then turned her attention to acquiring a suitable stud dog and again was successful in obtaining Eri ( full name unknown to me at this time), a great grandson of Helios v. Siegestor and Muck v Brunia, as well as a direct descendant of Ari v. Sigalsburg through his best son, Lux von Saumhof.
Congratulations to J. Welch Harriss of High Point, N.C. whose Roland v Huffmanheim, sired by R.C. Webster’s Ch. Roland v. Stahlhelm ex Ch. Lady Beda v Hatzenburg, finished for his championship on April 28th at the Baltimore County show under the well known authority, Ralph Miller. This good 19 month old dog then went over the top at the Carolina Kennel Club show on May 18th by taking best in show, which climaxed seven best of breed and two group wins during his short show campaign.
News of German Dobermans is difficult to obtain, as most breeders and dogs seem to be in the army, the breeding stock and younger dogs being cared for by parents and female relations. Reichssiegerin Freya v Rauhfelsen, we hear, was successfully bred to Nopper v. Ludwigsburg (which is providing a valuable dog a stud), and the puppies at eight months of age are most promising. I have seen photographs of two of them and they both seem to have the exemplary head of their maternal line.
Ora v. Sandberg’s litter brother, Orest, which received a “V” rating at the age of 11 months at the ’38 Sieger show, died of distemper last year; from what we hear of him, this was a real loss.
We do not feel that we can get a really frank statement as to the condition of dogs in Germany, and the food problem; but as rations of meat for the average human being are only a little more than one-half pound per week, we believe the problem of feeding large dogs is sure to become acute. From indirect comments we gather that all Doberman kennels were inspected by judges who sent to the army males over two years old, perhaps leaving a few of the better ones for breeding, but of this we are not sure. Prices asked for dogs of the highest rating vary greatly, some being quite low, so we conclude certain breeders are already under pressure. We felt that it would be a splendid thing if we in America could evacuate and thus save the best of the breeding stock from the losses of the last war—not as a help to the Germans, but for the sake of the breed, which should not have to suffer for the brutalities of mankind. To an inquiry addressed to the president of the D.P. C. of Germany on this subject, we received a very courteous reply, part of which is of sufficient interest to quote:
I rejoice that American Doberman friends take such kindly attitude towards our breed, and are thinking of the Dobermans in Germany. This plan, however, can scarcely be carried out because most of our dogs are at present with the army, and their former owners no longer have any control over them. But even if the dogs were not conscripted, I would not be able to endorse any plan for a transfer of Dobermans to the U.S.A. And as long as this war forced upon us remains undecided, even the best dogs should and must be called into service. What we lose in this way, we must put up with. We will build anew after the war.
Note that the bitches, which we particularly suggested evacuating for the duration of the war, are not specifically mentioned. We were also requested not to mention this idea to any of the breeders, which rather suggests that it might meet with their approval, if not admit any possibility of food shortage. Now we can only hope that our breed will not suffer the terrible setbacks of the last war, as described by Grunig: all the more must we carry on, as we can no longer depend on Germany for new blood.
On Board S.S. Manhattan—-2000 passengers in accommodations intended for 1,000; 35 dogs (of which five are your correspondent’s Dobermans), two cats, and one kitten, in kennel space for 24- the last ship form the Mediterranean, with a most heterogeneous band of polyglot humans to add to the confusion. Beyond a tendency to gang up on the other dogs and turn this all breed show into a Doberman specialty, our five are corporting themselves with all the dignity, composure, and adaptability we expect of our breed; in addition they are providing themselves excellent sailors, with a diplomatic tact in their relations with the ships officers. Johnnie our good-natured (though harassed) and expert kennel man, says he wished all 35 were Dobermans! This strange company of 20 breeds of dog—running the whole gamut of dogdom form undefeated international champions to “Mama’s darling Fifi” of uncertain parentage, all in flight from war-wracked Europe, seems a fitting climax to our six month’s efforts, under impossibly difficult conditions, to acquire a few first class imports for our kennels.
