DANELINKS.COM                        1/1/05


In consideration of the following statements,
reference to the standard may be necessary.

http://www.gdca.org/great-dane-standard.html


 

"IN MY VIEW..........."

            by Dana Cline
 

1.  What function or specific physical attributes and/ or characteristics of temperament, mentioned in the standard clearly identify the Great Dane as a working dog?

2.  If identified, how does one apply such working concepts to the modern Great Dane?

3. How is it possible for a judge to assess the virtues or "working" potential of a Dane within the confines of the modern day show ring?

4.  What job or physical characteristics must any animal fulfill to attain the title of "true working dog"?

5.  Where might an individual go to observe a Great Dane performing any tasks as a " true working dog"?
 
6.  Does the standard require or even suggest that the Great Dane should be evaluated by merely imagining it's ability to "work" at any task?
7.  Concrete descriptions of such things as beauty and type are elusive because of their subjectivity. It is only logical to interpret the intent of the standard based on it's content and construction. The standard utilizes 872 words to describe physical structure: 411 words (47%) are used to describe multiple features such as neck, topline, body, forequarters and hindquarters; 367 words (42%) are used to describe the head alone; 94 words (11%) describe gait. This statistical breakdown proves that proportionately the head, as a single feature, is clearly of primary importance.
 
8.  Although it may be interesting to consider the historical heritage of various breeds, there are many cases where it has little or no bearing in evaluating the modern dog. For instance, consider the Bulldog, once appreciated for its ferocity in a barbaric 'sport', but now assigned to the Non-Sporting Group and prohibited from displaying any signs of his heritage in its modern breed standard. No one would dispute the Doberman Pinscher's heritage as a guardian dog par excellence, however the breed's standard  requires dismissal from the ring of any animal displaying an outwardly vicious temperament. These are just two examples where the origional purpose and temperament of these breeds is of no value in the show ring. Similarly obsolete, an ability to hunt boar through the forests of Old Germany is of no concern to the modern Great Dane fancy.
 
9.  Do not interpret the above as implying the Great Dane should not be athletic and structurally sound, but rather to refute any notion that a Great Dane lacking it's most distinguishing feature (the head), can ever be competitive or typical!
 
10.  As a longtime breeder/ owner of the Great Dane, which of the following features inspired and held your interest?
A) short level back with broad loin
B) shoulders, strong and muscular
C) well formed, smoothly muscled body
D) the unique, long ,distinguished, finely chiseled head
In my view there is only one clear choice. In case you should require a hint, D is for Dane!
 

Other articles by Dana Cline:
ARE THE BEST DOGS REALLY WINNING?
DEFINING FUNCTION IN CONFORMATION EVENTS

ASKING THE JUDGE FOR THEIR OPINION
FLAW, FAULT or UNFORGIVABLE?
A VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE

 

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