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Old 12-08-2002, 05:23 AM
littlethyme littlethyme is offline
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Default American versus European.

Hello,
Me again. I know I'm new here, but I have a question that might trigger a small debate. I've been involved with rotties for over eleven years, and I went through the questions that any rottie person hates,"Is it(the rottie) an American or a German rottie?" Or," with that blocky head it must be a German bred dog." Then I would have to explain that my dog came from American champions. That she is the difference between a well bred dog and what the average byb offered. To make a long story short, they were full of shookey to think only a German rottie could be big and beautiful.

My posting concerns why is there such a difference between the way American Danes and European Danes look. The pictures from Germany, Holland, and even Italy is almost apples to oranges!

I've always loved the mastiff working type dogs, and I consider the rottie and dane in that catagory, and was amazed at the difference. Why do you (the board) think that the looks have changed from one continent to another?

I e-mailed a couple of breeders in Europe to get their thoughts. One breeder from Germany quoted, "Form follows function, and Americans have took a beautiful working dog and turned 'him' into a dog without his true nature. American dane look like greyhounds, not the boar-hunter of ancient Germany." I wanted to get your thoughts.

=Crystal=

;) ;)
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2002, 01:45 PM
MuchAdo MuchAdo is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

Hi! You have some very good questions.

There is very little difference between the standards of the AKC Great Dane and the Euro Great Dane. What has happened is that different qualities have become valued. American breeders love a beautiful dog, a tall and elegant aristocrat. We also tend to put a lot of value on the most striking "outline"--when the dog is stacked broadside, how does it look? We will sacrifice width, bone, and substance for that perfect outline. We are also obsessed with heads, but again the outline is the key; long foreface, lots of lip but no flew (the crease downward at the back of the mouth), tight skin on the rest of the head.

European breeders--and this really applies more to southern Europe; if you look in Scandanavia the dogs are very similar to the US--look more to the sense of the Mollosser in the dog (Danes are in the mastiff group there). They are extremely concerned with head, but they want a strong head with lots of stop and lip, don't mind flews, and won't accept a dog with a narrow head (they also want really heavy masking on fawns and brindles). They are far more concerned with strength, width, bone, substance, and the appearance of the dog from the front or from a three-quarter profile, so the dog shows off his or her width and muscling. They are willing to sacrifice outline--if American Danes can be criticized (and they can) for forgetting that the Dane is supposed to be able to take down a boar, the southern Europeans can be criticized for forgetting that the dog doesn't end at the waist. Toplines, croups, and rears are a huge problem there. They also often lack the "style" that Americans love, with their huge messy heads and "wet" throats (lots of extra skin).

I should mention that the above is a generalization--there are very strong US Danes and there are Euro Danes that are strong enough to win there and also have enough style to win here

It's really all a matter of priorities, what has become desirable in both areas and, perhaps more importantly, what each group is willing to sacrifice in terms of breeding priorities.

Joanna Kimball
Much Ado Danes
muchadodanes@direcway.com
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Old 12-08-2002, 02:22 PM
littlethyme littlethyme is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

Thanks Joanna,
I appreciate your inputs and help me understand why there is such a difference in types. In a way the German breeder was right, " form does follow function" It just happens that on two contintents the functions have changed and the Danes form has been taliored to fit the needs of each.

Thanks again!
=Crystal=
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Old 12-08-2002, 04:17 PM
dina dina is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

"Form follows
>function, and Americans have took a beautiful working dog
>and turned 'him' into a dog without his true nature.
>American dane look like greyhounds, not the boar-hunter of
>ancient Germany."

Thats a very interesting comment considering the ancient boar hunter (dogs who were actually used to hunt boar in the 1600's) didn't look much like todays american OR german danes. And the headpeices definitely didn't look like the german ones <G>. Jp used to have a great article on her website called the romance of the boarhunter which had a picture of the proto-dane, but it seems to have poofed. LizK's dane history page has lots of pictures of early danes, however;
http://home.earthlink.net/~elizabethk/


Dina
Scoobie, Rosie, & Gui
Gui's page
http://www.flash.net/~dby/Guidon.htm








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Old 12-08-2002, 08:40 PM
MuchAdo MuchAdo is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

>Thanks Joanna,
>I appreciate your inputs and help me understand why there is
>such a difference in types. In a way the German breeder was
>right, " form does follow function" It just happens that on
>two contintents the functions have changed and the Danes
>form has been taliored to fit the needs of each.

