Located in Palm Beach County, Florida
Ocean Blue Danes believes in producing quality Great Danes where health, temperament, and conformation adheres to the guidelines set forth by the breed standard. The ultimate goal at Ocean Blue Danes is to produce healthy and happy Danes with an emphasis on correct conformation, temperament and longevity.
I had the wonderful fortune of growing up in a home with Great Danes. I can't think of a better way to learn the intricate details of the breed than to have grown up with them. It was then that I learned the calm, caring, gentle, and intelligent nature that is the Great Dane. Eventually, I was able to identify the characteristic conformation, habits, traits, nutritional requirements and other details associated with the breed. It is the ability to recognize these features that gives someone the ability to breed at the level and quality I have grown to expect. These are not things that a person easily recognizes when first introduced to a new breed. Rather, it is something that can only come with time, experience, and exposure to the breed.
My experience in the showing/breeding realm of the Dane world began as a teenager. It was around this time that my mother purchased her first two show dogs, a fawn and a brindle. We were very excited to welcome our "show girls" to the family and immediately started training for the show ring.
Cheyenne and Lacy with myself (left) and sister (right) in the mountains of North Idaho, mid-1990s.
My sisters and I in the kennel with Cheyenne (almost buried) and Lacy.
It was around 1995 that my mother decided to start showing her girls. I sat ringside at every show and watched her handle the dogs. Sometimes they placed and sometimes they didn't. It was just so fun to go and see all the other dogs at the dog shows. It was not long before she got the brilliant idea to enter me in Junior Showmanship classes. We went to as many of the local dog shows we could get to and even traveled long distances to some as well.
In 1996 we saw BIS CH Travis Lincoln at one of the dog shows and instantly fell in love! This boy was absolutely stunning and was so approachable and sweet! After lots of research, my mother contacted his owner, long-time Great Dane breeder/handler/judge Clare Lincoln of Lincoln Danes and inquired about stud service. We drove out to her kennels and met some amazing dogs while mom talked pedigrees and stud contracts with Clare. Cheyenne was bred to Travis and our world of Dane puppies officially began!
Champion Travis Lincoln. Photo credit http://www.rojongreatdanes.com/
I remember mom video-recording puppies from the Travis x Cheyenne breeding and the phone conversations with Clare Lincoln critiquing every single aspect and detail of each and every pup. Mom used Clare's suggestions to determine which pups showed potential for the show ring and which were to be sold strictly as pets. We did keep a female from that litter (Esther) who went on to produce her own amazing babies.
Eventually, the short lifespans of the Dane breed took its toll. Even though we had several that lived well into their teens, it was always so hard to lose one of our beloved Danes. After many years of breeding and showing, my mother stopped keeping any puppies for future generations. When the lives of our last few Danes gradually ended - so did mom's involvement in the breed. Soon after her retirement from the breed, I took off for college and pursued other interests.
After graduating with my Bachelor's Degree in Marine Science (Chemistry Minor) from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2006, I moved back to my native Florida and pursued a Master's Degree in Marine Biology with a focus in Population Genetics. It was during this time that I acquired my first Dane puppy, a beautiful blue who rekindled my interest in the breed and later produced the dog of my life, GCH Athena. And that is the story of how I ended up in Danes, all the way from childhood to present.
I have been a member of the Great Dane Club of Mid-Florida since 2014 and the Great Dane Club of America since 2018. I am the founder of the Great Dane Club of Southeast Florida (est 2019) currently serving as its President and am also a member of the Palm Beach County Dog Fancier's Association.
Please feel free to contact me anytime to ask questions or to simply "talk Dane".
- Jennifer Hester, Ocean Blue Danes
AKC Breeder of Merit