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Initial Member Comments
Announcement of the revision via the following DPCARep to members:
May 9, 2013
Whereas I have been looking for ways to bring the DPCA into contemporary times, I asked
the Legislative Committee to update the DPCA’s position statements.
With a few exceptions, the previous statements were taken verbatim from the AKC’s position
statements so were not directed specifically to Dobermans nor did they necessarily reflect the
positions of the DPCA.
The new position statements more accurately reflect the DPCA beliefs on issues and
concerns that affect us all.
I hope you enjoy them.
Updated by Legislative Committee
Legislative Director -Toby Bloom
Legislative Resources Coordinator – Tammy Kaplan
Comparison Document of 2013 Position Statements to the Revised
This document was member-developed to identify what, if anything, was omitted
that should not have been from this DPCA foundation document. "Trust, but
Verity" is an important charge to Membership when Leadership has a voting
block of ~11 of 14 votes. This doesn't mean Leadership is doing anything
wrong. It means Member vigilance is DPCA's only safeguard.
What do you think?
Black Font: wording from 2013 DPCA Position Statements
Red Font: additions from 2014 Revised Position Statements
Yellow Highlighting: wording from 2013 Position Statements not captured in 2014 wording
(Note: This includes wording that should have been omitted AND wording members may
want to keep.)
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) promotes the welfare of animals and is
invested in strengthening the human-animal bond while safeguarding the rights of
responsible animal owners. supports the right of Americans Through that promotion, we
support the right to breed, own, train, interact with, and exhibit their purebred dogs
without interference. The DPCA abhors any and all acts of violence committed against dog
owners, dog handlers, kennels, and research facilities by those who object to the keeping
and use of animals. While we respect the right of all individuals to express and advocate
personal opinions in lawful ways, we strongly condemn illegal activities actions such as the
“liberation” of dogs and or destruction of property, which are considered acts of terrorism.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) opposes the concept of breeding permits
and breeding bans and mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. in addition to any and all
laws pertaining thereto. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect
the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and
owners who take their responsibilities seriously. We also strongly support and actively
promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding
practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership.
Canine Population Issues
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) commends experienced breed enthusiasts
who educate the public and other breeders about the need for long-term commitments and
responsibilities. We encourage breeders to help new owners address issues that could
otherwise result in the premature relinquishment of their pets. National research
organizations have reported that the majority of dogs relinquished to animal shelters in the
United States come from owners who are unable or unwilling to train, socialize and care for
their dog. The DPCA also encourages pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs if they do not
participate in kennel club events or engage in responsible breeding programs.
The DPCA further supports programs dedicated to teaching the pet-buying public how to
find a responsible breeder and how to make well-informed decisions when buying a dog
rather than buying on impulse. Such programs help to ensure that pet purchasers find a
puppy or dog that is a good match for their lifestyle, at an appropriate time in their lives,
thereby increasing the likelihood that the animal will stay with the owner for its entire life.
The DPCA encourages owners and potential dog owners to visit the Doberman Pinscher Club
of America website at www.dpca.org and utilize the public education materials for
extensive information about Dobermans to find out if a Doberman is the right breed for
The DPCA believes euthanasia should be employed only as a last resort when all reasonable
efforts to place dogs have failed. At the same time, DPCA recognizes that not all dogs are
placeable due to temperament and health issues.
Dangerous Dog Control Canine Legislation
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) supports reasonable, enforceable, non-
discriminatory nuisance ordinances and dangerous dog laws to govern the ownership of dogs
protect the community against unruly or dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog owners. The
DPCA believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs. We support laws that:
(phrases in this paragraph were put in a different format and moved around, but convey
the same meaning as the 2013 Position Statement) Such laws must establish a fair process
by which specific individual dogs are identified as dangerous based on stated, measurable
actions and not by belonging to a specific breed or particular phenotypic class. As such, the
DPCA strongly opposes any and all breed-specific law legislation as unjustifiable breed
profiling. The DPCA does not believe in punishing any specific breed, but does believe in
punishing the deed by imposing appropriate penalties on irresponsible dog owners and
establishing a well-defined method for dealing with individual dogs that have proven to be
Ear Cropping, Tail Docking and Dewclaw Removal
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) is the only national Doberman breed club
which is recognized and sanctioned by the American Kennel Club (AKC). As such, the DPCA
is the premier custodian charged with protecting and preserving the history of the
Doberman Pinscher in the United States. Ear cropping, tail docking and dewclaw removal
have been a part of the Doberman Pinscher breed since it was developed in 1890 by Karl
Friedrich Louis Dobermann. These procedures were implemented to prevent injury to dogs
as they performed the various functions for which they were bred.
