I wasn’t able to get to the Great Dane National this year in Lancaster, PA, but I reveled in all the Facebook posts and pics that people there shared as the action went on. I was one of those eagerly waiting for results to be posted, and cheered on my favorites from afar.
One interesting development this year was the number of natural-eared pups showing in futurity. For those who don’t know about it, futurity is a separate competition for pups nominated during the previous year by their breeders. The breeder pays a fee to nominate a litter, and if the dog shows and wins, they take home a cash prize based on the number of dogs in futurity competition and those nominated. Essentially, the breeders are saying: we think these particular pups represent the best of our lines to date and are most representative of our Great Dane standard.
The futurity puppies are the upcoming best and brightest in our breed. So I was really pleased at the number of breeders and owners, across the color spectrum, who are opting to leave their pups uncropped. They believe those beautiful heads and bodies can compete without the cosmetic surgery. Here’s a photo of a fawn competitor wearing the ears she was born with. (Thanks to Debi Romerosa, photographer.)