The Tide Has Turned!
A couple of years ago I wrote a column "Apollo of Dogdom comes out of the closet" indicating a new phase had entered the Dane entity - Breeders of this generation were pursuing the "Apollo" analogy beyond the perfection of youth and beauty - their Danes had to live up to the many other virtues of the God Apollo - his vitality, athleticism, mentality, intelligence - and boy have they succeeded!
The many AKC Performance Events now available have encouraged our Daneites to reach even greater platforms than even they imagined possible. Obedience, Tracking, Agility, Rally Obedience, Therapy Certification, a great number of our breed have these multiple titles, and many are stretching even further into Weight pulling, Fly Ball, to mention a couple of the "non-traditional" Canine Great Dane activities, even Dock-Diving. A young mantle dane, "Chroma Three Times Charmed" TD, RN, R1, SJ, TT, TDInc., CGC, recently beat her own World Record - jumping 18' in Dock-Diving! This multi titled Dane is owned by the very talented trainer, Terri Mathias, who is to be congratulated by all for such great achievements, and for showing the world that our breed indeed has exceptional abilities, and only needs the opportunity to reach those potentials.
Indeed I think the interest in the AKC Performance Events now being indulged in by many breeds, producing multi-titled animals, is a great positive for betterment of all breeds.
Recently there has been a study, albeit a small one, that "Show Dogs" as such, are not able to compete as well as dogs bred for a particular talent - to work as hunting dogs, working dogs, etc. Possibly there is some truth to this, but don't know how the study was performed, as, at least in my opinion, the environment a puppy is raised in will effect it's mindset to a great degree. Those first early weeks, when a puppy is handled, and exposed to the environment from day one - is extremely important as to how it performs as it develops. I have had Danes for more years than I wish to mention, and associated with and trained many other breeds. Some are more intelligent, or learn faster, than others, they are all individuals, so each is a study in it's own right. Have never came across a really stupid or dull witted animal. Have had some shy ones, and some temperament problems which had to be overcome, some of this comes from lack of socializing, and some from the blood lines to be sure. If a dog is not socialized, and only ever sees the world from a "Show Dog" level - it will not be able to perform in the field, or as a working breed. Such a dog has never been given the opportunity to engage any of it's natural potentials, other than to perform in the Show Ring - which doesn't require much in the way of intelligence, only some leashed guidance from the handler. Just like a beautiful child, never educated, never exposed to life's opportunities - except maybe to model the wares of another - that child could well be categorized as stupid. I think this "study" needs further study!
Mrs. Paddy Magnuson,