Know Before you Buy
Great Dane Puppy
First of all, I would suggest you
to read information about the breed. After doing this, if you decide that a
Great Dane is for you, congratulations! Great Danes are indeed GREAT! The
next thing for you to do is find that special puppy to become a member of
your family. You need to consider the following:
a reputable and conscientious breeder.
This is a person who is concerned with the breed and is working as a
guardian of the breed. Go breeder shopping before you go puppy shopping.
Breeding dogs is not a money-making proposition and if someone tells you it
is, be instantly suspicious. These claims mean that corners have been cut
and the breeder only has dollar signs on the brain. Years (over fifteen and
preferably more) of experience in the breed count for something. A
conscientious breeder has run health checks on breeding stock to lessen
possibilities of genetic conditions. This is not really a guarantee because
the gene pool is so vast. If the health checks have been run, at least this
proves to you, the buyer, that the breeder is willing to spend the time and
money. Do NOT take anyone’s word for these health checks. Ask to see the
paperwork and match names with the registration papers of the sire and dam
of the litter. If this paperwork is not available, WALK AWAY. The absolute
minimum health checks are:
(excellent, good, fair). Be wary of poor ratings.
PennHip is also acceptable.
Breeding stock should be two years
old. OFA (Orthopedic
Foundation For Animals) will not certify x-rays from animals under two
years of age. Great Danes are slow to mature and it is better if the dam of
the litter is at least three years old to ensure that she has reached her
full physical and mental maturity. Breeding stock should also be
permanently identified either with microchip or tattoo. Ask to see the
documentation that this has been done. Again, match names with the
registration papers. Some breeders have gone the extra step and performed
DNA testing. This tells you that the puppies you see are indeed the get of
the sire and dam.
Ask to see championship
certificates, obedience title certificates, agility title certificates, CGC
(Canine Good Citizen) certificates or Therapy Dogs, Inc. tags.
Not every dog is a show dog and it is understood that you want a
companion. The breeder should be involved in training dogs and breeding
stock should have successfully completed or is working on one of the above.
Temperament plays a big part in all these activities and your Great Dane
should have a history of steady temperament. Again, match names on
certificates with the registration papers. If the sire and/or dam are
currently being shown in the conformation ring, ask to see show pictures and
look for the words, “Winners”, “Best of Winners”, “Best of Opposite Sex” or
“Best of Breed”. A bunch of blue ribbons or reserve ribbons doesn’t mean
anything. Look at the whole litter. Are the surroundings clean? Are the
puppies clean? Do the puppies rush up to meet you and want to be petted?
Are they plump? Are their eyes clear and noses clean? If the answer to any
of these questions is no, get in your car and drive away. A “no” can be
indicative of problems down the road such as worms, fear biting or disease.
Before you take a puppy
home, he should have been started on his puppy shots and been wormed.
A note from the breeder’s vet should tell you that he has seen the puppy
within the last 72 hours. For your own protection, schedule a vet visit to
check for disease within 72 hours of bringing the puppy home. A
conscientious breeder will include a money back guarantee in the contract.
references from other breeders and from puppy buyers. A conscientious
breeder is available to answer questions 24/7. Do not be offended if the
breeder asks you some pointed questions. Be very concerned if the breeder
does not ask questions. The conscientious breeder wants you, the buyer, to
be happy and if it is done right, has invested a great amount of money and
labor in producing this litter. The breeder will want to see where the puppy
will live. Be wary of a breeder who is willing to ship a puppy sight unseen
in exchange for a check. How do you really know this is the puppy for you
without seeing firsthand the whole litter? A conscientious breeder will
demand a first right of refusal. This is to guarantee that dogs don’t end up
in rescue or animal shelters. A conscientious breeder will have a sales
agreement for you to sign. This is for everyone’s protection.
Some reading material
available on the web:
Trust your instincts.
Remember the old adage, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably
isn’t”. You may get a sales pitch from the less conscientious breeders. If
this happens, always ask for documentation to any claims the breeder makes.
I have found that the truly reputable breeders don’t have to sell their dogs
but that their dogs sell themselves. Good luck in your search!
Something to Remember about
How many litters does a breeder
have to have before being considered an experienced breeder?
They should have bred at least one good litter that they can brag on. This
will gain them credibility.
They should have had at least one litter that looked great on paper but
turned out to be a disaster. This will teach humility.
They should have held (God forbid!) at least one deformed puppy and wept as
it slipped into the calm, silent quiet of death. This will provide the
heart to be very careful to do everything possible to not see it again.
They should have studied the lines and the traits and the greats and the
problems each has produced and read all the books they can bet their hands
on. This will give them knowledge.
Last of all, they should have consulted the greats in the breed and never,
never consider themselves to be experienced breeders. They are then,
possibly, experienced breeders.
Hof Kurz Great Danes
Fawns and Brindles
P.O. Box 63
Princeton, ID 83857-0063
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