Hundreds of Great Danes will gather at the Embassy Suites in Norman next week for a national competition, and dog enthusiasts may see the top dogs from previous regional competitions compete Wednesday night at the hotel.
The Great Dane Club of America’s National Specialty will be held Oct. 10-16 at the Embassy Suites, 2501 Conference Drive.
The divisions switch places every year, and the 2022 division is coming back to Oklahoma for the first time since 2016 when it was in Tulsa. Oklahoma’s Great Dane Club is in the south-central division.
The GDCA website says that the Great Dane is a popular choice as a pet because of how smart and flexible it is. They are sometimes called the Apollo of dogs.
Beverly Ballard, treasurer of the Great Dane Club of Oklahoma and volunteer chair for the Top 20 event, said she anticipates more than 480 Great Danes to compete in the speciality next week, not including the pups participating on the first two days.
A welcoming celebration for the dogs and their handlers, as well as vendor and cage setup, begins on Sunday, but judging begins Monday at 8 a.m.
The age range for the futurity category is 3 months to 11 months. A junior dog division is also available for dogs aged 12 to 18 months. Male and female canines participate in different events.
On Tuesday afternoon, junior and puppy owners will compete in obedience and rally events.
The Agility Competition will be held at the McClain County Expo Center on Wednesday morning. The schedule displays two concurrent trials, each with 125 participants.
According to Ballard, the exhibition center has adequate capacity to suit the course’s size.
Following the agility competition, the top 20 events will be held Wednesday from 8 to 11 p.m. within ballrooms E and F at the Norman Embassy Suites.
While the competitions on Monday and Tuesday are not available to the public, the top 20 event, which features the best 20 dogs from regional tournaments, is $20. Business or formal attire is needed.
“The top 20 are the most talented of the best,” Ballard said.
Dogs in the top 20 are rated on characteristics such as their coat, posture, gait, teeth, hindquarters, forequarters, temperament, and other GDCA requirements.
Friday and Saturday are off-limits to the general public. Ballard said confirmation judging for the veteran and best puppy divisions will take place on those days.
Ballard says that the judges are strict in their evaluations, even though there are hundreds of dogs in different categories.
“When you think about it, two or three minutes per dog is pretty much the entire day,” Ballard said.
Anyone who likes Great Danes or dogs in general, according to Ballard, will appreciate seeing the pups and their handlers work hard.
Via: The Norman