Due to the number of dogs this year the slide show is very large so it may take a moment to load. 
While you wait you can scroll down and read comments from the judges.
2009 National Specialty
Judges Comments

Clare Lincoln                                              
Best Of Breed

I had a wonderful but very difficult job to do, judging so many worthy dogs and bitches from which to choose for the top honors and Awards of Merit, but truly enjoyed the job and the honor given to me by fellow exhibitors -- where else could your way be paid to spend the day doing one of the things you enjoy most, looking at and having a "hands on experience" with the most beautiful dogs of a breed you love ! Thanks to all, and especially to the hard working group of people who put on this National and who also extended great hospitality not only to me but to all the exhibitors.
I also have to express my gratitude to Eddie Lyons whose idea about how to presort and group the dogs and bitches PRIOR to the morning of BOB judging which was brought to my attention by Lisa deRoulet early enough to work with the Division Chair Dave Miller and Show Chair Willie Crawford who followed through with AKC's permission to pre group the dogs and bitches for judging by the Superintendent. This was truly a "life saver" as due to such a large entry of bitches, judging had to be extended into Saturday, making a very late start (12 noon) for judging Jr Showmanship, the large BOB competition, and Best Puppy, Best BBE, Best Veteran, and Brace competition. Thanks to all the assistance from the good Ring Steward and her assistants I was able to finish the assignment in a timely fashion.
On the whole I must say that I was very pleased with the quality of both dogs and bitches exhibited. I found very few dogs with incorrect bites, and movement in general was good. In fact I could have used a few more Award of Merits. I regretted having to excuse some of the very worthy dogs without one.
I would say, though, that I saw some males a bit longer in the body in proportion to height which detracted from their balance, and some fronts in both sexes that needed better angulation.
My BOB winning male, "Gable", is an exceptionally good example of the Breed with great balance, well proportioned, length of body to shoulder height with good shoulder and rear angulation - a square dog. His head and expression is a good example of our standard which denotes correct type, and his length of neck and neck placement are also correct to our standard. Because he is "made well" he also moves well.
My BOS bitch, "Eva", is also a lovely, typey example of our breed with a lovely head who also moves well. She was in wonderful condition for just having had a recent litter, and is still a great showgirl.
My BOW was a male puppy who I found out later was sired by the BOB winner. He had a lovely, well proportioned head with a very balanced body and a great attitude. He should do well in coming shows.
Thanks to all for a delightful if exhausting weekend, but one I thoroughly enjoyed.  


Warren Benoit

It was a thrill to be selected by the GDCA membership to judge the 2009 National as most certainly it was something I had hoped to do in my lifetime.
There was an impressive level of quality in the Dog exhibits which created a challenge for me to select only four placements in each class. I appreciate all the entrants who showed to me many of whom of have known for years, many whom I have never seen before, all of which made my experience even more memorable. All of the Dogs behaved cordially to me for examination and I was very proud to see the quality of the specimens shown at this year's National.

I was very happy so many folks came up to me after judging to thank me and I regret I could not share more time conversing with them but digital technology simply placed my image in the win pictures without allowing me a chance to share the traditional meet-and-greet while doing photographs.


Susan Yotive

What a wonderful week! Thank you all for the honor and privilege of a lifetime. Special thanks to all the members of the Southeast Division for hosting such great National. The site was fantastic. I had an incredible time touring the trains, the gardens, the shops and sitting in the lobby imagining what it was like – back in the day.

Now to the bitches. The puppy bitches are like candy, so sweet and full of promise. You certainly didn’t disappoint me, as has been said many times before, I wish I could have given out more ribbons. As I worked through the classes, I was so impressed with the quality in all the classes. I had my hands on countless great bitches, many I would have taken home. My winners class was beautiful. I was captivated with the Bred By, the Open Blue, and the Open Fawn and charmed with the 6-9 Harlequin and Fawn. My winner, the Open Fawn was flawless, she never stopped asking for it. My Reserve the lovely Black from the Bred By- a stunning bitch.

Thank you to all the exhibitors who brought me their lovely Brood Bitches. This class was especially a source of pleasure, although the sheer numbers were a tad overwhelming at first. They were all wonderful and a true tribute to how hard we are working to improve our Danes.

It was an amazing week, spent in the company of great friends, surrounded by the greatest dog in the world.


Jane Chopson         
Futurity Dogs

Let me begin by saying what an honor it was to have been selected as one of the two 2009 Great Dane Club of America Futurity judges. The opportunity to judge the finest young dogs our breed has to offer is truly a memorable one. The night before judging began the other selected judge, Mary Anne Zanatos and I drew straws to determine our assignments for the coming two days. It was determined that I would do dogs and Intersex and that Mary Anne would do bitches.