Of our two weeks’ trip to Germany in late April and of the Dobermans we saw there, we will tell you later. At this time we merely announced that, at Jerry Run, and a bit later, in the show ring, those of you who are interested may see our Cherloc v Rauhfelsen, which needs no introduction; his 3-year old grand-daughter, Assy v. Illerblick, out of Ch. Gretl v. Kienlesberg by Ch. Moritz. v. Rodeltal; and Eri v. Notburgatal, a 12-month male, of pure Sigalsburg ancestry, intensively linebred.
In America, the first recorded Doberman arrived in 1908 and the breed also sailed along here. However, the really pivotal occurrence came almost fifty years into the Doberman’s history, and it is from the point of World War II (1939-1945) that we have been heading for a crisis with the Doberman. In Europe, the crisis is more understandable, because the breed and breeders both had to pick up the pieces of lives and a gene pool. In America what happened can’t be explained so easily, because the crisis was precipitated not by the war, but by the exact same decision making process that we, as breeders, are still using today -Success breeds Success.
Prior to WW II, America had a huge population of Dobermans and after the war that population came to represent almost the entire gene pool of Dobermans. Since the number of individuals was relatively large, the effects of decreased genetic variability might seem remote. However, the produce of a mere three breedings – represented by only five dogs – came to dominate the entire breed over the next ten years, to the degree that it can truly be said that these five dogs, all born in the decade of the 1930’s, are virtually all there is in a modern pedigree.
I have observed, when one traces a pedigree back far enough today, nearly every line of every pedigree will end up at one of the following three breedings:
Blank vd Domstadt x Ossi v Stahlhelm
Kurt vd Rheinperle-Rhinegold x Jessy vd Sonnenhoehe
Kurt vd Rhineperle-Rhinegold x Gretl v Kienlesberg.
Occasionally, we can also find Pericles of Westphalia (Kurt’s son) x Jessy. Only in the rarest of circumstances do we find a cross out to any other (unrelated) bloodline that predated these dogs. When one considers that in a fifteen generation pedigree there are possibly 16,384 distinct individuals in the fifteenth generation alone, to accept that the above handful of matings may appear repeated upwards of 8000 times is usually more than anyone can believe.
In fact, when I discuss this with people, I always have a very hard time making them understand the gravity of this situation. At first, the mind simply cannot take it in. And also, it sounds like ancient history to most people. After all the breed has survived another fifty years, hasn’t it? Aren’t our dogs great because of this concentration of greatness?
Let’s look at the facts:
Blank to Ossi was a second-generation line breeding, one of the first done on their ancestral stock.
At least one of those offspring (Domossi) died of a “heart-attack.”
Domossi’s son Emperor, the product of another generation of line breeding, also died of a “heart-attack” (From Illena and the Seven Sires by Peggy Adamson).
Alcor, the third of the “seven sires” to die of a heart attack, was related maternally.
Jessy’s critiques from Germany clearly state that her temperament was not good, and people who knew Pericles of Westphalia have stated that he could not be shown because he was so fearful.
Gretl v Kienlesberg (who was, incidentally, Jessy’s half sister) died of distemper along with most of her litter. Although distemper claimed the life of many dogs in those days, normally dogs’ immune systems are at an all time high while pregnant and lactating. One of Gretl’s famous grandget is said to have had no immune system at all.
Now over the past fifty years. But their tremendous genetic impact has a dark side, as well. We tend to beat ourselves up today – or worse, beat up each other – for the genetic frailty of our breed. But how can we defend ourselves against something (things) that were instilled into them fifty or more years back? Our generation has inherited a gene pool that is too small. The worst problem we face is Cardiomyopathy and it is a defect that in most cases occurs after the dogs have reproduced. Line/Inbreeding has created vast improvements in type and structure, and has made our breed stand out among its peers as a pillar of consistency. But at the same time, it has so concentrated the “bad” genes that there may be no way out, particularly in the areas that relate to problems of the immune system, (e.g. thyroid disease, allergies, vaccine titres, autoimmune syndromes) and our heart-related diseases. Cardiomyopathy, arguably, could and should be relegated to the classification of diseases of old age, from which there is no escape. However, we see this scourge affecting even our young dogs.
Margi Bragg, ADPEF Historian www.adpef.org