As breeders if we are not open and honest about the diseases and ailments of our breed, then we are not taking care of our dogs, we are doing them an injustice.
If you are open and honest about it, breeders can either choose to use your dogs or not. But at least we are aware and know what to look for if it occurs.
Bloat is very real and deadly...
not to mention the cost of surgery which is now over $5000.00.
Cost of Gastropexy ($800-$1500 normally)
Just do it.
My ramblings and thoughts for this breed I love so much.
While I am a member of the Great Dane Club of America, Greater Kansas City and Oklahoma Great Dane clubs, my ramblings are my own thoughts, and not to be thought of as anything coming from these clubs. But more than likely many club members will agree with my ramblings.
I Love Great Danes. They are kind and loving, whimsical and bratty. They can be as sweet as pie, while chewing your best pair of shoes or be quiet as a mouse while chewing off your window sill. They get the zoomies from a young age into old age, running small and large circles as fast as they can with their tails tucked while they scoot around your room or yard. Just step out of their way and let them have fun, it is short lived but a pleasure to watch. (You might want to remove your coffee table from your living room).
My very first Great Dane (1975), Lady, was so sweet, I didn’t want to crate her while I was gone….I was thinking how mean that was to contain her in such a small area……then I came home to a room full of my new sofa, piece by beautiful piece, laying all over my small house. I was 19 then and I learned a most valuable lesson. It is truly unsafe for the DOG and your home to leave them alone without being confined.
First and Foremost – Dogs are animals first and our pets second. NEVER FORGET this. At any time their animal instinct may show itself. Our dogs are so big, they must be able to be controlled in any situation. ANY situation.
Read about the breed to determine if it is right for you and your family. THEY ARE GIANT DOGS. They take up a lot of room, eat a lot of food and then POOP a TON unless fed a RAW diet, then it’s a small TON…they need room to run and play safely in a fenced yard. They need socialization from all means of life. They need to be in a FENCED yard…..They Need to be in a FENCED yard. Did I mention THEY NEED TO BE IN A FENCED YARD. (for their safety and for your piece of mind)
Breeders MAY be direct with you and may seem gruff at times but if they are truly reputable breeders, they have worked a lifetime with this breed and they want to make sure their puppies are going to safe homes and good people who will love this dog through its entire life.
Buyers be aware of sellers, who sell dogs without a contract, or those that sell dogs off the street or at swap meets, or those who want to meet you someplace like Walmart. These normally are not responsible breeders.
ASK questions of the breeder and ask again if you don’t understand the answer.
The majority of reputable breeders “health-test” their dogs for things like hip dysplasia, eyes, heart, thyroid, elbows, patella’s and the list goes on and on. Ask to see the health certificates, or personally go online to to check the health testing for the mom and dad.
Know that even though the dogs come from “health-tested” parents, look at that paperwork to make sure it’s the correct dog. Ask to see the health certificates of the parents. Ask to see both parents. Ask what happens if for some reason I am unable to keep this beautiful puppy I just can’t live without? ASK and ask again.
A reputable breeder is someone who will have a contract and that contract will say something to the effect, “IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO KEEP THIS DOG FOR ANY REASON OR IF THIS DOG HAS BEEN TREATED BADLY, THE DOG MUST BE RETURNED TO THE BREEDER WITHOUT REFUND.”
Also, this breeder is the kind who will want to hear how your puppy is doing throughout their life span. They may or may not bug you weekly or monthly for pictures to see how the puppy is doing. And they should always want to know of any issues or health problems that may arise.
Please also know that while the parents and grandparents may have been FULLY health tested, illness and conditions may affect your dog anyway. There is no 100% guarantee, however if your dog has a genetic issue that happens such as hip dysplasia, heart irregularities such as Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM), juvenile cataracts, epilepsy, cancer, BLOAT (and the list goes on) a REPUTABLE breeder SHOULD discuss all options with you. The puppy may need to be returned to the breeder. The cost of some of their treatments can run into thousands of dollars. Most breeders will be very concerned and may even replace the puppy or refund partial money for the cost of your dog to a pet price, especially if it was sold as a “show” or “show-Potential” puppy.
Please NOTE dogs that have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia may never show any signs of weakness or limping and can live long and healthy lives. The breeder should be contacted and please research all options as sometimes they will live long and healthy lives with this condition.
BLOAT is a very real thing in our breed. It is imperative that your dog have an elective surgery called a Gastropexy. It can be very expensive if BLOAT surgery is an emergency ($5,000 and UP), so if you have the elective surgery, it will keep the stomach from twisting.