The next day at 7:00 AM my first group of 3 to 5 month Puppy dogs entered the ring. The first dog in line was a beautiful Fawn puppy. He had proper proportion, a good head with a beautiful expression, was good on his legs and showed like a seasoned competitor. In addition he had a special something about him that said I am here to win. His handler Linda Cain managed her young charge beautifully. He was bred by Marshall Stoner and Karen McCance and owned by Jerry Kerr. He is sired by Ch Elan’s Command Decision Reimroc and out of Ch Gracyn’s Ester V Lost Creek. He was Gracyn’s Valiant Warrior V Lost Creek. I am spending so much time talking about the first dog to set foot in the ring because he also was the last one in the ring after two days and hundreds of puppies judged. He was the eventual Best in Futurity winner. He began his journey by winning the 3 to 5 month dog class. Although he was pressed by a litter brother Gracyn’s Listen to the Whisper V Lost Creek who had he been more cooperative on the leash might have bested his brother. The 5 to 7 dog class was won by a beautiful headed Brindle dog Pinnacle Taken by Storm V Avant Weaver. The 7 to 9 month class was won by a very promising young Harlequin male LN’M Go Ahead Make my Day. The 9 to 12 Puppy Dog class was won by a handsome young Fawn Wyne-Sandale Turning Back the Time. It is interesting to note that both the 5 to 7 and the 9 to 12 winners were sired by frozen semen from dogs long gone but still making their presence felt. The 3 to 5 month Puppy was selected Best Puppy dog and his brother was selected as Reserve Puppy dog.

The 12 to 15 Puppy dog class was won by another offering from the Stoner/McCance collaboration. He was Ch.Gracyn’s He Will Reign Lost Creek. The 15 to 18 month class was captured by a handsome Harlequin DRD’S The Revelation. The Harlequin Revelation emerged as Best Junior dog. Reserve Junior dog was 12 to 15 month class winner.
When it came time for intersex judging the Best puppy dog Valiant Warrior was joined in the ring with his lovely Fawn half sister Hi –Air MJM Cherokee Maiden. Although it was a close decision, as both puppies were really outstanding youngsters, the Puppy dog emerged the eventual winner. The Best Junior competition brought together the aforementioned Harlequin dog DRD’S The Revelation with a beautiful Fawn Best Junior bitch from the 12 to 15 class Gracyn’s Tell Me Secrets V Lost Creek. The Harlequin was the winner of this tightly contested competition.

The Best Puppy and Best Junior then entered the ring for the final selection of the Great Dane Club of America 2009 Best in Futurity. From an entry of 361 only two were left. Both dogs performed with a presence well beyond their tender years. However on that day the Puppy dog was not to be denied.

In closing I would like to thank the exhibitors for providing me with so many quality animals to choose from. The temperaments were almost universally stable and the condition of the dogs was consistently as it should be. There were a number of beautiful heads and some very sound and balanced dogs. Fronts continue to be a challenge in our breed but a number of youngsters’s possessed good angle with proper placement and moved well coming at you. When the Futurity winner Gracyn’s Valiant Warrior V Lost Creek was paraded around the ring prior to the Top 20 event several nights later you could almost hear him saying told you I was here to win.
                   Again thank you for the honor. Jane Chopson


Mary Anne Zanetos
Futurity Bitches

First, let me say how pleased and honored I was to be asked to judge the Futurity. Such recognition by one’s peers is an awesome compliment, but also a daunting challenge-- to be able to meet the high expectations of breeders and owners who’ve waited an entire year to showcase their most promising show prospects. 

It speaks volumes about the confidence and commitment of Great Dane breeders that, despite the economy, the 2009 GDCA Futurity attracted the highest entry in recent history: 161 male and 200 bitch puppies! 

Assignments were drawn at the Welcome Party the night before the Futurity. My fellow judge, Jane Chopson, judged males and Intersex and I judged the bitches. Jane began her assignment at 7:00 a.m. on Monday. I got to relax in my room while she made her way through the puppy dog classes.

The show building and ring were spacious and quite comfortable for puppies and spectators alike. My ring stewards, Lynn Moser and Jan Brungard, did a fantastic job keeping track of armband numbers, division changes, and getting the puppies in and out of the ring in an efficient manner, thus allowing me to concentrate solely on judging. They were a real pleasure.    

I had made a point all year not to look at puppies or attend shows so I would see my Futurity puppies for the first at the event. As my first division of 3-5 month bitches entered the ring, I knew immediately I was not going to be disappointed in the quality of the entry. There were several puppies in that age group that would rival any Best in Futurity winners. So I was off to a good start.

Rather than discuss individual puppies, I’d prefer to comment on general trends. The depth of quality in most of the classes was such that there were many more puppies deserving of ribbons than I was able to award. There were puppies of outstanding quality from all regions of the US and of all colors, although there were fewer AOAC’s entered than I expected. Several natural-eared puppies and juniors impressed me very much with their beautiful outlines and highly skilled presentation. It’s worth noting that huge entry, I didn’t have a single Great Dane who looked out of place as a show dog. Several young handlers presented their dogs as well as any professional, and with a subtle hand which kept their puppies calm and happy, but in good control.

I saw many absolutely gorgeous heads…and most importantly, bodies and temperaments to match. I was impressed by the poise and ring presence of so many of the puppies. Their breeders have done a wonderful job in preparing them, not only for the Futurity, but for a bright future. Although I make a point of going over dogs gently, I did not have a single exhibit I could not examine or whose behavior made it such that I could not fairly evaluate its conformation and gait. I believe this is much improved from years past. Although I had many pups with missing teeth, in part due to their age, I had only one puppy with a serious bite problem.

All of my class winners are very promising young dogs, any of whom I’d be proud to own or to have bred. My Best Puppy Bitch, Hi-Air MJM Cherokee Maiden, and Best Junior Bitch, Gracyn’s Tell Me Secrets v. Lost Creek, possess outstanding beauty, breed type, attitude and movement. They are truly exceptional examples of what breeders strive for.

I thoroughly enjoyed judging the Futurity. The future looks very bright indeed!

Great Dane Review would to thank the Judges for taking the time to share their experiences with us and the owners of the dogs for making this years slide show so successful.