Midland & West of England Great Dane Club

Midland & West of England Great Dane Club

Est. 1948

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The new Kennel Club DNA Testing Services are now live! With more Breed-Specific Packages available than ever before. Find out what diseases your dog may be affected for, and what conditions they may be at risk of passing to their puppies should you ever decide to breed from them. The Kennel Club DNA Testing Services couldn’t be simpler to use. Browse our product menu and buy your test kit today at:

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/KCDNATestingGreatDaneing exciting to tell us please let us know….

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   LISTS OF UK LABORATORIES

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.


 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.



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


Midland & West of England  Great Dane Club Annual General Meeting 2020

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 2020 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".



"GIVE A DOG A GENOME" (Supported by the Great Dane Breed Council and Kennel Club Charitable Trust)

Cervical Spondylomyelopathy in Great Danes

In April 2020 The Animal Health Trust advised that the sequencing of the DNA sample for Great Danes had been completed and the Data added to the Genome Bank. This data will be shared with Dr Ronaldo da Costa to add to the existing data that he is working on. Attempts to identify variants that contribute to C S will not be done by the AHT, however it is expected that Dr da Costa will advise the relevant findings in due course.

At the end of July 2020 The Animal Health Trust sadly closed its doors. However Dr Cathryn Mellersh Head of Canine Genetics advises that the Kennel Club Genetics Centre data and Biological material held at the AHT has been saved and moved to Cambridge University. Thanks must go to Prof. James Wood, Head of Department of Vet Medicine at Cambridge Veterinary School for helping to secure the safe keeping of some 40,000 DNA Samples and Biological material.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT by The Great Dane Breeders & Owners Association

The Committee of the Great Dane Breeders' and Owners' Association are pleased to announce that we have re-joined the Great Dane Breed Council.

We are looking forward to supporting and promoting our special breed as we emerge from these difficult times.

2021 The Merle Poll Result

"At the Breed Council Meeting on Sunday 30th May '21 the results of the Members poll, carried out by the Breed Clubs, were announced. The Club polls resulted in the required Club majority NOT being reached in order for the colour Merle to eventually in the future, being put before the Kennel Club for consideration for inclusion as a Recognised Colour within the Kennel Club's Great Dane Breed Standard".

2022   The Great Dane has been reclassified from Band C to Band D 1st/2nd/3rd Open Class and 1st Limit Class

2022   The Midland and West of England Great Dane club thank all attendees at  our Breed Appreciation Day on Sunday October 23rd 2022, and are thrilled to congratulate them on their passes

2022 The Kennel Club UK  The new Kennel Club DNA Testing Services are now live! With more Breed-Specific Packages available than ever before. Find out what diseases your dog may be affected for, and what conditions they may be at risk of passing to their puppies should you ever decide to breed from them. The Kennel Club DNA Testing Services couldn’t be simpler to use. Browse our product menu and buy your test kit today at:


PLEASE NOTE there are also alternative testing labs offering the same tests. Please check prices and discounts etc for comparisons eg LABOKLIN   UCDAVIES  PET GENETICS LAB

2023  Reserve Challenge Certificates to count towards the title of a Champion/Show Champion

Published on11 May 2023 at 4:51pm

The Kennel Club is pleased to announce that, following the May Board meeting, it has been decided that dogs which win two Challenge Certificates (CCs) in addition to five Reserve Challenge Certificates (RCCs) will gain the title of Champion/Show Champion, effective from 1 July 2023.

This decision has been taken following extensive consultation by The Kennel Club Shows Liaison Council formed of representatives from within the show scene and further supported by the Show Executive Committee and The Kennel Club Board.

This will mean that from 1 July 2023, in order to gain the title of Champion, dogs will either need to be;

The year of 2024 will celebrate 75 years of The Midland and West of England Great Dane Club

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our friend Liz Cook.

Liz had been a committee member since 2003 and in recent years held the positions of honorary treasurer and vice chairperson.

At Liz’ request, her private cremation (no guests) took

place on Wednesday 20th September at 08:35am

Rest in peace Liz.

2023 September

 THE JEP ROUTE TO JUDGING will be fully rolled out in 2026(extended from 2025) as the traditional route will be ended. PLEASE UPDATE BAD ATTENDANCE, MENTORING, with CERTIFICATES AND INFORMATION TO ME to be included in our online judges list.