Dobermans in Russia 1940 – 1972.

Today it seems incredible that our dog lovers in the war of 1941-45 managed not only to keep part of the livestock, but also to engage in such an unthinkably difficult period of breeding work. Catalogues of exhibitions of the second half of the forties make a stunning impression, because they document this fact. Just 4 months after the German capitulation in Moscow on the territory of the Izmailovsky Park of culture and recreation. Stalin held an exhibition-review of service dog breeding. 

Dobermans were judged here by the outstanding Soviet cynologist Alexander Pavlovich Mazover. 15 dogs were examined. Among them – the elderly joy (VL. Bulashenko A. A.), the main producer of the war period. Puppies from him appeared relatively regularly and despite everything they were promptly issued pedigree documents. Joy himself was born in 1935 to Benno (VL. Lubovitch) and Jerry (VL. Shishkin). At the age of 11, having endured a lot of difficulties with his master, and eating what he had to, joy probably didn’t look the best. The kindest Alexander Pavlovich, who carried through his life a tender attitude to dogs and did not turn into a cold professional, which is now full, could not yet twist his soul and left the dog without evaluation. In the description, he noted: “a typical strong male of good build. Old, out of shape.”

Much more cheerful looked in the ring another Patriarch, who was to play a very prominent role in the post-war breeding of Dobermans-brown Athos (VL. Mazor E. A.), born in 1939. he was descended from the famous Harold (VL. Kurbatov) and Bianchi (VL. Soloviev). Athos received the highest rating, but he was not a bright representative of the breed and the expert described him very restrainedly: “a thoroughbred, typical male, a good head, a dry, high-set neck. My back is a little weak. Straight ass.” The objectivity of this view is evidenced by the preserved photo of the dog. Some may think that his description reflects the harsh style of the era, which did not have to be enthusiastic. But the description of the best female of the exhibition says something else. Here is what is said about the nearly six-year-old Gilda (VL. Magnuszewski): “Excellent pedigree female, strong and dry built. Correct head, neck, back, and limbs. The General impression is broken only by the mown croup.”

Not only Muscovites and locals managed to save some of their dogs. Since 1945, Leningrad residents who survived the tragedy of the blockade have also taken part in exhibitions with Dobermans. The exhibition of service dogs in Leningrad in 1946 was held for three days from 13 to 15 July. Dobermans were judged by a long-known specialist in the breed leningradets P. I. Perlshtein. Here were shown the surviving all-Union champion magon (VL. Grigoriev), born in 1936, his half-sister Rogneda, born on 01.04.1936, and besides them three dogs that were born in 1944, etc.

The end of the forties in domestic cynology marked by increased activity of dog breeders. Perhaps this was facilitated by the General mood of the victorious people. The impact of the victory was felt in everything. If in the pre-war period, medals at exhibitions were awarded only to Champions, now almost all participants of exhibitions began to receive them: for the rating “excellent” – a large gold medal, for “very good” – a small gold, for “good” – a silver one. Many dogs were hung with medals, like chain mail, next to the round medals for the exterior on specially sewn aprons attached elongated tokens for training. Some dogs had no fewer insignia than Marshal K. Rokossovsky. In this form, dogs pranced not only at exhibitions, but also on walks. Today it is difficult to imagine such a thing, but the fashion persisted for many years and did not make anyone laugh at all. On the contrary, the “order-bearing dog”could easily violate the existing ban on public transport. Prize commissions of exhibitions were then called “reward”, which psychologically raised the social status of canine events. 

