10. What head characteristics are most important to breed type? Long, rectangular (from side and front), deep muzzle and parallel planes. 11. Describe ideal Great Dane movement and its importance in judging. Very important, not just for movement, but to see the dog itself, not the one the handler puts together (well or poorly). Reach, drive, level back, clean up and back. And the same picture moving as seen in the standing Dane. 12. Which breed traits are strongest? Which need improvement? It varies. Breeders need to keep and maintain breed char- acteristics while producing a “one piece” dog, standing and moving. BILL STEBBINS 1. Where do you live? Number of years in the sport?
ground is slightly more than half of the height; but at least remove the statement that the elbow is half the height. 4. There is only one “very serious” fault in the standard: undershot jaw. First, I think that lack of breed type is more serious, the most serious. Second, I think a wry mouth is more serious than slightly undershot (e.g. reverse scissors). 3. What are the most controversial judging topics for this breed? How do you address them? Some people seem to think that a Dane can be too tall. We don’t have a maximum height. “Great size” is a virtue; it isn’t the only virtue and the judge must balance it with other virtues. Our minimum heights apply to 6 to 9 puppies. Adults should be bigger. If you aren’t sure, ask a successful breeder what is the shortest male she would breed her good bitch to. This is an extreme breed. The “extremeness” needs to be recognized and valued, for nature will pull dogs back to moderate. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. Long rectangular head, equally long neck and equal parts of great size and great substance and great elegance. 5. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? Some overstress on color. If they do not come from a giant breed, all Great Danes look big and they some- times don’t recognize what is smaller than wanted. Some haven’t come to a good set of priorities and what to forgive in order to decide which are the best overall dogs. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Throw bait. 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? Some breeders are focusing on pieces and getting them right, but the whole dog should be a unit. It can some- times be hard to find a dog with balance and unity and breed details. All parts must fit in correct proportion and flow together smoothly. 8. What previously campaigned Great Dane come close to your ideal? Ch Lost Creek Joseph Dane Lane and Ch More Danes Rack ’Em and Stack ’Em. 9. Explain the importance of size to breed type. Size is a major characteristic of breed type.
I live in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I am nearly at 50 years in dogs and this my 30th year of judging. 2. What parts of the standard need clarification? The Dane Standard is one of the most comprehensive of any. There are, obviously, some aspects of the breed that could stand further explanation/
clarification but these are usually factors best explained and learned from a well-qualified mentor and/or atten- dance at a National and, in particular, the complete Judges Education program. 3. What are the most controversial judging topics for this breed? How do you address them? The one factor which usually has the most questions from those trying to learn the breed is in the category of color and markings. Once again, good mentoring is the best course of action since the potential variables in this category would require a doctoral thesis. As a general summation of this aspect of the Great Dane, it is not nearly as difficult as it might appear to someone coming into the breed but should be taught from someone quali- fied to do so. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. They are Breed Type, Proportions, Temperament, Shoul- ders and Head. You will note that my first three do not include a specific anatomical asset. 5. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? The Great Dane is not an extremely difficult breed to judge. If a non-breeder judge has received good mentor- ing they usually do a reasonably good job with their decisions. If the mentoring was skewed (correctly or otherwise) towards a specific aspect of the breed with other, possibly even more important aspects being de- emphasized, then the judge in question could make
Left to right: Ch More Danes rack ‘em and Stack ‘em and Ch Lost Creek Joseph Dane Lane.
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