Summer show 2006 in Brondby/Copenhagen

Our "Tourbus"

After Linda and I had so much fun (and so much success) with our boys in Helsinki, we looked forward to go to the summer show in Denmark. Four CACIB-shows should take place one after the other in four days at an enormous open area in Brondby at Copenhagen. Over 13.500 dogs were registered on these four days. We had entered our two males Striker and Flyer in the open class in the competition. In Denmark all colors  are judged together, and only one CAC is given for all entered males. That is because in the Scandinavian countries the mixing the colours is permitted. Naturally also the effect of this interested us, just to see how this effected the individual colors.

First we went to Sweden

The Johannsen's Farm
The Malmö-Bridge

The shows are at 27. , 28. , 29. and 30 July (Thursday until Sunday), but we left already on Monday, 24 July, at 7 o'clock in the morning from Oegstgeest, since we had another appointment in Sweden. Here Flyer would mate a black female. After twelve hours of  travel going trough Holland, Germany and Denmark we arrived at the Johannsens in Åhus and were cordially received. Since we wanted to remain two days in Sweden, the Johannsens gave us a small, typically Swedish wood house to live in, All around where free fields - ideal for our two boys, which were pleased about an expanded walk after the long journey. Family Johannsen operates a large vegetable export. Broccoli, iceberg salad, tomatoes - everything cultivated not only on enormous fields, but also in greenhouses, packed directly on the field for the export and for Sweden.
They where about to breed their third littler. The female, which Flyer was to mate, is already six years old - this would be her last litter. We spent two days in Sweden and enjoyed the wonderful summer weather, before we finally left towards Copenhagen.on Wednesday in the morning. We drove over the new Malmö bridge between Sweden and Denmark, which leads nearly 21 kilometers long across the Öresund. An impressive building, we had a wonderful view at the coasts of both countries.

The exhibition area

In Copenhagen we first went to the exhibition area. It was in direct proximity to the stadium of Brondby, directly behind the Brondby halls, and was a couple of football fields large. Which made us a bit concerned: On the entire area there was not  one single tree or bush - at temperatures over 30 degrees we and our dogs would have a few very hot days. We had a bench and different bed linnen with us, with which we could create some shade for our two boys - however we decided to look for a tent or a pavilion. But without success: In all shopping centres everything was sold of because of the really hot weather.

In the motel

Striker in his bench
Our "Dog's Area" in the Motel-Room

In our motel, ten minutes away from the exhibition area, we had the next surprise: There was only one double room available for us - and that with two males, whome we could not leave together. Because of the hot weather we didn’t want to leave a dog in the car overnight. It meant we had to improvise. Our bench helped us. It consists of six parts, 80x80 centimeters, which are simply interlock. In the afternoon we set it up on our small terrace. Striker felt happy in this bench, and Flyer lied completely relaxed beside the bench and enjoyed the cool shaded place. In the evening we divided the Bench into two three-elements, placed the longer part along our bed and the shorter in front across. So each dog had its own divided sleep place. Linda and I seemed like two seriously ill persons, whose bed is gated, so that they do not fall out, and at first we could not fall asleep. In addition, it was really too amusing…   

The Show

The exhibition-area was enormous
41 Rings were there
It looked like a "Tent-City"

The next morning we left early, and made our way to the exhibition. But before 8.30 o'clock no dog was allowed to enter the area, so that we first had to wait with our bench etc.. before locked doors. The sun burned from the sky, and it would become a very hot day. We decided to divide ourselfs: Linda remained in the car with the dogs with the airco on, I marched with backpack, bag and the Bench on a cart to the area, in order to look for our ring. In ring number 24 the great danes were to be judged - and ring number 24 was at the end of the enormous area. We had actually nearly 10 minutes to go until we were there, where we should be. Our flexible bench allso proved to be very practical. We develop it directly at the ringside in two three-lateral squares, which we place against each other. So one dog had a closed cage, the other one which was open on one side. One bed cloth we put above, so the dogs had shade, at the sides we fastened a further bed cloth with laundry clips, so that no sun could shine into the bench. Ours boys loved their bench, and we had the possibility to observe the ring.
In Scandinavia most shows are without benching, and nearly all take place outside. The exhibitors are adjusted to all weather, and most have a small tent, in which they set up their own benches. Such tents you could see on the show area approximately around each ring - the whole looked like an enormous camping site.  

