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How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

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  • #31
    RE: How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

    Going back and looking at past threads...I found this one and thought it very worthy of bringing it back up to the fore front again. Since I myself have been seriously looking for about a month now. I'm nowhere near where I want to be when I finally make that decision, but you've given me some GREAT things to think about and some wonderful suggestions! Thanks Jpy and everyone else for some really great advice!


    • #32
      RE: How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

      This is a great thread, I had all sorts of questions as I was reading and when I saw the date (2years ago) I was dissapointed because I figured that everyone was tired of this one. I am so glad that someone brought it back out! I always like it when JP puts her two cents in anyway because she is SO knowledgeable, and always talking about the things that we need to hear, even if it is not the most popular opinion. I figure I can say another comlpiment since the last ones on this thread were 2 years ago!

      SO! Here is my question, We live in Alaska, we live in a small town on a small island (12 miles of paved road) the only way in or out is boat or plane, the nearest town is 3 hours away by ferry. Going and looking (actually visting the premesis) at a lot of breeders is not an option. I have only heard of one Dane breeder even in the state, and I am closer to Seattle than to them. What I am asking is if there is a way that you can do this long distance? What extra precations should I take to make sure that I don't end up with someone dishonest or worse a BYB? I want to do this the right way the first time, and since it is the first time I want to make sure that I will get a breeder that will mentor me through this process. Ok I will stop now, I am sure I could go on all day! :-)

      Lani in the frozen north!!


      • #33
        RE: How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

        You can contact the GDCA and ask them for reputable breeders. Start conversatons with them, possibly by mail (more personal). Maybe order some GDR or one of the other Dane Mags (of course the names of the other completely slips my mind, but is run by a lady named Rita).

        I don't know if AKC does it but if you become a member of the CKC, you get the monthly 'Dogs in Canada' mag that comes with the show standings across Canada. You can contact the breeders threw kennel names and start relationships that way.

        If you know of one breeder that you feel is reputable you can always ask them for a list of people to contact that you feel comfortable with. Once you have gotten to know a few then you can go about asking their opinions on upcoming litters in the colour you refer.

        Good Luck


        • #34
          RE: How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

          "(of course the names of the other completely slips my mind, but is run by a lady named Rita)."

          That would be Rita Suddarth - Dane World magazine.

          I would caution and I think JP too that even though a breeder is a GDCA member you still should do your homework. It's a good starting point but like in everything there is good and bad.



          • #35
            RE: How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

            Very good topic and I've been lucky pretty much with my first two danes going about it all wrong by gut instinct and the heart. I still use the gut instinct as part of my recipe as it's saved me from many a bad situation.

            Although we did lose our first dane to cardio at 6.5 yo but littermates and repeat breeding all seem to be fine. (I'd met five danes from his line in addition to his dam.) And yes his information was submitted for the cardio research that was being done when he passed away. Something I'd highly recommend that people try to participate in - health studies\surveys.

            I'm in the process of looking for a show potential mantle bitch. Right now I'm trying to stay away from the flavor of the month stud syndrome (and his get) that's going on in harles. Part of my reasoning on this is what happened in Salukis according to a member of KC I belong to. Everyone bred to this one sire doubled and tripled up in pedigrees. Only problem is most everything that goes back to him has died young (don't know exactly problem & discussion was a few years ago) and has wiped out several breeding programs.

            I want health testing if at all possible, however, some of the predominant older breeders don't believe in this. As some of them put it they have longevity in their line and look at all the champions they have bred. Of course my first preferences are ones that test even though I know that's no guarantee. I've been doing quiet inquiries to find out health on some dogs. This is a real sticky issue as a lot of things are kept hushed up. Also some of the pupsicles (frozen AIs) are from it's a tough decision. There's a litter that was just confirmed via ultra sound that I'd love and may just have to take a chance on sire (well known and a producer too). I'd like to get more information on him and am still digging so to speak.

            Temperament is important also so that's eliminated some lines immediately. I'm looking farther afield as unfortunately there are really no close by harle/mantle kennels I would consider getting a dane from for show. Companion would be a totally different situation. Although whether they turn out it will be a home for life.