The widespread use of German shepherds by border guards, the army, the NKVD and other agencies has greatly raised the prestige of this breed among the population. And clubs of service dog breeding literally planted a cult of a Sheepdog among fans. This situation has persisted for decades. Even in the mid-60s, when Dobermans, as well as boxers, collies, and Airedale Terriers once again occupied a large place in public service dog breeding, DOSAAF leaders persistently called the Sheepdog a “head breed”. In 1965, when I was doing my military service as a cadet of the school of military dog breeding (“Red Star”), I was unexpectedly summoned to my office by the head of the School, General G. p. Medvedev. In his hands he held a catalog of the Moscow exhibition of service dog breeding (catalogs were issued about a month before the exhibition). Pointing to the page, he asked sternly: “are you going to judge Dobermans again? Vainly. I propose to judge of German shepherds. Otherwise, I will not allow you to leave for Moscow during the exhibition days.” And I really forbade the company commander to give me a leave of absence. Many years later, when we were seeing off Dina Volkats, the widow of F. p. Mazover, I met my former company member at the memorial table and he told me what tricks he had used to let me go to the exhibition. It should be added that such an aggressive apologist of the German shepherd Grigory panteleimonovich Medvedev was the President of the all-Union Federation of service dog breeding of the USSR. I think that he was involved in the mad order of the DOSAAF Central Committee, which declared Dobermans and a number of other breeds off-duty in the early 70s, despite the existing world nomenclature, which he hardly suspected.

The Dobermann population preserved during the war had the same set of bloodlines in their pedigrees. In fact, they were all descendants of Frey f. Stresoff, Benno f. Forstenberg, Horst f.Stresoff, Bona f.Zegagen, Bianchi f.Kurpark and their famous children and grandchildren, such as Basalt, Harold, joy, Athos, Benno II. For about 30 years, Soviet dobermanists, as experienced magicians, tried to manipulate this relatively small set of bloodlines as inventively as possible. But the need to periodically inject a drop of fresh blood constantly tormented dog handlers from the 30s to the late 80’s, when it was again possible to establish contacts with European kennels, get puppies from new progressive lines, knit our females with famous Western manufacturers.

Among the many “trophy” dogs taken out of capitulated Germany in 1945, there were mostly German shepherds. Colonel A. S. Bogdanov rescued Jack the Doberman from the burning house and brought him to Moscow. Conventionally, it was determined that this black-and-tan medium-sized male was born in 1940. At exhibitions in Moscow, he received a rating of “very good”. Naturally, there were no documents on it. This did not prevent Muscovites from immediately using it as a breeding producer. And he did play his part. They knitted Jack a little, but with good females. The main achievement of Jack the producer was his fantastically famous son Peter. This brown male was exhibited with great success at exhibitions. Born on may 4, 1946 from the old Moscow female Netty (VL. Kiseleva), he became a champion three times in 1948-50. Peter began the Triumphal ascent by belonging to his first master Gress, but as an adult he was outbid by the owner of Peter’s father Bogdanov. For many years, they have become the main attraction of Moscow exhibitions. When Peter entered the ring, other males were not perceived as competitors by experts and Amateurs. The judges stubbornly refused to notice his serious defect-the straightening of the corners of the knee and hock joints. For the first time this defect was noted in the description of the famous favorite only in 1953, which did not prevent the eight-year-old male from taking the first place again. However, the expert made the remark as delicately as possible: “the hind limbs are somewhat straight.” Only a year later, when the nine-year-old male gave way for the first time to his best son, the great agate (VL. Zhukov), the expert sadly breathed out in the preamble to his report on the exhibition: “Multiple champion Peter is forced to give up the first place to his son Agat, who, not inferior to Peter in pedigree, surpasses him by the impeccable quality of the running gear.” Agat was born on may 30, 1951. His mother was also a fairly famous champion. Her name was Ella-Leda.Novikov). In the photos, she looks like a fairly well-built, but rustic dog, without a hint of charm and expressiveness, with a light tan, which she passed on to her best son. In agate, the experts noted “nadtsvet on the hips”, “light tan”. But in General it was an impressive, masculine appearance, proportional and quite elegant male with a strong bone, with a wide and deep chest. In the exterior ring, he always defeated his main rival, to whom he was significantly inferior as a manufacturer. The name of this brilliant competitor was John (VL. I. V. Kvashenko). One year older than Agatha, he was born on may 6, 1950 from Daphnis (VL. Kokushev) and Jenny (VL. Girin). His father had an excellent exterior with a blackened tan, which he stubbornly passed on to posterity. He was a native of the old Moscow of blood. And Jenny was the product of “refreshment” – the daughter of German Jack. Agat and John marked the beginning of the conflict, which was then repeated many times in the Russian history of the breed, when two outstanding males appeared on the horizon at the same time. As a rule, competition between them caused outbursts of temper in their owners. The resulting conflict generated a fierce discussion among other fans of the breed. 

