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

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  • jpy
    started a topic How 2 Buy a Puppy...a personal opinion.

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

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jun-27-01 AT 01:39PM (PST)[/font][p]I've had about a dozen people ask me this question privately just this past week. I think lots of breeders get asked this alot & most, like me, probably have a fairly standard answer they give. Here's mine. It's just mine; nothing more than what I would do to avoid the problems I've seen people have.

    I give the same advice to all @puppy buying.Noone much ever follows it, <VBG>but the few that do all tell me it worked for them. The problem is it IS work & required delaying gratification done my way. This is my advice:

    PET PUP: IF you want a pet Dane (that is a dog sold exclusively as a companion & sold on a spay/neuter contract & Limited Registration), buy from someone preferably within driving distance. To find breeders, turn your computer off<G>. Then go to visit 1 breeder a month for AT LEAST SIX MONTHS. Never take your checkbook, never promise to buy & never get in a hurry. There are always more pups, but there is never time to go backwards. Get referrals: compare & contrast. Go slow. Take a year if you need to to FIND a breeder and get on the waiting list for a decent litter (this time frame NOT to get a pup) & expect it to take at least the 6 mo. you've promised yourself you'll commit to looking & learning. Buy in haste & you'll have time to repent at leisure. Learn the territory & you'll know where to look for what you want.

    To me nothing is more important than a pet. A pet dog lives in your house, your heart & your home & is worth the trouble. Further I KNOW that cutting corners too often ends in dissapoitment & even disaster, so I know there isn't always an easier & likely isn't a safer way. Most have to find this out the hard way. Too bad.

    SHOW/BREED PUP: IF you want a show Dane the first thing you do is buy a pet & live with it for at least 2 years while you join the local dog clubs & attend dog shows on a regular basis (that means at least 1 show every 2-3 months). For at least two years, you need to participate in club activities, help out, learn who is who, what is what & what you like & don't like--both about all these people & the breed. (You may think you know this now, but nobody knows anything really about the breed for at least a couple of years as your experience is simply too limited. You've simply seen too few dogs, too few breeders, too few contracts, breedings, shows, etc. to know anything really important yet about the breed, conformation, breeding etc. Accept that's just part of being new-not a comment on who you are.)

    IF & when your pet dane is grown & trained (here is a place to do CGC, even CD, TD, NA, and other performance titles!), then you can decide if spending every other weekend & at least two nites a week training & showing dogs is really your interest in life & where you want to spend your disposable income. Before you know this, IMO, you shouldn't be "experimenting" on dogs. Serious breeders want buyers with a track record if they have serious show prospects, not hopeful newcomers. And no litter IMO deserves to be bred by someone who is learning the ropes with their first dog. Puppies deserve better surely?

    The only possible exception I can see to this would be IF you can find a co-own show (potential?) bitch/dog (more likely dog) that you show to finish for the breeder understanding he is a "finishable pet" who will NOT likely be used at stud or the foundation of your breeding program, but just give you a chance to show a decent, if not first class, animal, so you can gain experience & develop a relationship with the dog's breeder as your mentor. That *sometimes* works. But too often the two involved who were strangers become enemies, so I don't generally recommend it. It's best to first learn about danes & the daneworld BEFORE you haul off & buy a breed-potential dog.

    Learn about varying breeders. Visit them, ask them for events & other breeders to visit & don't plan to actually purchase a pup this year. Compare & contrast. Learn the breed before you start to breed. Start with a pet pup even if you think you want to show/breed. That's my advice. (Lots of others with other advice. ) Mine's not easy to follow, but it's nearly guaranteed to work. cheers, jpY

    PS__I'd love it if others, breeders & buyers alike, would give their own advice, as I'd think that would be quite educational-- as long as <VBG>it doesn't turn into another p*ssing contest between "you say toMAto & I say toMaaTo" <VBG> camps. Let's agree there are more than one description of an elephant amoung all us blind men from the start<G>so we can share the bit of the world we *do* know about with each other. Please?

  • angeldane
    I would never buy from such a person, safe fact is at least he is upfront about it rather than write out a health contract that fails to cover anything.
    It wouldn't matter what his dogs look like, I wouldn't trust him to sell a healthy pup, funny thing it's sounds like a response I've seen before.
    Love how if he sells you a sick dog he'll only cover 250 of a problem he knows he's at fault for. What happens if bill is 1000 dollars?

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  • lime1315
    One breeders opinion on what they produce ( shameful i think )

    The following has been taken from a breeders direct email about some pups he is trying to sell. I contacted him , and asked tons of questions...but all i got was this response below. He breeds and sells pups and does not care about what happens to them after 48 hours. He thinks that a hefty price will make others think his are quality...( what a joke ). I feel so sorry for all the buyers who bought them.

    My guarantee only covers communicable diseases within the first 48 hours. I sell all of my puppies as pet quality only. I do not claim that they are show quality or breeder quality. I do tell people that if they want to show the dog, they have the dog to show. If they want to breed the dog, they have the dog to breed. I do not sell any dogs higher than pet quality. You can clearly see, based on the parents and the puppies, that I have quality dogs even more so than a lot of people out there. I had X puppy listed at $3300 in the beginning. His price is lower as with all of the remaining dogs that I have because I am selling them as they are. I would cover up to $250 of communicable disease issues if any of my dogs go to their new owner sick. However, that will never happen because I will not ship out a sick dog. I would not cover any other issues due to the fact of me lowering their price. I am telling everyone the exact same thing. X puppy can see and he can hear. That is my guarantee on X puppy not the amount of vision he may or may not have based off of a digital test or vets opinion. He plays just fine with the other puppies, use and toys

    :All I can do to ensure buyers is to be upfront and honest throughout the process. For as long as you have been communicating with me. I have been honest, upfront, and to the point. It is very clear to see that my puppies and adults are well taken care of. I take very good, straight forward pictures, different angles, to give as much detail as possible. As much as I would like to give a longer guarantee, there is just too many things that could go wrong just based off of the new owner. I have turned down buyers even from this litter and I am currently thinking about turning down another one I have been talking too. I am a person that likes things to go smooth and for everyone to be happy and once I get to a certain point of uncomfort with anyone, they will have to change their email and name in order to purchase a puppy from me. I am willing to put the quality and health of my puppies against any out there. I am very sure you could go on X site right now and open at least 100 hundred posting that could not even compare to what I have and how I have raised them. I am not into this as much some people. I have never one to join clubs or groups because I have a similarity to such things. I have what I have, I offer what I offer. The rest is up to the buyer.

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  • dolmod
    It's really not necessary to post the same question in several different threads.

    where do people go who cannot afford $1000?
    In reality, that's about the average price for a pet dane. I guess if a person really wants a quality dane puppy from a responsible breeder, along with all the perks, they save up until they have the purchase price. They can also consider rescue. Unfortunately, when considering this breed, you also have to also take into account that the costs for general care are also much higher than smaller dogs. If the purchase price is a concern financially, they may want to consider a different breed.
    Last edited by dolmod; 02-02-2011, 04:09 AM.

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  • Chul3l3ies1126
    I gave you an answer in the other thread.

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    where do people go who cannot afford $1000?

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  • Carolyn
    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........

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  • dolmod
    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.

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  • novacrew
    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.

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  • Shotah
    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).

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  • Kyson
    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.

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  • Michkendo
    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.

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  • nicole72786
    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..

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

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  • brerdane
    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. :-)


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