Better Living with
Great Danes in
North Central Florida

Education

If you are thinking about getting a Great Dane, please do your research before purchasing a puppy. Great Danes are NOT for everyone!

Find a reputable breeder in your area, meet as many Great Danes as you can, read books, go to a dog show (even if you have no interest in showing) etc. The information below will bring you to some links that may help. PLEASE do not buy a cute puppy on impulse. Get to know the breeder first, learn as much as you can about the parents of the puppy. See proof of health testing and ask about any other health issues (bloat, allergies, cancer... things we can't test for yet), ask about temperament or see first hand. Once you do all that and get your first Great Dane pup..... it doesn't stop there. You must socialize and puppy and obedience classes are highly recommended.

Even if you just want "a pet" it doesn't mean you should get a pup from anywhere and structure is also just as important as health and temperament. In the long run, you will have a much longer lived companion.

If you are interested in a Great Dane but don't want to start with the cute bouncy puppy you can always look into Rescue. There are 1000's of Great Danes in rescues all over the country. Reputable rescues will match the right Great Dane with the right homes. You could also foster a Great Dane. Volunteers are always needed.

If Rescue is not the way you want to go..... Here is a great link to check out to start your research. ABC's of Buying a Pure Bred Puppy. PLEASE do not get your Great Dane from a Pet Store, Broker, or Puppy Mill.

AKC Standards

OFFICIAL AKC STANDARD

ILLUSTRATED STANDARD

Health Issues

Bloat/Torsion - #1 health issue to learn about and if you own our breed there is a very good chance you will experience it at least once. Know the signs and know where your ER clinic is. This IS a true emergency and need to act fast. Here are some links to site with great information.

Symptoms

Accupressure Point

Bloat First Aid

Linda Ardnt's comparison Gastropexy (or "tacking") surgeries and other great information

Addisons Disease - Also known as the Great Pretender

Often misdiagnosed by veterinarians because if often mimics other diseases. Addisons is a failure of the adrenal glands. If left undiagnosed it CAN kill your dog.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

The OFA's Mission is to promote the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease. Those diseases in Great Danes include but limited to are Cardiac Disease, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Thyroid Disease. Click here to visit the main site for OFA. There is a wealth of information and a quick search available to look up Great Danes and many other breeds. Just follow the prompts.

PennHIP - The University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program - Another way to evaluate for Canine Hip Dysplasia and Degenerative Joint Disease. PennHIP uses a different method of evaluation and veterinarians must be certified to do PennHIP x-rays and evaluations.

Canine Health Information Center - Better known as CHIC

CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Keep in mind because the dog has a CHIC number does NOT mean they have passed all of their health tests. It does mean the breeder is being responsible with their breeding program and doing the health testing necessary to help improve our breed. Criteria required for the Great Dane

Canine Eye Registry Foundation - Better known as CERF

Database for Eye certification

American Kennel Club - Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) - The AKC Canine Health Foundation is the largest non-profit funder of exclusively canine research in the world.

Great Dane Club of America - Health and Welfare

The GDCA lists numerous hereditary and other health disorders regarding Great Danes and descriptions of each. They also list studies that have been or are currently being done for many diseases. If you have a Great Dane PLEASE participate.

Surgery Guidelines for Great Danes - Anesthetic is always a risk but necessary.

These recommendations are recommended by GDCA for routine surgeries to Emergencies. This also includes more information than just drugs used, but also during and after care.