CKC Standard – Forequarters
Shoulder blade sloping forward and downward at a 45-degree angle to the ground, and meeting the upper arm at an angle of 90 degrees. Shoulder to be as close to 45 degrees as possible and set well back. Relative length of shoulder and upper arm should be as one to one; excess length of shoulder blade is more a fault than excess length of upper arm. Height from elbow to withers approximately equals height from ground to elbow. Legs seen from the front and side perfectly straight and parallel to each other from elbow to pastern; muscled and sinewy, with round, heavy bone. In a normal position, and when gaiting, the elbows should lie close to the brisket. Pasterns firm, with an almost perpendicular position to the ground. Feet well-arched, compact and cat-like, turning neither in nor out. Slight toeing out much less undesirable than toeing in. Dewclaws may be removed.
The Doberman is an outline breed, the shoulder angulation appears close to 45 degrees, while still being in balance with the rear. The correct front will have the neck flow smoothly into the
well-laid-on shoulder blades. The upper arm should be equal in length to the shoulder blade. This will give the correct amount of forechest when seen from the side. The correct bone length and placement will be covered in the muscle and flesh of the forechest and brisket, and is discernible in an uncoated breed. Using your hand, spread your thumb away from your fingers to make a right angle. You can use this to help in identifying the angle of the shoulder and upper arm.
Round, heavy bone is apparent making the Doberman neither clumsy nor weak looking. Balance of proportion is evident in the equal distance from withers to elbow to the ground. Balance of the rear and front angles is imperative for the square dog to move correctly.
The pasterns should be almost perpendicular, but allowing for shock absorption. The cat-like feet with well-trimmed nails are essential features of this athletic breed.