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.
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!
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.
Down to three puppies…it seems so quiet! The only time it would ever seem easy to have three puppies is when you’re down from nine!
Dickens does not get picked up for a little bit yet, but he is having a camp over with a friend, for extra socialization. Here at home we have Gigi, Charlie and Heidi. Charlie and Heidi are still looking for their perfect homes. Such sweet babies! They already know “kennel up” and are doing amazing with potty training. We’ve been taking trips to the park and around town, to get some car ride time, check out new places and meet new people.
Charlie is usually the first puppy to crash. He will climb into their shared crate and start napping. Gigi follows him in, although Heidi would much prefer a lap for snuggling.