John was a dry and very strong dog with a beautiful top line, a manly head, and regular limbs. He lacked the depth of his chest and it was this lack that prevented him from circumventing Agatha. The owner of Agat, an actor of the Maly theater of Zhukov, despite his busy schedule and lordly laziness, went to bed with his bones in order to maintain the ideal shape of his pet. Irina Kvashenko, the owner of John, an activist of the club and an expert dog handler, also did not sleep. In the end, the rivalry of the owners led to the death of John. When he was about 8 years old, his owners managed to buy a motorcycle and started using it to such training, which in their opinion contribute to the development of the dog’s chest. The heart of the elderly male could not stand it, and soon after that agate also died. 

That John was a great manufacturer became clear when he was still young. Kvashenko, a competent cynologist who belonged to a group of people on whom a lot depended in the management of the breed, helped to reveal its full potential.

The Institute of breeders in the post-war period ceased to exist as such. In service dog clubs, divided into sections by breed, owners of females actually did not have the right to vote when choosing partners for their dogs. Specialists of the section made their own breeding plans, including only those males who were considered useful for the development of the breed. They also solved the issues of breeding load on males. Of course, the owner of the female sometimes expressed his wishes about the groom, but these wishes could well go unnoticed. 

In those days, all dog breeds were divided into two main categories: service and hunting. Fans of decorative breeds did not have their own clubs until the 70s. In every major city there was a DOSAAF service dog breeding club and a hunting club. The owner of the dog did not have the opportunity to choose which club he should be in. This was determined by the dog’s breed. Owners who disagreed with the policy of the clubs either silently obeyed, or went nowhere. If the club was headed by competent dog handlers, then the dictatorship of specialists was good for the breed, since it took into account the prospect of its development in a closed country.

Breeders tried to approach the compilation of breeding programs so that their implementation did not lead to a breeding deadlock in 3-4 years, when all the livestock could be closely related. Of course, strategic breeding often resulted in averaging the quality of the offspring. But in some cases, specialists managed to achieve virtuosity in combining two goals – getting high-quality offspring and creating a reserve for further development of the population. 

Dobermans in Moscow were more fortunate than many other breeds. They were almost always handled by serious experts. In the post-war period, A. p. Mazover continued to be interested in the breed. In 50-ies joined in the work of Ludmila Lecca, slim and smart dog, intelligent person. In Leningrad, Irina Molas headed the work with the breed for many years. It is difficult to call her breeding particularly successful, but she was great with people and many managed to instill a love for Dobermans.

Leningrad lost its leading position in breeding for a long time and, perhaps, until the early 90’s, work with the breed here was mediocre. However, Dobermans in Leningrad maintained their popularity and even since the late 60s, when the charming St. Petersburg-like sweet Irina Sergeevna was replaced by a rather rigid Dosaafovskaya Grand Dame Valentina Matveevna Dubrovskaya, who built work with Dobermans on unjustified breeding ideas, the Leningraders remained loyal to the breed.

For the sake of objectivity, I must say that the capabilities of the Leningrad DOSAAF were more modest than those of Moscow. The main attention of the leaders of this club was paid to the “military-Patriotic” education of young people. The head of the club, Lyudmila Buikevich, a large, formidable-looking woman with a large, whipped hairdo, was able to make friends with the generals who headed the DOSAAF. She invented a nightmarish tradition. Young members of her club, boys and girls, every year in the solemn and official atmosphere of the Leningrad exhibition passed the dogs they raised to the border guards. It was painful to watch. Most of the children parted with their dogs as if they were repeating Gastello’s feat, but they could barely contain their sobs. And others were more like the indomitable Pavlik Morozovs.

