- Explain “IPO” and “Any”. There are a lot of different titles lumped into only those two categories.
The heart and soul of this project is manwork. It’s our passionate belief that protection is the single most revealing way to judge a dog’s drives and character. Show us a full protection routine, under control and off leash and we’ll value it as an “IPO”. That’s why two-phase trials and the single-phase SPr are included under this category.
The following are assigned to the category of “Any”:
· Titles that do not require bitework (i.e., BH’s)
· Titles that allow for the use of a leash during protection (i.e., ZTP’s, some SDA levels)
· Titles that are considered prerequisite and are therefore required for advanced levels (i.e. BH’s, Brevets, etc.)
- This project seems like it’s mostly about Schutzhund. What about Ringsports? And why are Ring titles being categorized as IPO?
It’s true, this is primarily a Schutzhund project. Aside from the fact that it’s our sport of choice, for every 1 Doberman that is titled in Ringsport about 80 Dobermans are titled in Schutzhund — which also makes it a numbers game. To keep things as simple as possible, we’ve consolidated the different sports under the single umbrella of “IPO”.
However, we respect the other manwork sports and the amount of training that goes into obtaining those titles. Therefore, they too are included in this project.
There are 4 pieces of data in the green boxes; the total number of dogs and litters a kennel has produced and the number of “IPO” and “Any” level titles it has earned. These data allow us to calculate titles-earned as a percentage.
The resulting statistics all hinge on one factor — trial eligibility. That’s the youngest age at which dogs are allowed to compete. In Schutzhund, it’s 15 months for a BH and 18 months for an IPO1. Since it wouldn’t be fair to calculate percentages using dogs that are too young to trial, we wait for litters to turn 15 / 18 months of age before including them in the “Any” & “IPO” categories.
Let’s look at an example:
This breeder has bred 120 dogs, but…
· 20 dogs have not yet reached the age of 18 months so the denominator for the “IPO” category is 100.
· 10 dogs have not yet reached the age of 15 months so the denominator for the “Any” category is 110.
- What's a 'V' score?
V scores are unique to the sport of Schutzhund. The scoring system is from 0 to 100 with 96 and above considered a “V” rating. V’s are special because they represent the highest level of scoring achievement, something for which every handler strives. The V stands for vorzüglich and is German for excellent.
The top box — ‘Total Number of Trials’ — gives you an idea of how much experience the kennel has as a whole. This number includes all known trials, even those without a score, for every dog that the kennel has bred. All manwork sports are reflected here.
The bottom box — ‘V Protection Scores’ — can only be calculated using: a) Schutzhund titles where a numerical score is given and b) where we actually have the score. This is an IPO-centric statistic because the ’0 – 100 / V Score’ scoring method is not used in the other manwork sports.
- Why are only the V protection scores in green? What about obedience and tracking? Shouldn't they be highlighted, too?
Around here, green is the color of awesome. It’s the color of V scores and Level 3′s. It’s also the color of the Oakland A’s. Coincidence?
Again, the heart and soul of this project is protection — this is just one more way to highlight that. So, sorry obedience and tracking, you’re important but not green important.
Level 3 dogs are in green and Level 1 & 2 dogs are in gray.
We want dogs with a full “IPO” title to jump right off the page when you’re scrolling by. So, getting a colored background means that you’re extra cool and you’ve worked your fingers to the bone.
The preliminary, single and double phase titles are not highlighted.
- What's 'COI' and why are there 2 percentages listed?
COI stands for Coefficient of Inbreeding. It’s an equation, expressed as a percentage, used to measure degrees of relatedness or genetic similarity within a population. Some breeders strive for a greater degree of genetic diversity, others are looking for a lesser degree of genetic diversity — either way, COI is very useful. Additionally, puppy buyers can use COI along with other tools, such as descendancy charts, to see which dogs are making the greatest, or least, contribution to the pedigree.
In order to work Sewall Wright’s equation you’ll need a few things. A database of tens of thousands of dogs, a calculator, a metric ton of pencils and enough paper to circle the globe. Oh, and a PhD in computational mathematics. No? Then do what we did and let Working-Dog do all the work! They have a great interface that allows you to calculate from 1 to 9 generations. We like 9 and 5 which is why you see both on the Litter Summary pages. The first percentage is 9 generations, the second is 5. Sometimes you will see “unavailable”. When the pedigree is not complete the algorithm cannot calculate the percentage accurately.
Here’s an example from Kennel Weyermühle’s A litter:
If you’d like to read up on the mathematics of population genetics, this is a great article (we come down on the side of Hardiman, but that’s a different project…). It’s a little tech heavy but we assume that you wouldn’t have gotten this far if you weren’t a fellow nerd at heart.
- Explain 'TSB ratings'.
