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Owning a Great Dane : Breeder Recommendations

If you are looking for an intelligent and gentle dog that will be good with family members, young and old, large and small, the Great Dane may be for you. However, this giant animal brings with it some unique problems, many of which are related to its great size.

Standing three feet tall at the shoulder and weighing as much as 175 pounds, the Great Dane does not make a great apartment breed.

Instead, this breed needs outside room to roam, play, and train.


Things to Know Before Getting a Great Dane

With these restrictions in mind, you will find the Great Dane to be an excellent companion, loyal, and protective but not as aggressive as its large size might indicate. In fact, many owners have found the Great Dane to be very gentle, even delicate in some ways. Indiscriminate breeding has caused some problems for families that purchased dogs from less than reputable breeders, but with careful shopping, you may certainly find that the Great Dane makes a fine family pet.

Of course, the best place to start is by reading as much as you can about the breed. Prepare yourself with plenty of questions about the care and health of the Great Dane, so that when you visit breeders you can clear up any doubts you may have about these subjects. We recommend visiting at least three breeders to get a good idea of how they handle their dogs, to look at the dogs’ living conditions and to ask about the parents of the puppies you are considering. A good breeder will be able to answer most, if not all, of your questions and should be able to provide documentation that should go along with a well-bred puppy.

A good breeder should spend a lot of time, and effort, with the puppies in their first eight weeks of life, to make sure that they are comfortable with people and other dogs. A well-socialized young dog goes a long way to making the pet experience an enjoyable one. The breeder should be able to provide you with details about the proper diet for the young dog and will have the puppy ready with the proper vaccinations and health tests.


Owning a Great Dane


You should only purchase a Great Dane OFA certified, meaning it is free from hip dysplasia, which is a joint disease that afflicts many larger breeds. Be very observant of the living conditions at the breeder’s facility. For instance, look to see if the dogs get the right amounts of fresh food and water, and that the puppies are alert, playful, and energetic. If possible, ask to see both parents of the litter you are looking at, giving you a better idea of the temperament and general health of the bloodlines.

You could buy from a retail store or backyard breeder, but this might leave you without the information you need about the dog’s background and general health. Sometimes the store personnel and less-experienced breeder cannot answer your questions about care and feeding. You should always be satisfied with the answers you get in these areas.

In addition, you should ask about guarantees. For instance, if the dog becomes seriously ill as a puppy, could you get a replacement or get your money back? If the dog dies in a specified amount of time, would you get a new dog or get your money back? You should always ask for a written contract with the breeder to cover these situations. If you ask more questions and get more information than you feel you need, your experience with your Great Dane can be an enjoyable one.


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