I. Molas treated each Doberman as a jewel made by Carl Faberge. For her, any dog was of interest. After the death of this remarkable woman, I got her personal archive. I will quote her letter to the DOSAAF leadership dated December 9, 1960. It quite eloquently testifies to a large period in the history of our cynology. “On the third of August, 1948.Ponomarev brought a brown-and-tan Doberman Pincher puppy named dego from the city of Wismar to Leningrad, whose export from Germany is confirmed by two attached copies of documents. The pedigree for the puppy was not taken by the owner due to inexperience. In 1949, at the Leningrad exhibition of works. dogs of dego evaluated under ml group of expert A. T. Popova and received a rating of “good.” In the future, by order of DOSAAF, entry to the exhibition and examination of dogs exported from abroad was prohibited. Unfairly offended Ponomarev no longer exhibited the dog, although DOSAAF corrected his mistake. My predecessor in the d/p breed guide did not use dego as a producer on the same basis. In 1953, in view of the illness of Elizabeth Alexandrovna, I was assigned to raise a highly neglected breed. The small number of Leningrad Dobermans taken out of Moscow after the war was far from high-quality in appearance, partly with white spots on the chest and with highly hybridized pedigrees. It was necessary to pour in other people’s blood. Over the next six years, dego was used by me as needed, tied to six females, and in all cases was an improver, giving offspring better than himself. Dego absorbed the white spots and gave balanced moderately vicious dogs. Given the elemental characteristics of the male dego, the Doberman Pinscher sub-section asks you to equate dego Ponomarev with dogs with a full pedigree. Head of the breed DOB / p expert of the 2nd category I. Molas”.

The words “equate to dogs with a full pedigree” today may not be clear to everyone. Roughly with 50 th year in Soviet official cynology was introduced bonitirovka, camping on E. complex assessment dogs, including assessment of origin (in dependence from completeness data were awarded key points), assessment of dogs on the exhibition, on workers tests. The main criterion is the offspring of this dog. For each offspring evaluated at the exhibition and trials, parents were awarded points. Monitorowanie dogs espanyoles in the breeding class and received the rating of “elite”, “1st breeding class”. “Elite” dogs were highly valued, their puppies were particularly popular with customers and valued more by the club. It was the clubs that set prices for puppies. In those extremely rare cases, when this order was violated by the owners, they were severely punished up to the exclusion from the club. Thus, Molas took care of dego in the sense that in the absence of a pedigree, he could get the necessary minimum points for origin.

Neither dego, nor the occasional foreigners who appeared after him in Leningrad, significantly improved the population. 

In the late 50s-early 60s, the leading manufacturer in Moscow, and therefore in the country, was the champion of the breed and multiple winner Jim, owned by Viktor Rogozin. Let me remind you that the title ” champion “was assigned to a dog in the breeding ring for some time, and the” winner ” was the leader of the older age group, provided that he has a diploma in training. 

Jim was a large male, almost square in size, with a deep and broad chest, strong bones, a regular top, and excellent legs. He was John’s grandson. In the exhibition and breeding ring for a number of years, Jim did not have worthy rivals until his best son, joy, who belonged to academician S. p. Korolev, grew up. With even more bulk, Joey looked tall and elegant and could easily compete with his father in the exterior ring. Shortly before the show, where these two magnificent dogs were to meet, Jim was killed. A champagne cork was found in his stomach.

Jim left behind several of his wonderful sons and many first-class daughters. The necessary prerequisites for the formation of his line were available. However, the line did not work. In the first place, oddly enough, this was prevented by a large number of his direct descendants. Some breeders feared that if they were used, they would become intraspecific. This phobia of our breeders in General was very common, since there was really no opportunity to periodically refresh the lines with new blood. But in the case of Jim, an obvious reinsurance worked, since even during his lifetime, Agat’s grandchildren, mediocre, but still refreshed by the Czechoslovak male Dan z good Star, began to be used. The “half-daughters” Ralph, Photon, and Charlie differed markedly from each other, but all had straightened hind-limb angles and unimportant heads. At the same time, Akbar F. Tsitsilenhof, who arrived from the GDR at the age of six, produced in Moscow. Rozanova brought it to Moscow with the already lost exhibition appearance. A small growth, horizontal line top and some oddities character not stopped breeders: all -??? German! In an effort to get a group of dogs with isolated blood from the main population, it was used quite intensively in breeding. They knitted it a couple of times with their own daughters. Many of Akbar’s descendants were small and light. Some of them also had unbalanced behavior. 

