Dang. Wish I could be there.
CWCCA runs the judging totally differently than the Dane club does. When I heard that CWCCA only had one judge I was like “huh?” GDCA has three breed judges–one does class dogs, one does class bitches, one does the Breed and any intersex competition. I am used to that format and I have to admit that I will miss it. It was always very interesting to see the dogs battling to the end, especially when you knew that the bitch judge liked something a little different from the dog judge and the Breed judge was going to put his or her stamp of approval (BOW or AOM) on only one of them. And of course it was fascinating to see who entered what under which judge, trying to catch the eye of the right person with the right dog.
Danes also had the Futurity, which was like a huge Sweepstakes class rolled into a football pool :). If you thought the breeding you were about to do was really great, you had to nominate the litter for the Futurity before they were born. Then, before they are three months old, you re-nominate the individual puppies that are heading to the Nationals, but you have to choose the RIGHT Nationals – Futurity started in the 3-5 month class, so you could theoretically either bring a baby puppy to a Nationals or bring a 12-18 to the next one. And lest you think that’s an easy choice, more than a few Futurity winners have come out of that baby puppy class. In the end, between two and three hundred puppies end up in the futurity, and a whole bunch of the older ones are already finished, even being specialed.
Best in Futurity wins are a HUGE deal, in no small part because you have no clue who is going to be chosen. In Breed, you pretty much know it’s going to come down to one of maybe 15 or 20 dogs, but Futurities are won by dogs whose breeders never special anything and who just brought a stunning puppy to the show.
Hmmm… it would appear that I am feeling bereft about BOTH Nationals! The Dane club is not quite as welcoming and friendly as I have found the CWCCA to be, but lord! the drama is amazing. And very exciting, many times.