            I've pretty much been following your recipe along with doing a lot of pedigree research. I've restricted myself to lines that are in my present dog's pedigree as they are my preference.

            I'm being mentored by non harle dane breeder, however, would like to get that also from breeder I get my girl from. Again, the gut instinct or connection has to be there too. I've shied away from some very nice pedigrees and mantles because things didn't click.

            The big thing is don't be in a hurry. If I have to wait another year to find that special girl (I hope not) so be it. But in my mind she's worth the wait.

            Your recipe on buying is very good and actually I've been following it on this last search. Actually would be something good to put up on our kennel club's site for puppy buyers as it really applies to all breeds.

            Forgot to add that one very important tool for me has been some of the dane lists I belong to. I've been lucky enough to belong to some of the lists that require sponsorship and JP you're one of the ones I've learned loads from. I've done a lot of listening and learning over the past few years. Wish the Internet had been more active before I got my first dane. This is also an area where you have to pick and choose as there are some boards\lists being run by novices claiming to be experts. :-)



            • #36
              here's another oldie but goodie on the subject of buying a pup.
              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.


              • #37
                I am taking at least an entire year talking to breeders and dane owners before I get my dog. and it goes back to my hard earned lesson of when i bought the most pitiful beta fish in the pet shop, tried to nurse it back to health, for WEEKS, and then, my poor fish swam sideways for months, and then died.

                if the breeder's raising conditions of the dogs are not ok, report them, don't try to rescue one puppy from the breeder. know your stuff. take a good look at the dog. i learned so much from one sick and pitiful beta fish..


                • #38
                  The Wait....

                  As a newbie, it has been with great interest and desired knowledge that I have read ALL the entries - It sounds as though I am on the right track as far as checking out breeders and gathering information. We live on an island in Southeast Alaska - so traveling to the Lower 48 to "check things out" is very difficult and expensive. Fortunately one of my daughters lives in an area close to one of the breeders I've been corresponding with, and on my request, went for a visit and gave me some very positive feedback.
                  I have wanted a Dane since the early 1970's - could never get my husband to agree until this past summer. Now I am fairly obsessed with getting ready for this new family member - preparing "the nursery" - it's almost like being prenatal again. The puppy will come from one of two breeders (after much research, we've narrowed the field) and we anxiously awaiting spring 2010.
                  Waiting is tough - it was good to read that waiting for what you want is truly worth the wait. Thank you all for everything I have read thus far. Any further tips are greatly appreciated.


                  • #39
                    Rushing into getting a puppy...not a good idea

                    About me:
                    I have wanted a dog/puppy since as far back as I can remember. After graduating from college, I finally found the time and opportunity to let a pet into my life (beside my turtle). My parents never gave in to my pleas for a dog growing up and now I am very grateful they did so. I definitely didn't understand the magnitude of raising a puppy. As a kid back then, my parents would have ended up being the ones taking care of the dog. Now that I have my first dog/great dane, I can honestly say I'm glad I waited until after college to raise a fur-child

                    About Yohji:
                    Currently, a 12 week old white and black piebald boy. 1 of 8 in his litter from a black mantle dam and harlequin.
                    I can honestly say I have been researching dog breeds, dog breeders, training, dog health issues, pretty much anything about dogs, for about a good 5 years before I even started actually pursuing contacting breeders about great danes. I had always gone to the local animal shelter to look at dogs and puppies when I was a kid, but ended up heartbroken when I didn't leave with the "dog of the week". Although emotions can play a HUUGEE factor in picking a dog, I want to reiterate what a lot of people say in this forum: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Research will help you find the dog of your dreams. There is no excuse for not being a well-informed parent. There is a good amount of information on great danes and spending at least 100+ hours of reading articles, watching videos, talking to great dane owners, talking to breeders, interacting on forums, etc. will help you truly understand what you are getting into.