Tails are docked and dewclaws removed at just a few days of age, before the nerve endings
are fully developed. Discomfort is minimal and puppies are usually sleeping or nursing
within a few minutes of the procedure. Dewclaws left intact are often snagged and ripped
off, causing considerable pain and bleeding. Similarly, full tails are at a higher risk of injury
and are not suitable for a protection breed. Docking the tail prevents an opponent from
being able to grab onto it to injure the dog. The Doberman standard states that the tail
should be docked at approximately the second joint so it appears to be a continuation of
the spine, and is carried only slightly above the horizontal when the dog is alert.
Ear cropping is done by a veterinarian under general anesthesia, between six and twelve
weeks of age. Most puppies are up and playing later that same day and show no signs of
lingering discomfort from the surgery.
The DPCA strongly supports the freedom of Doberman Pinscher breeders and owners to
choose to procure the cropping of the ears, tail docking, and dew claw removal of their
dogs to advance the purpose of the breed and breed standard, so long as the cropping of
dogs’ ears is performed by a licensed veterinarian in the state in which the surgical
procedure is conducted, or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian in states
which allow that practice. these procedures, when humanely performed, as appropriate for
the breed, to maintain breed character and preserve the history of the breed.
"Guardian" v. Owner
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) supports the use of the term “owner”
rather than “guardian” when referring to the keeping of dogs. The DPCA believes that the
term guardian is advocated by those who intend to reduce the legal status and value of
dogs as property and thereby restrict the rights of owners, veterinarians, and government
agencies to protect and care for dogs. It may also subject them to frivolous and expensive
The term guardian does nothing to promote more responsible treatment of dogs. We
strongly support efforts to educate the public about responsible dog ownership to ensure
that all dogs receive the care, love, and attention they deserve.
Homeowners' Insurance and Dogs
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) believes that insurance companies should
determine coverage of a dog-dwelling household based on the dog’s deeds, not the dog’s
breed. Additionally, whether a home has breedable dogs or not should not be a
determining actor for insurance coverage. all dog owners should be able to obtain a
homeowner’s insurance policy regardless of what breed they have. Having intact dogs
should also not be a determining factor for denying insurance coverage.
The DPCA does not support breed profiling and believes each dog should be judged on its
own merit. If a dog is a well-behaved member of the household and the community, there
is no reason to deny or cancel coverage. In fact, insurance companies should consider a dog
an asset – a natural alarm system whose bark may deter intruders and prevent potential
The DPCA strongly favors and promotes legislation that prevents insurance carriers from
refusing to insure or cancelling liability coverage based on the breed of dog owned in a
Proper Care and Humane Treatment of Dogs
Dog owners bear a special responsibility to their canine companions to provide proper care
and humane treatment at all times. Proper care and humane treatment include an
adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care,
kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The
Doberman Pinscher Club of America believes that dogs should not be kept in circumstances
or numbers where these needs cannot be adequately fulfilled.
Purebred Dog Rescue
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) supports and encourages the efforts of
clubs, organizations, and individuals committed to rescue placeable purebred dogs re-
homing Dobermans. These dogs may originate from animal shelters, or from owners who
can no longer care for their dogs in a responsible manner. The DPCA encourages all such
groups and individuals, after exhausting all possible means to contact the breeder of such
animals, to spay or neuter all placeable purebred dogs prior to placing them with a
responsible owner. Doberman re-homing programs are an important adjunct to animal
shelter programs, and provide an essential function to the community. Thanks to the
recovery and rehabilitative efforts of these organizations, many of the Dobermans saved go
on to become extremely loved members of their new families.
Those interested in obtaining a Doberman should be aware that not every group or
individual who makes the claim of being a re-homing organization operates the same way.
There are commercial breeders and brokers who may attempt to pass dogs to the public by
"claiming" the dogs are "rescues" and they charge a higher than normal fee.
A quality rescue/re-homing organization:
• spays/neuters all pets before placement.
• ensures all pets are healthy, up-to-date on shots, heartworm tested (in areas where this
is necessary) and vetted.
• requires an application form and contract.
• screens every potential new owner and sometimes requires a home visit before a pet is
• requires a contract which includes a legal clause to have the pet returned to the re-
homing facility if the new owner relinquishes it.
• prioritizes rescued animals from its own geographical area whenever possible.
• requires a release form for owner-surrenders.
• understands the limits of its resources; does not accept more animals than it has legal
authority or space/time to care for.
Responsible Breeding Practices
Humans have been actively breeding dogs for centuries, shaping and refining traits in
individual breeds to meet specific functions. The Doberman was bred as a protection dog in
1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann and was first registered with the American Kennel
Club (AKC) in 1922. However, it wasn’t until the 1940’s that the breed really established
itself in the United States. In that era, serious dog breeders worked diligently to produce
“bloodlines” which became the foundation stock of our modern day Dobermans and each
firmly established themselves as part of the history of our breed not only with their
bloodlines but by becoming mentors to new generations of breeders.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America Club (DPCA) believes that breeding programs
should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and
producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. taken with the same seriousness as those who
established our foundations by using the same “handed down” approach. The DPCA views
the mentor/student relationship as the most vital asset a new breeder can have. Wisely
mentored breeders find ways to bring out the very best of differing lines with an eye
towards improving the breed and preserving breed characteristics (including ear cropping,
tail docking and dewclaw removal) and producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. In
addition, responsible breeders are expected to give careful consideration to health issues,
temperament, and genetic screening, as well as to the individual care and placement of
puppies in responsible homes. They are to remain a line of support throughout their
puppies’ lives and be prepared to take them back at any time, for any reason.
