TEETH—strongly developed and
white. Lower incisors upright and touching inside of upper incisors-a
true scissors bite. 42 correctly placed teeth, 22 in the lower, 20
in the upper jaw. Distemper teeth shall not be penalized.
Disqualifying Faults: Overshot more than 3/16 of an inch; undershot more than 1/8of an inch; four or more missing teeth
DISCUSSION—The mouth of the Doberman
is given special emphasis by Disqualifying dogs that are markedly over
or undershot or with four or more missing teeth. Since we have no
means of measuring the bite to determine if 3/16 or 1/8 inches, we must
rely on our own observation and if a dog presented is very much over or
undershot, it should be placed at the end of the line or excused from competition.
If in your opinion they exceed the measurements, then you are to Disqualify
Judges should make sure they know the proper alignment and numbers of teeth in the dog. This comes with practice, but it is critical in the Doberman that you MUST know if the dog has the correct number of PROPERLY PLACED teeth. It is not unusual for a dog to have one or more extra teeth. These usually are seen in the upper jaw, behind the Canine teeth. They may have one extra on each side or just an extra on one side. Another common place to see extra teeth is on the bottom of the lower jaw in the far back small molars. It is not unusual to see 3 molars instead of two of those tiny back teeth. This is why it is imperative for any judge to OPEN the jaws of the dog, because you cannot see or feel these small molars with the mouth closed.
Judges should not just look for spaces. Some dogs mouths have gaps between teeth yet have a correct number that are still placed properly.
You must count teeth in SETS. To judge the mouth properly you first check the bite. It is also imperative to make sure there are 6 incisors in both top and bottom jaws. If one or two incisors are missing, the teeth grow closer together and you will see no gaps. Once you are satisfied that the bite and proper incisors are present, keeping the mouth closed, check to see if you have 4 premolars on the bottom of each side. Look on top and see if there are 3 premolars on each side. Actually the large top teeth on each side are also premolars, but since the largest teeth on bottom are molars, its easier to just look first for the small premolars and count. Next look for the two large molars on each side of bottom, and two large premolars on top. Then, standing to the side of the mouth, take your index finger, placing it right behind the upper canine and the mouth will drop open slightly. Then placing one finger at the opening of the incisors, gently drop the bottom jaw open about 2 inches, tilting the head upward at the same time. Now you quickly glance at the 2 small back molars on bottom and top. For the top, you will have to bend your head down to be able to see the 2 small molars on top. This should take just a couple seconds. Remember, a dog with extra teeth, may still have a disqualifying mouth. A dog with 4 missing teeth can still have a count of 42 or more. That’s why it is important for you to KNOW the proper placement of teeth. You CANNOT see the back molars without opening the jaws. Many times all four molars may be missing and without opening the mouth, you will not see it. It would be very embarrassing for you to miss it, only to have the judge the next day catches it and DQ the dog. Again, check for missing incisors, as they are very difficult to see at first glance. One way to quickly check them is to see the medium line running down the center. Then just check for 3 teeth on each side, top and bottom. Its not usual to find missing upper incisors, but it can happen. If an exhibitor wants to show the mouth that is fine as most are very proficient at presenting for the Judge. However, make sure you see ALL the teeth. If you are not sure, go back and look yourself.
to home page