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 4 KUSA registered Fawn Great Danes namely Ch NobleCourt Just for Joy (Peter Pan), Ch VomDanois Paddington Bear (Paddy), Ch VomDanois Miss Money Penny (Penny) & Ch VomDanois Top Gun (Pilot).

I started showing when I was very young, for fun, with my family’s Boxers. When I lived in Wales, I showed my Doberman. After my return to Cape Town, I showed my Bullmastiff & Boxer.

I most enjoy showing puppies, I try to make sure that the show experience for them is fun and that they enjoy their outings to the show grounds.

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 and now that COVID-19 regulations have been lifted and dog shows are being held regularly again, I am looking forward to the SA Great Dane Association going from strength to strength.

Treasurer – 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.

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

Margie and Barry Lamprecht

Barry and I joined the wonderful world of Great Danes in 2003 when we got our first Rescue, Rufus a Merle Boy. He set a spark in our hearts that we didn’t know could exist. Then followed a pack of unique and greatly loved Great Danes that were in lives for various periods of time: Saxony Goody Gumdrops – our Black Beauty, Mervyndane Caesr a soft Black Boy, Cherriton Obi Wan Kenobi, our Goofy Mantle Boy, Vallevine Leah (Ria) our first Blue Dane and oh so elegant, and Mervyndane British Hiya, our sweet Harlequin. At present we have two Beloved Danes, Mervyndane Rondriaan, more commonly known as Windsor, and our Blue nutcase, Brukkaros Crazy Lil’ Love (Chrissie).

Both Barry and I grew up in families that had and loved dogs, but neither of us could ever have imagined how a Great Dane can change your perception of what “man’s best friend” actually is. Neither of us can imagine a life without a Great Dane in it.

We are honoured to be part of the SAGDA Committee, and hope to encourage and educate as many people as we possibly can, about these Gentle Giants.

Yolanda Beukes

I got my first ever Great Dane, Axel, in 2006. Axel was what you would call my heart dog. Currently I share my life with two Great Danes, Echo (senior) and Obélix (junior).
I’m an obedience instructor at McKaynine training centre and have been training and working dogs for the last 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!