The DPCA strongly opposes the breeding of dogs by those who do so without regard for the
dogs' welfare or preserving breed characteristics. We support scrupulous enforcement of
the federal Animal Welfare Act, and state and local regulations governing the humane care
of animals. If utilized appropriately, in most circumstances, the local, state and federal
laws will protect dogs and there is no need for other legal measures.
Responsible Dog Ownership
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) believes that owning a dog is a rewarding
experience that brings great joy and happiness to any household. With the ownership of a
Doberman comes long-term emotional and financial commitment and a variety of
responsibilities. Accordingly, we encourage potential owners to closely evaluate their
lifestyle before deciding to obtain a Doberman and to give careful consideration and
research to determine if a Doberman is the best breed to suited them for your household.
The DPCA strongly urges puppy purchasers to seek reputable, ethical breeders as resources
for their dogs. We further encourage owners to provide proper care, training and
socialization to ensure that their pets remain happy members of their family, respectable
members of the community and well-mannered canine good citizens. The DPCA and its
Chapter Clubs offer a wide range of educational programs and materials to teach dog
owners how to reach these goals while enjoying their dogs for many years to come.
Spaying and Neutering
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) opposes any and all mandatory spay/neuter
legislation. The DPCA believes that the decision to spay or neuter a dog should be made
solely by the dog's owner with the direct input of their veterinarian and will be dependent
on each particular animal's situation.
The DPCA recognizes that it is now widely held that early sterilization is harmful to dogs.
Reproductive hormones play a role in bone development. Prior to sexual maturity, the
growth plates at the ends of immature bones are loosely attached. Once sexually mature,
the dog’s body releases reproductive hormones, which cause those plates to fuse to the
bones. Early sterilization not only affects growth but is also linked with hip dysplasia,
osteosarcoma and other orthopedic issues.
The DPCA encourages breeders to discuss spaying and neutering options with puppy buyers
to prevent accidental or unwanted breedings and to provide additional health benefits.
The Right to Keep and Enjoy Dogs
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) strongly endorses the right to own, keep
and breed dogs in a responsible and humane manner. The DPCA recognizes the special
obligation of dog owners, not only to their pets but also to their neighbors. The DPCA
supports "curbing" and clean-up ordinances, leash laws, nuisance laws, and other
reasonable regulations designed to ensure that dogs and their owners remain respected
members of their communities.
Use of Dogs for Assistance and Service
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) strongly supports the training and use of
dogs to provide assistance and service to humans. Dogs provide valuable service as seeing-
eye dogs; hearing dogs; therapy dogs; handicapped assistance dogs; drug, bomb, and arson
detection dogs; and tracking dogs to locate missing persons and fugitives.
The DPCA opposes those who seek to define the assistance that service dogs provide to
humans as exploitative. The DPCA encourages the continuation and further development of
the use of dogs for these and similar purposes.
Use of Dogs in Sporting, Working, and Competition Activities
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America encourages and strongly supports the interaction
and mutual enjoyment of owners and dogs in working activities. The DPCA believes that
dogs should be properly cared for, humanely trained, and not pushed beyond reasonable
limits for which they were bred.
Page updated May 9, 2014
Initial Member Comments on the Revision of DPCA Position Statements
(In the absence of an official DPCA Listserve, your comments are welcomed on
1. Position Statements are an important DPCA foundation document. Members should
be advised of the changes made.
Members are not going to go back to the prior document to see what was changed.
We need to trust our leadership to tell us what important changes were made. (The
Comparison Document was Member-developed)
The President’s message in the DPCARep (above) conveys the changes made were
“updates” to “bring the DPCA into contemporary times”, and “with few exceptions are
verbatim from AKC’s”. She “hopes we enjoy them.”
2. If / When these revised Position Statements are posted, several key points will be
thrown away by the Legislative Committee with the approval of the President, such as
the omission of a licensed veterinarian from the CropDock "DPCA
3. Several Position Statements have been expanded to include lengthy background
phrasing outside of a Position Statement format. DPCA positions need to be phrased
in a "DPCA supports/opposes/believes....." format. This is commonly referred to as the
elevator speech, where you have several floors to convey DPCA’s position to a
legislator or JQP asking What does DPCA think about…..?
If the information in the background paragraphs is essential, it needs to be rephrased
in the proper format, else may be discarded in practical applications with legislators
and the public.
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