DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 12/09/02


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– The 2002 Eu-DDC Champion –

December 9, 2002 – This week's Great Dane portrait features "Aurora's Hope Aida," the 2002 European-DDC (Europaischer Deutscher Doggen Club) Best in Show champion. I met Aida and her owner/breeder, Erika Balogh, at the 2002 Euro Dog show last month in France. Aida is a two-year-old brindle from Méherzugi Kennel in Budapest, Hungary. It was quite a win for Aida, because the Eu-DDC is an important international organization consisting of 12 National Great Dane Clubs from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Hungary. If you are a Great Dane from Central Europe, this is the show to win!

A follow-up...
For the past couple of weeks we've been discussing the Euro Dog 2002 all-breed show that was held in Paris, France. (If you missed the discussion, please check the DaDane of DaWeek archives.) Our Finnish exhibitor wrote me back to emphasize the fact that double handling is virtually nonexistent in Scandinavian shows. She says she has never seen it, so if it exists at all, it must be very subtle.

A Danish breeder/exhibitor had this to say about the shows in Denmark:

"Reading all this about the differences in Great Dane shows in the States and in Central Europe, I just have to let you know how things are in Denmark. I fully agree with the Finnish person that the Scandinavian GD is more like the American. Moving further down toward Germany and the Netherlands, they get more Mastiff-like.

In Denmark it's not allowed to handle outside the ring while your dog is inside. This is allowed in Germany and further south in Europe. The shows in these parts are not so stuffy, and one thing is better than in Denmark – the different color variants compete only with its own color. Here in Denmark all colors compete with each other. It seems like it's hard for the judges to ignore this and they favour their own preferred color.

My husband and I prefer mostly German and Dutch Great Danes since we find that most of them have a fair heavy substance, good lips (which most American Danes lack) and very noble heads. But some could have more height, which your GDs have. We have seen on more and more web sites in the United States that a larger number of European dogs are being imported so your GD can get some substance. Over here we are also getting more and more American lines. We're looking forward to seeing the outcome of all of this.

My overall view is that the front ends of the Central European Danes can be quite impressive, but the back ends tend to be weak and less sound. On the other hand, I feel many American breeders have gone too far to the extreme in breeding a light, angular, 'typey' Dane which doesn't much resemble it's original Germanic roots. I feel that many Central European Danes are too coarse in appearance (head) for my taste, and I am glad to see some exchanges taking place because perhaps a better Dane may evolve."

The uncropped Dane
AidaSeveral people inquired about the large number of uncropped Danes present at Euro Dog 2002. They wanted to know how common this is in Europe. The short answer is VERY. In fact, cropped ears are becoming increasingly uncommon as time goes on. Ear cropping was first banned in Great Britain back in the late 1800's. In recent decades Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland have banned cosmetic ear cropping. (Many have banned tail docking as well.) Farther away, Australia and New Zealand enforce the same restrictions. Clearly the international community is moving away from ear cropping, even though it remains very strong here in the States. I would love to compile a list of countries that ban cropping and countries that permit cropping. I think it would be an interesting project. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any comprehensive data for this topic online.

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