a Survey oN GREAT DANES
NOVEL BENOIT 1. Where do you live? Number of years in the sport?
9. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? Great Danes I have judged in the United States are slighter built than in Europe. If likened to a horse comparison: Great Danes in the US are like Thorough- breds: sleek and refine. The Great Danes I judged in Europe were more like draft horses: sturdy, strong and with more bone substance. 10. Does the show ring help determine if a dog is able to perform its intended job? Not very useful because the rings are generally too small to find the true “working” athletes. 11. Explain the importance of size to breed type. For size, the first paragraph of Great Dane standard: “It is always a unit—the Apollo of dogs.” Describing a dog as a “little Great Dane” would be an oxymoron, right? 12. What head characteristics are most important to breed type? Level planes, length of muzzle, no cheekiness and good lip line. 13. Describe ideal Great Dane movement and its importance in judging. Good reach in front and a strong, propelling rear-drive. 14. Which breed traits are strongest? Which need improvement? The breed still needs to correct its overall soundness. It is getting much better—or going in the right direction—but is not there yet. 15. Do you have anything else to share? Try to make dog shows as pleasant as possible for your dog because showing does not come naturally to your dog, but he does it to please you! WARREN BENOIT 1. Where do you live? Number of years in the sport? We live near New Orleans, Louisiana.
I live in Kenner, Louisiana. I got my first Great Dane in 1973. I have been judging for over 13 years. 2. What parts of the standard need clarification? I have never cared for the Harlequin verbiage of “patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body” because the vagueness needs personal interpretation as to what
“entire” means. One patch on this side and one patch on the other side? Or many patches fully marking body from nose to tail? 3. What are the most controversial judging topics for this breed? How do you address them? Exhibitors, Breeders and Judges need to assess the overall dog and not get so hung up on any one particular nuance. Full unity of what the specimen represents needs to be weighed in evaluating or judging a dog. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. Balance when moving or standing on all fours, square body in dogs (longer permissible in bitches), level topline, correct head planes/stop, enough lip to typify breed type. 5. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? Rewarding average movement over excellent breed type. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Talk to me in the ring, because to spectators it appears we are having a private conversation. I prefer to give all exhibitors the same treatment because that is what I am being paid to do. However when done judging, I will be quite talkative! 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? Male bodies are getting too long, not proportionate to size, they should be “square.” From my perspective temperaments are getting better. I have judged very few aggressive or shy Great Danes; most seem mentally stable to me and that’s good! 8. What previously campaigned Great Dane come close to your ideal? Please explain. An “ideal” is just that so I have never found one yet but after 40 years in the breed I still remain hopeful one is out there.
I’ve been in dogs since 1979 and judging for approximately 15 years. 2. What parts of the standard need clarification? The written Standard directs too much wording to color. 3. What are the most controver- sial judging topics for this breed?
How do you address them? A controversial point is defining breed type. I address it by rewarding excellence.
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