The first day

Flyer in the ring
After "work"- now it' time to fall asleep

70 Great Danes were entered the first day. They were judged by Ulf Brathen from Denmark. Predominantly exhibitors from the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark) were represented. The Scandinavian Danes have long stretched, narrow heads, are lighter than our dogs and usually also larger. Ring training is fascinating. You don’t see any double handling, all dogs are set up, corrected in their position - and so they stay. They can be touched completely and behave calmly and balanced. And the exhibitors show the same discipline. They are well dressed. You see dresses or costumes with the ladies, usually suit or shirt and tie with the gentlemen. No exhibitor has to be called into the ring with his dog. Everyone watches out, what they have to do, and appears punctually with its dane in the ring. You cannot hear anything around the ring.   
For us it was unusual that all colors were judged in the ring at the same time. There were in 19 males in the ring in the open classe on the first day. That was already  special experience to stand in competition with so many dogs at the same time. Black and blue are represented in Scandinavia not so often, but you can see many beautiful Harlequins. The predominant colors are Fawn and Brindle. The system of judging is somewhat different than with us. First all dogs are placed in a large circle opposit the judge, who examines all in detail. Afterwards the group is divided into smaller groups, which move to show thwir gait at least for two rounds. After this the separate judging takes place.   
Here the judge already decides, which dog would go on to the next round”. So it can happen that you get an “excellent” with your dog, but the judge does not evaluate the dog however as good enough for a placement. Such dogs receive a blue band just like those, which are evaluated with „very good“.
 The “excellent” dogs, which are intended for „the next round“, receive a red band. A blue one means „Second Price“, a red one „First Price “. If the dogs of the next round are placed, the judges assigne an evaluation, which certifies the dog’s „champion quality “to some of the placed dogs. Striker was get on this first day an „excellent“and a blue band, Flyer received the desired red band.   
In the next round all „First Price “- dogs are represented, which are then placed after detailed investigation and some rounds of moving to acces the movement. 9 males were in this „next round“ on Thursday. Here Flyer succeeded as the best one. Exccelent 1 and the „CK “in the open class against 19 males - a big success. Now he had to go into the final round against all other Excellent1-males out of the other classes. With the fact it is interesting that also all V2-dogs (possibly for the reserve CAC) were also in the ring. That made it confusing for us for, and there were no result boards at the ring. Flyer showed up, like always, and received the CAC and the CACIB. We were very proud with our „American boy“.   
The BOB went to the  Fawn male out of the Champion class. And also that was new for us: Although Flyer was the best male with the CAC (there is only one for all males) he did not participate in the BOB competition. The reason: The dogs from the champion class receives no  CAC in Denmark. If you need still another CAC with your champion class dog, you have to enter him in the open class. Champion class dogs that received no CAC, can however  become BOB. So it that happend on Thursday.   

The Danish people, which had their tent beside our camp, explained these rules in detail to us and we borrowed their catalog, so that we could copy the results. Without these two nice people we would have hardly understood this judging system …   
In the evening we celebrated Flyers success on our terrace in front of our motel room - and there was still another pleasant surprise: We could book a second room directly next door. That made it naturally still more relaxed for us.

The second day

Flyer in the car, the only really dry place this day

If Thursday there was still 32 degrees in the shade, then at 6 o'clock on Fridays in the morning expected us a cloud-imposed sky. Well This ment: Rain!, an outside exhibition and no roof over our head. We hoped that the clouds would disappear till the beginning of the show, but we hoped in vain. In pouring rain I developed our bench at the ring, and when I came back to the car, in order to get Striker, I was already soaking wet. Our boys had a roof over the head - however it consisted only of a bed cloth and was completely wet very fast. And Linda and I we sat beside it getting wetter and wetter… We already considered to drive back to the motel and forget the exhibition for this day, there came Katharina, an acquaintance from Sweden. She had compassion with us - and a brand-new tent in the car, which she sold to us. We were overjoyed: Finally a roof over our head. But until this tent stood, we were soaked to the skin. We both where dressed in our best trousersuits - nevertheless we offered a deplorable picture: From the sleeves of the jackets the water dripped down like a stream. Thus we hung our jackets up at the tent roof and sat there with dripping wet T-Shirts. And it still rained…   
83 Great Danes were registered on this day. The judge was Diane Anderson, a Norwegian, who has lived in America for many years. She judges with raincoat and hat - what another picture then the day before: Then our clothes also were damp - however from sweating.
23 males were entered in the ring, when Flyer and Striker were to be judged- and 23 exhibitors stood beside them and became even wetter. Striker was evaluated also on this day with a „Excellent “with blue band, Flyer received a red band, however in the CK Qualifying round he was not placed. 13 males came into the „this round “, and the CAC went in the final round to a harlequin male out of the intermediate class.

