Interview with Working Group Breeder Angela Ferrari
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Angela Ferrari: I live in Southern New Hampshire and have been involved in showing and breeding for close to two decades. I got started in Beagles with my Mom, Cindy Williams of Honey Pot Hounds, before switching to the Doberman Pinscher.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Angela Ferrari: My kennel name is Allettare and we typically have 4-5 dogs at our home.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Angela Ferrari: “Neuma,” GCH Allettare Royal Neuma, won the Working Group under Dr. Elliot L. More on February 6, 2022 at the Great Barrington Kennel Club, defeating 219 dogs, breeder/owner-handled. Also, “Kizzy,” CH Allettare Mafiosa Madonna, won an Award of Merit at the 2021 DPCA National under breeder-judge Adrian Woodfork in a huge entry at 15 months old, breeder/owner-handled. We’ve had many great wins at specialties and all-breeds, but these are my favorite wins so far.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Angela Ferrari: My foundation bitch, CH Kettle Cove VR Boston Cream Pie, is eligible for the DPCA Bronze Legacy Award for producing eight Champions and many Performance-titled get. “Pie’s” daughter, “Amber,” GCH Allettare N Kettle Cove Secret Crown Jewel, is on her way to that award as well, and has been a wonderful producer. We have a number of promising young dogs that we are hopeful will become great stud dogs.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Angela Ferrari: Our dogs live with us in our home. We do have a designated dog room for crating and grooming, as well as an over 3,000 sq. ft. dog yard, but our Dobermans prefer to be by our sides. Our home sits back from the road surrounded by conservation land. Puppies are born in a designated bedroom that is equipped with a Jonart whelping box and all the necessary supplies. It is temperature controlled and quiet. After that, they move to the main part of our house to be a part of the action. We raise them following a combination of the Rule of Seven, Puppy Culture, and the Badass Breeder programs. This puts a high focus on appropriate exposure and stimulation for each age/developmental stage.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Angela Ferrari: We’re always watching our puppies, especially once they get up on their feet, to see who stands out. Once they are six weeks old, we begin stacking them to get them ready for official “grading” at eight weeks. Sometimes the grading process will extend up to nine or ten weeks. During this time, we also evaluate temperaments so that we can select the best homes for each puppy.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Angela Ferrari: In addition to basic obedience, our show puppies start show training right away; from stacking practice at home to handling classes, and then utilizing the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy competitions, they get a great head start to be ready for the ring by six months of age. With the Doberman requiring a full mouth exam, we need to incorporate this into our training as well.
Is mine a cropped and/or docked breed? Can I share my thoughts on cropping and docking?
Angela Ferrari: The Doberman is a cropped and docked breed. We are strong supporters of the right to crop and dock, and all of our puppies are cropped/docked. Not only is this the DPCA standard, but it is much more than just aesthetics, as it offers other benefits as well. We are active in opposing anti-crop/dock legislation here in New Hampshire.
Are Performance and Companion titles important to me as a breeder? Are parent club titles?
Angela Ferrari: We love ALL titles! While I primarily focus on Conformation titles myself, we work with all of our puppy homes to achieve Performance and Companion titles too. As a Working breed, it is important to have proof that our dogs can do all things. The DPCA offers the Working Aptitude Evaluation, which is similar to the newer AKC Temperament Test but designed specifically for the Doberman, resulting in a WAC title. When the WAC title is combined with a CH and an intermediate Performance title, the dog is eligible for a Register of Merit (ROM) title by the DPCA.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall. Any trends that warrant concern?
Angela Ferrari: Like with all breeds, there are things that could be improved in both structure and health. However, overall, I believe our breed is doing well. There are always fads that come and go, but I do believe the preservation breeders of the Doberman take their job seriously. Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a big concern in the breed and we have limited resources to help avoid this disease. Annual echocardiograms and Holter monitoring, paired with careful breeding, are critical. Yet without clear genetic testing available at this time, it is going to continue to be a problem. Hopefully science will progress so that we can get ahead of this disease.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Angela Ferrari: Dobermans make wonderful family dogs, but they do require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. So, any new home has to be committed to providing for those needs. Too often people don’t understand the importance of mental stimulation. This is a very smart breed, bred to work, and if their mind isn’t kept stimulated it can result in bad behaviors.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Angela Ferrari: I think the Doberman has a wonderful community of preservation breeders. There are new breeders since I got involved, and I am confident we will do our best for this breed.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Working Dog?
Angela Ferrari: My girl “Neuma,” CH Allettare Royal Neuma, has no concept of personal space and has some weird desire to be on top of me as much as possible when we cuddle. I swear she is trying to get inside my skin. They don’t call the Doberman a “velcro dog” for nothing!