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Potential Buyers--Before You Even Look at that first puppy ad...

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  • Potential Buyers--Before You Even Look at that first puppy ad...

    Please, please, please…take the time to research the breed, learn what reputable breeding means, and start your search for a breeder…and not a puppy. I guarantee you WILL avoid potential frustration and heartache, and will more than likely save money (over the life of the pup) as well. What follows are suggestions on how to search and obtain a healthy, well-bred, companion (pet) puppy—information obtained from various breeders, owners, and dog-interest groups.

    1. Learn About The Breed

    How do you know a Dane is right for you and your family? What will help you learn if you are able to afford and keep a Dane for its entire lifetime? One aspect of responsible ownership means planning properly ahead of time so you do not have to rehome the dog later in its life due to size, maintenance and health costs, training, “incompatibility”, etc. Start by reading the online (free) book, ‘The Great Dane – Model of Nobility’ by Dane breeder Jill Swedlow. Click here to read it in it’s entirety before you do anything else.

    **edited 2-08-11**

    Jill removed the download for Model of Nobility when she released her new book. Jill's new book is available here: Living with Great Danes
    Model of Nobility is available at some sites like Amazon.

    **end of edit**


    Also:

    The official standard for Great Danes - Great Dane Club of America
    http://www.gdca.org/standard.htm

    Health concerns in the Great Dane:
    http://www.gdca.org/healthandwelfare.htm


    2a. Learn What Reputable Breeding Means

    The ‘reputable/ethical breeder’ – a term you’ll see used quite liberally, but what exactly does it mean? And truthfully speaking, what constitutes an ethical breeder has been a topic of debate on many a forum. .Having/displaying ethics involves *some* set of principles of right and wrong, and personal opinion does affect how each person feels about what those principles are.

    But, there are some standards that for the most part are universally accepted. Obviously there has to be, else how could unrelated breeders worldwide consistently produce high quality puppies? The fact is, there have to be some guiding set of principles, a good 'ethic', that make this possible. An internet search from various dog-related interest groups (and not just this forum or Dane forums) has revealed the following:

    -An ethical breeder works hard to acquire information both about dogs in general and about their breed in particular. This means more than reading a few books or internet articles about them. It means talking to or corresponding with many of the authorities in the field, and collecting information on breed, pedigrees, etc. An ethical breeder shows a tremendous amount of breed knowledge.
    -Ethical breeders are honest about the faults, as well as the advantages, of the breed. This means being honest about the inherited problems that are found in the breed and that the breed is not a fit for every family.
    -An ethical breeder always breeds with the goals of conformation, genetic health AND temperament. It is a disservice to the breed to do any less.
    -Ethical breeders do not breed young dogs.
    -Ethical breeders utilize genetic health testing as one tool in a breeding program. In addition, as tests become available for other inherited problems, reputable breeders have their breeding stock tested.
    -Ethical breeders provide some kind of a guarantee with their puppies, in addition to the most basic requirement of being guaranteed healthy when they leave the house.
    -Ethical breeders sell non-show quality puppies and dogs only on Limited (non-breeding) registration.
    -Ethical breeders provide long-term support and advice. They are available to those who buy puppies (both their own and others) and provide help and encouragement.
    -Ethical breeders are willing to take back puppies they have bred and find homes for them if they ever need to be placed again. They recognize that the decision to bring this life into the world was theirs and they take the responsibility of protecting it.
    -Ethical breeders take responsibility for their mistakes. This responsibility includes accidental breedings, breedings which turn out badly etc. They do NOT let their dogs go to animal shelters or rescue agencies.
    -Ethical breeders are fully aware that without good, stable temperament in a dog there is nothing. The best show or obedience dog is nothing if they are shy or aggressive. There is no room for breeders who knowingly breed poorly tempered dogs. While the nature vs. nurture debate still rages, it remains clear that temperament is a strongly heritable trait. Breeding nervous/aggressive dogs is irresponsible.
    -Ethical breeders do not tolerate animal suffering.
    -Ethical breeders utilize the show ring as an unbiased means of evaluating their dog's conformation. While showing doesn't define a breeder as reputable, NOT showing indicates irresponsibility towards the breed. Even long-term breeders, should be utilizing the show ring vs relying on their own personal judgment of their dogs.
    -Ethical breeders do NOT capitalize on breed trends. For Danes, this would include breeding poorly conformed 'Euro' Danes, 'rare/uncommon colors', or producing puppies 'in time for Christmas'.
    -Ethical breeders follow the state requirement for puppy selling by not selling a pup under 8 weeks old. Note that some states do not have this requirement, but the minimum age is still of concern as puppies need this time with their dam/siblings.

    2b. Learn about what you are entitled to in a puppy

    The difference between a well-bred litter and a poorly bred one is like night and day, just as you would note the differences if you compared a finely made garment to a cheap one. Note this: in every well-bred litter there are non-show quality puppies available for the buyer looking only for a pet. Good breeders don't breed 'show' litters and 'pet' litters'. They breed with the goal of producing a better dog, and quite often only a small percentage of the litter is considered potentially show quality/breedworthy. The rest are wonderful non-showable pups, with the same amount of thought put behind them as their show quality siblings. A breeder that shows isn't just a canine 'beauty-pageant' hobbyist, or an elitist snob LOL. They are showing their dogs for various reasons, one is for other experienced breed enthusiasts to assess the quality of the dogs to prove (or disprove) breedworthiness.

    Showing accomplishes many things, but just one thing it does for you, the buyer, is a chance to see the breeders dogs out in the public, in comparison with their peers' dogs, and in full view of all. It's a wonderful way to learn about the dogs, and see how their dogs react to the stresses of a dog show.

    The plain and simple fact is, buyers cannot afford to ignore what goes into the breeding of the puppy they choose.

