Looking to add a Great Dane to your Family?
Like most dogs, Great Danes require regular exercise, at least a daily walk. Great Dane puppies require significantly more than that. Great Dane puppies, all puppies, require training and socializing and they chew, especially the first year. When a Great Dane puppy chews, they can destroy furniture and cabinetry, even walls. In my experience those problems can be avoided or minimized by chew toys, lots of exercise, supervision and crates.
If you choose to add a Great Dane puppy to your family, ( I did :-), 3 times so far 🙂 ) your best recipe for success is to acquire a Dane puppy from a reputable breeder that health tests the parents before breeding (more below about health testing). I would also encourage you, even if you only want a companion puppy (not a show puppy), to establish a relationship and purchase from a Great Dane breeder who also shows.
What about adopting a Great Dane? If acquiring a puppy sounds like a bit too much work ( and it is ALOT of work 🙂 ) then think about and research adopting a Great Dane. This is a really really good option. There are Great Dane Rescue organizations throughout the United States. Also breeders may know about or have an adult dog available. Great Danes are large and occasionally peoples’ lives change and they find themselves unable to keep their beloved family member.
To get more Great Dane Information, visit the Great Dane Club of America website.
How can I find a
Great Dane Breeder?
People who show their Great Danes also know about Great Dane structure and how to breed Danes so that they are built to be healthy and athletic and comfortable their entire lives. Buying a puppy from someone who simply breeds the dogs in their backyards or to their friend’s dogs, isn’t breeding to produce the best healthiest puppies they can, they are breeding to whatever is convenient. As an educated buyer, as someone who hopes their new Dane puppy will live a long and happy life, search carefully for a breeder. Interview breeders, a good breeder will want to know about you 🙂 and establish a relationship with them, try not to be impatient, sometimes it takes several months to a year to end up with your new Great Dane puppy. It’s worth the wait.
A couple of places to look online for a breeder are Danes Online and the Great Dane Club of America (Breeders/Breeder Listing or Breeders/Litter Listing). Honestly the worst places to look for a Great Dane for sale is in most/all Facebook Groups or Craigs List. The people who post litters in Facebook Groups rarely rarely health test, many breed for “fancy” colors, which is a truly awful thing to do, not because “off” colors are bad, but because if people breed to get particular colors they aren’t breeding for good structure (which they probably cannot even tell you about) or for type. Type is a shorthand way to describe Great Dane attributes, neither a too heavy or too light a body, not a mastiff and not a greyhound. The price for these “off” color Great Danes are often very high. For your own sake, don’t respond to the ads saying “Chocolate Great Danes for sale” or “Lilac Great Danes for sale”. Don’t pay a high price for an “off” color Dane that doesn’t have health tested parents, isn’t properly structured to be an active comfortable long-lived Great Dane and looks more like a large greyhound, than the regal Apollo of dogs.
On the Great Dane Puppies – Litterbox page on this site, I have a list of reputable Great Dane breeders on the West Coast that usually health test and have quality dogs that will be wonderful family members. As always, interview these breeders, ask them questions, look up puppies’ parents’ Health Testing results on the OFA website or the CHIC database. Best of luck in finding your Great Dane puppy!
Looking to Adopt a Dane?
There are several advantages to adopting a Great Dane. Adult rescue Danes are usually house trained, have been spayed or neutered and are current on their shots. Adult Great Danes are generally past the aggressive chewing stage and are usually calmer, requiring less exercise compared to Great Dane puppies or adolescent Danes. Older Great Danes usually bond very easily and adapt well with their new families.
Great Danes from rescue or Danes looking for new homes from their breeders come with known temperaments and quirks, so you know ahead of time their likes/dislikes and issues. Things like do they get along with children or with cats, if they have a high prey drive, do they have a high energy personality or a laid back personality, personality traits that aren’t obvious when you bring home an 8 week old puppy.
An adult laid back Great Dane can be a wonderful apartment dog. Yes, there are lots of advantages to adopting an older Dane. One place to start looking for a rescue Great Dane would be the GDCA/The Great Dane/Great Dane Rescue website. The GDCA website is not always completely up to date, so just “googling” Great Dane Rescue will also bring up Great Dane Rescue websites. Most or probably all Great Dane rescues will probably not want to rehome out of the area they service, which could be an entire state, or in some cases 2-3 states. They will all require that you fill out an application. The best thing to do is fill out an application, have it on file, oftentimes many dogs are never listed, but matched to existing on file applications. The Great Dane Rescue organization that I do a bit of volunteer work for is Dane Outreach in Western Washington. As far as I know they rehome Danes in Oregon and Washington. I can’t say enough good things about the volunteers who work to try and ensure all Danes have forever homes.
Great Dane Health Testing Information
The Mission of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is “to promote the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease”. Amoung other things, OFA collects tests results, rates hip X-rays for hip dysplasia and provides an easy way for anyone to access the test results. This is valuable information for Great Dane puppy buyers and Great Dane breeders and the puppies themselves.
Recommended health tests for Great Danes are, OFA hip Xrays or Penn Hip Exam, CERF eye test, Thyroid blood test and Cardiac Exam. Using either the AKC registration number or the parent’s registered names you can look up health test results for puppy parents on either the Canine Health Information website or the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) website.