Many people have heard this word time and time again but do not really know what it is all about. THE GREAT DANE CLUB OF AMERICA'S annual Futurity in a sense is the Breeder's Cup of Great Danes. It is a very important and prestigious competition, not between the owners of Great Danes, as in regular competition, but between those persons who have bred these magnificent beasts.
What is so important about this you might ask? Well, in a nutshell, it is the culmination of years and years if hard work and dedication to the Great Dane and to the ultimate betterment of the breed itself. The driving force behind the Futurity? To breed THE PERFECT GREAT DANE!
In order to understand the Futurity, one must first understand the process by which these selected puppies are nominated and finally entered into this competition.
Once the necessary breeding dates have been met, the required forms, having been obtained from the Futurity Statistician of GREAT DANE CLUB OF AMERICA, are completed and submitted back to the Futurity Statistician with the appropriate nomination fee.
This process is done while the bitch is in whelp - Before the puppies are born!
Wait a minute, you say. If the puppies are not even born yet, how do I know whether they will be worthy of such an honor when they are born. EXACTLY! You just hit the nail on the head! This is precisely why the Futurity is so important, so prestigious. By nominating the bitch while she is in whelp, the breeders take a stand and make a statement. Yes, they say I am nominating my bitch and her unborn puppies for the Futurity which, in some cases, can be well over a year in advance. Yes, I have worked hard to review pedigrees and pictures and have traveled to view stud dogs. I have spent hours analyzing faults and attributes. I have selected a stud dog and I have bred my bitch to this dog. No, I do not know exactly what these puppies will look like, but I have a good idea. Yes, I do believe that through experience, research and selective breeding, this yet unborn litter will contain future champions; better Great Danes than their parents. Yes, this is a breeder's testimony and I will put my money where my beliefs are and submit my nomination fee for this bitch and her unborn litter.
Can you now begin to see the involvement of the Futurity and the work, the pride, the joy of breeding better and better Great Danes?
The second step in the Futurity nomination process begins after the puppies are whelped and prior to them reaching three (3) months of age. Now, you have in front of you the physical result of all our labors and it is time to nominate puppies from this letter. Again, this must be done before the puppies reach three (3) months of age and all that is required that you list on the form the sec and color of the pup for each one nominated. You can nominate all the litter, or as few as one, if you like. Again, this is another testimony of the breeder: "Yes, I have now seen the litter and I still believe that I have bettered the line. I still believe that these pups that I nominate will be future Champions and, themselves, sires and dams of even better litters. And, I again will back up my beliefs with my nomination fee, this time on a per pup basis."
Finally, a few months before the actual show, which is held in October of each year, the FINAL nominations are due. The Futurity Statistician will mail to the breeder, one (1) entry blank for each puppy nominated. This is the final individual nomination for a particular puppy of that litter and also constitutes that particular pup's entry into the Futurity competition. It is the breeder's responsibility to either do all the entering for those puppies nominated or forward to the new puppy owners that final entry form. Strict rules apply to the closing date for the Futurity, just as they do for the National Specialty.
Now that you are aware of and, hopefully, comprehend the Futurity nomination process, I hope that you can understand, appreciate, support and become a part of the Futurity competition itself. It is a three-phase testimonial of breeders and a showcase for the fruits of their labors. It is not so much the competition (at least not for this breeder), but the inclusion in that competition is the joy. It speaks not only of dedication to the betterment of the breed, but of all the enduring love for these tremendous gentle giants who share so much of our lives.
Futurity Rules and Regulations
- The Futurity is an annual event sponsored by the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. and is exclusively for the competition of puppies and juniors between three (3) months and under eighteen (18) months of age.
- The Futurity is open to member breeders (and members of their immediate families) in good standing with the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. or one of its affiliated clubs provided that all other requirements are met. Where the nominated bitch is co-owned, one co-owner must be a member of the Great Dane Club of America or one of the affiliate clubs at the time of the breeding. The owner, or the co-owner, of the stud dog is NOT the breeder unless said stud dog owner, or co-owner, is a co-owner on the bitch at the time of the breeding of the litter.
- Bitches may be nominated at any time between the BREEDING and before the WHELPING dates.
- All dogs are made eligible for competition BEFORE they are born, however it is only through the bitch that they are made eligible. Nominations of bitches must be made after the bitch is bred and before the bitch whelps. Only puppies whelped by nominated bitches AFTER the date of nomination are eligible. The date of the Post Office cancellation stamp on the envelope will determine the date of nomination. A fee of $10.00 shall accompany the nomination of each bitch.
