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  • A dane breeder's checklist:

    A DANE BREEDER's CHECKLIST:
    The 10 basic necessities to planning and having a litter responsibly.

    1) Both parents have AKC full registration, are adults, neither has any disqualifying
    fault, & you have at least a 4-5 generation pedigree on both dogs.


    2) You have done a pedigree search and know all the dogs in _at least_ the first 3 generations & have all the pertinent data on them as to their breed worthiness (i.e. color, size, health certifications, titles, health problems, what they died of; their good traits and their faults, etc.).

    3) Both pedigrees have AT LEAST 3 champions (& other titled dogs?) in the first three generations, __&__ the parents and grandparents also had the proper health, temperament & type checks. (It is generally expected ANY male used in breeding be, at a minimum, a breed Champion, so, on an average, it is counted that the sire & both grandsires will have titles-or others will to make up for their lack. It is also more & more universal that Danes have at least hip & thyroid checks.) This is generally considered the minimum level of quality for a litter to be produced ethically. These tests alone will cost you some hundreds of dollars, not to mention show & training fees, so be prepared for the expense.

    ***AND JUST A NOTE on Danes (esp. harlequin lines) sold "by the pound" & usually imported as "bigger-n-better": this puppy miller nonsense is just that. Danes are no better & no healthier in Europe, America or any other place far away from where you are now. Don't be fooled by people setting up shop with "exotic, European, etc." Danes who don't look or act like any Dane you ever saw. The standard for Danes ALL OVER THE WORLD is the same but for tiny details. Read "The Romance of the Boar Hound" for more on this topic of what makes a Great Dane a "real" Great Dane. Be an informed consumer & "just say no" to those who prey off our breed by being a couple generations away from proper show-breeding stock (while usually advertising how close they are!). Anyway, onto item #4 on the checklist for breeders.


    4) You are sure from your pedigree search that you do not have cross color or other genetic problems that you do not know how to deal with. You should honestly judge if your knowledge of the breed, your own dogs, your skills, experience & your info on the pedigree is complete enough to avoid any nasty surprises. See <www.flash.net/~dby/chlinx.htm> for a listing of articles on genetics. And be sure you are in compliance with *ALL* aspects of the Breeders' Code of Ethics; are you honestly up to date on the medical and genetic aspects unique to the breed, as well as the general requirements of understanding animal husbandry as it applies to dogs? What about the finer points of Dane conformation? DO you know what the breed right nows needs? Download the Code of Ethics:
    <www.gdca.org>

    5) You know the breed standard well enough to be sure that these two dogs are individually really breed worthy (a majority of dogs in any breed are likely not), & you are breeding them only to supply yourself with a dog or dogs (not to make pets to sell, for example, or to show children the miracle of birth). You are certain they are a good match for each other (not just conveniently located or simply beloved pets) & their having puppies will have a positive impact on the future of the breed. AND!!---you have had at least two other experienced & objective people in the breed who will concur with your opinion (that you should breed these two dogs & moreover to each other). This, BTW, is why dog shows were created-to assess breeding stock.
    **To download the Standard for the GREAT DANE, go to:
    <www.gdca.org>

    6) The dogs in question are at least 18 months & preferably two years old, and you have completed the appropriate screening procedures on their health (hips and thyroid as a bare minimum in Danes), their temperament & their qualities of type. **For more info on this & on breeding requirements in general for the Dane, a good source is Jill Swedlow's new book "The Great Dane: Model of Nobility." There is quite a bit dedicated to the subject of ethical breeding.

    7) You have enough time, money & expertise to do the job properly. For danes this is at least $1-2000 saved up for litter expenses. And you have made arrangements (esp. if you are breeding harls) with your vet to euthanize defective, disqualifying and/or excessive pups humanely at birth, to do the dewclaws, etc., as well as what to do in an emergency; like a C-section, for example.

    8) You have the knowledge, time & ability to surpervise a successful mating (usually takes 2-3 experienced people, esp. if a "maiden" mating with Danes), you know how to care for a bitch when in whelp & while nursing & you can take off the time from work, (etc., i.e. your normal activities) to dedicate to her needs. (Normally at least 1-2 weeks at birth, and then dedicated time to the pups from a month onward, plus all the work until they can be sold at a MINIMUM age of 2 months, including crops, shots, wormings, leash & house breaking, etc. etc. etc.)

