Chair Person - Shannon McKay

Shannon has been involved in Danes since 1997, first exhibiting and then four years later breeding the first Saxony litter. She has since bred multiple breed Champions and has enjoyed various other activities with her Danes including agility, obedience, trick training, aptitude testing, canine good citizen and functional movement training.

She is an accredited canine behaviourist, internationally certified trainer and has also received her MSc in Zoology, specialising in animal training. Shannon lives on a smallholding and currently owns 9 dogs, six of which are Danes. She is passionate about Dane health – both in body and in mind.

Vice Chair - Wendy Smuts

I first became involved with Great Danes in 2009. I attended a SAGDA championship breed show at Goldfields Kennel Club to meet the breed – I absolutely fell in love with their elegance and playfulness. It was also a great way to meet ethical breeders and learn more about the breed as a first-time owner.

Enter Gamekeeper Blue Blaze (Bonnie), a “mad” blue Great Dane. Bonnie cemented my love for the breed. I am currently the proud owner of 3 KUSA registered Fawn Great Danes namely Ch VomDanois Miss MoneyPenny ,Ch VomDanois Top Gun & VomDanois Vanquish.

First and foremost, the health and happiness of my dogs is my priority, they own and take over the beds, couches, house and car - I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love that dog shows are a great way to spend time with like-minded friends and my dogs.

I have served on the SAGDA committee, in various roles, since 2014.

Treasurer - Lynne Koff

My love for Great Danes started in 2000 when my husband bought home a black male puppy that was bred in terrible conditions. Initially, I was very dubious about the breed, not knowing their make up and natures at all, however, as he grew and matured, his beautiful soft gentle nature grew on me, and I soon realised the true meaning of the saying “a gentle giant”.

From then on, we made a conscious decision, that if we were ever parents to more Great Danes, they would only come from reputable breeders, and that decision has been the best one taken. We have, over the past 24 years, had a “house full” of Danes, ranging from Black, Blue, and Harlequin – all KUSA registered. Currently we 2 Danes - Carlu Jucal (Jinzu) and Carlu Mushi (Elyx) – both of which I now take into the showring.

Once a Great Dane owner, always a Great Dane owner.

Secretary - Marinda Havenga

I fell in love with Great Danes as a child after watching the movie "Ugly Dachshund". I always wanted one and knew exactly where in the small towns I lived in the Danes were, and would alter my bicycle route to school accordingly. My first "almost Dane" was a black Dane x Bull Mastiff x Dane. He looked a lot like a Dane.

I finally got my first registered Dane, a mantle merle girl from Anna van Heerden, when my son was a baby and I was hooked for life. Shortly after that my blues from Hazel Allsop and Gillian Webb followed, with the dream of breeding blues. I had a kennel registered and all was set, the blues just had to mature and be screened. But then life happened, circumstances changed and I no longer had the means to breed properly. So I settled for keeping Danes and learning about them.

Over the more than 20 years that passed since my first mantle merle girl, I studied Danes, their colour genetics and breeding practices; a breeder at heart, but not in practice. I kept in close contact with my mentor, Shannon McKay, and kept the love of the Dane alive. I have shared my life with 8 pure-bred and one cross Dane. Most of them were Saxony Danes. Colours included harlequin, mantle merle, merle, mantle, blue and black.

Currently I live in Centurion with my husband, daughter, 4 dogs and 5 cats. Two of the dogs are Danes, a Saxony girl and a Von Haewijon boy.

Thirusha Padiachy

My love for Great Danes started in 2009 when I had decided that I wanted to start showing a dog at competition level. What started off as a new hobby eventually turned into something far more exciting and rewarding. I met a very passionate Great Dane breeder, Eric Labuschane (Mervyndane Great Danes), who gave me the opportunity to have one of his beautiful harlequin Danes (Mervyndane Winston Percius) but not before making me handle one, so that I knew what I was getting into. I have been in love with the Great Dane breed ever since that moment.

I was blessed with a second Great Dane 6 years ago, when Eric tragically passed away. At present I have 3 of these beautiful creatures keeping my home very busy and extremely full!

As a commitee member of SAGDA, I hope to assist my colleagues in educating and supporting the public about a breed that I fell in love with many years ago, as I believe that education is key to upholding the breed standard of the Great Dane.