At the same time was used and the outstanding John’s children – his famous daughter SITA (VL. Zhuravlev) and her full brother, who was born a year later Gobi (VL. Kvashnin). Brown Zitta became a celebrity in no time. Very feminine, of medium height with an elegant medium-sized head and a wide body, prone to fullness. Outside the ring, she looked overdone and somewhat out of proportion, but as soon as she entered the ring, there was a transformation: the proud posture of a Greek matron appeared. She made you admire yourself. The same skill was possessed by the Gobi legend of the 60s. 

The Soviet examination took place in a peculiar manner. The dogs spent hours following each other around the ring, and the expert slowly compared them and rearranged them, starting with the last one. Gradually, the entire line-up was built up. To a certain extent, this technique honed the skill of the expert and sharpened the intensity of wrestling. Owners of dogs were not indifferent, the 5th place with the rating “excellent” was received by his dog, the 1st or 8th “good”. Hours of marathon it was hard to maintain not only the dogs but also the handlers. They periodically replaced each other. You should have seen Gobi react to these changes with the haughty indifference of a Spanish grandee.

Breeders attacked the Gobi, but its first litters were somehow unsuccessfully distributed. Good puppies got lost, and bad ones compromised him. The all-Union exhibition of 1964 helped to revive Gobi as a producer, to which his eldest son boy Was brought from Kishenev(VL.Tiller). He passed first in the middle age class and completely rehabilitated his father, who had remained idle for a long time. 

Gobi reigned Supreme in the exterior ring. Even his shortcomings worked for success. An excessively wide set of hind limbs, straight shoulders, and a slightly sloping croup emphasized his incredible high-pitched appearance. The almost complete absence of the sunburn did not spoil it. The black dog was called the Black Swan. Its elegance, power, and charm were irresistible. As soon as Gobi was introduced into the ring, dog lovers of different breeds came running from all over the exhibition to admire this miracle. When the breeders caught themselves and began to send one female after another to him, it turned out that he had almost lost his fertility.

But still it was Gobi who happened to become the father of the great breeding dog Hess. The brown puppy was born from a pretty, but by no means outstanding female, Helma (VL. Vasilenko), bearers of the blood of mediocre Germans Akbar f. Tsitsilenhof and dick-Dolph f. Muchlen. As a puppy, Hess was sold to Kharkiv, lived there for more than 3 years, and produced an army of beautiful children. In 1967, it was brought to the all-Union exhibition in Moscow. Medium height, very broad and deep with a beautiful and unusual head, the brave Hess deprived of sleep Moscow lovers of the breed. In the end, we managed to buy it back to Moscow. All breeding work with the breed since its return has been focused on creating the Hess line. It seems that this is the only case in the Moscow selection of the late 60’s, when breeders in a timely manner undertook to preserve the influence of the great dog in the livestock. In almost every one of Hess’s numerous litters, puppies of the highest class appeared. The Hess line has existed for many years, its nickname can be found in almost any pedigree of today’s Russian Dobermans, mixed up in the old Moscow bloodlines.

When the breed reached its peak of popularity, elderly warriors from the DOSAAF Central office made the historic decision to withdraw a number of “non-service” breeds from the DOSAAF system. The order of the Central Committee of DOSAAF stated that since January 1, 1973 Dobermans, boxers, great Dane and a number of other breeds are considered decorative and are subject to exclusion from the system of service dog breeding. The absurdity of this document was exacerbated by the results of most training competitions, which were consistently won by the Doberman Germont (VL. Pushkin). In General, at that time, it was very often Dobermans who proved most successful in the main training competitions. Such dogs as Lord-Rex (VL. Mineev), Kim-chak (VL. Rosenberg), Era (VL. Kotov), Hera (VL. Katorkin), Diamond (VL. Coselev) was on the lips of everyone who is interested in the training. 

Existence in the DOSAAF system was not easy. At any opportunity, owners of Dobermans, boxers, and other breeds that were not purchased by the army were reminded that they were only traveling companions. Constantly invented rules in DOSAAF became more and more burdensome for dog breeders. When fans of these breeds were left out of organized cynology, we set about creating a new club in Moscow. They developed the rules for breeding dogs themselves, wrote a democratic Charter, which, as it turned out later, was somewhat premature in the totalitarian Soviet environment and worked against us a few years later. But for a long time we managed to breathe free air. Our example was followed by dog handlers from all other cities of the USSR. I think this was the best period of dog breeding in the Soviet Union.