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Questions to ask the Breeder

  • Where did you find out about the breeder? Responsible breeders will breed only once or twice a year and will have a waiting list. They usually do not advertise in newspapers and will not advertise on 'free ads' pages, but will put puppies on a reputable puppy line.

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      • Are both parents at least two years old?

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          • How often is the dam bred? Use your common sense - if the bitch is just 5 and has already had 3 litters, then this is too much.

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              • Do all four grandparents, siblings of the parents and any other puppies that they have produced have any problems. A responsible breeder will be able to discuss any problems that they are aware of.

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                  • Ask if the breeder is willing to provide you with references and telephone numbers of other people who have purchased puppies from them.

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                      • Will the puppy have limited registration? A breeder who cares enough about the breed to insist on these is likely to be a responsible breeder.

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                          • On what basis was the sire chosen? If the answer is "because he lives right down the road" or "because we were owed a stud" it may be that sufficient thought was not put into the breeding.

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                              •  Will the breeder take the dog back at any time for any reason if you cannot keep it? This is the hallmark of a responsible breeder and should be part of the contract.

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                                  •  Does the breeder have a contract you have to sign? Ask your breeder to see a copy of their contract. All reputable breeders should have a contract that covers both Buyer and Breeder.

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                                      •  Is the breeder knowledgeable about the breed? Is (s)he involved in competition with their dogs (conformation, obedience, or agility)? Yes, Great Danes can do all these.

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                                          • Are the puppy's Sire or Dam available for you to meet? Normally the sire will not be available as he will probably live at other premises but you can ask for a photo.

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                                              • Have the puppies been raised in the home?

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                                                  • Is the breeder knowledgeable about raising puppies, critical neonatal periods, and proper socialization techniques? Puppies that are raised without high exposure to gentle handling, human contact and a wide variety of noises and experiences or removed from their dam or littermates before 7 weeks may exhibit a wide variety of behavioual problems!

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                                                      • Does the breeder provide you with a 4 - 5 generation pedigree, a contract to sign, copies of any health tests the parents have had, health records of the puppy and material to help you with feeding, training and housebreaking?

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                                                          • Have the puppy's temperaments been evaluated and can the breeder guide you to the puppy that will best suite your lifestyle?

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                                                              • Do the puppies seem healthy, with no discharge from eyes or nose, no loose stools, no foul smelling ears? Are their coats soft and clean? Do they have plenty of energy when awake?

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                                                                  • Have they been wormed?

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                                                                      • Does the Breeder belong to any Great Dane Clubs?

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                                                                          • Do you feel comfortable with the breeder as you are entering into a long-term relationship? Are you under pressure? If so keep looking.

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