Merles getting closer to being shown!

The Great Dane Club of America is working on revising the breed standard.  One of the biggest pieces to the revisions is the addition of the color merle.  This means that, hopefully in the near future, merles will be in the show ring!

Harlequin breeders have long realized that merles are part and parcel of the harlequin breeding program.  We love our merles.

Why is the addition of merles so exciting?  To understand that, one must first understand the importance of the merle gene in the harlequin world.  In order to produce a harlequin (over simplified explanation), we must have one copy of the merle gene, along with a harlequin modifier gene.

That means, we need the merle gene to produce a harlequin.  This also means that even when breeding two show-marked dogs together, right now, we always have the potential to produce non-showable puppies.  This is problematic to harl breeders because we cannot pick the best puppy in our litter…we have to pick the best show marked puppy.  We might be placing a better puppy in a pet home, merely because of their color.  This removes wonderful dogs from the gene pool.

When merles can be shown, harlequin breeders have much better odds of producing an all show-marked litter, allowing them to pick the best puppy overall.  Not just the best pup of a certain color.  There are still some harl family colors that cannot be shown (like pie-balds, whites, “merliquins”, etc.).

The newest revision, presented at the general membership meeting at the Great Dane Club of America National Specialty, has some great wording, making patterns and markings less important than structure and breed type.

The GDCA Standards committee is doing a wonderful job writing up changes and listening to the membership’s feedback.  They have went through multiple revisions and I think we are getting very close to a final version.

New Stacked Pictures

With Oden and his owner moving out of state, we had motivation to get some new stacked pictures before they left.  Got pictures of the girls, too!

Kizzy at 9 years old – still looking fabulous!

Oden at 3 years old

Gigi at 3 years old

 

Pet Expo & Play Time Pics

We had great fun representing the Central Iowa Kennel Club at the Great Iowa Pet Expo!

responsible breeder great dane

well bred great danesThe Des Moines Register took some photographs and of the 13 they published, 2 of them were of Heidi and Gigi!

Screen grab of the Des Moines Register image. Heidi on her back, soaking up the attention!

Screen grab of Des Moines Register image. Gigi getting a pat on the head.

Some recent pictures of play time at our place..

The teeth! This pic cracks me up! All three dogs (Gigi is behind Heidi, who is in the middle). Kizzy’s lips flapping in the wind.

Love Gigi’s play bow. Sometimes they look and sound so ferocious while playing.

Kizzy has always played by going after the back legs of the other dog. And she passed this “trick” onto her offspring as well.

Hot pursuit!

Simple Way to Support Great Danes

The Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust supports Great Dane welfare and rescue efforts, educational programs, Scholarship Programs for junior handlers, initiatives to create great awareness of breed-specific health problems and medical research efforts to improve the quality of life of the Great Dane.

An easy way to support the Charitable Trust is when shopping on Amazon, simply access the normal Amazon website via this link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-4436942.  The Smile program contributes 0.5% of sales through that link to the registered charitable organization.  It’s as easy as that!  Once you log on through that link, you can shop like normal, knowing that you are making a contribution for our breed at the same time!

Fun at the Great Iowa Pet Expo

Gigi and I volunteered at the Central Iowa Kennel Club’s booth at the Great Iowa Pet Expo this past weekend.  The kennel club was there with a mission for education about responsible dog ownership and responsible breeding.  Lots of fun!  Gigi loved all the new doggy friends she made.

Great Dane responsible breeder

Central Iowa Kennel Club booth and volunteers

 

Gigi, adoring Tiana. The well groomed Standard Poodle is “Piper”. She was there for Tiana to show off her awesome grooming skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy Toenails

Keeping your dog’s nails neatly trimmed not only looks nice, it also is less stress on the dog’s foot.  No long nails to splay the feet out.  No long nails to jab into your foot either!

We start when they are just babies, getting them used to getting the nails trimmed and also keeping the quick nice and short.

Having nine puppies means LOTS of nails to trim.  I use a Dremel to grind the nails, which keeps them nice and smooth.  For more detail, check out this old post.

grinding dog nails

Kizzy is in a commercial!

Kizzy is a star! We filmed a commercial for Mediacom yesterday. Quite the fun experience. It was filmed in front of a giant green screen and Kizzy’s “acting” consisted of a sit-stay, with the actress holding her leash, and then a recall. She comes running, with the actress attached and flying along with her. (I don’t think the actress feigned the struggle to hold her on that first take!)

She was a hit with the production crew. She was such a good girl – so many people, cameras, lights, equipment and craziness and she took it all in stride.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so my only snaps were on my phone. 🙁 Here she is in front of the production studio’s sign:

Mantle Great Dane commercial
and waiting as patiently as possibly until the crew is ready for her part:
Mantle Great Dane commercial
Sounds like it will be several weeks before the commercial will be on TV.  I am supposed to get a digital copy and will post when I receive it.

Sad News

With tears in my eyes, I’m sharing that today we lost our Skyy – Ch Payaso Flighty Star Alliance RN CGC CHIC – to pyometra.  We had discovered a large hemangiosarcoma on her spleen in April, so I’m thankful for the great last six months we’ve had with her.  She was such a sweet, happy girl.  She was loved.  RIP, Sweetheart.  1/6/04-10/4/11

Harlequin Great Dane

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