White Doberman, White Dobermans -- Facts About Albino Dobermans
Ione L. Smith, DVM
see section 1 for table of contents
do we care?
last updated 1/07/05
Why do we care about any of these problems with the albino Doberman? Why don't we just let the albino breeders do what they want? Why does it matter if these dogs are less healthy than normal Dobermans, or if they can't perform like normal Dobermans?
People who truly love the Doberman breed are concerned about the welfare of the dogs. As discussed throughout the document above, the syndrome of albinism can affect health and behavior in many deleterious ways. Albinism in Dobermans is especially associated with vision and light sensitivity, skin sensitivity and skin cancers, and temperament problems. Anyone who cares about their dogs will want to breed away from known health hazards, not towardsthem. And, as demonstrated by the "ethical breeding" and "honest advertising" sections, it appears that breeders of albino Dobermans are neither breeding ethically nor advertising honestly.
Further, Dobermans are members of the Working Group of dogs. They are not toy dogs (papillons, pugs, etc.), they are not non-sporting dogs (chows, English bulldogs, etc.). They are WORKING dogs. That means that they ought to be capable of working. They are not meant to be lap dogs or simply decorative ornaments. As previously discussed, albinos do not appear to be capable of working, and have not earned any advanced performance titles. For comparison, many dogs of other groups do have performance titles. For instance, there are over 50 English bulldogs with CDX titles alone -- and others with other AKC obedience titles as well as agility and tracking titles. And even toy breeds, like papillons, can be very active in both obedience and agility trials.
specific information on bulldog perfomance titles, look here
For specific information on papillon performance capabilities, look here.
Now, it is not necessary for every member of a breed to have performance titles. However, every type of dog in the working group ought to have members that can actually work. For instance, there are many black Dobermans with titles; many red Dobermans with titles; many blue Dobermans with titles; many fawn Dobermans with titles; and so on. But there is only ONE albino Doberman with any advanced performance title.
And finally, albinism is a disqualification under the breed standard. While many aspects of a breed's standard may seem arbitrary, the standard is designed to protect the health and functionality of each specific breed while also protecting its integrity and uniqueness. Breeding fora disqualifying trait in itself shows a disregard for the health and well-being of the breed as a whole, and should be strongly discouraged.
is the DPCA doing about albinos?
last updated 1/07/05
The DPCA has formed an Albino Committee to deal with the threat presented by the continued breeding of albino Dobermans. Amongst other tasks, this committee maintains the official z list, the listing of all the descendants of Shebah.
The official position of the DPCA in regards to albino Dobermans can be found here. Referred to as "Operation White-Out", the DPCA recommends that "White specimens, the parents of whites, and the litter mates of whites, SHOULD NOT be bred. All of these dogs should be spayed or neutered and given limited or no registration. " Despite the claims of many albino breeders, the DPCA club has never made any recommendations for culling albinos. In fact, most responsible Doberman owners and breeders would be horrified at the thought of killing these animals. The hope is not to kill them, but to stop reproducing them. In a 1994 poll of the DPCA, more than 98% of the 1153 votes received opposed the breeding and registration of the albino Doberman.
For more specific information on the movement for restricted registration and the history of the albino Doberman, please refer to the Winter 1995 issue of the Doberman Quarterly
Articles, reports, editorials, and studies concerning albino Dobermans
1981. J.P. Scott. Report
to the DPCA. Pipeline, Winter 1981.
1982. DPCA 1982 Annual minutes.
1984. DPCA report, Pipeline, September 1984.
1986. DPCA 1986 Board minutes.
1987. "White" Doberman project committee report, Pipeline, Spring 1987, p. 5.
1987. M. Diane Garrard. The question of "white": it has been answered. Doberman Quarterly, Summer 1987, pp. 1-22.
1991. Judith Bingham. "White" dobe alert. Doberman Quarterly, Summer 1991, pp. 57-59.
1991. Judy Doniere. White is not a color. Doberman Quarterly, Fall 1991, book 2, pp. 285-287.
1992. Holly Schorr. White lightning? White nightmare! Doberman Quarterly, Fall 1992 book 2, p. 529.
1994. Sue Reuschenberg. A white Doberman story. Doberman Magazine, Summer 1994, p. 3.
1995. Rod Humphries. Rod Humphries writes...(editorial). Doberman Quarterly, Fall 1995, book 1, pp. 162-163.
1995. Judith Bingham. Breeders, wake up! (editorial) Doberman Quarterly, Fall 1995, book 2, pp. 612-613.
1995. James Edwards. Report on AKC survey of albino Doberman owners. Doberman Quarterly, Fall 1995, book 2, pp. 614-620.
1995. C.T.Fulkerson. Letter to delegates and update on restricted registration. Doberman Quarterly, Winter 1995, pp. 345-347.
1995. Judith Bingham. Breeders rejoice (editorial). Doberman Quarterly, Winter 1995, p. 348.
1995. Ryan C. McFeaters. White dobes (letter to James W. Edwards). Doberman Quarterly, Winter 1995, p. 349.
1996. C.T.Fulkerson. The prez box: DPCA update. Doberman Quarterly, Summer 1996, pp. 53-54.
1996. Jonathan Dodd. Tracking the elusive white Doberman. Doberman Quarterly, Summer 1996, pp. 220-221.
performance title offer for albinos, and new offer!
last update 1/07/05
Because of my concerns about albinistic Dobermans, in August of 1999 I made a public offer to any breeder or owner of an albinistic Doberman, to pay $200 to the first albino Doberman who earned any advanced performance title from a recognized organization. This offer remained in effect until October of 2002. I am happy to announce that, in late October 2002, the very first advanced AKC performance title was earned by a RESCUED albino Doberman.
