Guide for Puppy Buyers

Renee Broden

Please be careful when dealing with breeders/private rescues listing their puppies/dogs on Internet "for sale" sites ( or When I say "private rescue" I'm talking about those certain individuals who collect dogs from the newspaper and sell them for more $$$. They are not a real 501c nonprofit rescue as is recognized by GDCA Rescue. You will seldom find ethical breeders advertising their litters on these type of sites. Normally reputable breeders already have their puppies sold before the litter is born.

Beware, If you post somewhere on a public list that you are looking to buy a puppy and need info on the breed. Don't get involved with breeders & "private rescues" that contact YOU about their puppies!! There are LOTS of puppymillers and Backyard Breeders that lurk on dane lists and prey on people looking for puppies. They will even pretend they are from a rescue and will refer you to a certain breeder they know! When in fact that rescue would NEVER refer to this certain breeder. Many of them have poor breeding practices and dogs live in filth!!

DO NOT send any funds before the puppies have been born. Be careful sending all of the money up front, if you personally don't know this person!! And pet puppies should cost no more than 500.00 from these so called breeders (BYB)! They are breeding pets to pets and charging outrageous amounts!! Also rescues usually charge no more then 250-300 per rescue dog.

Since I have first hand experience with this one, Don't get scared over any breeder/rescue's threats to sue you over slander when you are unhappy with the puppy/dog when it becomes sick, deformed or if it doesn't even resemble a dane!! Puppy complaints and opinions to others are NOT slander. It's YOUR dog and you can talk about it all you want!!! In some states there are SLAPP laws in place for someone trying to chill free speech.

If you feel a breeder has committed fraud or sold you a sick puppy, please seek legal advise. Write to the AKC, Dane Clubs/Rescues in the breeders area, Great Dane Club of America, Better Business Bureau, U.S. Attorney's office, or the State Attorney General's Office, Dept. of Consumer Affairs or Consumer Fraud. The most effective is to file a small claims action. But, it will have to be filed in the jurisdiction where the seller resides -- a point that can make it very inconvenient.

Here are some more tips on what Puppy Buyers should look for.

How to Sort through breeders and weird websites:

Buyer Beware- Do's and Don'ts:

Puppy buyers need to learn more about what to look for on websites. You can find many red flags on webpages. They need to have a list of things to look for and print it out, so they can refer to it.

They should see.....

Stacked pictures of their dogs.
Show win photos of WD, WB, BOB.
Stacked photos of the puppies.
They should be able to tell you what faults each of their dogs and puppies have.
Health Testing info. - Hips, Thyroid, Heart and eyes. They need to verify. The very minimum should be hips. CHIC numbers don't impress me unless the dogs have passed all of their tests. *Danes can still have health problems even if they passed these tests at a later date.
Pedigrees with lots of champions listed - Not just in the last generation.
Educational links about the breed.
Breeder should mention puppy application and contract.
All pets should be placed on LMT Reg and Spay/Neuter contract.
**Personally, I don't think pet puppies should be shipped, unless it's to someone you already know. I've only had to ship one of my pet puppies, due to the fact there is enough homes close to me. I don't breed that often, so I'm not over populating my area with pups.

Red Flags-

No dog show pictures. No titles. No win brags. No stack photos.
NO OFA, CERFs, Thyroid, Heart Certificates.
Young dogs being bred.
They own a very large breeding stock- Several Dams and Sires.
Breeding every color under the sun, including mismarks
Offer you to Pick your own puppy.
Asking for full payment in full and NO refunds - Could be a scam
and you will never see a puppy or your money.
Charging more for full AKC Reg. papers.
Stressing to get your payment in right away to reserve a puppy.
Listing Weight and Height.
They misuse terminology
Offer universal bloodlines as if their own (Meistersinger, Riverwood, BMW)
Watch out for breeders advertising Euro bred. No such thing as german type. Then they bad mouth all of the US AKC danes.
Selling "rare" & "Exotic" color danes.
Bad mouth dog shows.
Watch out for those breeders who only show up at shows to make an appearance so they can sell more puppies. There was a show not to long ago and only two dogs were entered, the dogs were owned by the same owner. Instead of the judge withholding points gave the dog a winners ribbon. Many people said that neither of the dogs were deserving and didn't come close to the standard, but were still awarded?? These dogs most likely will NEVER finish. Those undeserving wins just gives the owner an excuse to keep showing and breeding these dogs over and over again. I'm sure they will be using a certain well known handler/breeder to get their dogs more points. The sad thing is, the breed will suffer with these poor quality danes as our representatives!!

Puppy buyers should have a small list of questions to ask the breeder. They need to know why the dam was bred.
Why did they choose this stud dog?
The answers will tell you if are dealing with a reputable breeder. I don't recommend bombarding them with questions all in one email. You should find answers to many of your questions on their website. It's much better if you are seriously considering this breeder to pick up the phone and call them.

I don't think it's necessary for the breeder's website to post puppy applications or contracts. Many times these were written by lawyers, which cost $$. Who wants their contracts copied and used without their permission. I think it's more important the breeder mentions that use applications and contracts.

Buyer Beware- Do's and Don'ts:

ABC's of buying a purebred puppy, breeder checklist

10 basic "mental" necessities to safely buying a puppy

The Great Dane Watchdog

AKC suspension index, all breeds, by breeder last name.

Puppy Selection Considerations

How to Pick a Puppy

Questions to ask a breeder

Recognizing an unethical breeder

The Ethical Breeder

A puppy mill is . . . .

Different kinds of Breeders

Backyard Breeder vs Reputable Breeder

Good Breeders, Bad Breeders

Puppy Lemon Law States

Search OFA Records

Great Dane Club of America