Good show weekend!

Had a great weekend at the AKC Council Bluff’s all-breed dog show last weekend. Bing went Winners Dog, Best of Winners, Owner Handler Best of Breed, and then an Owner Handler Group 3 on Saturday. Bosley made his show ring debut in the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy, earning a Puppy Group 2 on Saturday. On Sunday, Nash earned his first point going Winners Dog, Best of Winners, Owner Handler Best of Breed, and then an Owner Handler Group 1!

Nash showing off his Owner Handler Group 1 rosette.
Cell-phone shot of Bing in the ring

Curious about what those accomplishments mean? Check out The Road to Best In Show, published on the AKC website for an explanation of Winners Dog and Best of Winners. The 4-6 Month Puppy competition is a non-point event (dogs do not earn points towards their AKC championship until they are 6 months old). Owner Handler means exactly that – the person handling the dog is not a professional handler. For more information, check out National Owner Handler Series.

New titles!

Bing and Nash both picked up their CA (Coursing Ability) titles in September. If you have never been to a lure coursing event, I highly recommend checking one out! It was great fun…the people were fantastic, the dogs loved the run, and it was beyond awesome to see the dogs give it their all.

Some pictures from that weekend:

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.

Des Moines Dog Show

Always enjoy our Dane club’s shows.  We had a great turn out this year.  Gigi picked up a reserve win one day of the show, but no points.

Some pictures from the weekend:

Senior Great Dane
Kizzy at 8 1/2 years old in the Parade of Veterans – she still looks great!

Neil with Gigi

Neil with Gigi

Gigi (on left) and Heidi – sisters from our Kizzy x Fender litter

My sons with Gigi and Heidi

Gigi at handling class & other pictures

Gigi has been playing show-dog-in-training at handling classes lately.  Couple snaps from a recent class:

Waiting patiently

Gigi working with a friend. We take turns handling each others dogs, to get the dogs comfortable working with other people.

And, later that night, Kizzy showing how she patiently waits for dinner!

A sweet picture from when Oden (Gigi’s brother) recently stayed with us while his human mom was traveling:

Oden on his back, relaxing with his mom and sister.

Gigi’s First Dog Show

Fun way to start Gigi’s show career!  A nice Best in Match win at the Puppy Derby.

Mantle Great Dane showing
Gigi winning Best in Match at the Illini Great Dane Club Puppy Derby

showing mantle great dane
Winning her class in Sweepstakes at the Illini Great Dane Club Specialty.

family of mantle great danes
Family picture! L-R: Kizzy (mom) and litter mates: Oden, Izzy, and Gigi. Puppies are just shy of 9 months and Kizzy is almost 7 years old.