Form does follow function, but neither continent is really using Danes to get boars--if we did, the breed would probably look more like the proto-Dane in the old pictures, basically a very tall "pit"-type dog with very little lip and a broad backskull to hinge big lower jaws on. Don't let any breeder tell you that the extreme Euro Dane could take a boar any better than the US Danes could--the European dogs are bred so much heavier than they were 100 years ago that they could never make the extended chase in the hunt. The real difference between Euro and American Danes is one of breeding preference, not of differing functions.

Function in modern breeding of Danes, who no longer have a "job," should recall the boarhunting days--we should absolutely be breeding away from the narrow jaws, straight fronts, and fine boning that can so easily take over once "elegance" becomes a priority--but the real function is living as long and as healthy a life as possible. When you look at a dog from that point of view, you start breeding for a wide, deep chest (to provide lung capacity), a short, strong back (to prevent breakdowns in later life), as sound a front and back as you can (a dog with cowhocks or overangulation is going to be less likely to be able to stand up at age ten), an arched neck (straight or ewe necks are structurally weaker), and so on. If that is the function that guards our form, the rest (lip, stop, color, and so on) can all be acceptable variations in preference and style.

Joanna Kimball
Much Ado Danes
Muchadodanes@direcway.com
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Old 12-09-2002, 05:00 AM
littlethyme littlethyme is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

missed my point. I wasn't saying that the euro dane COULD take a boar any better than an American bred dog. The point with the 'form follows function' was intend as a point that on the two contintents they have there is two differing ideas of what a dane should look like. Here the function is a more refined,sleek dog; and there a heavier, more substanial dog is preferred.

There is still some dogs that fit their working histories, but in truth I don't believe I would have wanted to own dog like the "ol'time" dane. A true hunting dog, coonhounds, foxhounds, etc; has such a high prey drive they don't much great pets.
=crystal=
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Old 12-09-2002, 05:21 AM
littlethyme littlethyme is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

Dina,
the quoted,"form follows function..." was stated to me by a German breeder from Hamburg. He does believe his dogs are closer to what a dane should look like. He's bred his dogs (he stated) for 40 yrs, and there before you even think of breeding animals they have to be shown, examined, and tested to insure that quality animals are producing pups. I don't know about other Euro countries, but in Germany they don't have many of the same problems(unwanted pets, etc) that we see here. They have even banned breeding two Harley danes because of the MM genes increasing the possibility of blind and/or deaf puppies. Of course, I such there are unethical breeders there, they call them multiplers, but because of the guidelines set down by the government it is lessened.
=crystal=
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Old 12-09-2002, 05:37 AM
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Default RE: American versus European.

As far as unwanted pets there, they also still cull so you can only have so many pups in a litter. As bad as the unwanted pet situation here is in the US we don't want the government involved in our breeding programs.
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Old 12-09-2002, 06:23 AM
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Default RE: American versus European.

In Germany, I thought it was breed club regulation, not government -- that is, if you wanted to register the litter, you had to follow the rules for breeding, culling, etc. In any event, certainly agree about the government involvement!

mp
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Old 12-09-2002, 07:13 AM
littlethyme littlethyme is offline
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Default RE: American versus European.

this might start a fire storm, but here it goes. The government is involve when it comes to pets. ever hear of th USDA? Many of the puppymills are registered with them. There is guidelines by which some breeders, unethcial as it is, will become licensed to sell animals to research lab. So, please don't think they are not involved. They may not be walking the show rings and telling breeders how many puppies they can have in a litter, but they help fund the humane societies that get millions of pets each year that have to be destroyed because there isn't enough home, not to mention the society we live in is a throw away society. If it isn't a prefect fit into the home it's given away, or threw away, or the worse phase in the english language,"gotten rid of".
As far as culling, it has it's place. The guidelines in Germany is in place to prevent cruelty. By saying that dane owners can't breed 2 harleys they reduce deaf and or blind pups. No cropping/docking. I don't know about you but I agree with that, both of my danes are natural, and most of the ads I've read states "natural" . They are stating to obvious, if you breed the extremes of dogdom you will get in some instances reasons why there should be culling. If there is a severely handicapped puppy, ex no eyes, missing limbs,deaf and blind. Are you, if you are a breeder, going to keep this pup? In a perfect world most would argue that they would adopt out this pup, but what if that isn't an option? What then?
Maybe, if the government did take a stand, ex institute a tax for unlicensed, unaltered pets, that MAYBE millions of pets wouldn't have to die in abusive homes, on the road, and even in shelters. More people would become educated before they threw Fluffy and Jack to gether to have puppies so the kids could see the "miracle of life". If they what to educate the kids take them to a shelter to see all the older pets, and THEN take them to a rescue to see what's been "gotten rid of".

I'll get off my soap box now, but please don't think the government isn't involved in the pet-animal trade. AND maybe, a heavier government hand would be a help to educate the bybs out there.
=crystal=
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