                    Breeders vs. Rescues:
                    I initially wanted a rescue just because I've always heard that "it's the right thing to do". And sometimes I still feel a sense of guilt when people ask me if my boy was a rescue. The "No, he is from a breeder" answer is kind of hard to say but I am still very happy I went the breeder route. My dane came from a breeder who was also a vet (kind of reassuring). She was not a BYB and has dogs involved in AKC shows as well as her own pet companions. She made sure to have health testing of her dogs before breeding which helped relieve some worries about getting a healthier pup.

                    I want to say that buying from a breeder needs to have an open channel of communication. Any question I have for her or she has for me needs to be answered. TRANSPARENCY is key in choosing who to purchase a puppy from. The breeder was actually able to set me up with some dane owners when I was still deciding on getting this breed. Through them I got to hear all the pros and cons of owning a great dane.

                    Seeing is believing:
                    I was able to see both parents and interact with them. This is how I got to know their temperaments(both were super mellow). I also saw the full litter and saw where they were being raised. Being able to observe the environment in which they are raised was crucial for me trust the breeder. A clean home is a happy home. I had visited the breeder 4 times before deciding on bringing one home. Picking the right puppy is hard and I had help from the breeder. Given that I was a new dog owner, she helped me pick a dog that is very middle-of-the-road.

                    When looking at for a puppy/dog, money shouldn't be a constraint for you. If you aren't financially stable at the moment, getting a pet is probably not the best idea. Equally important is time shouldn't be a constraint. If you don't have time to properly train your pooch, you are doing yourself and the dog a disfavor. I bought my puppy for $900 which I feel was a steal because of his temperament (I have yet to see if my investment pays off in the long run for a healthy dog, but so far no problems at all).

                    Make sure to puppy-proof your house BEFORE the puppy comes home. My mistake of doing it once he got home. Now I am scrambling all over the place, all the time, to keep him from getting into my stuff. Having all the necessary puppy gear before he gets home made my life easier. Make sure you also find a reliable vet in your area. I ended up spending some extra time and money on searching for a good vet because I didn't search for one sooner.

                    This is the easiest way to explain it.

                    I wish I had given some other breeds a chance. I definitely set my heart out on finding a great dane and got what I wanted. Even though I am not the least bit disappointed, being able to have talked with other dog breeders of different breeds would have helped set me up for a better decision on choosing a puppy.

                    Overall, when purchasing a puppy make sure you have done your homework and understand what you are investing your time, money, and heart into. If you've done everything you can to find yourself the right puppy, then you will have no regrets.
                    My name is Yohji
                    "If you're cool, then I'm cool, then we're cool." -Anthony Hamilton


                    • #40
                      I'm so glad to see that this thread is alive again! I'd like to add a post from a rescue perspective. (Granted, my rescue experience is with wolfdogs, not Danes, but I think it applies).

                      There are 3 major reasons that any animal ends up in rescue.
                      1. "He isn't what I thought he'd be!" BYB's (and even some "reputable" ones) will glorify their dogs to no end. They won't tell you what the real problems can be, either because they want your check or because they're too blind to see any faults. Case in point: lots of people get wolfdogs because bybs say they'll be good guard dogs. LIES. WDs are SHY--and the more you try to "toughen them up" the more unstable you make them. I'm new to Danes, but I'm sure there are people out there that sell on the point of "guard dogs."

                      2. "He got too big!" This means that the buyer (however well intentioned) DID NOT do their research and find out how big their chosen puppy could get, and plan their housing accordingly. This also means that the breeder really didn't care what kind of home their pup went to--as long as they got the check. (this also applies as "well, his sire/dam has aggression issues (or insert health problem here), but you won't have any problem! Where's the check?")

                      3. The Stupid Buyer Clause (started under#2, but more dumb reasons that resposible buyers/breeders need to avoid or plan for).
                      "my child is suddenly allergic"
                      "I can't afford the food/vet bills/replacement furniture"
                      "now that he's big, he attacks my cat/small dog"
                      "he started shedding all over my designer furniture"
                      "I wanted to breed him but the puppies all came out ugly"
                      "My GF/BF doesn't like him"
                      believe me, any rescue has heard these all a million times. And it makes us all

