Great Dane Words of Wisdom 

Do You Really Need To Breed That Litter?

The GDCA has a network of Dane Rescue Groups across the Country, plus there are numerous private groups such as the G.D. Rescue of West Michigan, run by Annsley Kast, President of the Organization, and Traci Phetteplace. They rescued "Faith", the pitiful Dane in the picture. She weighed in at 53 lbs, and should have been 110 lbs, her black coat clinging to her body and extruding ribs, her hind leg injured. Annsley and Traci have taken in 81 Danes since Jan. 2002! They do a monumental job, spending their own money when donations don't meet the need. By bringing the plight of "Faith" to public notice, they are seeking an even greater donation than money - they want breeders - ALL BREEDERS - to think very hard over each litter they propagate. They also want breeders to understand they are responsible, from womb to tomb, for the puppies they bring into this world. At least 95% of Dane puppies bred, are placed in pet/family homes. It is difficult to keep track, and the more you breed the more difficult it becomes.

Great Dane


How would you like to be responsible for "Faith" being born? Or, could she be a granddaughter of your Ch. Stud dog? Look at her, she is a worthy specimen of our breed, good length of leg, fair angulation, long neck. 2002 saw a big increase in the number of Danes turned into Shelters. Our Rescue Organizations are overwhelmed in some areas. Don't hide your head in the sand, it could easily happen to one of your puppies. I consider myself a responsible breeder, yet one of my puppies, at the age of two, turned up in a shelter. He wasn't there long, the shelter called me immediately. But it happened! It was just fortunate he was turned into an area Shelter where I have contacts.

Our present economy, and the cost of raising a Dane puppy do not synchronize easily today. That scenario in itself is going to place more of our beautiful animals at risk of becoming another statistic, that may, or may not, be fortunate enough to be rescued like "Faith". Before you instigate your next litter, take a good look at "Faith" - what are the possibilities one of your puppies, or grandpuppies will end up like her? Do you have prospective homes for a litter of 8-10-12 puppies? If not, do you have the facilities, and dollars, to keep, socialize, train the babies that are not placed, as they get older and need lots of attention, until you can find that great home?

Why are you breeding this litter? Do friends keep asking for puppies from your friendly girl? You paid a hefty price and would like to get some money back? Bitches are bred for many reasons. To me, the only authentic reason for breeding a litter is when you want to keep a puppy, or puppies to advance your breeding program. A reputable breeder will have good homes waiting for the puppies they don't keep. He/she will have the facilities, the knowledge, the desire to give the puppies the TLC they need. They know it is unlikely there will be any financial gain. It costs at least $1500 to raise a healthy Dane puppy to 10-12 weeks, possibly more, when the Stud fee, care of dam, care of puppies, cropping (if done), vet. fees are taken into account.

Again, I ask you "would be" breeders - look at "Faith". Is it worth the risk, do you really need to bring more Dane puppies into this world? Puppies that may be placed in jeopardy after they leave the fold. Even the best of us can lose control once the puppies are gone and the papers, limited or not, are signed over.

Coincidently, I had a friend telephone me yesterday. She owns a beautiful, well bred, blue bitch, has two points I believe. She had planned on breeding her, had even picked out the stud. However, come time to breed, she had second thoughts. She didn't want to keep a puppy. She would be frantic finding the right homes. Her bitch didn't need to be bred just for the sake of breeding. She opted for not breeding, and is having the bitch spayed. My friend volunteers at their local Shelter, possibly this had something to do with her train of thought, whatever it was - I salute her ethics.

Just THINK about it - before you place that dog and bitch together - recognize the consequences, and all that it entails.

Mrs. Paddy Magnuson,
POB 292 Delhi NY 13753

(Reproduced with permission)