POLICY OF THE DOBERMAN PINSCHER CLUB OF AMERICA REGARDING THE ALBINISTIC “WHITE” DOBERMAN

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) believes that breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized purebred puppies. The DPCA strongly opposes the breeding of Dobermans by those who do so without regard for the dog’s health and welfare which includes, without limitation, breeders who breed albino Dobermans. In that regard, the DPCA vigorously opposes the deliberate breeding of a genetic defect without regard to the serious health problems inherent to albinism.

The DPCA instituted a mechanism to track all descendants of Padula’s Queen Sheba which is referred to as the Z-list or Z-tracking. Due to the importance of tracking such dogs, the DPCA will continue to enforce its use in partnership with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

HISTORY OF THE ALBINO (“WHITE”) DOBERMAN

Padula’s Queen Sheba

The first spontaneously born albino Doberman was born in November 10, 1976. Her name was Padula’s Queen Sheba (“Sheba”), AKC Registration No. WE166747.

Medically, albinism in animals is caused by a lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the body. Melanin is responsible for the coloration of skin, hair and eyes. If an animal is born with an inability to produce pigmentation, it is classified as an albino. This condition is caused when a recessive gene from each parent is passed on to the offspring.

Since Sheba was born with albinism, we can conclude that Sheba’s sire (Rasputin VI, AKC Registration No. WD180171) and dam (Dynamo Humm, AKC Registration No. WD278225) both carried the same homozygous recessive gene. It is also important to note that all albino Dobermans purposefully-bred since then, descend directly from Sheba.

Albino (“white”) Dobermans quickly gained a niche market for their novelty. They have been exploited for years by unscrupulous breeders who sell these poor dogs as “rare white” Dobermans. In truth, they suffer from the significant health issues that are common to albinism: photophobia/photosensitivity (abnormal intolerance to light), skin lesions and tumors (skin cancer). These animals also often have temperament issues due to their lack of visual acuity and many end up in animal and Doberman rescues abandoned by owners ill-equipped to handle them.

DPCA Involvement

The historical facts of DPCA’s involvement are as follows:

1976On November 10, 1976, two black and rust parents produced 11 black and rust puppies and one female mutant albino with translucent blue eyes, pink nose, eye rims and pads.
1979The owner wrote “albino” on the registration application. The blue slip was returned with a letter from AKC explaining that albino is not a color. Photographs were requested and examined by the AKC’s registration review committee. In their opinion, the female was white. Without notifying the Parent Club, AKC registered the first “white” Doberman in its history. The owner began an incestuous breeding program designed to exploit this trait.
1981Upon hearing of the existence of these animals, the DPCA asked the AKC to investigate. AKC’s investigators determined that the mutant albino bitch was purebred.
1982The AKC approved the DPCA’s amendment to our Standard: Disqualifying fault: Dogs not of an allowed color.
1983The DPCA's "White" Doberman Research Committee acquired two albinistic puppy bitches from albinistic parents. A five-year study showed:
A: They were photosensitive, hyperactive fear biters, and prone to solar skin damage.
B: Calculated test breeding determined that the genetic fault is caused by a recessive masking gene and not related to the color black gene (B), the color red gene (b), the non-dilution gene (D), or the dilution gene (d) that produces our four allowed colors.
C: Microscopic examination of hair and skin revealed few color cells, hypomelanocytic. These animals are members of the descriptive spectrum of albinism.
1990-94During this five (5) year period “white” registrations increased 475%. Even more alarming is the fact that possibly six times that number of standard colored litter mates carry the hidden genetic defect.
1994AKC asked the DPCA to poll its membership regarding this issue. 98.8% of the 1153 votes cast opposed the breeding and registration of albinistic Dobermans.
1998Z-tracking was implemented.
Z-Tracking

Through the efforts of Judy Bingham, DPCA Albino Chairman, and C.T. Fulkerson, DPCA President, we have the Z-list . When it became clear that the AKC was not going to stop registering “white” Dobermans or put them on restricted registration, Judy Bingham lobbied hard to force the AKC to come up with a unique identifier which would enable breeders to immediately recognize descendents of Sheba.

In 1998, Z-tracking became a reality and has become an invaluable tool for breeders to use to eliminate Sheba descendants from their lines.

Honorable Mention

The DPCA would like to thank the following people for all of their hard work. We will never forget the incredible effort all of you made to preserve and protect the Doberman Pinscher.

DPCA: Peggy Adamson, Judy Bingham, Judy Brown, Ray Carlisle, Judy Doniere, Shirley Eck, Bill Garnett, Nancy Heitzman, Susan Goldman, Frank Grover, C.T. Fulkerson, Jane Kay, Dr. May Jacobson, Ph.D., Jan Van Wormer

AKC: Jeff Lemmons, Charles A.T. O’Neill, Patti Strand

Geneticists and Veterinarians: Dr. John Paul Scott, BGSU, Regents Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Donald Patterson, DVM, University of Pennsylvania, Dr. D.J. Prueur, Washington State University, Department of Veterinarian Micro Pathology, George Padgett, DVM, Dr. Charles Parshall, Ohio State, Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Mark Ladd, University of Surrey England, Geneticist, Dr. Jeff Hogans, DVM