Rhonda Sheldon and My Fair Lady Lexus are now the proud owners of the CDX title, and the recipients of the $200 award. Lexus is the very first albino Doberman in the history of the mutation to win ANY advanced performance title. And to make the achievement even MORE special, Lexus is a RESCUE DOBERMAN.
My offer was originally spurred by the amazing absence of albino Dobermans in performance competitions. Here's a bit of info concerning their lack of participation:
There were 12,872 AKC
titles earned by Dobermans in the years 1980 - 2003 (inclusive). This
includes 9389 CD, 2442 CDX, 660 UD, 61 UDX, 236 TD, 31 TDX, and 53
OTCH. Keep in mind that these numbers do NOT include agility,
schutzhund, flyball, or any other working titles, even though Dobermans
have earned thousands of these other titles over the years.
In this same period of
time, 734,002 Dobermans were registered with the AKC. So, roughly 1.8%
of all Dobermans registered
between those years earned AKC obedience titles (strictly speaking,
earned 1.8 titles for every 100 dogs registered with the AKC). There
were 1.3 CD titles for every 100 registered Dobermans, 0.3 CDX titles
for every 100 registered Dobermans, and so on.
For more specific information on AKC obedience titles, look here. For more specific information on AKC registrations, look here.There have been about 1830 albino Dobermans registered by the AKC as of June 30, 2003. If albino Dobermans earned obedience titles at the same rate as normal Dobermans, then at least 33 AKC obedience titles should have been awarded to albinos by now. There should be at least 23.8 CD titles and at least 5.5 CDX titles -- not to mention the UD, UDX, TD, TDX, and OTCH titles. And remember, I'm not even counting agility and all the other performance titles possible. If we were to include agility, flyball, schutzhund, etc. in those numbers, there should be many MORE albinistic Dobermans with performance titles.
Unfortunately, there is
currently only one albino Doberman with any advanced performance title --
Lexus, with her new CDX --and only six albino Dobermans with ANY AKC-recognized
performance titles. Three of these are CDs -- the most basic of AKC-recognized
obedience titles. The fourth is a NAJ (Novice Agility, Jumpers) title --
a novice title run on a special course .
For more specific information on the numbers of albinistic dogs, look here.
In reality, only seven albino Dobermans have earned ANY verified AKC-recognized performance titles in the history of the mutation. Altogether there are only five dogs with CDs (the most basic title in AKC-recognized obedience) one NAJ and one NJP (the most basic titles in AKC-recognized agility, which do not even include all the obstacles faced on a standard agility course), and only one CDX. These dogs are:
Kasper Blanco Schnepp CD,
WP61614201, Male Doberman Pinscher, white, born 3/13/95
The Warriors Magic Crystal CD, WP32599306, Male Doberman Pinscher, white, born 12/11/90
Mousethatroared Von Ernest CD, WP49530405, Female Doberman Pinscher, white, born 6/14/93
Kathy Bates' Ice Phantom CD NAJ, WP69373608, Male Doberman Pinscher, white, born 4/7/96
My Fair Lady Lexus CDX, ILP99023, Female Doberman Pinscher, white, born ?
Lornich's Lunar Ice CD, WZ00200005, Female Doberman Pinscher, white, born 4/9/2001
Wisteria's Vanilla Frosting NJP, WZ00133704, Male Doberman Pinscher, white, born 2/5/2000
So where are all the albinistic dogs out there with performance titles?
I, Ione L. Smith, DVM, am now making a new offer. I will pay the sum of $200 (US dollars) to the NEXT person who puts an advanced performance title on an albinistic Doberman. This offer is extended to phenotypically albinistic dogs ONLY, not to phenotypically normal dogs carrying the albinistic gene ("factored" dogs).
Acceptable titles will be any of the following: CDX, UD, UDX, OTCH; AAD, MAD, ADCH, VAD; OAC, EAC, OGC, EGC, OJC, EJC, NATCH; OA, AX, MX; SchI, SchII, SchIII; TDX, VST; FDX, FDCh, FM, FMX, FMCh, as specifically described and explained on the web sites listed below.
Reference these sites for explanations of the acceptable titles (there are many others sites available, I just have these handy):
The following Search and Rescue certification will also be acceptable:
Any dog/handler team (in which the dog is an albinistic Doberman) which has a current Type 1 certification as a Disaster Search Canine Team, as described in the FEMA National US & R Response System, "Disaster Search Canine Readiness Evaluation Process" document, which can be found here:
I consider this offer to
be legally binding. Claimant must provide verifiable proof that title has
This new offer is valid until June 1, 2005. It will be reevaluated for renewal at that time.
I can be contacted through
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
pedigree offer for albinos
last updated 1/07/05
Pro-albino folks will sometimes claim that there are, or have been, albino Dobermans which do not/did not descend from Padula's Queen Sheba. Because of these occasional claims, I have decided to make another offer in addition to the performance title offer described above.
I will pay $200 (US dollars) to the first person who can prove the existence of white/albino Dobermans which did not descend from Dynamo Humm and Rasputin VI. "White/albino" in this instance means Dobermans with light cream to tan body fur, white fur on the points, pink nose, and blue eyes.
Acceptable proof will require ALL of the following:
I consider this offer to be legally binding. Claimant must provide all five items outlined above in order to claim reward.
This offer is valid until June 1, 2005. It will be reevaluated for renewal at that time. THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER VALID!
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