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.

Sad News

We lost our sweet Gigi in August. Took her in for a spay and she had post surgery complications.  She was only three years old.

Flighty Foto Domino – Gigi 6/25/14-8/8/17

Gigi (in front) with Kizzy and Oliver (cat)

Upside down Gigi with her mom, Kizzy

Gigi with Oliver

Through the screen door

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

 

Blood in a raw diet

On my last trip to pick up meat for my dogs, I was chatting with the lady at Big Dan’s Trucking and Dog Food.  She mentioned that she had recently gotten a complaint on, what that customer felt, was the excessive bloodiness of their beef.

It threw me for a bit of a loop as it never dawned on me someone would be unhappy about that.  Their beef is “excessively” bloody for a couple main reasons:

  • It is very fresh.  Often the beef I’m taking home on a Friday was a live cow that previous Monday.
  • Perspective.  The beef to which most of us are accustomed, typically has some sort of packaging to absorb blood.

As someone who has been feeding raw for many years, I admit, I am a bit desensitized to the blood.  But, I know that many who are first starting raw have to overcome a certain “ew” factor.

I like the bloodier meat as it makes it easier to mix in anything I want to add to the food.  In the case of the beef, I have to add bone meal powder, so I typically pour a little blood into each dog’s bowl.

The blood is also good for the dog to consume as blood itself is a quality source of animal protein.

The only time I discard the extra blood is if the meat is starting to get a little….well, ripe. 🙂  The blood is what gets the worst odor, so if you drain the blood off (and rinse the meat if you’re working with RBM’s), you get rid of most of the gross odor.

Ground beef

 

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!

Long hikes, play time and pictures

Deliquent on updating pictures here, but have enjoyed lots of activities lately with the dogs.

Long hikes:

Hiking with Danes

Gigi and Heidi

Heidi and Gigi

Play time with all three girls and our best Cocker Spaniel buddy, Walter:

Gigi and Walter

Before the water fun, we explored Ledges State Park:

L-R: Kizzy, Heidi, Gigi

Photo session fun:

Great Dane generations

Kizzy at 8 1/2 years old; Heidi (standing) and Gigi at 2 years old

Immediately following that picture:

The chase is on!

Kizzy still has it!

Gigi

Heidi

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