in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
European Type And American Type Dobemans
"Type" refers to those traits, both physical and temperamental, which make each breed unique. Shown a greyhound outline, you would know it was a greyhound, and not a basset hound. Greyhound character is far different from basset hound character. Type refers to appearance AND temperament.
You may be familiar with the fact that some breeds have been "split" into two different "types"; the "working" type and the "show" type.
Here are two dogs, both the same breed - English setter. But one is a dog bred for generations to be a working gun dog (exaggeration of temperament) the other has been bred for generations for exaggeration of physical type - a "show dog".
Same breed - very different types of dog. Each person will find themselves drawn toward one type or the other. Performance - or beauty.
The show ring was first developed as a way to select the best dogs for breeding. Today it is no longer about that - instead it has become a competition to breed the most extreme "type" in one winning dog. The individual - not the breed - is what matters at today's dog shows. This has done drastic harm to the breeds.
The DOBERMAN is a man-made breed, put together from several breeds and in 1909 a Doberman bitch named Sybille von Langen became popular. Sybille's dam Stella was a cross between a Doberman and a black greyhound. The influence of the greyhound genetics created lines of Dobermans with thin legs and necks, narrow bodies and pointed muzzles. These faults found favor with the "elegance before utility" dog show folks, and the greyhound influence is still seen in the breed - especially in some show lines.
So there have always been Doberman breeders who favored a very "elegant", frail built animal, and those who preferred utilitarian types capable of hard work. America Dobermans came from European dogs, but importation stopped shortly after World War II. American Dobermans developed along their own lines with almost no European genetics to the present day. For this reason the American Doberman has a distinct look which differs from the European Doberman. In America EVERY part of the Doberman was lengthened and exaggerated to show "elegance". Long thin head, neck, body, legs, tail and ear crop. Below see a typical European show winning male Doberman (Left) and (Right) a male who was at one time the winningest Doberman in the USA as well as a hugely popular stud. Ch. Marienburg's Sun Hawk shown as a fully mature, six year old dog.
Within European Dobermans there has recently been a trend toward exaggeration; watch out for too heavy and Great Dane like a head and a bulging, pigeon breast.
Here I have discussed only the appearance differences. Is there a difference in character as well? Almost without doubt - yes. For the simple reason that European champions must pass WORKING TESTS in order to win the highest levels and become popular breeding dogs. For this reason there does tend to be a much stronger character found in European dogs.
BOTTOM LINE: Look at the two bitches on the right. TOP is my DanBar Darque Energy as a 9 month old pup. She has a strong, functional neck, good bone in strong legs. She could tangle with an intruder and not get hurt. BOTTOM is a bitch that won an award recently at the Doberman Pincher Club of American national specialty. To me she is far too frail to function as an authentic Doberman. I don't find this type attractive. Her thin legs and neck would not stand up to real man-work. If you fancy this type of Doberman, you will not care for my utilitarian bred dogs.
(Left) 2017 Sieger Tahi Reme Jedi representing the European Doberman. He is the sire of my XDog vom Gerdautal. (Right) is Marienburg's Sun Hawk, CD, representing the American bred Doberman. If you prefer the dog on the left you will like my dogs. If you prefer the looks of SunHawk (right) you will want an American bred Doberman.
Huni (L) and Darque play in winter sun.
Another breed that was "split" is the American pit bull. Hundreds of years ago there were only pit bulls, dogs developed in the United Kingdom and known by a variety of names. In the UK they were called bulldogs, pit terriers, pit bulls, pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and bull terriers. In 1936 the American Kennel Club accepted the American pit bull terrier (registered by the UKC at that time) but changed the name to American Staffordshire terrier to distinguish it from the Staffordshire bull terrier which had remained in the United Kingdom. From 1936 on, a small percentage of dogs were bred strictly for show purposes (The American Staffordshires) while the original pit bull continued to be bred for "performance". Show breeders bred for exaggerated bulk, thinking this was what a fighting dog needed, when in fact a fighting dog is a wrestling dog, and needs to be lithe and agile. Sadly, in the past few decades this fad for exaggerated type has been taken to horrific extremes in the new "breed" called "American Bullies". Anyone who breeds a dog to intentionally have deformities which keep it from living a healthy, active life certainly can never say they "love" dogs. I wouldn't wish that on an enemy.
(L) An athletic performance bred American pit bull. (M) A show bred American Staffordshire, showing exaggeration of "stocky". (R) Cruelty and no other word for it; an "American Bully" bred to be an extreme version of the American Staffordshire.