Initial Cost Of A Puppy
We pride ourselves on
raising healthy, happy puppies that comply with the AKC Great
Dane standards in every way... with the exception of color. We think that
conformation, size and temperament are what's important in breeding
Danes, however, we're not prejudice against the color of their coat, just
as humans should not be towards one another because of the color of
Our healthy puppies are by no accident.
Unlike some designer breeders out there breeding just for color....
I plan each and every breeding. All physical and mental
characteristics of both the sire and dam are considered.
Pedigrees are researched for the color in their backgrounds as well
as size, temperament and conformation.
Our Danes live in our home and are on the
and when a girl comes to her 50th day of
pregnancy the whelping box is set up in our guest room and I begin
sleeping in there with her and remain there as long as the pups
remain in the whelping box. Each puppy is greeted by me at
birth before momma can even give it it's first lick. I'm there
for the entire birthing process which can take up to 18 hours or
more and usually comes during the middle of the night or in the early morning hours. If one of
my girls has a large litter I supplement the puppies several times a
day to help the momma out.
I change the bedding (towels, blankets or
quilts) several times a day to ensure the puppies have a clean
environment, usually washing 4 to 6 loads a day depending on the
size of the litter. I give my puppies
age appropriate de-wormings and shots, I micro-chip each puppy and
start crate and house breaking them. LOL, My baseboards and furniture
suffer because I raise my puppies indoors and teach them not to chew
on such things but, that's alright because I do it so my customer's
homes don't get chewed up from their puppiness or teething!
I take the time to socialize my puppies with
other dogs, children, adults and take them for care rides. Each puppy
will be checked by our vet before going to their new home. All
of this takes a great deal of time, money and last but certainly NOT
least, love! So, that's why my puppies may cost more than
others, however, I'm sure you've also heard of the saying, "you get what
you pay for."
Hidden Cost of a Puppy
Breeding dogs can be very fun and exciting but
raising a giant breed is a different story and believe me when I say
there are many days of hardships and sometimes the good days just do
not make up for the bad ones.
There are hard ships of losing a litter due to premature birth,
sometimes even losing the momma when this
happens. Losing a puppy because the momma laid on it and smothered
it. A mother Dane having to have a C-section because something
has gone wrong with the labor and/or losing a mother dog because she
didn't survive the C-section and maybe even that litter too! Then
there will be times that the mother's milk is not good and one has
to bottle feed the babies which could number anywhere from 4 to 18!!
And they have to be fed every hour (even through the night) the
first week, every 2 hours (even through the night) the 2nd week,
every 3 hours (even through the night) the 3rd week and so on until
they are 5 weeks old and started on mush.
When it's time to start the puppies on mush and dog food there will
be on occasion the puppy that literally chokes to death on a piece
And then when it's time to adopt them out... a
good breeder can have the best of the best applications to be filled
out but there will be times a "bad apple" will slip through.
Then the headaches begin going through the process to reposes the
puppy for it's own good. Sometimes this just takes a few phone
calls, other times it requires going to court, which we are willing
to do for the safety and well being of our babies!
These are all things that people need to consider when someone
"thinks" they want to get a Dane and/or be a breeder. All of
the above is what a breeder calls "hidden cost" of a puppy.
The hours and hours of lost sleep and wear and tear on a body.....
it's really not worth the asking price of a puppy. When you
factor all this in I don't think anyone could afford to buy a
puppy. When a GOOD breeder continues to breed dogs after all these
hardships, you know they do it because they truly LOVE the breed of
dog they have and that the "good" times and those precious times
makes it all worth it.
There are times I wonder, "Why? Why do I put myself through this
mentally, physically and financially?" But of course, then I get an
email with an update from a customer with one of my babies and see
they are becoming.... or I look into the eyes of one of them laying
at my feet as I type this... and I know in my heart the answer.....
because my life would be so empty without them.
Future Cost of a Puppy
If Raised Correctly
The purchase price is the least of your investment in this dog. Pets from
reputable breeders range - depending on the area of the country - from $800 on
up. People who are charging less than this often don't offer registration,
written contracts, guarantees, - sometimes
not even basic shots. And if they are a "hobby" breeder as many advertise,
like this is something to be proud of, who's to say they will be
around the very day after you buy your puppy???
Your first year with a pup of any breed - or no breed at all - is the most
expensive. Besides the purchase price, there will be vet visits at purchase
(which should be around 8-12 weeks) at 12 and 16 weeks for completion of initial
vaccination and the first rabies shot . Plan on $50-$125 for each of these three
visits, depending on local prices. Sometime during the year, the pup will hurt
itself - get stepped on, take a fall, or eat some it shouldn't have - and you'll have an
emergency visit. Since these ALWAYS happen when your primary vet is off, plan on
the $100 emergency clinic basic fee. (When was the last time the kids got hurt
when the doctor's office was open?)
Good quality food is about $35-45 a sack,
sometimes more, depending on
what your breeder wants you to feed. After the age of a two, the appetite eases off and you will
feed about one 50-lb sack twice month. This needs to be a good quality feed, not
the local feed-store special!!
You'll probably want flea control and a heartworm
preventative. You'll also a good shampoo for bathing the dog; that's generally done once a
month, unless the dog gets sprayed by a skunk, rolls in the dead chicken under
the house, or plays in the duck wallow.
Neutering should be done during the first
six months to
a year if not done by the breeder's
vet before you get your pup - six months is a good age - and this is around
$100-$250 at most vet clinics. And you will need to enroll in at least one local obedience class
with your dog so you both learn to speak the same language -about $90 for a six
So, without the purchase price, your first year's expenses come out to about
$1,500. After that, your annual costs will run about $500-$600 a year, depending
on how much vet care is needed.
Another option is adopting a rescue dog (an older dog that needs a home)
which will be initially less
expensive - you'll save most of the purchase price and won't have the early
puppy expenses - but because the dog is older, you will have to deal with
already established habits and you will have it a shorter period of time. Vet
costs increase during the final years of a dog's life, as a rule.
In other words, when you adopt a Great
Dane, you are adopting a 4-legged child for the rest of it's life.
Discounts or Free Puppy Request
contact me with a "sad story" to tell and ask me if I'd reduce
the price of a puppy. Well, for those that the story is
true, I'm sorry for your hardships, however, I will
who want a free puppy, I have always felt if you can't
a pet, then you will not be able to
afford to take proper care of it, so do
expect me to give one to you. Danes are high
maintenance if you are going to take care of them properly.