Lovers of Dobermans
It is known that any breed is divided into two groups: breeding and user. The East European Shepherd Dog was bred in the USSR in the service dog breeding clubs of DOSAAF “for the needs of the national economy and the army.”
Adolescents practiced all-around with service dogs, a military-technical sport promoted by DOSAAF. The selection of dogs for breeding also met user-friendly tasks. In addition to exhibitions, competition competitions were held, where the dogs received a total mark for the exterior and work on OKD (general training course) and a special course (usually ZKS – guard-guard service). Even an animal that was excellent in exterior, but without “working” qualities, could not get a breeding rating and access to breeding.
Thus, we can say that the breeding work was with a user group of the German Shepherd breed, called the East European Shepherd.
Until 1971, the Doberman breed was also considered official and selection for breeding was accompanied by the requirement of mandatory dog training. To be included in the breeding plan, the dog had to have a diploma in OKD, and in one of the special services at least II degree. Training was one of the main criteria for including a dog in the “plan”. The plans were drawn up both for the current year and promising … for 5 years (even dog breeding in the USSR was strictly regulated by the five-year plan). Deviations from the plan were not allowed (only in the event of death, illness, absence of manufacturers, additions and changes could be made).
The plan was approved by the club’s tribal commission, the Moscow city committee of DOSAAF; one copy of the document was sent to the central club of official dog breeding of the USSR (for control).
In such a tight framework, Dobermanists worked with the breed. For many years, the exterior of the dogs did not change significantly, although of course, foreign producers were occasionally used in the breed (more often these were random, very mediocre dogs from the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Hungary). In 1971, Dobermans were withdrawn from DOSAAF service dog breeding clubs, breed breeding continued in amateur societies. We can say that to some extent this circumstance has benefited the breed: firstly, earlier the main criterion for suitability for breeding – “training”, has faded into the background. It is natural and indisputable that the Doberman is one of the best service breeds, but whoever led his pet to study at the training site, where they tried to train him in a group of 10-15 dogs of different breeds, the general training course (OKD), he agrees with me that Neither the teaching methodology nor the course is suitable for a Doberman dog, which requires individual lessons and a more intellectual program. Secondly, the rigid framework and dogmatism of planned breeding have disappeared, the opportunity has appeared to work more flexibly, freely and creatively, without the dictatorship of individuals.
A positive milestone in obtaining distinct excellent Dobermans at that time was played by the “new” European-type manufacturers from Holland (Ajax) and Finland (Cliff Guntherforst, Goliath Gunterforst), who were descendants of the outstanding European Dobermans. The positive result of mating with these males can be explained by the fact that with the occurring “cross lines”, a phenomenon such as heterosis often arises. Most likely, there was no purposeful selection with prediction of a specific result in these bindings. And it is quite natural that as a result of such heterogeneous selection and further use of the resulting offspring, the gene pool of the breed was enriched. The basic principle of working with the breed for many breeders is the golden rule of breeders: “The best with the best gives the best.”
And often from two favorites and show leaders (females and males) they got a good result, without delving into the intricacies of zootechnics. Of course, in large breeding centers, they tried to work with the breed “along the lines” and when selecting the characteristics of the exterior and the degree of producer’s pre-competence in each specific case were taken into account.
Lovers of Dobermans in Russia for a long time did not have the opportunity to personally compare the level of domestic livestock with the level of Dobermans in Western Europe. But the rare displays of our dogs abroad at international exhibitions in socialist countries confirmed the competitiveness of individual specimens from the USSR. 1978 Hayk (Nekhaev) – 3 “excellent” in the Champions class at the international exhibition in Poznan (Poland). 1980 – Maxim-Viol (Yerusalimsky) – prize-winner of the international exhibition in Opole (Poland). 1984 Fiji Mauri (Sour Cream) – Res. CACIB, CAC Czechoslovakia at the international exhibition in Brno (Czechoslovakia). 1986 – El Tor (Khlybova) CAC, CACIB, Champion of Hungary (Hungary).
But, of course, the bulk of the livestock (the Soviet version of the standard was significantly different from the international one adopted by FCI) was inferior in level and type to western dogs.