Do you think the new CHAMPION FOR HEALTH award will be indicative of excellent health in a Great Dane? [224 votes total]

YES (31) 14%
NO (193) 86%


Post Info  Comment
Posted By: Steve Cochran

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 554
Should join the GDCA?

Well, Sandy, itís not a question of whether or not people are willing to do the work, but a question of leadership and direction. A lot of people I know were members of the parent club for twenty five years or more, myself included, who are letting their memberships expire. This is not because we are unwilling to contribute, but because the focus on breeding better Great Danes has been downplayed, making it increasingly difficult for many to identify with the goals of the organization. No one does more work in this breed than breeders, and many donít have the time to take part in the petty political games at the high level of the GDCA played by people who rarely, if ever, have sat in the whelping box. The power in the GDCA has been consolidated and making improvements is very difficult, if not impossible. Basically, many can no longer endorse an organization through membership which they see as ineffective and fundamentally opposed to the goal of producing better Great Danes. A silly Champion of Health award is just another example of this; one simply cannot lend their name to it.

Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 580 Poll #56

As far as I know the question was "Do you think the new Champion For Health award will be indicative of excellent health in a Great Dane?" & most of the comments reflected that question. I agree that a few did not but I also think that out of the 86% that answered "NO" there are quite a few besides myself that are GDCA members. I thought that I saw quite a few comments that gave reasons they voted NO & did not complain about GDCA.

Posted By: Sandy

Posted On: 6 days ago
Views: 586

It is interesting to me that so many who are critical of the GDCA are not even members. Perhaps instad of sitting on the side lines and complaining about what the GDCA does or does not do or how they do it the critics might join and actually work to accomplish what they want to see done. Or would that be too much work for the critics?

Posted By: ANON

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 867

Matt....Not to start a whole new discussion here but just for the record a lot of BIS & BISS are "purchased and are of no indication of any merit other than the owners pocketbook"

Posted By: Matt Tessman

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 906

I want to correct myself before anyone takes offense to my mistyped comment. I do not believe that if you were on the minority of the last 2 polls that you do not care about the important issues in danes. I meant if these 2 issues are more important to you than others than IMO you should reevaluate.

Posted By: Matt Tessman

Posted On: 11 days ago
Views: 909
The merit of CHIC #'s

BIS, BISS, and so on are indicative of a dog's accomplishments and deserve to be shouted from the rooftops. CHIC #s are not, any dog can get one, even the most unhealthy, dysplastic ones . CHIC #s are purchased and are of no indication of any merit other than the owner's pocket book.

The abbreviation CHIC doesnt belong in the title unless it is actually part of the name like Rojon's Ultra Chic(which is obviously a different word all together), since it is an organization providing info about the dogs health, not the abilities or accomplishments the dog was bred for. The word CHIC elsewhere on the advertisement accompanied by the actual "CHIC" number would let the observer check the number and see the rateings the dog has received. This does not happen often with the "in the title" crowd.

Many people are trying to use the lack of knowledge of what CHIC #'s are and how they are acquired to promote their danes to the uninformed and give themselves a feeling of accomplishment they can not get in the ring.

And now we have a new worthless title that OFA is trying to use to convince you out of your money, the "Champion of Health". After the expense, and effort to get all the tests done on your dane to get a CHIC#, you can now have the GDCA (I wont go into the 5 pages of how I feel about them) decide if your dane is good enough to submit to the "Champion of Health" commitee for evaluation. A slot machine in Vegas is more of a sure thing than this.

The proof is in the pudding that the super-overwelming majority of breeders of danes do not care about the champion of health and do not care about CHIC #'s. This should be a wake-up call to the few who went the other way on these issues, that maybe efforts should be placed on the important issues in danes instead of the frivolous.

Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 12 days ago
Views: 1064

""Sean, are you actually implying that a BIS and CHIC number are of the same caliber?""

Not at all Adam.

Just stating the fact that many people, myself included, place wins, awards and certifications in their dogs names that are not true titles. I see nothing wrong with that in advertising, bragging, etc. After all it is something the owner is very proud of.

The only time I do not care for it is when I see it in a show catalog.

""A CHIC number, or for that matter a Champion of Health award, is not a reason to breed your dog nor is it a conclusive indicator of good health.""


