Importance of Health Testing
Health tested parents create happy healthy puppies and thrilled owners. Health testing the parents doesn’t GUARANTEE that your puppy won’t have health issues later in life, but definitely reduces the chances. The fact that the breeder does health testing (heart, hips, eyes and thyroid) means they care enough to do what they can to reduce the chances that genetic defects aren’t passed to puppies they produce; your puppy. It is just heartbreaking when you get a puppy, it becomes part of your family and then you are faced with $1000’s of dollars of vet bills.
The health tests ARE NOT just an “OK” from a vet that the parent dog(s) are healthy. Some people who breed their family pets will say the parents are health tested if they have some vet certificate or if they have done one health test. Don’t be misled, make sure all the recommended health tests have been performed. The health tests recommended for Danes are for hip conformation, eyes, thyroid and heart function. When all tests are completed dogs are issued a number, referred to as a “CHIC” number or “OFA” number. You can look up the health tests by looking up the parents using the parents names or CHIC/OFA numbers. The website is: Canine Health Info .
All bitches bred at Everheart Great Danes have passed the recommended health tests and their CHIC/OFA numbers are listed. Do yourself a huge favor and insist that your puppy’s parents are health tested.
Communication to our application distribution list will occur as the breeding takes place, pregnancy is confirmed or not via ultrasound and puppies are whelped. Should you have any questions, feedback per preference to litter or puppy and/or any update to your application information or status at any time, please drop us a line and we will respond and/or add it to your file. Applications will be reviewed initially, then again between the time of breeding and 5 weeks of age to clarify information, solicit further or confirm best matches. We do not accept puppy visitors until puppies are 4 weeks of age to limit exposure to germs and other nasties that we and/or our human kids carry. Prospective puppy buyers are strongly urged, if not required, to visit from the age of 4 to 8 weeks as we feel personality matches are extremely important both between puppy and family, as well as family and breeder.
We have a few policies that we will not bend on. These are as follows:
- All new homes must have a safe, securely fenced area for their puppy, both to keep the puppy in and everything else out. Invisible fences are not acceptable.
- ALL puppies sold on full registration, for show, are sold on co-ownership with the breeder. NO EXCEPTIONS! Co-ownership remains in effect until the proof of spay or neuter and gives breeder approval of breeding decisions based on health tests and conformation. If you would like a copy of our pet or show contract to review, please let us know — we’re happy to provide one. We believe in the quality and breedability of our animals, but work very hard for this quality and want to protect and preserve it. For our co-owners, it means that we are committed to helping them in starting or adding to, a responsible and successful breeding program.
- ALL puppies sold for companion only or companion and performance only (not conformation showing or breeding) will be sold on spay/neuter contracts with limited registration preventing offspring from being registered with the American Kennel Club.
- Verification/approval direct to breeder by verbal or written agreement from landlord is required for placement in homes that are renting.
- All pet marked puppies, sold for companion only or companion and performance events only, are $1800.00, unless sold to repeat clients.
- Show marked puppies are evaluated and priced at 6 weeks based on conformation. Those puppies judged to have the best potential for show, are not exclusively sold to show homes, but will be offered to waiting show homes that also meet our companion home requirements first, as choices are extremely limited for these homes. There are precious few in each litter that can be shown by harlequin/mantle color standard. Show marked puppies are sold for $3000 to $5000, based on this evaluation, whether sold for companion or show.
We will not place companion Dane puppies in State mandated spay/neuter States. In 2007, the people of California defeated AB1634, but similar legislation has been proposed for other US States. Be aware and informed about the realities of this type of legislation. We do believe in, and have always strictly enforced, the spay/neuter of companion puppies by contract. However, many of these proposals, call for spay/neuter of every pet at 4-6 months of age which is inappropriate and detrimental to proper growth and development of most breeds, but infinitely more so for giant breeds, which have longer growth/maturity cycle given their size. Proper and natural growth is essential to developing the necessary and balanced skeletal structure to support a long and healthy life. Please contact your assembly and senate representatives to express your opposition to this type of legislation should it be proposed in your State.
If you’d like to contact us directly with a question or to discuss your application, please feel free to do so at any time. We try not to spam people, so you may not see much between litters, but you are always welcome to check in or ask questions that we may not have covered here.
Thank you again, for your interest in a Everheart Dane. We look forward to meeting you and expanding our Dane family.
Difference Between Show Quality and Family Pet
What is the difference between a show quality puppy and a family pet? If you get your pet puppy from a Great Dane breeder who shows regularly, there is VERY LITTLE difference, except in price, which is awesomely good for the pet buyer. Getting a companion pet puppy from a reputable responsible breeder is like getting a puppy on sale, a healthy puppy for a lesser price than a puppy deemed as show quality. Reputable breeders health test the parents, so your pet puppy has had their parents health tested, reputable breeders only breed animals who have good temperaments, so your puppy is likely to have a good temperament.
Classifying a puppy as show quality or pet quality has to do with color, (not all colors can be shown), structure and type. These are very fine points and won’t affect a puppies long term health (as long as the parents were health tested). Most reputable breeders sell their companion pet puppies for less money than a show quality puppy and with neuter/spay agreements. So in summary, the difference between a companion pet puppy and a show quality puppy is very little, less expensive, perhaps color or minor structural differences and usually sold with a neuter/spay agreement.
I just want a Pet
Sometimes it can be intimidating to stop by a website where there are pictures of dogs winning awards and a lot of initials and jargon you don’t understand and all you really want is a pet. Breeders who show Great Danes are simply doing something they like doing with their family pets and their friends. This is a hobby they enjoy and they love their dogs and have educated themselves about what is best for their dogs. When they have litters of puppies, they look for good homes for their puppies and if you really want a Great Dane and you are prepared for one, you could get a Dane from someone who is looking out for your best interests and the puppies. They want to produce and provide you with healthy family members.
We have all seen puppies (bred by well meaning, but uneducated people) that have hip problems, parasites, diseases and the puppies end up dying or require extensive surgery as they get older. If you have a problem the uneducated breeder can’t help. Do yourself a favor and buy a puppy from someone who is looking out for you and your new puppy and not someone who bred their two pets and listed the puppies on craigslist. Acquiring a puppy that way could turn out OK, if you are lucky, or could end up in heartbreak.
Before You Buy
You’re thinking of getting a Great Dane puppy? Great Danes make wonderful pets, but not for everyone. They are large animals that take up space and eat a lot. Everything costs a bit more with a Dane because of their size. Research using the internet and find the local Great Dane club in your area. You can also go to dog shows and meet people who own, show and breed Danes. They can answer questions and refer you to people who have litters. Several sites on the internet list questions you should ask your puppy breeder.
It’s worth your time to find breeders that care enough about their dogs to make educated breeding decisions, do health tests (heart, hip, eye and thyroid) and spend time with their puppies. All focused efforts to make sure your puppy has the best start in life and makes a wonderful family member. When you are evaluating breeders who say their dogs are health tested, make sure that they mean they have performed the recommended heart, hip, eye and thyroid tests, not just gotten a certificate from their vet saying their dog is “healthy”. Read more about health testing below. IT IS important, you’ll be glad you did.