Albino - What is an Albino Doberman?
Albino is not a color
In November 1976, a mutation occurred with the whelping of a cream colored Doberman.
Her sire, dam, and litter-mates were normal colored black and tans. She had pale blue eyes, pink nose, eye rims, pads and membranes. Where tan markings would be they were Albino.
She was bred to a dominant black male, producing 14 black and tan pups. A male and female were kept and all ran loose. Her son sired her next litter, which contained 2 Albino males. He was also bred to his sister and her litter contained 2 Albino bitches. Later, these Albinos were bred together producing all Albinos.
These dogs have been highly inbred and have multiplied at an enormous rate, and unfortunately they are being bred into our top show lines.
While we can readily identify an Albino, we cannot detect the mutant gene which is carried by a great many of our normal colored dogs.
It has been proven that the Albino mutation is not related to our dilution genes (blue and fawn).
In 1982, the AKC approved the DPCA's amendment to the Doberman standard disqualifying "dogs not of an allowed color."
This prevented the Albino's from being shown in the conformation ring, but unfortunately does not stop the continued breeding of these mutant Dobermans. The AKC had refused DPCA's request to cancel any registration of Albino Dobermans.
The DPCA employed the services of several noted geneticists, vets, and color experts as well as purchasing 2 Albino bitches for test breedings. They also conducted many scientific studies of hair, skin and eyes by professionals at leading universities.
The results after a five-year study conducted by the DPCA and its consultants, concluded these mutants were correctly termed, "albino or tyrosine positive, partial albino or tyrosine negative which suffer from hypo-melanocytic disease. It is important to note here that partial albinos are still albinos.
Albinism is a deleterious mutation which affects the whole body.
Why does the DPCA reject the Albino?
We know that these dogs are photophobic, (sensitive to sun light). They have vision problems resulting from abnormal development of the retina.
They are prone to skin cancer and skin lesions. Due to the lack of pigment, they are extremely susceptible to skin damage from the sun.
Poor temperament is a significant concern. Due to the intense inbreeding to obtain the mutation, the temperaments on a great many are totally unstable. These problems range from fear biting to outright vicious attacks. Shyness is prevalent. Most are not suitable for homes with small children. Yes, there are exceptions, but hardly enough to make them acceptable to most families.
In addition to the above problems concerning health and temperament, these dogs have a total lack of breed type.
There is dialog currently between the DPCA and the American Kennel Club to impose a breeding restriction on the Albinos. They would still be registered, but would have the same restrictions as an ILP registered dog. Owners would not be allowed to register any progeny of the Albinos.
While negotiations continue, the DPCA is utilizing a tracking system, call The "Z" List. This tracking system identifies any dogs that may carry this mutant gene. It enables ethical breeders to avoid breeding to animals with the defect.
While we can understand the attachment one can have for animals of all colors, sizes, shapes and pedigreed or not, we must realize that the Doberman Pinscher was a breed created for a purpose.
A standard of excellence was drawn up describing what the ideal Doberman should look like, how it should act, and what colors it should be. Albino cannot be classified as a color. It is just the opposite. It is the lack of color.
No recognized standard would call for a dog that is Albinoid. It is a genetic defect in all creatures.
The DPCA Code of Ethics is available here.
This brochure is updated from the original text written by:
Mrs. Judy Doniere
Second Edition, 2001
DPCA Albino Committee Chair: E-mail: DPCAAlbinoDoberman@dpca.org
Download "What is an Albino Doberman?" here (as a .zip file)