Posted By: Adam Protos

Posted On: 12 days ago
Views: 1075

Sean, are you actually implying that a BIS and CHIC number are of the same caliber? I can't help but notice that most of the designations that you mentioned are fundamentally different from the CHIC number because they are all earned, directly of indirectly, through a COMPETITION or SKILL. A CHIC number on the other hand is simply an observation based on screenings which may or may not be made by an expert in the respective field. After all, the only thing required to get the CHIC number is that you pay the money for the screenings and agree to release the results. It would be like paying your entry fee and automatically becoming a champion without even going to the show. In other words, it's a fabricated accolade.

Further, the screenings may not be in date and are not predictive of the most pressing health problems in Great Danes, which I believe is what several people here have pointed out. Now, do not misunderstand me, I'm not against health screening, on the contrary I support it as an informational tool, but I am against an overstatement of its value. This kind of false value will, I believe, only hurt the credibility of health screening in the future.

A CHIC number, or for that matter a Champion of Health award, is not a reason to breed your dog nor is it a conclusive indicator of good health. This is one more example of a disturbing trend which tends to undermine the value placed on aesthetics in our breed. Unfortunately, this is part and parcel with why the breed is no longer a serious contender in high level competition.

Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: 12 days ago
Views: 1086

I missed the directive that stated that any one person was named to decide which well known TITLES were no longer titles. Are you also eliminating "Can. Ch." because it is not an AKC title?

Posted By: Sean

Posted On: 12 days ago
Views: 1097

""A problem I personaly have is people attaching the "CHIC" to the end of the dogs name.""

Is it any different than adding BIS, BISS, CGC, AOM, ROM HOF, Etc, Etc.??? After all none of those are in fact "titles".

Posted By: Dee King

Posted On: 13 days ago
Views: 1118
Health Champion.

Let me preface my comments with the fact.. that I am all for owning, showing and breeding a healthy Dane. I just can't resist adding my 2 cents to this topic.

A new "feel good" award to MAYBE take our minds off the plethora of other problems that run rampant in our breed??

Time and effort better spent in researching to find the genetic markers for problems such as Cancer, Bloat, Wobblers, Mega and etc. Is this too much to ask the GDCA, instead of trying to make a select few scramble to win an award that they can boast about??

This award would have some value...add a couple of dollars with it and it may get you a cup of coffee.


Posted By: Michelle Tessman

Posted On: Jul 14
Views: 1618
Ch of Health

I think there is some resistance to these programs by some because these test are not 100% accurate, nor is the method in which the results are given a scientific method. Various vets reviewing x-rays and giving their professional opinion is not exactly a standardized way of doing things. None of us breed for unhealthy Danes, but I think that these tests should be used as a piece of the puzzle when making your breeding decisions. A problem I personaly have is people attaching the "CHIC" to the end of the dogs name. This in my opinion is not a title that belongs at the end of the name. I viewed the info on the OFA site and there are some great specimens on there, but why so little info on the Ch. of Health program itself? Who is making these decisions on who is nominated and given this title and what makes them qualified to determine this?

I would love one day to open the GDCA website and see the first page say some things about breeder education clinics. I would like to see the GDCA become more involved with affiliate clubs on making these happen. I'm very fortunate to be a member of a club that has education every month (health and breeding), but I know there are some clubs that have none at all.The GDCA has been putting a lot of time into health related programs this year. Are they important? Yes, but don't let other things fall to the side because so much attention is put on one issue. When a new person enters the breed and sees how much stock is put in the health and so little on conformation, it's easy to see how our breed is in the state it's in.
Down the road when conformation has become so bad and there are no line bred dogs or lines that are not mixed color bred to go to, what will the GDCA do to step in and help fix this? This to me as an exhibitor and breeder is important and I think deserves as much if not more attention than CHIC and Ch. For Health.

Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: Jul 14
Views: 1645
Ch. for Health

Previously I wondered why people often said "I don't care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right", but now I have a better idea why. Even though NONE of my questions were answered, my name was misspelled. BTW Scotland is not spelled with 2 "t"s.
I quoted a portion of the message on the web page which said "... OFA will make the final decision as to THE Champion for Health ..." but now it seems inferred that it may be ":one or more".
I try not to assume things but I had assumed it was probably the BOD that would decide on the 3 to 5 to be forwarded & nothing said since then gave any clue other than that assumption. Wouldn't it be a good idea to get people from another breed so that "panel" would be impartial?
Regarding the "Orthopedic Foundation", making the decision, why not just require an OFA excellent? We do use OFA for their Orthopedic reading but prefer other Medical people to rate other "potentials".
If everyone is really looking for Breed Improvement it would be best to stress the viewing (more than once), understanding & following Hazel Gregory's ":Developing A Bloodline.".

