Great Dane Column
This month we will be gathering "enmasse" at The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Louisville, Kentucky, to attend our Annual National Specialty Show and Futurity, Obedience and Agility Trials. There will be the youngsters in the Futurity, the young class dogs/bitches looking to point their to that coveted Title, the already Titled "Specials", plus, the athleticism and intelligence of our breed will be demonstrated in the Agility and Obedience Trials. This is not the place to bring inexperienced, unsocialized, untrained Danes. Young puppies may get away with some frivolities, but they, as with all exhibits, should be able to be stacked and examined, otherwise it could be a costly, embarrassing venture in the conformation ring.
Great Dane Review ( www.greatdanereview.com ) , an online Newsletter, asked 126 Judges "What problems Do You See in the Breed"? No. 1 - with 64 (50%) 'votes' - Poor Front Assembly, straight shoulders, short upper arm. No. 2, with 63 (50%) 'votes' - Lack of Balance, bone, substance. No. 3, with 52 'votes' - Poor movement, choppy, twisting, lack of reach and drive. No. 4. With 44 'votes' - Weak Toplines. No. 5, with 34 'votes' - Heads, incorrect planes, heavy flews, snipy. No. 6. With 31 'votes' - Croups/Rears - Sloping, long. No. 7, with 26 'votes' - Temperament timid, shy, fearful, aggressive. At a recent show, a Judge commented to me regarding the timidity/insecurity she encountered in our Danes.
What is happening to our breed? Have we lost the will to breed for "Betterment of the Breed"? A knowledgeable, sincere breeder is well aware Ch. Titles have nil effect on a dog or bitch's reproductive capabilities - genes are genes - titled or not. What genes do we look for when selecting a stud dog, or breed a bitch? Is "Temperament" a priority? It should be. Health/ longevity is also very important, then conformation. Any breeding should be thoroughly researched, with an eye to improve upon what you have. Erratic temperament, lack of substance/ bone, narrow fronts, low croups, broad skulls, sloppy toplines, long backs, gay tails, mediocrity, are not "Breed" faults per se - they are "Breeders"' faults!
Our breed carries the pseudonym "Dogdom's Apollo" because our Standard befits the analogy of The Greek God "Apollo" - who was worshiped for his "Bucolic Acts, and a Body that epitomized Power, a Perfection of Youth and Beauty, with a Beautiful Balance of Substance and Elegance". We must seek the same perfection of power, balance, beauty and brains in our Dane progeny
First Printed In The Great Dane Gazette
Mrs. Paddy Magnuson,