The shows had started again and the question arises: What about the evaluation of the merles? Is there anything new? Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question with a clear yes, but we would like to give you an intermediate result.
The DDC General Meeting 2019 commissioned the club's board to revise the breed standard with regard to the equality of the merles on the basis of the latest scientific findings. The members were aware that it would be a longer journey. The club board got to work and in January 2020 all changes were discussed, discussed and formulated in the DDC breeding judge meeting. The revised standard in German was ready.
Then the pandemic slowed us down. So the English translation, here a big thank you to Silvia Rankin for the help, was revised and completed. In doing so, we found that the currently existing English translation does not comply with the current German standard in some areas!
In autumn 2020, the board decided to submit the amended new version of the standard to the extended board for a vote, as no extraordinary general meeting could take place due to the pandemic measures. But we wanted to finally get the standard on its way through the instances. The Extended Board unanimously approved the proposed changes.
The next step on the way through the instances was the submission of the new version to the VDH standard commission. Then the standard has to be submitted to the FCI, which has to approve it in the end. The empirical values of the last standard changes suggest that this path through the instances takes about two years.
We are currently in a transition phase, because until the new standard is approved by the FCI, the current standard from 2012 will be valid - and with it the FCI Circular 67/2013 for the assessment of the merle, which says that the merle cannot get the highest possible rating. Since, in our opinion, there is a difference between the evaluation and the formal grade, we have revoked the decision from 2013 according to which judges who judge the merle as “excellent” are warned or banned from judging at DDC shows. This means that the corresponding letter from 2013 is no longer valid.
Our current standard lists faults, but also defines “desirable” and “undesirable” properties in the appearance of the Great Dane. The merle is not defined as a fault but as an undesirable color. For many other undesirable things listed in the standard, the dog can still receive the grade "Excellent". The breed standard is binding for the judge to judge a dog and ultimately the judge must be responsible for awarding the form scores and no one else.