Please tell us how you got started in Danes? Do you have any other breeds?
Jay and I have had Great Dane’s for more that 34 years. We have owned every acceptable color except a Mantle and one not so acceptable Merle who graced our home for 7 years. We are first companion dog people and our Danes are our best friends. Among them we have been honored to own a BMW Harlequin, a blue male from a local breeder out of Pal Joey, a Kali blue, out of Mouse, several Stone Valley fawns from Darcy and Chuck Quinlan. Jay’s best buddy Boudreaux from the Crawford’s and in recent history of course our Longo Danes. Along the way we have also had one Lhasa Apso, one Maltese and an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
2004 Top 20 Winner BIS BISS Ch. Longo's Alana Fontana
What colors do you breed or own? Your kennel name?
We have bred fawn and black and currently Share our home with BIS BISS CH Longos’s Alana Fontana, AOMx2, HOF, her son BISS CH Longo’s Miller Time, AOM and last but not least Stone Valley’s American Girl who is a ten year old fawn and the ruler of all around here. She is also the mother of three champions.
BIS BISS CH Stone Valleys Affirmed
Were there any dogs, Past or present that you admired or thought represented what you wanted to breed or own?
BIS BISS Ch Longo’s Primo D’Aquino and BISS Ch Don Sue Luke of Lost Creek.
Ch Longos Miller Noble Legacy, AOM,CDX,RN HIT
What was the name of your 1st Champion? How many have you bred or owned to date? Did you owner handle or use professionals?
Ch Charma’s Patented Niteline II, Boudreaux, was our first. We have owned six champions and have bred nine. We also are grateful for our “grandchildren” via our stud dogs, Boudreaux, Simon and now Brew.
Do you currently exhibit or breed? I know you have had some big winners.
We have been very lucky in the last eight years to have had four dogs finish the year in the Top 20, three BIS winners and four BISS winners. And then there is BIS BISS CH Longo’s Alana Fontana AOMx2, GDCA HOF. The Number one Great Dane in 2003, Winner of the 2004 Top 20, Mother of three Champions to date, three National Specialty AOM winners and one BIS winner, BIS BISS Ch. Longo’s Starry Studded Miller, who finished 2007 as the number two Great Dane and entered the GDCA HOF with her mother. Thanks to our mentors and partners Tootie and Joe Longo, as, none of this would have happened without you. We are currently showing BISS Ch Longo’s Miller Time AOM and Ch. Longo’s Miller Noble Legacy AOM, CDX, RE. Neither Jay nor I have ever handled but we have sure had great handlers, Linda Springthrope, Amanda Quinlan, Jeffery Lynn Brucker and of course Laura Lynn Coomes who took Alana all the way and remains her best friend!
BIS BISS CH Longos's Starr Studded V Miller
What do you think needs the most improvement in our breed?
I think we need to work on shoulders and front ends in general. We need to educate non breeder judges that color as long as it is acceptable is less important than overall conformation and breed type. Size with correct confirmation and movement should be rewarded.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in Danes over the years?
The overall quality of AOAC Great Danes has improved markedly, especially in regard to Blacks and Blues. Our guys are living longer. Today’s breeder is more likely to test their breeding stock for inheritable problems as well as researching pedigrees.
What made you decide to apply for your judges license?
I am not a handler; I am an exhibiter and an occasional breeder. My perspective is derived from those viewpoints and I hope I can serve the betterment of our breed in some small way by the choices I make in the ring.
BISS CH Longo's Miller Time AOM
What advise would you give owner handlers just getting started in the ring?
Nothing in this world is easy and we all have to pay the debt of time for those endeavors we choose to pursue. Be patient, seek expert advice and training. GET A KNOWLEDGEABLE MENTOR. Be realistic about your animal’s attributes and your ability to showcase them. Understand that many of the judges you will exhibit under were handlers themselves. Understand also you have elected to take the hardest road but I think the most rewarding one. Be Persistent. The biggest mistake new exhibitors make is giving up to quickly. I must say here how very proud we are of Lena Skov and the great owner handling she is doing with our Pinkie Puppy not just in conformation where they are ranked in the top 25 but also in performance events!!!!!!!!!!
Ch Longos Miller Noble Legacy, AOM,CDX,RE HIT
Do you think things will be different with your friends now that you will be a judge? Do you think you will want to ever judge additional breeds?
I do not think being a judge will change my relationship with our friends. Yes, I am going to try for Dobermans next.
What are your thoughts on “Showing” a dog while you are judging? Do you think there are conflicts of interest?
I do not think you should judge a Breed in which you are actively campaigning a special. I think doing so gives the appearance of a conflict of interest even if one does not exist.
CH Charma's Patented Niteline II
What about advertising? Is it hard not to be influenced by it?
Advertising is a fact of life in the dog show world. Photographs especially with today’s tools can be misleading sometimes to the detriment of the subject. The only perspective that should be important to the judge is what is seen inside the ring.
The question always comes up in breeder circles. Do You want to see the photos of the dogs you put up? OK to send Thank you cards ?
That is entirely up to the exhibitor.
Please feel free to add any additional comments.
All of us regardless of the endeavor we choose to pursue have mentors along the way. Parents, Teachers, friends, business associates etc. Sometimes you can be lucky enough to form a friendship with a mentor that is special. I tried to buy Alana Fontana from Tootie and Joe Longo in Lancaster when she was five months old. Tootie informed us that she was not for sale at any price. We continued to inquire about Alana over the next year and in January of 2003 Tootie called Jay to talk about the possibility of co owning Alana with she and Joe. Of course we said yes. Tootie gave Alana to Jay that March. We have been showing Great Danes since the mid 80’s, we learned quickly how little we knew during 2003. We have often said we have been going to the Graduate school for Great Danes since 2003. Tootie and Joe have allowed us to be part of their history and the future of Longo Danes. Thanks!
We would like to say thank you to Mr Miller for taking the time to answer our questions.