If you have anything exciting to tell us please let us know….

Under 25’s Campaign


Following our recent campaign to add some youth to our team, the Committee are delighted to introduce Alice Hocking to head up our Junior Section.


Alice is 19 years old and has been in the show world now

for 8 years and has personally been showing for 6 years.


Her first family show dog was Akita Yoshi whom she

occasionally showed in junior handling. Alice also showed

him at her first ever Crufts back in 2016. In 2015 she was lucky enough to have her own show Akita, Honey, whom she still competes with today.


Alice has had the pleasure of handling many different breeds across all groups. Her main breeds being Akita, Chow Chow, Great Dane, Newfoundland, Rottweiler and Shiba Inu.


Alice first started showing Great Danes 3 years ago and instantly fell in love with the breed. She first began showings Harlequins for Paula Henshall (Calchas) and is lucky enough to Co-Own two with her. It is with the Danes she achieved her first CC and made up CH Calchas Wincy Willis 2 years ago. Alice has had much recent success with the Danes she co-owns with Paula and Faith is now on 2 CC's. Alice also travels over to Ireland regularly and has had quite a bit of success over there with both.


Alice is looking forward to joining the  Midland and West to help bring more younger people into the breed and encourage them into the show world. “I think it is a brilliant idea that the M&WEGDC are trying to encourage younger members into an already successful club. I would like to help show the younger generation what a great breed this is and help them gain their confidence in the show world as I have”.


11th OCTOBER 2020  6pm

Midland & West of England GDC members were invited to attend a ZOOM presentation by the world-renowned Neil O’Sullivan PhD regarding the inheritance of harlequin coat colour, Sunday 11th October 2020 at 6pm GMT.


Dr Neil O’Sullivan PhD is an expert in DNA Sequencing, Statistical Data Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Genomics, Genetic Analysis, Genotyping, Population, Genetics, Genetic Diversity, and Next Generation Sequencing, as well as being a very sweet & kind individual, giving his time to us.
Neil was born in 1963 in Cork, Ireland, into an active dog family, and enjoyed showing from a young age. His first dog he owned with his sister Margaret was a brindle Great Dane, which while full of promise, developed Wobblers at 12 months and only survived 2 more months. This inspired in a14-year-old Neil an interest in genetics.
Neil completed a PhD in genetics by 1991 but had already published a peer reviewed paper on Harlequin Genetics in 1989 with the late Roy Robinson, and his passion for helping Great Dane breeders leverage genetics continues to this day.
As a breeder, Neil has enjoyed success across the colours, today you never know what colour you see him with next. Neil along with his husband Gerard have also breed successfully Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Briards and shown Kerry Blue Terriers. In his professional life Neil is a consultant in poultry genetics.

Midland & West of England  Great Dane Club
Annual General Meeting

A message from the Midland and West GDC Committee: 
"In light of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic the committee have taken the decision to postpone their AGM, scheduled for Sunday 10th May 2pm at the Cocked Hat, Rugby Road, Binley Wood CV3 2AY until further notice. We hope everyone will understand their decision in these very challenging times. The committee will communicate a revised date when it is safe to do so, via Our Dogs Breed notes, M&WEGDC web site and social media, more importantly, please stay safe". 

We have received the following information from the KC :

Breed Watch – Great Dane  

Following the Dog Health Group’s Breed Standards & Conformation sub-group meeting, I have been requested to contact you on behalf of the sub-group with regard to Breed Watch.
Following discussion of visible health and welfare concerns in a number of breeds,
the sub-group concluded, following approval of the Dog Health Group and the Board, that “unsound movement”, “weak hindquarters” and “nervous temperament” should be monitored and therefore should be added to Breed Watch as points of concern for the breed. It was also agreed that the current point “conformation defects of the upper and lower eyelids (loose eye lids)” be amended to “excessive amounts of loose facial skin with conformation defects of the upper and/or lower eyelids so that the eyelid margins are not in normal contact with the eye when the dog is in its natural pose (e.g. they turn in, or out, or both abnormalities are present”.
Breed Watch is an early warning system intended for judges to note any visible points of concern which they should take into consideration and penalise when judging the breed. Judges are asked to complete the judge’s health monitoring form following appointments at championship shows. This is to prevent introduction of health and welfare concerns that are detrimental to a dog’s wellbeing and to maintain high standards of health in the show ring. The form can be accessed online below;
Exhibitors should also take the time to become familiar with the points of concern that can affect their breed, as they too have an important role to play in ensuring that dogs are free from health concerns and exaggeration.
As Breed Watch serves as a “roll-on, roll-off” system, after a period of 12 months should no reports of these concerns be made by judges when completing the mandatory health monitoring form given above, then the point(s) will be reviewed and potentially removed. All points of concern are assessed quarterly and breed health co-ordinators will receive an annual summary to share with their breed, this is to continually review points of concerns reported by Judges.
More information on Breed Watch and the Judges Health Monitoring process can be found at

The Kennel Club have approved a new official DNA testing scheme for Inherited Myopathy in Great Danes (IMGD)/Hereditary Myopathy/Centronulcear Myopathy (HMLR,CNM) This is something within our control and, with careful breeding programs, can be eradicated from our breed. The test being done is Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) for inherited myopathy or, in the old days, central core myopathy. Laboklin does the test for mutation in the BIN1 gene.

Genetic Tests  may also be carried out for coat colour testing   



The Kennel Club has confirmed that from 1st August 2018, any DNA health test result submitted for inclusion on its database must have at least two forms of identification on the result certificate.   

It will be mandatory to include the dog’s microchip or tattoo number along with either the dog’s registered name or registered number. Any test results that do not carry these identifying features will not be accepted.

This brings the recording of DNA test results in line with those health tests carried out by the British Veterinary Association.

On the 25th January the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust launched the "Give a Dog a Genome" project and we are pleased to announce that our application to be included has been accepted. The £1000 donation for each breed is being matched by the Kennel Club. All nine Breed Clubs are fully supporting this research to create the UK's largest Genome bank.  This will be of considerable help in the understanding of the canine genome and improve canine health.

The aim is to sequence the entire genomes (consisting of 2.4 billion DNA letters) of 50 different breeds by the end of 2016. The Health sub-committee made its initial enquiry to the AHT in mid-February, securing a place subject to receipt of the donation. The uptake in the project by breeds has been extremely quick. The £1000 donation money came from the Breed Council (8 clubs) and the Great Dane Breeders and Owners. There are now over 70 breeds who have applied to join and in addition to the original 50 required, the AHT hope to move forward in 2017 with a further 25. It is understood that we are included in the first 50 to be sequenced. For more information it is suggested that you visit the AHT website at



Stud Book bands outline the various levels of qualification criteria which have to be achieved for a dog to gain its Stud Book Number- an award which will qualify a dog for entry at Crufts.

The bands are divided into 5 levels, and breeds are assigned their band on an annual basis. A dog can gain a Stud Book Number in various ways, through winning a Challenge Certificate or a Reserve Challenge Certificate or having gained a specific award in one of the classes in their band at a Championship Show where CC's are on offer for the breed.

A Stud Book Number can also be awarded to a dog having qualified for it's Junior Warrant. CC's, Reserve CC's and Junior Warrants qualify in all bands.

The Stud Book Bands are reviewed annually using entry statistics gathered from General, Group and Breed Club Championship shows over the previous two years. The totals are then averaged out and applied to a scale which determines which Stud Book Band the breed falls into.

For 2015 it is confirmed that the Great Dane will be in Stud Book Band C. This means 1st/2nd in Open Class or 1st in Limit Class.

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