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Dobermans In Detail: 1-Size

Height at withers: Dogs 26 to 28 inches, ideal about 27 ½ inches; Bitches 24 to 26 inches, ideal about 25 ½ inches.  The height, measured vertically from the ground to the highest point of the withers, equaling the length measured horizontally from the forechest to the rear projection on the upper thigh.  Length of head, neck and legs in proportion to length and depth of body.

The Doberman is medium sized, with total balance of height to length.  Correct size is one of the most important factors in maintaining breed type.  Medium size refers to the combination of height and bulk.  Height at the withers: Dogs 26-28″, Bitches 24-26″– It would be rare to see an adult dog or bitch in the conformation ring that is too small for the standard.  The ideal 27 ½” male or  25 ½” bitch is usually one of the smaller dogs in the ring today.  Today many bitches are over 26″ and dogs well over 28″.  This is NOT correct!!!  As an aside, on two occasions the DPCA membership voted to disqualify dogs one inch over the standard.  While this has never been added to the standard, it does stress the importance that is placed on the correct height to remain a medium sized breed.  Years ago a letter was sent to judges stressing the importance of the correct height.

When measuring the Doberman, measure height from the highest point of the wither (not the shoulder blade) to the ground .  Measure length from the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh.  Know where those parts are and know what correct size looks like.  A longer neck may give the dog the appearance of being taller than he is.  The length of head, the neck and the legs are in proportion to length and depth of body- all the parts fit together.  No one part stands out, they all flow together to make one picture.

If any part stands out, whether exceptionally good or bad, it will be distracting from the total picture.  The height and length are equal, and the depth of body is equal to  the length of leg.  Just as the height/length was measured as equal, now the measurement of the wither to the elbow and then elbow to the ground should be the same.  When these proportions are equal, a square dog generally appears too long, and/or too short on leg.  Based on the description, a dog in perfect balance will also have a head the same length as the length of the neck.



Click the following links to read more articles in  the “Dobermans in Detail” series:

Size, proportion &substance


Neck Topline and Body






Conclusion: test yourself

by Linka Krukar submitted by Marj Brooks