First and Foremost – do NOT let small children or grown people crowd into your dog’s face EVER or STARE into your dog’s face. They need their space and some facial expressions can be offensive to your dog. NOT all dogs are child friendly and even if it is, please, please, please ask people to not RUSH into your dog’s space. 9 times out of 10, nothing will happen, however, you won’t want it to be your dog that bites someone.
Teach your children that the dog is a family member and NOT to be kicked, pulled or gouged at EVER. This only leads to bad behavior on the child’s part and will teach the dog to back away or be afraid.
Rule Number 1: Crate train your puppy or dog no matter what their size. They will learn to love it and will even go into their crate when they are tired or when they want to be left alone.
Rule Number 2: Always keep you dog on a leash while in public and out of your personal fenced yard. People always want to let their dogs run free, say in a dog park, or while on a walk….However, our giant dogs are so large -- that they will always be blamed for ANYTHING that could possibly happen, even if the other dog started it. It is unsafe and can be hazardous to your dog’s well-being as well.
Rule Number 3: ALWAYS pick up your dog’s poop. ALWAYS. Besides the fact their poop is like a small mountain, there is always going to be someone to step into it in their best shoes, or worse yet, their bare feet. Squish….yuck not to mention it contaminates the soil.
Rule Number 4: Toenails – Most dogs do not like having their toenails trimmed but it is most important to keep them trimmed back as far as possible to avoid things like gouges in your sofa, bed or chair, as well as in your skin as they slide down your leg when trying to jump on you. Grinding them with a Dremel is the best way to trim because it leaves them rounded and smooth. Keeping their feet trimmed also helps keep the feet and toes healthy. Remember, they stand on them and they must be comfortable. Toenails dragging the floor will hurt their feet and can break down their toes. Once the toe muscles/bones are damaged, there is not much recovery.
Rule Number 5: Socialization – It is very important that your Great Dane become social and easy to live with. Basic manners are a must, such as sit, down and stay. These basic easy to learn lessons will help your dog to be well behaved around friends and in crowds. People will be more than happy to be around a dog that behaves, than one that is jumping and bumping into them.
Rule Number 6: Bones and Chews – It’s important that they be allowed to have “dog items” to chew on, frozen bones, ice, Nyla bones, and larger antlers, rawhide (if permitted). They need to be able to chew to help develop their bones and teeth, especially at a young age. And it is a good way to keep them pacified. If you don’t have things for them to chew on safely, they WILL FIND something to chew on that might upset you. (remember the sofa)
Dane puppies/young adults need to have manners and discipline. They will become GIANT before you know it and it makes it so much easier to start the manners and discipline early than when they weight 100lbs at 6 months.
There are many methods of training, find one that suits you and stick to it. Repetition is the key in training. Reward training is good and it should always be positive.
Try to remember they are babies up thru 18 months of age. They will grow so fast that it’s hard to remember that. They still will act like babies most of their life, but that’s another store.
Don’t take your puppies out for long periods of time from birth through 9 months. I know you want to show them off to friends and family, just remember they are babies. They are babies and need their rest. They are growing at such a rate of speed that it’s hard on them.
Don’t take them shopping with you for hours on end, it’s not fun for them.
Puppies need their rest. They will play hard for 30 minutes to an hour and then should poop out and give them that time to rest if possible.
Dane puppies aren’t made to jog with at an early stage of their life so let them grow up and if you want them to jog with you, take it easy and start slowly and PLEASE don’t jog them on the hot pavement.
When feeding babies, its best to feed them 3 times a day through 4 months or more. Make sure you are feeding a great quality of food from a reputable company. Keep the protein level at 23% or lower during their rapid growth rate period up to 1 year old and maybe older.
Feeding a raw diet is awesome as well as raw bones, just learn about what is best for this breed. When fed raw, their poops should be hard and firm and should turn gray and dusty within days. Rarely if ever, will they have runny poops on raw. If they do, the balance isn’t correct or they may have a bug.
I always use bottled water when traveling with my dogs. I have found that it helps keep their intestines happy and settled.
SHOWING YOUR DOG:
When buying a show puppy, please know it is a very expensive hobby. The entry fee is probably the cheapest part of it. Currently costing anywhere from $20 - $40 per entry. Hotels are getting harder to find and costing more each year with the pet fee. (I know, our dogs are cleaner than most teenagers)….
Owner handling is a great feeling of accomplishment. It allows you and your show dog to win together. Owner handling to that championship is one of the best feelings ever. Just know there is a lot of work and training involved. You may want to start out owner handling and change your mind and that’s ok too.
Most handlers will help you start your training, or there are training classes from various kennel clubs. Most handlers will want you to succeed. The majority of us started by owner handling. I started in Junior handling. A great sport for any young person age 9 and up.