This constitutes the first nomination.
- Puppies from litters whelped by nominated bitches are eligible even though sold to a new owner between the whelping date and the date of the Futurity. The new owner need not be a member of the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. or one of its affiliated clubs provided that the nomination of the bitch was made by a member breeder.
- Upon verification of eligibility, the breeder will be sent a form on which to nominate individual puppies from the litter. A fee of $7.50 is required for each puppy nominated from each litter nominated (there is no limit on the number of puppies nominated from any one litter) and the nominations must be made BEFORE the litter is three (3) months old. The Post Office cancellation stamp on the envelope will determine that this nomination has been made prior to the date the litter reached three (3) months of age. This constitutes the second nomination.
- An additional fee of $15.00 will complete each individual nomination. This will be done on a separate entry/nomination blank which will be sent to the breeder for each individual puppy nominated. This entry/nomination will be filled out to include: the name of the puppy, litter or individual registration number, name of breeder, date of whelp and name and address of actual owner. After the Futurity closes, the receipt of entry will be mailed to the actual owner.
The final nomination which also serves as an entry to the futurity is due each year by the third Friday in August.
- Puppies from three (3) months of age and under twelve (12) months of age shall only be required to compete against each other. Similarly, Juniors, from twelve (12) months of age and under eighteen (18) months of age shall only be required to compete against each other.
- CLASSES. Classes will be divided according to age and sex as follows. Classes with large entries may also be divided into A, B, C and D Divisions as needed. Every effort will be made to separate litter mates of the same sex.
Puppy Dogs - 3 months & under 5 months; Puppy Bitches - 3 months & under 5 months
Puppy Dogs - 5 months & under 7 months; Puppy Bitches - 5 months & under 7 months
Puppy Dogs - 7 months & under 9 months; Puppy Bitches - 7 months & under 9 months
Puppy Dogs - 9 months & under 12 months; Puppy Bitches - 9 months & under 12 months
The winners of the Puppy Dog classes will compete against each other for Best Puppy Dog and Reserve Puppy Dog. The winners of the Puppy Bitch classes will compete against each other for Best Puppy Bitch and Reserve Puppy Bitch. The Best Puppy Dog will compete against the Best Puppy Bitch for BEST PUPPY.
Junior Dogs - 12 months & under 15 months; Junior Bitches - 12 months & under 15 months
Junior Dogs - 15 months & under 18 months; Junior Bitches - 15 months & under 18 months
The winners of the Junior Dog classes will compete against each other for Best Junior Dog and Reserve Junior Dog. The winners of the Junior Bitch classes will compete against each for Best Junior Bitch and Reserve Junior Bitch. The Best Junior Dog will compete against the Best Junior Bitch for BEST JUNIOR.
The Best Puppy will compete against the Best Junior and the winner will be designated BEST IN FUTURITY. The BEST OF OPPOSITE SEX TO BEST IN FUTURITY will be judged by a composition between the best Puppy and Best Junior of the sex opposite to Best in Futurity.
- Prizes. 75% of the final entry fees will be distributed to the breeders of the individual class winners as follows:
First place winner - 40%; Second place winner - 30%: Third place winner - 20%: Fourth place winner 10%. In no instance will less than $1.00 be given, and the amounts will be so rounded off. Class Division finalists are not considered Class winners.
GDCA Trophies will be awarded to: Best in Futurity, Best Puppy, Best Junior, Best Puppy Dog, Best Puppy Bitch, Best Junior Dog, Best Junior Bitch, Reserve Puppy Dog, Reserve Puppy Bitch, Reserve Junior Dog and Reserve Junior Bitch. The Breeder of the Best in Futurity will receive the Breeder of Best In Futurity trophy.
- In the event that a change must be made in the show date, then the original date shall be the one used in determining eligibility of nominees. Should the show date be set after the original date, then the age limit shall be increased to take care of the differences in time from the original date to the revised date and the nominees affected shall still be eligible for competition in the Junior classes.
- Nominations of bitches and nominations of puppies must be on official forms supplied by the Futurity Statistician or downloaded from The GDCA Website and must be accompanied by checks or money orders made payable to the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. .
- Entry fees will be retained in the event a nominated bitch or puppy is found to be ineligible under the above conditions.
The Great Dane Club of America, Inc. participates with the Purina® and participates in the Pro Plan® Futurity Alliance. How does the Pro Plan® Futurity Alliance work?
To find out more, please download The GDCA-Purina Pro Plan Futurity Alliance
Download the Futurity Application Forms (Fill in PDF Form)