WITH LOURDES CARVAJAL, PAT CIAMPA, KATHLEEN DAVIS, LOWELL DAVIS, JOHN & JESSIE GERSZEWSKI, JOY LOBATO, ERIC RINGLE, SUSAN DAVIS SHAW, WILLIAM “BILL” C. STEBBINS, DALE SUZANNE TARBOX, PAM WINTER & SUSAN YOTIVE
dog. I heard someone say once “These are working dogs. It doesn’t have to be pretty, they just have to get there.”
12. What qualities are strong in Great Danes now and where do they need most improvement? LC: Headpiece has become very strong as long as correct heads are being produced. Toplines and correct matching angles front and rear need improvement. ER: Temperaments are generally good. Most are relatively sound. There are some bloodlines (I’d like to see more) that put a stamp on their dogs. I think that breeders years ago used to know where to go for the qualities that they needed at the time. PW: Good quality dogs seem to be regional at this point in time. Some parts of the country have big, elegant Danes with correct head type. Other parts of the country are lacking in both those areas. I think we can conclude that the area that needs most improvement is breeding practices. You must first understand what the breed is suppose to look like, second be able to properly assess the dogs in your kennel; and then be willing to breed to the dog who will improve your animals. Too often convenience is the reason one dog gets bred to another. 13. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? PC: They are a wonderful dog to live with—friendly, loyal, dependable and easily trained; but still a giant breed that needs training and proper socialization. I hope to always have a Great Dane in my life. KD: I am certainly biased, but beware, like potato chips, you can’t have just one! LD: I feel that breeders should only breed their best dogs. There are far too many dogs in rescue situations in all breeds. I hate to hear someone say, “We can’t finish her so we’ll just breed her.” Breeding should always begin with a very good bitch. J&JG: We are very passionate about Great Danes. They are wonderful, loving animals. Once you own one, or should I say owned by one, you will always want them in your life. I also feel that people see their size but may not know how gentle, cuddly and loving they can be. JL: Temperament is very important in our breed. They are the gentle giant of dogs. “THEY ARE A WONDERFUL DOG TO LIVE WITH— FRIENDLY, LOYAL, DEPENDABLE AND EASILY TRAINED...”
11. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? PC: I think new judges need to keep in mind that lack of true Dane type as defined in our standard, is a serious fault. We should not be common, as that is not “The Apollo of Dogs”. Also, they should never award timid or aggressive behavior. KD: Color and pattern. Unfortunately, in an attempt to be clear about colors and patterns (some of which exist in other breeds, as well as ours), we’ve become so pos- sessive and wordy in our standard, that it’s daunting. I believe it creates a false impression that color/markings should be of equal priority in judging. Variances in color and markings, within eligible, are cosmetic. For the health and welfare of our breed, please judge our gentle giants by type and soundness, which will serve them for a lifetime… then break a tie as needed, by idyllic color and markings. J&JG: I think it’s the Great Dane head. They read the stan- dard, understand what they are to look for, but unfortu- nately not always able to find it. JL: Some judges forget about the whole dog. They concentrate only on one part of the breed. Also, even though we have a color code in our breed, structure comes first. SDS: Great Danes need to be more than just a pretty face. They need to look like they can do what they were bred to do, which is hunt wild boar. Poor, inefficient move- ment and lightweight, Whippet-like Danes should not be rewarded. Also, the last consideration in judging our breed should be color. Learn the color/pattern descrip- tions, but don’t obsess over them. WS: One of the things that new judges need to develop is an understanding for proper breed type. The Great Dane does not have much in the way of unusual aspects to their anatomy. What we look for in most areas is all but identical to many breeds. However, to some people coming into the breed, every Great Dane is a giant dog. Attending a parent club-approved Judges Ed presentation and obtaining an approved breed mentor prior to apply- ing for the breed is of invaluable assistance in tuning the “eye” of a prospective judge for proper breed type. There are sometimes concerns for people coming into the breed with regards to color and markings, in particu- lar with the Harlequin. Again, an approved breed mentor and/or attendance at a parent club approved Judges Ed presentation will be of invaluable assistance. DST: Color and patterns for one! They are confusing, but the standard explains them pretty well. SY: I spend a lot of time with new judges on color, especially the Harlequin. Most understand structure and movement but the description of the Harlequin color and the range of acceptable expressions of the color can be quite confusing.
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