    So the excuse, ‘I don’t need a show breeder, I’m only looking for a pet’, is just that…an excuse! Do NOT settle for breeders who refuse to breed responsibly!

    3. Learn how to look for reputable breeders; do not rely solely on the recommendations of others

    The best thing you can do is educate yourself on how to shop for a breeder and a puppy. Quite frankly, why ask for breeder recommendations from complete strangers; people who will not have to live with your choice, people who may or may not give you accurate or unbiased information?


    Your search and research should be for breeders, not puppies. You have to research to find someone who is breeding healthy, conformed (structurally correct) dogs--breeders whose goals are to produce pups better than the dogs preceding them. Breeders who have no goals other than to bring in extra $$ should be avoided like the plague. Think about it this way...if you want to buy a new car, you want to buy a quality, well-made vehicle, with a good history of minimal problems, and one where the dealer will provide long-term support and maintenance. Would you find the same looking in the classified ads for the cheapest car available? Of course not. I hate to compare a living thing with a piece of common property, but I'm hoping you'll see my point in the illustration.

    Now...the next step (you should be asking yourself this right now) is how to choose a reputable breeder, with so many bad ones out there? You can't properly screen breeders if you don't know what you're looking for. So turn to the experts who can help:

    How to "shop" for a breeder and choose a puppy wisely, by J. P. Yousha of Chromadane: This includes the 'secret to buying wisely'.
    http://www.chromadane.com/Sales&Saves.htm

    The ABC's of Buying A Purebred Pup, by Jo Kurtz of Hof Kurz Great Danes
    http://www.danemist.com/ABCs

    How to Sort through breeders and weird websites:
    http://www.angelfire.com/anime/gdrsw/sortbreeders.html

    Buyer Beware- Do's and Don'ts:
    http://www.angelfire.com/anime/gdrsw/buyerbeware.html


    It sounds like lot, but it's a necessary part of buyer self-education to help you pick the pup that will bring the most happiness to you for the next several years to come. It will also help avoid the heartache of the many problems being seen in poor quality Danes today because of disreputable breeders...FWIW, even the breeders that seem "nice" outwardly are contributing to the problem. Being a ethical, reputable breeder entails much more than a nice phone voice, and/or a seeming great love for animals. As mentioned earlier, there are principles and ethics that play a large part.


    As per JP's article above, your next action should be...visit shows. You can go to infodog.com, select your state and look for shows in your area (look for all-breed (AB) shows thru the kennel clubs or Specialties (S) through the local Dane club.) Go, purchase the catalog and learn!

    Hopefully the many would-be Dane owners out there can and will take advantage of this information so as to have obtain a happy, healthy dog for years to come.
    ------
    A dedicated Dane owner
    Last edited by dolmod; 02-08-2011, 04:22 PM.

  • bluethunder
    replied
    Originally posted by CarolB View Post
    Dane pups go thru various stages while growing from pups to adults. This could just be a stage and it will flatten out at maturity. Do you know if the sire and dam had flat top lines? Some things are genetic and come from the ancestors. Some things are just normal puppy growth problems that they will outgrow. Time will tell.
    Thanks for ur response, I think his parents have a straight backs. Crossing my fingers.

    Leave a comment:


  • CarolB
    replied
    Dane pups go thru various stages while growing from pups to adults. This could just be a stage and it will flatten out at maturity. Do you know if the sire and dam had flat top lines? Some things are genetic and come from the ancestors. Some things are just normal puppy growth problems that they will outgrow. Time will tell.

    Leave a comment:


  • bluethunder
    replied
    Akc

    I am afraid of what I am read but here we go. My wife and I bought our Dane from a breeder listed on the AKC website. We were thinking we did the right thing but now after looking at all the different pictures and what a dane should look like. I am a little concerned and yet a little angry. I dont know if I am jumping to conclusions but my 4month old blue dane has a little hump on his back. Is it tooo early to be comparing him? We do not plan to show him or breed him but I would like to know I did the right thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Katie661
    replied
    This is great information. Thanks! I'm getting my puppy in the middle of next month and I'm glad to say the breeders hit high marks on everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • dolmod
    replied
    Just posted this on our Facebook page for some folks that needed the information. Figured to bring this to the top here too on our forum.

    Leave a comment:


  • lene1949
    replied
    I have just inquired about a GD puppy... When I asked about what health test had been done on the parents her response was:

    'Not sure what you mean re Health test`s on the Parents??'


    This is supposed to be from a 'purebred site' here in Australia...


    Obviously it's a 'no-go'... I saw pics of the pups and they looked filthy...

    Leave a comment:


  • danedaddy
    replied
    This is such great info and it's great that now it's in one place for anyone considering a Dane to find. Thanks so much!

    Leave a comment:


  • faerymaiden08
    replied
    Great Information

    I am hoping to get a Great Dane in the next year or so (my first) and this information has been incredibly helpful. Now I know for sure that this is the right dog for me. If anyone has any advice or tips please let me know. Thanks again for this post!

    Leave a comment:


  • humbug
    replied
    Awesome! Thanks Cindy!

    Leave a comment:


  • Pauline301
    replied
    Originally posted by Devil Dog View Post
    Great Job Cindy.

    Now to get the buyers to read BEFORE they purchase a puppy.

    Dee
    Exactly!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Devil Dog
    replied
    Great Job Cindy.

    Now to get the buyers to read BEFORE they purchase a puppy.

    Dee

    Leave a comment:


  • Mom2Dori
    replied
    Perfect! Thanks for taking the time to do this, Cindy!

    Leave a comment:


  • Pauline301
    replied
    Excellent!! Cindy. Nice job.

    Leave a comment:


  • LoMax
    replied
    Definately a must read! Great job Cindy!

    Lori

    Leave a comment:

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