Why Should You Buy From Us (Or Another Good Breeder)?
As a responsible Dane breeder with long-term experience in Dane rescue (through the Washington state Great Dane rescue, Dane Outreach) I have contact on almost a daily basis from people who purchased from breeders that are either unhelpful, unknowledgable, uncaring, unethical or simply out to make money. These people do not have the best interests of their puppies or their purchasers in mind.
I am equally astounded by the people who say they've done their research and still end up with a substandard puppy; one that barely resembles the breed it's supposed to be, parents have no health testing, has had nothing done with it, and comes with no breeder support system. Additionally, this dog has cost as much if not more than the quality, cared-for puppy from a good breeder.
There is a lot of information out there on what to look for in a breeder and most people can easily find out about health testing, proper care and that sort of information. However, there are other more subtle reasons WHY to buy from a good, established reputable breeder that people overlook. This page will hopefully point out a few of those reasons.
#1 They take their dogs back!
This is a biggie: If all breeders took their dogs back when purchasers could no long care for them-no matter what the reason, NO dogs would be in rescue or at the shelter. When a person buys that cute little puppy, they don't know what the future holds for them. Maybe they take a financial hit and can't afford the dog. Maybe there is a personal crisis like death, illness or divorce. Or maybe there is some other reason. A good breeder ALWAYS takes their dogs back, no matter what the age or circumstance. If if you are looking at puppies and the breeder does not have a return clause...think about it. (And if you are not sure about that breeder's policies, ask your local rescue. They will know, because if that breeder doesn't have a return clause, you can pretty much be assured dogs of his/her breeding are ending up in rescue.)
#2 They honestly represent their BREED.
They make sure a person knows the pros and cons of Dane ownership. If telling a potential purchaser the negative aspects of Dane ownership (high cost to care for, health issues, special requirements) sours a sale, so be it. The good breeder would rather make sure the home and breed are a match than simply put some money in his wallet.
#3 They screen the HOME.
Often, people new to the breed like the idea of owning a Great Dane, but when it comes to actual ownership, are ill-prepare. A good breeder will want to know about a purchasers lifestyle and level of knowledge before they place a puppy; while a home might be good for some other breed it may not necessarily be right for a Dane. A good breeder will do all they can to make sure the home and the Dane are a good match, and that the home new to Danes has a very clear understanding on Dane care--and costs.
#4 They offer BREEDER SUPPORT.
Good breeders are there to help their purchasers, whether the Dane is 10 weeks or 10 years. They will be there to help at any time. Their knowledge and commitment to the breed will give the purchaser so many more resources than the less-involved breeder will have. Prior to purchase, a good breeder will give the purchaser information on basic feeding, training and care. A purchaser won't have to be calling all around to find out how to care for their new puppy. If problems arise, a good breeder is there to help work them out. A good breeder is available to take emergency calls at any time.
These are "biggies" in my book. First, if you buy from a breeder who will take their dog back--at any time for any reason--then you will have peace of mind in the unfortunate event you are in that position. None of us know what life will throw at us, and having to deal with a personal situation that forces you to give up your dog is of course very stressful. If you at least know the breeder will take the dog back, you don't have the additional worry of what to do with the dog if you can no longer keep it. Any rescue will tell you the anguish people go through when they are forced to give up their dogs due to divorce, financial problems, health issues or death and the breeder is not there to take the dog.
Next, buying from a breeder that truly knows about the breed and can tell you the good, along with the bad, things about the breed in general and their line in particular is invaluable. They may loose a few sales for their honestly, but the puppy purchaser will go out the door with a better understanding of what Dane ownership entails. I am often flabbergasted by some of the claims I hear these "breeders" make that have no bearing on fact.
Whether or not you purchase a puppy from me is immaterial; however, I would strongly encourage you do your research carefully before choosing a breeder. There is a lot of educational material out there, and people willing to share their time talking "Dane 101". Please take advantage of it.
LINKS OF INTEREST
Purebred vs. Mixed "Designer" Breeds
Washington Great Dane Breeders
What Responsible Breeders Do