                      So, what buyers need to bear in mind is this: HAVE A WORST CASE SCENARIO PLAN IN PLACE. What will you do if . . .
                      your puppy eats your prized possesions?
                      your puppy has a MAJOR health problem? (not including ear crop, natural spay/neuter, pexy, etc)
                      your puppy and your kids or other pets have issues?
                      you suddenly realize that you need to spend quite a bit to beef up your fencing/containment?
                      your puppy gets a little exuberant with someone else's little darling (canine or human) and they're the suing kind?
                      you just haven't had the time to teach your puppy basic manners, and your life situation suddenly changes (layoff, move, etc) and now your housing situation depends on your "canine good citizen"?
                      *write down your answers and talk about them with your SO or family*

                      and on a more positive note, you need to have a BEST CASE SCENARIO in place.
                      Where do you want to be training-wise with your pup in 6 months? A year? 3 years? How will you achieve that?
                      How will your puppy be included in your family? How can you include them MORE?
                      How can I give dogs in general a good name? What is necessary for my dog to be a canine good citizen?
                      What can I do to give my dog the best quality of life possible? and yes, this CAN be done on a budget!
                      *write down your answers and do more talking!*

                      Your JOB as a buyer is to plan for these kinds of things. Not only should you be planning for the worst (while hoping for the best), but your breeder of choice shouldn't hesitate to point out drawbacks, even in their champion lines. A good breeder will set you up to succeed--and that means you knowing and being prepared for anything (with their knowledge behind you).
                      sigpic--Shana and Riley


                      • #41
                        Great thread. Thought I'd add my two cents.

                        We looked for our Dane for over 6 months and spoke with probably 6 local breeders. One of them strongly recommended a breeder with 20-30 years of Dane experience who was also a judge in the Dane world. I took their advice but didn't do my homework. We went to visit and our puppy fell in love with us and vice versa. Seven months later, he died in his sleep from probably a genetic heart problem (but we'll never know for sure). I won't get into that bc I've written at length about it in the Health Forum, but what I will say is that after his death I did the research I should have done BEFORE we even contacted that breeder. First thing I did a few weeks after he died was to look up my breeder on and what did I find? Almost nothing for a breeder that has champions coming out of his ears! Seems there are some old-timer breeders that have solid reputations but don't believe in health testing. It was shocking, but it got worse the more I learned. Had I known any of this, I never would have even called that breeder. Here are some learnings that I didn't see in the thread (but could have missed):

                        1. When visiting breeders, DON'T take your kids unless you are fairly certain that it is "the one"
                        2. Spend lots, and I mean lots, of time on researching the dogs of the breeders you are considering. Look at "vertical pedigrees" and research all of the relatives. Learn what the different classifications mean. If your breeder is supposedly big-time but doesn't have much on - BEWARE
                        3. Ask to see the contract before you make any decisions. Demand a health guarantee for at least a year that allows for your choice of either another puppy or a full refund if the unforseen genetic problem happens.
                        4. Be aware of your state's Puppy Lemon Laws. I've learned each state is very different. Make sure that your contract gives you more protection than the law does.
                        5. Although referrals from reputable breeders are to be treasured, they should just be one data point.

                        We are heartbroken over our loss, but the research for another pup has already begun bc I am allowing a year to do this right the second time.

                        Paul, any chance we could get a "breeder referral" thread going? We're also considering a Doberman, and I found their breeder referral very helpful. If one already exists, my apologies, I'm new to DOL.


                        • #42
                          breeder referrals are not permitted on the forums. Reputation is subjective. DOL is an educational forum. That being said, please read through the "puppy buying" links on our forum homepage. Refer to the GDCA Breeders list, and ask for referrals from the local dane rescue.
                          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.


                          • #43
                            Good post...........I appreciate putting what you learned into action by trying to inform others of how to do proper research.

                            You will be blessed a second time with another beautiful pup that will warm your hearts and home with its love and devotion.
                            Good luck in your search........
                            Divine Acres Great Danes
                            Divine Acres The Legend "Bruce" 5 1/2 months old..5th generation of DA Danes!


                            • #44
                              where do people go who cannot afford $1000?
                              I'm no Big George but I'm still Beautiful!


                              • #45
                                I gave you an answer in the other thread.