TSB is part of the sport of Schutzhund and is used to assess the dog’s character. The letters T, S and B are a German acronym and they stand for:
Triebveranlagung = Drive assessment
Selbstsicherheit = Self confidence
Belastbarkeit = Ability to withstand stress (toughness and resiliency)
At the end of your protection routine, the judge will consider at a few factors and assign the dog one of the following:
Description (taken from the 2013 FCI Rules Update)
Is given to a dog that displays a strong willingness to work, clear instinctive behavior, goal-oriented determination in the exercises, a self-confident manner, unrestricted attention and an exceptional ability to handle stress.
Is given to a dog that is restricted in his willingness to work, instinctive behavior, self-confidence, attention and stress tolerance.
Is given to a dog that lacks a willingness to work, instinctive behavior, self-confidence and has insufficient stress tolerance.
We use the ‘Comments’ column to indicate the TSB rating. However, to ease the clutter, “Pronounced” should be assumed unless otherwise noted.
Occasionally the former and quite frequently the latter. However, in this case, we’re using the exact spelling found on the official registration. This allows people who’d like to look up those dogs on any number of registry websites to find them easily.
- Hey, I found a mistake. Now what?
Share it with us! We wish we were perfect, but alas…
- What's the (D) next to some dogs' names?
It means deceased. When a dog dies before the age of 15 months and is therefore ineligible to achieve a title, in the interest of fairness we exclude that dog from the numbers.
- What role did the breeders play in this project?
Each breeder was contacted in advance of the launch and given the opportunity to validate his or her data. Additionally, they were offered a custom workbook for their own records.
The degree of participation varied. That is why not all breeders have “data has been validated by the breeder” under their names.
We thank those breeders whose enthusiastic support and spirit of collaboration made the validation process go so smoothly.
- Why are you missing so much information on the European breeders?
*babbles some excuses about foreign languages… time zones… lack of resource materials…*
We are constantly working to get a fuller picture on the European group. At this point, it’s best to consider what we have on them more of a sampling as it in no way compares to the completeness of the North American group.
On the bright side, if the ? is your very favorite punctuation mark, those pages will really speak to you.
- Why is Breeder “X” not here? Can I suggest a breeder?
Sure! This is a dynamic project and we’ve got lots of plans for the future. It’s possible that the breeder you’re looking for is already in the planning stages but by all means, fire us off an email and make your best case.
- Why are deceased or retired breeders on here? What’s the point?
One of the primary reasons breeders are part of this project is because of what we call the genetic component — they are breeding the classic working lines. In those cases, there is always an Old World – New World connection. Here’s just one example of many: Ellendonk begat Weyermühle who begat Urftquelle and Doberwache, who in turn begat Burgstätte who then begat Spellen. Obviously there are many facets to a breeding program — this is merely a simplified example used to illustrate a common thread between lines.
The flow of genetics around the world fascinates us. On the surface we’re about numbers, but if you peel back a layer we’re about bloodlines.
So, no. You can’t buy a puppy from every breeder on this project but if you’re looking for specific genetics, in most cases you will find a root and a branch in every nook and cranny.
- I'm trying to use your site to find a puppy but I don’t see a page for new or upcoming litters.
We are not here to shill for breeders but at the same time we don’t want to hinder puppy buyers. We aren’t willing to create a page for recent and/or planned breedings — that would just make us look like an infomercial.
However, all breeders are listed at the very bottom of the website so that you can see everyone who is on this project at a glance. In parentheses we’ve provided their status. Litters that have not yet been born are tagged with “Planned Breeding”. Litters that are on the ground are tagged with “New Litter”.
Deciding when to pull the “New litter” moniker is a bit tricky — because how to define “new”? For now, we’re going to play it by ear.
- Why haven't you provided contact information -- website addresses, phone numbers -- for these breeders? I want to contact them.
We’re pretty sure that we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but, it bears repeating. We’re not an infomercial. We are not here to help breeders sell dogs. At the top of every Litter Summary page is the breeder’s name and general location. We think that that information combined with your own Google-fu should be enough to get you to where you want to be. Everyone who has a dog to sell can be found. Promise.
- Who is your favorite breeder(s)?
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t have our favorites but, here’s the thing, the objectivity of our project means everything to us. That’s why we swiped the tagline from that old TV show Dragnet — “Just the fact’s Ma’am… just the facts”. Who our favorite breeder is is not a fact, it’s an opinion. So, even if you threatened to set fire to our Star Wars action figures, we still wouldn’t tell you.
- This is a lot of information and I'm overwhelmed by it -- if I write to you will you just tell me who's the best breeder?
Yeah, no. There is no such thing as best. Best is entirely subjective. We’ve compiled all this data to help you, Gentle Reader, make that determination for yourself.
Please don’t contact us with questions along these lines because though we hate to be Jerky McJerkisons, we won’t answer them.
- Do you have any other statistics or is this it?
You want more? Fantastic! Because you’re getting more anyway. Future updates will bring all sorts of fabulous new stats. Fun will be had by all.
- Who the heck are you, anyway?
A pair of nobodies. We love dogsport and statistics and we only claim to be any good at one of those things.
- Don't you two have lives? Are you just weird, nerdy losers who never get off your computers?
No, yes and no.