Meanwhile I was frozen through, our clothes were not yet drying, and we looked forward actually only to a hot shower. With all Scandinavian CACIB shows the exhibitors, who are finished with their dog, can leave the exhibition area, so that we were already back again in our motel at two p.m. Our new acquisition, the tent, offered a big advantage: We could leave our things on the exhibition area and did not have to carry everything once again, so that we took only our dogs, packed the most necessary things into a bag and could go to the car.
But: For Striker it should not become so comfortable: On the way to the parking a woman went beside us, some large bench on a wheels behind herself. Obviously it was too heavy for her pulling upward, and she released it. And the thing rolled directly on to Striker. I could not evade with him fast enough, and he got the bench on a cart directly into the rear. The poor boy howled of pain. But instead of an apology I only got a shoulder-twitch from the woman - she took her bench and wanted to disappear simply in such a way. Therefor I got loud (which is usually not my style at all)  Such things can always happen - I know also. But a word of apology and the question, whether my dog was seriously hurt, would have been in order…
Striker fortunately excepted no serious damage. Linda meant that the dog has probably the wrong name: „It always strikes him“. 

The third day

The Great Dane's Ring
Our Tent
Even Linda enjouyed the shade in our tent

At Saturday we were welcomed again by sunshine. Since the males of the open class were always judged against 11 o'clock, one with its dog can come and go, whenever one wants and our tent already stood (so we had a „reserved place “on the area), we could have an expanded breakfast. The weather promised to become pleasant. Temperatures with approximately 25 degrees, an light cloudy sky - ideal exhibition conditions. We were in good spirits, when we arrived at the ring. After two days we already knew the remaining exhibitors. One welcomed oneself friendly, and all day long Dane breeders came again and again, in order to regard Flyer. His success in Helsinki with the European Winner show and at the first day in Brondby had fastly spread around here, and many were interested in him. Not only for mating, but also in his puppies. Lena and Per, Danish breeders from the kennel Moelleballe, agreed a mating with Linda. They wanted to visit us in the evening in the motel with their dog.   
22 Males were in the open class in the ring this day - again an impressive sight. During the individual judging Striker again made all honour for his name: We waited at the edge of ring, until it was our turn, and directly beside us a tent broke down. Half the parts landed on Striker, half the parts under him, and we had to untangle the poor dog, before I could go into the ring with him. Nevertheless he did well, and received his first red band for this weekend from the English judge Terence Nethercott. Also Flyer was judged with „First Price “, and so we were with 14 males in the CK round this day. Flyer was placed fourth and also received the “CK“, Striker received no placement. Since Flyer was the best blue one, he also received the CACIB. All in all it was a successful day for the four of us.   
In the evening we met Lena and Per and their blue bitch Cover Girl at the motel. Flyer was directly completely in love with the blue girl, and the mating was without a problem. Now we are already completely looking forward Flyers Puppies in Sweden and Denmark, which might come in two months time…  

The fourth day

The Dog's Shower - here you cold see us very often this day
Striker in his bench in our tent

