Judge Comments

Judge Linda Ridder
Best Of Breed

Linda is recovering from surgery and was unable to make the deadline for this feature.  We hope that she is making a speedy recovery.






Judge Jane Treiber

Judging the National is the greatest honor that a breeder judge can have. I would like to thank all the members of the Great Dane Club of America that voted for me and the breeders, owners, and handlers that showed their dogs. The Wigwam Resort was a spectacular site for a National Specialty, and I was so fortunate to be able to judge there. Putt Richards, and his able assistant and wife, Susan, did a great job as Division Chairs and made my stay memorable in every way. Cindy Harwin, show chairman, and all of her committees attended to every detail and worked tirelessly to make the show run smoothly. Thank-you to everyone in the Western Division for all that you did!!!!!!!!!!

I chose to judge the dog classes as I have a special love for male Great Danes. Overall, I found the dogs to have good bites, great temperaments, lovely heads, and much improved rears. Two things that concern me are the number of dogs that are not square. The standard allows for length, but only a little length, in bitches; NOT DOGS. Many Danes still do not have proper shoulder angles and are quite straight. This is a problem with many working breeds, but it is a concern that breeders must constantly strive to improve. A square Dane with a proper front that is in good condition and balanced will move with beautiful reach and drive.

My winner's dog was Highlander PCH It's Not My Fault At Lecheval, owner handled by Chantel Johnson, and he finished his championship. He was also BOW. He came from the Open Mantle class, and I understand that he is the first Mantle to win points at a National. When I look at a male Great Dane, I want to see substance and type. There should be no doubt that the exhibit is a dog. My winners dog was one hundred percent male with a sound front, rear and topline. He is a square dog that has reach and drive.

My reserve dog was Journey's High Hopes Gracyn Lost Creek V Duo from the fawn, 6-9 puppy class. This very young dog shows the promise of a future star. He is beautifully structured and showed very well for a baby. All of the parts are there, and I will be anxious to see what the future holds for this outstanding young dog.

One parting thought regards tails. I know that in our original point system for Danes, tails were only 2 points out of one hundred. However, a tail that is carried over the level of the top line does detract from the beautiful outline of a Dane. I saw many dogs that carry their tails way too high. I am not sure how the breeders will correct this, but I believe it needs to be a consideration in planning future generations.


Judge Margaret Shappard

What an honor and pleasure it was for me to judge bitches at our 2011 National Specialty.

As usual my primary focus was on overall balance and proportion, looking for a strong working dog well- angulated with appropriate reach and drive. And of course who in our breed doesn't appreciate a beautifully rectangular head with parallel planes, a strongly pronounced stop, and correctly set ears?

Since this interview is meant as a "review", I must say that I feel our breeders should continue to focus on improving our shoulder assemblies, hard/level backs, and full dentition.

That being said, I was very pleased with the overall quality of our winners bitch class; I saw so many really good bitches , but we are permitted to reward only one with points. In my opinion many of these bitches, if bred correctly, have a great deal to offer the future of our breed.

Thank you again for honoring me with the entry of your bitches - it was certainly a highlight of my many years in Dane's.

Last, but certainly not least, kudos to the Western Division for a job really well done ! The site was wonderful, events well run, and the hospitality couldn't be beat. And the AOM goes to Grady...who seemed to be everywhere, doing most anything ! Who knew that ping pong balls could be so much fun (and w/o a table) ! My personal thanks to Cindy Harwin, Susan Richards, and my room-mate Susan Yotive, whose assignment was to keep me out of trouble.

Before completing this "review" I want to let all of you know that I have had occasion to speak with Alice Bonne (a friend of many years), and she is doing much better. As most of you are aware, Alice was initially scheduled to judge bitches at our National this year. Compelling health issues forced her to decline this assignment. I was contacted, as per the GDCA policy re. the vote of our membership, and was honored to accept in her stead. I am most gratified to let you know that Alice is on the mend and looking forward to a full recovery.



Jose Ribo
Futurity Dogs

We are currently awaiting for Jose's Comments and will post as soon as we receive them









Judge Kathy Toomey
Futurity Bitches

I have had the honor of judging the Futurity twice. This time I judged Bitches and Best Junior. The overall depth of quality and breed type was excellent.

Many beautiful typey puppies were not advanced or placed due to the fact that they appeared to be in growth stages which made them either high in rear or soft in topline. These puppies who may have been left out of the ribbons on the day of the Futurity will most likely mature into beautiful danes and finish quickly.

Breed type seems to be strong and general soundness good. Three concerns for the future of the breed and for breeders to keep in mind are: 1) eye shape, size and placement. Eyes should be almond shaped, tight and placed on the head to enhance expression. 2) bites. I had several puppies with beautiful heads who had level bites, 2 undershot bites and one extremely overshot bite and 3) front assembly which remains an ongoing issue and affects front movement and neck set and shoulder placement and leads to lack of balance.

Both my Best Puppy Bitch and my Best Junior Bitch/Best Junior were excellent examples of breed type, showmanship and profile. When I judge I look first at the profile of the animal. I feel that a beautiful correct profile is one of the most important things one can bring to the ring and to the whelping box. Each of these bitches as well as my Reserves and Best Junior Dog had beautiful profiles.

Best puppy bitch, #284, Naples San Roque Dana Honolulu Lulu had an excellent head and beautiful showy attitude. I predict that she will have an exceptional show career and be an asset to her owners and breeders. Reserve puppy bitch, #202, Saul’s Tesla Aurea at Enzodane presented a compact tight package. She was lovely coming, going and going around. She, too, had an exceptionally nice headpiece. Best junior bitch, #364, Runway’s Dream Come True VBD, could not be denied. She was smooth from head to tail and stood true when stacked. Again, a beautiful headpiece and showy attitude. Another who should do very well for her owners/breeders. Reserve junior bitch, #378, Moon River’s I Feel Pretty, exemplified breed type and was very very pretty on the day I judged her. Clean correct headpiece and beautiful overall appearance.

Sincere thanks to the Western Division for an outstanding job and to those who entered their puppies for me to evaluate. It was an honor and a privilege to be selected.

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