    9) You have a standing list of puppy buyers (at least 6-8) and/or help from other established, ethical breeders to help sell the pups you are not planning on keeping. You have the circumstances to keep all or part of the litter if it doesn't sell. You feel comfortable with having to keep a few until 4-6 months, as well as take back any pup/dog the owner cannot keep for its whole lifetime. (This is a Code of Ethics requirement you MUST write into your puppy buyers contract.) And that you can live with the financial lost a litter normally entails. You'll only break even if you are lucky & you cannot expect a profit as an ethical breeder. No good litter was ever bred with the bottom line being staying in the black.


    10) You have assembled all the paperwork required for the sale of the pups: you have a written Code of Ethics contracts, you have pedigrees and registration papers, & proper "puppy care packets" ready, as well as documentation of the proper health & other certifications on the parents & other relatives of the pups. (Also, of course, "other" supplies like leashes, collars, ear tape equipment, etc. for the buyers to also take with them & your card so they can (& they will) call you at all hours of the day & night with the problems they experience & questions they have.)

    If you have successfully completed this checklist, then you just have to consider the general hardships involved in breeding (esp. Danes & this goes double--or triple-- for Harls), which involve a certain amount of unrecoverable expenses (of both time & money), usually some disappointing results (cannot sell pups, pups not what you planned for/wanted, etc.), and inevitably (if you breed enough) some tragedy (from a male who damages himself while mating, to bitches dead in whelp, to pups who must be euthanized or die of various causes). Of course you must also think about what may occur when you go from a 'companion' to a breeding home for the dogs involved. Both animals are at a raised risk for health & temperament problems when kept intact (not spayed/neutered) as adults, & this risk is raised again when the dogs are used for breeding. Many dogs are "not the same pet" once they have been used for breeding as their own focus changes.


    If you cannot bear the idea of the common tragedies & general dissapointments that accompany breeding, admit this particular hobby isn't for you & find another way to express your passion about dogs. Many pet owners wish they had never started, have a miserable experience, hate the blood, gore & general mess, dislike the changes in temperament that can occur, let alone are prepared to lose their dogs as a result of the decision to mate them. Even fewer seem to realize what a big responsiblity breeding really is. SO you have to go into with your eyes wide open.

    Breeding takes planning to be a success.
    If you don't plan ahead, you will likely have a poor time of it. If you don't know your 'beans' you will likely not be able to act ethically or take good care of the puppies, & you may even have trouble selling your puppies (at any price), or get sued for what you sold. If you are not prepared for the risks you are taking & understand just how risky breeding is, you will likely have a litter only to be left bitter by the experience. Breeding isn't fun and games. It is a solemn dedication of income & time to the future of a breed one loves at some risks to the indivdual dogs one has lovingly & painstakingly reared to hopefully be good enough to parent the next generation. It is NEVER to be undertaken lightly.

    Sadly, especially here in the USA, we often take the responsibility far too lightly.
    We see terrible examples of casual breeding around us everyday. This is why we have so many rescue dogs (10 million excess pets put to sleep each year), & why so many AKC dogs are of such poor quality. (Of the over one million AKC dogs registered each year, it would appear less than 10% come from hobby-show breeders, less than 7% from USDA liscenced "puppy mills;" the other *84%* that is the VAST MAJORITY of ALL AKC pups are born to "back-yard-breeders" who are casually producing "just one litter.") What we need is far fewer litters of much better quality dogs to supply enough (not such an excess number of!) pets & potential breeding stock to carry on. Whole breeds are ruined one casual litter at a time, by folks who love their own dogs, but don't know enough about the breed as a whole to know & love IT as a WHOLE. And THAT is what it takes to be a breeder--you must lift your eyes from your own dogs, look to the horizon, which represents the future of the breed, look around and see who might have more or less worthy dogs than you, & make your breeding decisions on what is BEST FOR THE BREED, not what suits you personally or simply seems exciting or fun. Breeding dogs is difficult, expensive & full of both joys and despair; it should be seen clearly as an activity that takes both heart & head--love __AND__knowledge to successfully accomplish. So care enough about the breed & about the future of dogs as pets to learn what is needed before you breed.

    I was asked this week to post this here. It's also at:
    http://www.chromadane.com/BreedersCorner.htm
    I URGE anyone contemplating (or involved already in) breeding danes to read "Practical Genetics for Dog Breeders" posted here under "COLOR & GENETICS" as we all need to keep up on the changes in genetics per Code of Ethics (& just general common sense) standards. regards, jpy
    Last edited by dolmod; 07-27-2011, 06:12 AM. Reason: updated link

  • #2
    RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

    Thanks JPY. One more item for me to print off, read, and save in my breeder file. Not only is this a great list for breeders but also buyers to ask breeders these questions before considering getting a pup from them.

