Interview with Jim & Ann White, Breeders of Cambria Doberman Pinschers
Where do we live? How many years in dogs? How many years as breeders?
Jim & Ann White: We live in Millsap, Texas (west of Fort Worth). Jim purchased his first Doberman Pinscher in 1958; Ann in 1970. We both purchased dogs from serious breeders… and so it began. Jim whelped his first litter in 1986; Ann in 1973. But, real breeding began in the ‘80s.
What is our kennel name? How many dogs do we currently keep?
Jim & Ann White: Our kennel name is Cambria. We keep 10-15 Dobermans (personal and client dogs… retired, breeding, and show dogs). Several of our breeding bitches are in companion homes on co-ownerships.
Which show dogs from the past have been our noteworthy winners?
Jim & Ann White: For Jim: Ch. Marienburg’s Sunhawk and Ch. Schauffelein’s Rendevouz. Together: Ch. Cambria’s Carmen, Ch. Cambria’s Victoria’s Secret, Ch. Cambria’s Varmait Parfait, and Ch. Cambria’s Must Be Fate.
Which have been our most influential sires and dams?
Jim & Ann White: Most Influential Sires: Ch. Cambria’s Cactus Cash (181 AKC Champions; Top-Producing Working Dog Sire of All Time… in researching records, he may be Top Producing Sire of All Breeds of All Time); Ch. Cambria’s Out For Justice (92 AKC Champions). Cambria dogs have sired well over 400 AKC Champions. Most Influential Dam: Our foundation bitch, Ch. Florowill Bit Of Magic (Top-Producing Doberman Dam of All Time with 21 AKC Champions).
Can we talk a bit about our facilities? Where are our puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Jim & Ann White: Jim is a builder, and so he builds. We have a custom dog-friendly property designed just for our breeding and show operation. We have ample runs for housing, paddocks for conditioning, and a dog-friendly house for living with our dogs. Our main kennel building is designed for adult dogs, and our puppy kennel is attached to the house, with a breeze-way to our bedroom. Our puppies are whelped just feet from our bedroom in our puppy kennels/office or in our totally enclosed back porch area. All dog areas are temperature-controlled.
What is our “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?
Jim & Ann White: Nothing extraordinary, just constant evaluation through regular hands-on interaction with our puppies. Our official evaluation is 11-12 weeks, when it becomes necessary to make decisions to send show puppies on their way. Ideal show temperaments are also appropriate for performance. Dobermans are highly trainable and want to please. Early socialization is an obvious part of puppy our raising.
Do we compete in Performance Events? In Parent Club Tests & Trials?
Jim & Ann White: Yes, in the past; however, it is impossible to go full-throttle in multiple directions. Our focus is on breeding dogs according to the Breed Standard (show dogs), with appropriate temperaments and good health.
Is “performance” part of our decision-making when it comes to breeding?
Jim & Ann White: We are advocates of performance-worthy dogs. I have spent considerable time training in various performance venues. A Doberman should, first and foremost, be an athlete. And just as important is a temperament, which, according to our Standard, states, “Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient.” Success in performance venues rests with the trainer.
How would we define “conditioning” as it relates to our breed?
Jim & Ann White: Conditioning encompasses both mental and physical stimulation. Daily outside exercise is mandatory for our dogs. We have multiple paddocks that encourage the dogs to “run the fence line,” without damaging each other. (Dobermans are incredibly body-physical.)
Are there any health-related concerns in our breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Jim & Ann White: Yes, of course. We consider heart disease to be our breed’s No. 1 issue. We do health testing, but consider our knowledge of health histories (who died of what, when, and under what conditions… many generations into our pedigrees). Health is a big consideration when selecting breeding pairs. And, it shows. Our current senior resident is an active 14-year-old. We have our fair share of 12-14 year-olds. We feed Purina Pro Plan and are happy with the results.
Do we think our breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Jim & Ann White: We are concerned with the lack of “depth of knowledge” among breeders; not all, but with many. There are far too many whose confidence far exceeds their knowledge. Both of us had a litter very early-on in our involvement. However, Jim’s first serious litter was 35 years into his involvement as a dog show fancier. Ann’s was 18 years later. There was much to be learned.
Is our breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own our breed?
Jim & Ann White: Yes, but they are like a child. Their requirements and needs are many. A Doberman cannot be left alone to raise itself. We recommend an active family or individual who loves living life to its fullest. A Doberman’s mind is a terrible thing to waste and they need lots of direction and discipline. That said, they will give back ten-fold. We cannot imagine life without our Dobermans.
What is the biggest misconception about our breed? What is our breed’s best-kept secret?
Jim & Ann White: The biggest misconception is their long-held reputation as a “bad dog” die-hard. We’re still on “bad dog” lists for campgrounds, insurance companies, etc. Best-kept secret? We all have stories of how our (or a friend’s) Doberman was there to “watch our back” when we needed them to protect us. They are almost human-like and amaze us over and over again.
If we could share a comment or two with judges of our breed, what would we like to say to them?
Jim & Ann White: We love our breed’s temperament, and they should be sound of mind. But, please don’t make it all about the well-choreographed performance. And, yes, I LOVE a beautiful head, but we are not a head breed, and “pretty” probably shouldn’t be used to describe our breed. I love pretty too, but don’t ever forget functional. We are an athlete, and some of the current trends do not support a powerful Working Dog.
Do we have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
Jim & Ann White: Don’t ever forget to be a student of the breed. Read the Standard. Then, read it again… and again… and again. It is our blueprint.