Posted By: JP YOUSHA

Posted On: Jul 13
Views: 1735

Since I forwarded this program to the GDCA BOD for consideration (months ago) when it was asked of me at the CHIC Liason _by_Eddie Dzuik (who many know as one of the top breeders and handlers in Beagles, and the architect of this all-breed program which has highlighted so far such greats as "KNotty" and "Sherman"), I can at least answer some of Scott's questions, if not, certainly, speak for the board, the GDCA, and to those committed to criticism of anything that asks more of a dog than a breed win.

It was a choice of the GDCA BOD to not narrow the search to those Danes that are not only CHIC certified, but certified passing, for all such as our Awards Chmn suggested that be a limiting criteria, and of course, for all the CHIC is the desireable criteria arguably, it's not required. That might make the program more palatable to some, but it's a program that many top breeders in many breeds have vigorously pursued, so it's an interesting question why it seems those in Danes are so reluctant to embrace what others have sought out?

I'm out of the fray, so it's not for me to say in any official way, but honestly this seems a rather silly thing to bash, given what one can look to to criticise? And, as Neil O'Sullivan, our current Health & Research Chairman told the board, it's a win, win situation, with no downside? The breed gets $500 a year towards research, one or more top dogs in the breed (that's been the trend after all) get free advertizing, and the parent club acknowledges that the breed is about more than what can be judged in 3 minutes in the ring. And since Dane like ALANA FONTANA and THRILLER are eligible for this award, I cannot really understand this implied notion the best won't be represented. Our breed has recognized such worthies (and their get) on several levels in National competition (and more I didn't name in just randomly chosing a top sire and a Top 20 winner...and there ARE more!)

I'm going to ask Eddie to respond to this as he's more qualified, but I'd also suggest a few who would complain go look at the undeniable quality of the dogs so far recoginzed:

And we could all ask ourselves about how to build rather than tear down the breed? I love, for example Nikki Riggsbee's helpful comments and her challenge to all breeders. Mary Anne's comments about this other current poll are again dead-on: it's skewed as who would limit themselves so? And I'd love to also see more here at Danellinks that positively and in detail discussed what our hallowed breeder exactly do with their litter; why not offer illustrated details that would give that helping hand to those who hunger for the facts of how to breed better Danes?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the internet and these various breed-dedicated websites were a place to turn to and see breeders of true character and recognized success, illustrating with details from photos of pups and parents, to worries about the value of one stud vs. another, to vacillations about this relative merits of this vs. that dog, and the little nightmares about what was going to be forgiven, along with the tale of success or woe...all out here for all to be mentored by? And that's not really off topic is it, as surely all sincere parties here simply HUNGER for better leadership to do breed betterment is what all want, and what all work towards, and so dialogue to that end is the best thing for us all?

Posted By: Scot Billings

Posted On: Jul 13
Views: 1827
"Champion" of Health

The first time I read the info on the GDCA page I only skimmed it but today I read it more carefully. It states: "Nominations will be made to the GDCA and from those 3 to 5 dogs will be forwarded to the OFA for their review. The OFA will make the final decision as to the Champion For Health." & I have a couple of questions on that. First, who in GDCA is deciding which 3 to 5 is being forwarded to OFA? Second is why does an Orthopedic Foundation judge the overall health of a Dane? Actually a third is, how does the awarding "Champion of Health" to ONE (1) Great Dane a year have any bearing on the health of the breed?

Posted By: Mimi Kim

Posted On: Jul 12
Views: 1955
Ch of Health

How much will it cost to to obtain THIS certification? Just curious.

Posted By: Cheryl Cline

Posted On: Jul 10
Views: 2270
Champions of Health

I can just see it now....

The latest ads for the sale of Great Dane puppies by non reputable breeders will be that the parents are "Champions" because they have Champion Health Certificates.

Another Pandora's Box has been opened....

Cheryl Cline

Posted By: anon

Posted On: Jul 10
Views: 2345
Champion of health

Another useless ''program'' ( they are coming by leaps & bounds nowadays) pushed upon us by a minority of the GDCA who neither care or understand what the betterment of the breed is all about.

Posted By: anon

Posted On: Jul 10
Views: 2375
Champion of What????

The "Champion of Health" program seems to be neither. In reading the requirements, as far as I can determine, the dog does not have to be a conformation champion, nor does it have to pass any of the CHIC tests. Does it even have to be alive?

Posted By: Sharron Barney

Posted On: Jul 10
Views: 2383
Ch of Health

Yeah, this really makes me excited. Kind of like when kids play a ball game and both teams win-what is the point? Just one more of these useless certificates.