just judge the dogs with their own opinions. I feel newer judges are just putting in their time in education of their new breeds instead of really wanting to know about these dogs and what we as breeders feel is important. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. Overall breed type, balance, angles, bone and body and soundness. 5. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? Many look for a big Dane. While we appreciate size in our breed, it should never be chosen over a structurally incorrect Dane. The other issue is color. We have 6 colors and we have good representatives of all 6. 6. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? I like to see a Dane move on a loose lead and given its head when it moves. And I like to see them moved at their own speed. Too many handlers choke a dog up and pull the head and neck upright, throwing the move- ment off. Also they seem to think the faster the better. Not true! 7. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? I am seeing Danes that have no bone or body, that are long in back and that have no angles. Heads are pretty good in general. 8. What previously campaigned Great Dane come close to your ideal? Please explain. There have been many great Danes over the years that have influenced my thinking as an ideal Dane. Choos- ing just one is difficult. I would say the Dane that always comes to mind was Ch Riverwoods Regal Siegfried—a very big Harlequin male. While he had great size and sub- stance, he possed a “masculine elegance” that made me realize that there was a difference between massive with that elegant quality of a long neck and beautiful front fill and balanced body and massive and just plain coarse. I saw in him the ability have both size and elegance and
good movement. His head was beautifully correct and his temperament was outstanding. 9. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? In 2000 I judged a large show in Sweden and I was impressed with the overall quality of the Danes. They had beautiful front assemblies and bone and body the American Danes were starting to lack. In July of this year, 2015, I judged the Finnish Dane National and I could see the quality of their Danes was starting to go backwards. The shoulders and fronts were still overall much better, but the length and the hindquarters were not as good as they were. With the advent of Facebook, we can see Danes from all over the world and I see breeders doing outstanding jobs and some that aren’t. 10. Does the show ring help determine if a dog is able to perform its intended job? I know the original intent of dog shows was to judge breeding quality, but I find that another thing of the past. Judges from other breeds who have not taken a real inter- est in my breed aren’t the best judges of the quality of my breed. Money and advertising make decisions for judges and breeders breed to the big winners whether they are good for their bitches or not. For me, the National is a great place to see which breeders are doing a good job and making progress with their programs. It doesn’t mat- ter to me who wins there... I can see what I need to see and so can other dedicated breeders. 11. Are there any closely related breeds? I don’t think we have another breed that is closely related. While there are other giant breeds, the Dane stands out as the Apollo and should be majestic and eye- catching in the ring and out. 12. Explain the importance of size to breed type. As our Standard says, “All things being equal the larger Dane should be awarded, but not at the expense of struc- ture and soundness.” I believe and average size Great Dane, 34-35 inches at the shoulder, with good body, bone, balance and movement, is a big enough Dane. 13. What head characteristics are most important to breed type? The rectangular head, which is made up of two squares, with a broad muzzle and adequate lip. However, a beauti- ful eye and pleasing expression is also important. 14. Describe ideal Great Dane movement and its importance in judging. I love good movement and love to see reach and drive in our breed. Structure has to be good to allow this. I want a beautiful picture on profile, covering ground with a level top line. 15. Which breed traits are strongest? Which need improvement? I think we have many quality Danes, but I would like to see more breeders working on the overall Dane. I think heads are good in any part of the country you go to. But we really need to concentrate on structure which will give us more soundness. We are a Working Dog and com- pete in the Groups as such. Balance and soundness are a necessity.
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