There are many questions you should have up your sleeve for your prospective Great Dane breeder. Outside of your own research, a good puppy buyer should have some pretty specific questions about the breed once they meet a few puppies and the breeder responsible for raising them.
But be prepared to be on the other end of the interrogation as well. A good breeder will have a number of important questions they’ll be itching to ask you as a potential Great Dane owner, as well.
Come Prepared to Talk
If you show up to the breeder’s facility with some decent background information a few good questions, this will prompt some lively discussion from your breeder. Like attracts like, and both you and the breeder will learn that each of you is serious about buying and raising one of these special puppies, and gain a mutual respect for one another.
Think of it this way – if you were to show up at a car dealership to look at a high-end sports car without any prior knowledge of it, or vice versa, your salesperson didn’t know much about the model, chances are your relationship is going to struggle from the get-go. This conversation period gives each of you a few insights about one another to start building a relationship based on trust, and a mutual interest – your new puppy.
Answer Them Honestly
A breeder should ask you a series of open-ended questions to get a sense of you, your family, your living arrangements, and your lifestyle – all directed at discovering what kind of an owner you’ll be for a Great Dane.
Great Dane puppies are adorable, there’s no doubt about it. However, you may not be the right type of person to own and care for such a strong, spirited animal. Being honest with your breeder will help them to gauge whether or not you’re truly up to the task – and remember, they’re trying to do you a favour so you’re well informed, it’s nothing personal.
They may ask you a few questions like the following:
1. Why Do You Want a Dog in the First Place?
Every good breeder will want to know where and to whom their puppies are going. This is where they’ll start to develop a sense of your intentions and gauge if you’re trustworthy enough to adopt one of their pups. Maybe for a beloved family pet, maybe for hunting or as a working dog – whatever the reason, be honest and up front.
2. Why This Breed Specifically?
Your breeder will know the interworking’s and personality of their chosen breed like the back of their hand. They’ll want to inform you if you’re not a good fit for a Great Dane – and you may not be, they’re not for everyone. They may ask you what kind of exposure you’ve had with other Great Danes, or large breeds in general - and how much you know about their temperament, energy level, etc.
3. Who’s Going to be Taking Care of the Dog?
Seems like a pretty basic question, but this one is actually very important. If you’re buying the puppy as a surprise birthday gift for your spouse or child, the breeder will probably want to meet them as well, or at least get a sense of the situation behind the purchase. They’ll have a vested interest in knowing exactly who is going to be the dog’s primary caregiver.
4. Does a Puppy Work with Your Schedule?
Some breeds require more exercise, training and affection than others. Some breeds have bigger personalities than others and require a huge amount of time to train and to get to know. Your breeder will want to know about your day-to-day schedule, so they can gauge whether or not your lifestyle can handle a Great Dane. If you’re a workaholic who doesn’t like to walk a couple of times per day, you won’t be a good fit.
5. Will the Dog Be Around Kids?
Most dogs make great companions for kids, and kids certainly love dogs. Extra caution should always be given to a new puppy around a new baby. The breeder will likely want to ask you how your kids are with other dogs, and what kinds of dogs they’ve been exposed to in the past to get a sense of how Great Danes stack up. The breeder will also want to know if your children will be instructed and taught to care for the puppy as well. In return, ask how your kids should behave with the dog, so you have some background on situations that could make the dog uncomfortable, or potentially aggressive.
6. Any Allergies?
A quick question to ask and answer. Great Danes are fairly good choice for people with allergies, but no dog is completely off the allergy-causing bandwagon. Danes have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander than most, making them a good choice for people with dog allergies.
7. How Committed Are You to the Pup’s Health and Grooming?
Most people will admittedly underestimate the importance and time it takes to make sure their new Great Dane pup gets plenty of exercise. They require at least two good walks per day. Grooming a Great Dane’s coat may not be as high maintenance as other breeds, but they need constant nail-trimming, baths, occasional ear-cleaning, etc. To get the most out of your relationship with your new puppy, your groomer will likely ask questions about your ability to care for their health and grooming.
8. Are You Aware of All the Costs?
You may want to take a seat for this one when your groomer lay’s out how much a Great Dane pup can potentially cost you every day/month/year. Large breeds like Dane’s eat a huge amount of high-quality dog food, and all dogs require annual licensing fees, possible boarding/kennel costs if you go away for a vacation, veterinary care, etc. The groomer will make sure that you’re well aware of the costs associated with caring for your new Great Dane pup. Take a moment to talk to your proposed new vet to assess all of the costs associated with a large breed.
9. How Much Time Can You Dedicate to the Animal?
This doesn’t mean simply being present, but how much quality time you can afford to spend with the dog playing, walking, and goofing around. This type of play and time is critical to creating a lasting bond with your puppy that will carry through your relationship over the years. Further, you may be asked about your dedication to training and obedience, especially if you’ve cited wanting to show the dog in a competition setting. Obedience training takes up many, many hours and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
10. How often Will Someone Be Home with the Dog?
A dog that ends up sitting at home all day waiting for its owner to return home, will inevitably be a sad dog – your breeder will want to make sure there will be someone dedicated to being home on time, or returning throughout the day to say hi, let the pup out for a bathroom break and even enjoy a little stroll. Similarly, a dog can react negatively when they spend a large amount of time with their masters for the first few weeks of ownership and then none at all. Working is justified, but it’s the conscious effort you intend to make that the breeder is interested in.
Coming to the breeder with a few questions is a great way to begin the process of buying a new Great Dane puppy, and being ready to answer their questions helps to create an open and transparent relationship with your breeder over time. Remember, they’ll be a valuable resource for you throughout the duration of your dog’s life, so being an honest and open-minded dog owner is important from the start.
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