The show ring can show the body formation , tempera- ment and elegance that shows, the “Apollo of dogs.” 11. Are there any closely related breeds? The Great Dane is a Mastiff-like breed. However it is not as heavy boned as many of the Mastiff breeds and should have more “elegance.” Too many judges think they should be much heavier boned with a big front chest and heavy head, which is incorrect. They are not judged “by the pound” and should not appear clumsy and/or coarse. 12. Explain the importance of size to breed type. Size is important, but not to the expense of soundness. A true 35" dog or 33" bitch is preferable to faulty speci- mens That are oversized. 13. What head characteristics are most important to breed type? The Great Dane head is extremely important in judging the breed. It sets type and is emphasized heavily in the standard. You should not have to look at the hindquar- ters to see if it is a bitch or a dog. The planes, correct eye color, square jaw and deep muzzle, pronounced stop and correct chiseling are all important to the correct formation. 14. Describe ideal Great Dane movement and its importance in judging. Movement is the ultimate test of soundness and tempera- ment. Some Danes have a “lazy” gait which is incorrect. They should have long reach and powerful drive. 15. Do you have anything else to share? 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. NIKKI RIGGSBEE 1. Where do you live? Number of years in the sport? I live in Valrico, Florida. I’ve been in the sport for 35 years and approved to judge for 24 years. 2. What parts of the standard need clarification? The Great Dane standard is very good. I would like to see just a few changes. 1. I would modify this sentence as such: Lack of true Dane breed type, as defined in this standard, is the most serious fault. 2. The standard was changed to “square” proportion in 1990. Prior to that, it was “as square as possible.” In the other Great Danes standards (UK, Canada, FCI), it is “as square as possible.” I would prefer to return to “as square as possible.” 3. The requirement that the elbow is half the height of the dog at the withers was added in 1990. This, also, is not in other standards. This is a Rottweiler proportion. “Elegance” is part of a Great Dane (in the first sentence of the standard) which the elbow proportion does not support. I would prefer it saying that the elbow to the
Clockwise: Ch Lobato’s anything Goes, “emmie”; Ch Sasdania-vitag’s Frozen asset HoF, “oscar” and Ch Mountdania’s ashley, “Bumper”.
I do not like to see handlers try to mold a dog and try to string it up. I want to see what a dog can do for himself without the help of a handler placing and twisting all of the legs. 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? I am seeing a great deal of poor temperament and this is an inherited factor and needs to be addressed. 8. What previously campaigned Great Dane come close to your ideal? Please explain. Some of the best dogs I have judged are Lobato’s Any- thing Goes,“Emmie”. She was a beautiful headed bitch with substance without being doggy with lots of show- man ship and was a great mover. The last Dane that Jane Chopson showed, Sasdania-Vitag’s Frozen Asset, “Oscar”, was a beautiful, substantial dog with a great head, dark eye and good attitude. Temple Dells Odin, shown by Dick Shaefer, was a beautifully marked Brindle with a gor- geous head, good back and sound front and rear. Mount- dania’s Ashley, “Bumper” was another good Brindle with excellent movement, a great head and sound body. 9. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? The Great Dane is strongest in the US, followed by Canada, Australia and Europe. 10. Does the show ring help determine if a dog is able to perform its intended job?
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