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

      I dunno about that Stacie<G>! Although I'd agree a puppy buyer ought to know a breeder well enough before buying to be assured they are meeting these (VERY MINIMAL BTW!) criteria, I don't think I'd go down that list with potential breeders. I'd think the response might likely be lies from the liars & general affront from your average good breeder<G>! (Think about asking an established breeder as a would-be new Dane owner, #7 for example?). All buy the incredibly patient would probably just hit the "delete" key on such an email? But you're right that a buyer ought to spend the time to be assured the breeder is truly prepared & able. I'd just think the buyer would have to do a bit more than ask 1-10 to be able to get the true answers to those questions. regards--happy weekend folks--gone to the dog(show)s.

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

        jpy,
        That was wonderful.
        Can I copy it and save it. I would love to pass it along to others.
        Thanks!
        Renee
        California Dreaming Great Danes
        http://hometown.aol.com/reny4fun/Mainpage.html

        Comment


        • #5
          RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

          Oh yes, I agree with you.....I didn't mean litterally go down the list...but like you said know them well enough to get a general picture of how they will be caring for the future love of your life, a new Dane puppy. Thanks though I don't want breeders to start getting 5 page questionaire :-) to answer before a buyer would decide they wanted to get a puppy from them.

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

            mmm.... I think I should have added the obvious to #1. That the dog(s) in question belong to you legally & their ownership, as well as their registration, is not in doubt. Skip this obviously necessary requirement as assumed it & you know<G>what "assume" <G> does, eh?

            Comment


            • #7
              RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

              Stacie writes: "Thanks though I don't want breeders to start getting 5 page questionaire to answer before a buyer would decide they wanted to get a puppy from them."
              ROFL! We do get these from the more nervous (or once burned) sort of would-be buyer, Stacie--it runs the gamut from a total firth degree grilling (as if you are a criminal<G>) to what Carol Beene so succinctly<G> calls the "How Big-How Much?" type of buyer. Sincerity is obvious...as<G>are "other" qualities in most buyers. Once you've seen a few, you can tell a lot (if thinking your way thru life that is)?

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

                JP- This is really informative for the buyer as well as the breeder. I'm really glad I started to scan the older messages. There's so much information there. Debbie

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                • #9
                  RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

                  thanks for bringing it back<G>up to the surface. soothes my hurt feelings a bit <G> as my other recent would-be educational thread got very much off-topic.....maybe HERE we can discuss how to know and be a good breeder?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

                    Sorry bout that other thread. I started to read the older threads, too much tension in the newer ones<G>. I highly recommend any other newbies to browse the archives and older threads for great and some entertaining info. Debbie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RE: A DANE BREEDER'S CHECKLIST:

                      Good idea. There is lots in these old archives. A mine rich with profitable veins!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thought to bring up one of our archived posts from way back when. Some good information.
                        sigpic
                        In Memory of Sky, EZ and Honor

                        Visit Poke's Facebook Page

                        Member of the GDC of MD.
                        Well behaved danes are not born. They are “made” by responsible and caring dane owners.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jpy View Post
                          And you have made arrangements (esp. if you are breeding harls) with your vet to euthanize defective, disqualifying and/or excessive pups humanely at birth
                          I'm sorry but this line doesn't sit well with me at all! Defective pups...yes, due to quality of life issues. Excessive pups...I'd rather advise any potential breeder to have an excess of homes, in other words a waiting list bigger than the potential litter before breeding a litter; & be willing & able to keep any they can't find a home for, until a home is found. If they can't do this, they shouldn't be breeding that litter. The part that really bothers me about this is the disqualifying bit. There are so many colours that are disqualified, I can't bear the thought of euthanizing a perfectly healthy pup simply due to it being born with an "unacceptable" colour. I'm sorry, I'm not one to start an argument, I usually just keep my opinions to myself, but as I look at my happy, healthy merle boy next to me, it hurts to think that someone would find him disposable & end his life simply b/c of his disqualifying trait.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            she's not talking about color, she's talking about defects that come with certain colors, blindness, deafness, both, etc.

                            Please read it again.

                            Culling also means removing from the gene pool, ie: spay and neuter....not just euthanizing.
                            sigpic
                            In Memory of Sky, EZ and Honor

                            Visit Poke's Facebook Page

                            Member of the GDC of MD.
                            Well behaved danes are not born. They are “made” by responsible and caring dane owners.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I admit, it probably is a matter of semantics here, but in the above quote you will see the word euthanize with no mention of spay/neuter. Also, defective & disqualifying are mentioned separately which leads one to believe that "disqualifying" means any disqualifying traits (including colour) regardless of the health (as it is mentioned separately). Like I said, it's no doubt a matter of semantics, but I think it would be beneficial to make this point clearer as to not give the wrong impression.
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