The first day it was hot, the second wet, the third pleasant: Sunday, the last of the four days, it would become stifling hot. Around eight in the morning we were already  soaked. Again the sun burned at us and our dogs. Striker seemed to suffer particularly from this heat. He was uncomfortable and his whole body felt hot, although he layed in the shade in our tent, which we had opened in all directions, so that the wind was blowing through. Briefly after nine I went with him to the dog showers for the first time. These showers were on the area and were frequented used this day by all exhibitors. This cooling down went well for him, but it didn’t last al long time. Since we had to be in the ring with our dogs against noon in the biggest heat and in the full scorching sun I decided, not to show him this day - I worried that he would collapse. So I put him into the shade in the grass and all half hour I poured him with water. That was obviously doing him well, and by the afternoon he had recovered again.   
Also Flyer didn’t like the heat, but he did not suffer as much from it as Striker did. With him we allso went to the showers, and we made him wet again and again. I cannot say really how many litres water we dragged this day and how many kilometers we went (also up to the water places it was quit a way to go on this enormous area).   
81 Great Danes and 23 males in the open class were in the catalog this day. 15 of them had qualified themselves for the CK round under the Canadian judge Robert J. Whitney - so did Flyer. And again Flyer was the best one. He became fourth in the open class and received the “CK “- a very good result.   
For us it was interesting that on every four days nearly always the same dogs were present. They were judged by four different judges - and there were four completely different results. Only few dogs received, like Flyer, „First Price” on every four days - actually one saw different Danes again and again in the CK qualifying round. And also the final round was again and again differently occupied. Was it because of the daily form of the dogs - or was it because of the personal taste of the judges that it came to such remarkable differences?



At Hanne's kennel

Our favorities out of this litter
Hanne and her husband at dinner
Linda and me at dinner

At approx two o'clock we broke off our tent. At first we brought the dogs to the car and then diminished benches and tent, stowed everything in our “tourbus”and made ourselves on the way. But not yet home. Because we had still another appointment with Hanne and her husband of the Danish kennel Grand Apso. There two and a half weeks ago puppies where born after Flyer, which we wanted to see of course. And because the kennel was on our way home, we decided to visit Hanne and her dogs. Until Monday we wanted to remain with Hanne, in order to drive completely comfortably home then. We should sleep in a camper, which was placed on a large meadow beside Hannes house. Striker in the meantime had recovered from the heat again, and it was a joy to see him running over the enormous meadow and playing.   
In the evening we saw the puppies. It is a very harmonious litter, and the puppys are promising very much. Linda and I had constituted our favorites: The male with that lila band and the bitch with the red collar pleased us best. In a cosy round we conversed still until late into the night - naturaly over Great Danes (over what otherwise?). On all the days we spoke actually only English - nearly all Skandinavian can understand that, even at gas stations and in supermarkets.  


We have had a lot of new experiences

We have had a lot of new experiences, and we determined many differences in the breeding-system in the individual countries. The breed regulations are absolutely different. Thus there is no prohibition, which concerns color crossings. And although the Skandinavian may cross all colors as they please (however they do this considered and very well planned), the Danes we saw, where very beautifully in color. The fawn ones and the brindles had pronounced black masks, the blue ones a beautiful dark blue, the harlequins a white, which one hardly can find here with us, and the black ones a deep lacquer-black. Also the type dog is rather alike. Here one cannot say, the fawn ones are rather large and heavy and the harlequins smaller - here one can see constantly the Scandinavian Dane-type. We found that the competitions of group of breeds were completely interesting. There we saw for example a fawn breedgroup of Danes, that allso had a black male. I asked, why this was possible – you cannot see this with us. The solution: One of the fawn males had bred a black bitch, and from this litter the black male was born.   
Which was noticeable to us allso, were the heads. Many males had narrower and lighter heads than the Danes here with us. Narrow, long heads are a breeding goal in Denmark, and in the litters the puppies are already judged with priority by their head. Striker, then one explained to me, is a beautiful dog with a correct figure and a good Movement - however his head was too heavy for Scandinavian conditions. Breeders doesn’t want at all such a very pronounced stop, as my boy has, and such a  large head is simply not desired. My boy pleases me as he is, and for me he is simply the most beautiful…   

Back at home

We left Hanne in the afternoon. Now we had only 700 kilometers to drive, and in the evening around 10 o'clock we were back at the Home of v.' Buitengebeuren Great Danes. Kaicy, which had remained with Linda’s husband Dick during the whole time, was very pleased to see us again.. And also Flyer was glad to be at home. 2300 kilometers we drove on our Scandinavia route. And after two beautiful days of holiday with Linda and Dick I made myself on the way home. Up to the Westerwald I still had to go 400 kilometers and me and my dogs were obviously glad in the evening, to be back at home at the Burg-SaynDoggen-Kennel.