Margie Lamprecht

The wonderful world of Great Danes started in 2003 when we adopted a Merle rescue boy, Rufus. He was a complex fellow, but immediately crept into our hearts like no other dog has ever done. Since Rufus, we have shared our home with a unique pack of Danes: Saxony Goody Gumdrops, Mervyndane Caesr, Cherriton Obi Wan Kenobi, Valleyvine Leah (Ria), Mervyndane British Hiya, Mervyndane Rondriaan (Windsor) and our current beloved Blue Girl, Brukkaros Crazy Lil’ Love (Chrissie).

Even though I grew up in an animal loving family, I could never have imagined how the love of a Great Dane can change your perception of “Man’s best Friend”. There is something so special about the soul of a Great Dane.

Being part of the SA Great Dane Association Committee is an honour, and I hope we can encourage and educate as many people as possible about this unique breed.

“For the Love of the Dane”

Yolanda Beukes

I got my first ever Great Dane, Axel, in 2006. Axel was what you would call my heart dog. I'm an obedience instructor at McKaynine training centre and have been training and working dogs for over 12 years. I enjoy doing obedience classes with my dogs and have obtained Silver and Gold Canine Good Citizen awards with most of them. I have done some showing before and enjoy spending time with friends next to the show ring.

My husband Marius and I are co-owners of Axel's, the dog bed company that focuses on quality beds for large and giant breeds. We are just your average family.

Chantel Porelli

Having been in love with Great Danes from an early age, I was finally blessed with my first Dane, Pablo Picasso, in 2010, from Eric Labuschane of Mervyndane. Lola Picasso, also bred by Eric, then joined our family a few months later. My home was complete with my beautiful pair of Merle’s…or so I thought!

In March of 2013, Eric was murdered and as he solely cared for his Danes, all fifteen of his Danes, unbeknown to anyone, survived 10 days without food, water or care until the police was notified of his death. A few days later, S.A.G.D.A was contacted by a reporter and action was quickly taken to help his Danes. It was no easy task but we all persevered and with the help of friends, hundreds of phone calls, hundreds of kilometres driven, we were given the ‘all clear’ and all fifteen Great Danes were brought to my home where they could finally be cared for and be safe.

Our family fell in love with two girls, HM Elizabeth and Pandora, who fitted into our homes and hearts as if they had been there since puppies, so we took the decision to adopt them both. By then, a week and a bit later, the other thirteen Danes had also gone to their new homes and that’s when we discovered that Pandora was expecting puppies and two weeks later she gave birth to nine beautiful puppies in our kitchen! I have never whelped a litter before and this mammoth task taught me a new found respect for reputable and ethical breeders. It was not easy raising and weaning a litter of puppies on my own from two weeks of age, there was a lot of learning, a lot of tears, a lot of cleaning, a lot of rushing to and from vets, a lot of heartache, especially after their mom had to be in hospital for a week to treat her mastitis. The pups all went to their new amazing homes between nine and twelve weeks, we obviously decided to keep a precious little girl, Chantelina. Our house could never be a home without a Great Dane, or even five…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Alta Wait

My love for the breed started in 2003 when I adopted 2 black Great Dane’s from rescue. In 2007 my journey with pure bred Great Danes started when I bought my first Show dog, a brindle Great Dane called Tai-Pan. Our Affix Gaitewai was registered with KUSA.

Over the years we have bred many Champions who have reach the top honours in breed shows, setting new records for the breed, as well as excel at working trials. We are the only kennel whose home bred studs have been used internationally via frozen semen.

We are taking pride in the fact that we have also opened doors and created opportunities for other breeders here in South Africa, simply for the overall betterment of the breed. Our aim is to continually improve and built a rich and solid legacy for the next generation.

We are looking forward to the future with lots of exciting plans for our breed for the future.

Belinda Davidson

I live in Rondebosch, Cape Town. I rescued my first Dane about 18 years ago and fell in love with the breed.

I currently have 5 Danes and 3 in competition. Two are show champions. I enjoy training and working my dogs and they are such a smart breed. They love to learn and track and do a task.

Along with Alta I am a huge believer that we need to be health testing and trying to bring in new blood. Good solid dogs with health and longevity behind them. I lost my first Dane at 12 years of age. I have co bred with Alta and will repeat this in the future.

I love the breed and would like to have them around for generations to come.