Great Dane Society of QLD Inc

Introducing - Our Championship Show Judge

2024 Championship Specialty

Great Dane Specialist Breed Judge 

50th Anniversary Show - 8th June 2024

Mrs  Judy Harrington  (BIO)

I live in Massachusetts and enjoy many things outside of dogs. Most sporting events, gardening, cycling recently with some friends that do Indianapolis to Pittsburgh type rides (not me), travel and very much enjoy being home
when possible.

I purchased my first Great Dane in the late 60s and she went on to win the National Specialty as Winners Bitch owner handled and was a wonderful brood bitch and foundation for Justamere Great Danes, my kennel name. Breeding would always be my first choice if I had to make one. I enjoyed successful litters and some not so much, as all breeders do but enjoyed the possibilities of the combinations and the ones that work, you know how that feels. I began professionally handling dogs in several breeds and was a member of the PHA, no longer bred Great Danes and fell in love with the Australian Shepherd breed and specifically the Propwash Aussies. When I retired from handling and began judging in 2000 there have been Aussies in my home.

The secret to a successful breeding program is to be a good judge—by that I mean you must be able to evaluate the good points and the faults to know what combinations might produce what you want and need. But even more important is to know the pedigrees that you are combining in the strengths and weaknesses of the lines.

Since most Dane exhibitors know what I like I seldom have an entry that isn’t a quality entry. My recent judging entries have been very encouraging in that I have had some outstanding dogs and bitches in all colors. I did a very large entry in the Chicago area a year ago and I would say that the breed is in better shape now than it was a decade ago. I believe that Great Dane breeders have consistently bred for good breed head type on the pro side. On the con side, I find straight shoulders and lack of good sound drive in the rear more frequently than I would like.

I feel breeders need to concentrate on a combination of the physical characteristics along with the now numerous health and genetic evaluations and tests that are available now to make wise decisions. Nothing is written in stone and there are some things that may be worth taking a chance on and others not worth it at all but you need all of the info to make informed decisions.

The judges that have taken the time to be mentored and truly care about doing a good job (and truly most all do want to do a proper job) have a good grasp of the breed. I have always appreciated getting a call from someone who has judged and has a question about some decision and wants clarification of a question. It means they care. Give new judges a few tries, it’s all a learning process and they won’t know a breed after seminars, visits, and mentoring over a short period of time the way you will with 30 years of experience.

My favorite dog show memory is going Winners Bitch with my first Great Dane, Lovett’s Bitta Amber, owner handled at the Great Dane Club of America Specialty in New York under Nancy Carroll Draper with Lina Basquette going 2nd in Open Fawn and telling Nancy she did the right thing!

A lifetime of memories, friends, travel, great dogs, and the amazing dog show family of support that we all have was sealed that day.

The Great Dane is one of the most magnificent dogs on the face of the Earth! They command admiration and with their large size have an amazing elegance and carriage. The gentleness and loyalty are beyond compare and when this is combined with sound structure and movement the visual will be memorable.



Contact Details

Please make contact with Club Secretary; Victoria Lansbury