Are You Interested In Breeding Your Great Dane?

by Renee Broden

So you are interested in breeding your great danes. That's wonderful!
First you need learn how to go about this the "right" way.

You are probably new to this whole thing. Many folks were in your
shoes many years ago. Trust me, many of us had to be taught the same
way you are. Thankfully, there are people out there who will take the
time to show you how to go down the right road. Please do your
research and make the right decision. Don't be kennel blind!

I am sure you have beautiful Great Dane(s)! But have you thought
about all of the issues involved in raising a healthy litter, such as
the pedigree, health tests, conformation, and faults?

Do you know the health history on each of your dog's pedigrees? Have
you studied the pedigree back 5-6 generations? Do you know if any of
them had wobblers or heart conditions? We have many serious health
problems in this breed. Just because a Dane passes a heart exam
doesn't mean it's not carrying one of the deadly heart problems that
can be passed on to their puppies. Puppies can die between 8 weeks
and 2+ years old.

Only the very best Danes should ever be bred. The only reason anyone
should breed his or her Dane is to try to improve the breed.

Has your dog/bitch been evaluated in the show ring by qualified
judges against top competition? Have breeder-judges evaluated them if
they haven't shown? Can you honestly say your stud dog is better or
equal to the stud dogs on this page

Will the stud dog's conformation compliment hers? Or will you be doubling up on
bad conformation faults. Too many faults can lead to very unhealthy
danes when they get older. 2+ years you can see them start to
break down in front of your eyes. They can also develop temperament
problems when they are not healthy.

Have they been OFA certified clear of hip and elbow dysplasia?

Has a veterinary ophthalmologist certified them clear of PRA,
checked their eyes and other hereditary eye defects?

Have they been tested clear of brucellosis?

Do they both have the proper temperament?

Does the dog/bitch have a least 4 titled dogs in his/her 3-year
generation pedigree?

If you can answer yes to all of the above questions and you are one
of the lucky few to own an outstanding dog/bitch, are you ready and
qualified to handle a stud dog or bitch in season?

Breeding doesn't always happen 1-2-3. Do you have the necessary
facilities to board a bitch in season, or an intact male?

Are you prepared for whelping cost and puppy care? Do you realize
that it takes more than putting two dogs in an area together? Do
you realize that leaving a dog and a bitch in season alone together
can be disastrous and may even physically harm both?

Are you prepared to loose your bitch during whelping or a c-section?
I have known several that have died during whelping. You then would
have to tube and bottle-feed the puppies around the clock. The
puppies may start dying one by one because they didn't get the needed
colostrum to survive and fight off diseases? Do you know anything
about Fading Puppy Syndrome?

Will you be responsible for the puppies and take one or two back a
year when the new owners no longer want them anymore?

These are some things that I have told others that are interested in
breeding quality dogs.

Help at a local Great Dane Rescue. Believe me, you will learn a lot
there. I did!

Get involved with your local breed club. Find a (good) mentor. Or
few. More the better! I have several

Study the Great Dane Standard.

Join Several Great Dane Email Lists to learn all you can.

Know your genetics! Health & Color.
Know Great Dane Pedigrees and not just the color you want to breed.

Subscribe to Dane magazines. Study the pics and pedigrees.

Learn everything you can about Canine Reproduction. Buy Books and
read them!

Consult an attorney (specializes in animal law) to write up a good
legal Contract for your puppies. Pet and show quality.

Learn about whelping a litter and your responsibilities.

Buy a show quality Dane from a responsible breeder with a good
Reputation. Show your puppy! Let your peers evaluate your dogs.

Have the proper Health testing done before breeding.

Don't be Kennel Blind!

Don't expect immediate success.

To start your breeding program:

*Start with the very best bitch you can!!
*Show your bitch.
*Great Pedigree (Line bred)
*Excellent Temperament
*Meets Great Dane Standard
*Size & Good Substance (Doggy bitches seem to make the best brood
*Free Thinker
*Health & Longevity
*Good Mover
*Excels in breed type
*Passes health tests, OFA Hips, Heart, CERF - Eyes & Thyroid (TWO years of age)
*Exceptional traits that she may exhibit, heavily line bred pedigree
that has more of a guarantee to produce itself, etc.

Research, Research, Research!!

Breeding/Whelping Information
#1) Is Your Dog Breeding Quality????
Costs of Whelping a Litter
Issues to discuss before you breed your dog
Questions for Potential Breeders
Dog breeding involves thoughtful preplanning!
Breeder-Veterinarian Topics and Hints
Links to the best Breeding & Whelping articles on the net!
Great Dane Club of America
Great Dane Health Foundation of America
Health Info Links
Great Dane Links: Great Dane & Canine Health
Canine Health and Medical Related Information
Canine Hip Scoring Schemes