Families with dogs-Anyone have experience with Great Danes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm starting to get dog wants again, and we're looking for a new breed. I loved my Rottie, but we can't afford the increase in home owner's insurance for a Rottie, and even now, when I see another Rottwieler I get very sad. I don't think I can get another one.

It will be at least a year before we're ready for another dog, and we're thinking of getting a puppy, so we can teach it to live with our cat. We also need to build a fence around our yard, and set up a kennel. And we have a baby.

We love giant working dogs, and are willing to work with and excercise one. We have experience training a big stubborn dog.

Sooo I was thinking about getting a GReat Dane (you know, like Scooby Doo) once we're prepared to get a puppy. Can anyone tell me some personal experiences with them? Any other giant dogs? How are they off lead? We hike in the woods, and Kaya was always good at staying close, and could be controlled with just voice commands.
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#2 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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I've seen a tragic decline in both temperment and health in Danes over the past 5 yrs or so. Quite a bit of fear based aggresion and I know of 2 who were recently put down (completely separate homes) and both sets of owners raised them very well and attempted numerous things to fix the problem, there was just something fundamentally wrong with the dogs. Personally, I'd avoid or do a TON of research first. Bull Mastiffs are a nice large working dog. If you liked the Rottie-have you considered a Beauceron??
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#3 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 02:47 PM
 
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I had one growing up named Kirby. He was and still is the love of my life. He got old and grey and died an old man. He was very wise and sweet. He slept on my mom's 4 poster bed with her everynight, even though he was almost the size of a skinny horse. He never bit and was always respectful. When my little brother was a baby, he would lay in the crook of kirby's belly and kirby protected him. My mom called him teen angel (for some strange reason).... he was the best.... let me go cry now.
I know he was difficult to walk on a leash bc he went so fast and people were afraid of him. (we named our next dog boo radley).. I would get one if I had the room... definately like a huge new addition to the family. He even was stolen for a couple of years and eventually found his way across the city back to us.
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#4 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh Beauceron--pretty.... I'll check them out, as well as Bull Mastiff's. If I hadn't fallen in love with Kaya the first time I saw her, I would have looked further into getting a bull mastiffs.
Shannon, I was reading in another thread that you don't recommend families get rescue or shelter dogs (paraphrasing, can't remember if you meant both or either). I totally agree with great reluctance. Kaya came from a rescue org, and her profile listed her "good with kids". At the time I had no kids, and no plans to have kids. I believe we lucked out with her. I noticed that many rescue orgs won't accept families with children under 8. Maybe that's just for working dogs. At first I was frustrated by this, but now I understand. We want a "blank slate" of a dog, as it were.
In hindsight, I had no idea what I was getting myself, and thankfully I had the time and motivation to work with Kaya. I think this was something her previous family didn't have.
I've noticed that overbreeding, media with cute dogs (101 Dalmations, Taco Bell commercials, etc.) has brought so many breeds down. So sad.
Half the fun of getting a new pet for me is preparation and research, so off I go. Thanks!
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#5 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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I have a lab/dane mix. He was a rescue, and I do understand your hesitation with rescue, but he was only 3 months old when he was rescued so he was still somewhat of a blank slate. He is slightly skittish and fearful, but also very submissive and sweet. Anyway, he's a great dog, I don't know if he is typical of Danes but he is definitely not typical of a lab--much calmer mostly.

He's not great off lead, but that may be partially our personalities--we haven't trained him extensively. My mom calls him a big lug, and that's a good description--sweet and loveable and not super bright :LOL It did make housetraining challenging--he just didn't seem to get the concept--but other than that he's just perfect, great with kids, great with us, eager to please if he can figure out what we are trying to get him to do! :LOL

Good luck!

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#6 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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My family had a Great Dane. He was a really nice dog. Off-lead, he'd stay close but would not necessarily listen to us the first time (and it got him into trouble when he met a rattle snake). He was very protective, but he'd get mad if we even hugged each other. If he was nervous, he'd drool so much that our whole carpet would be wet. Sadly, the breed is prone to some sort of intestinal twisting & he did not live his full lifespan due to that problem.

: Deirdre & the boys ('02 & '06 vintage)
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#7 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphinemere
He was very protective, but he'd get mad if we even hugged each other.
:LOL
Kaya was like this, too. When she was spry there was no dancing, no standing around hugging or kissing alowed. First she would huff and bark, then she would try to break it up by jumping in. Then we'd sit and hug her and she'd snort and groan, but if you got up, she'd be insulted. The only affection allowed had to involve her.
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#8 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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An ex-coworker of mine raised, trained, and showed Great Danes. What beautiful, loving, and obedient pets/family members she had. One of her dogs was older and required medical treatment through out the day. We let her keep him in the office with us. He was such a great dog. We all cried when he passed away.

I'd love to have a Great Dane one day.
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#9 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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I have always wanted a great dane. I love big dogs, and I love that they have short managable coats. Sadly they have alot of health issues, don't live very long and as Shannon has already mentioned there has been a real down turn in their breeding recently. If I were going to get one I would research the breeder I chose very carefully. Have you considered some other large breed dogs. I understand you prefer the working breeds, but there are some other good ones out there. I am particularly fond of Great Pereneses and Newfoundlands. They are both super with kids and used frequently in SAR work. I have also heard great things about Irish Wolfhounds, but I don't think they do well off lead (most hounds don't). The best dog I ever had for off lead was a malamute/wolf mix. I don't know that it is real common in them though. He was just a super smart and obedient dog. I really lucked out with him.
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#10 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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Newfies are AWESOME--I worked with a newf kennel from the time I was 13.
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#11 of 31 Old 07-27-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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We had one and loved him dearly. They aren't long living dogs but are the best with kids. I can reccomend googling great dane. There is a great site but I can't remember right now. BIG POOP!
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#12 of 31 Old 07-28-2005, 03:10 AM
 
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if you are looking for another breed, Bernese Mountain Dogs are absolutely wonderful!! Look very rottie-ish. Similar coloring(except the white), and of course long fur, but they really have a similar look and they are such big lovable mush balls
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#13 of 31 Old 07-28-2005, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can't do the long coats. Too much fur, cough cough sneeze sneeze. My MIL is allergic to cats and furry dogs (haired dogs are okay. She has 2 standard poodles)
Dh and I were talking about dogs last night. He really wants a Boston Terrier (we're not totally married to the working dog idea. We just want a suitable dog, and we love big dogs--for the most part). I think we'd have to get 2, and we already have a cat. He also likes English Bull dogs, I like Bullmastiffs, although in reality, I both those breeds, as much as we love them, aren't really for us. So here's what we're really looking for. I think in some ways a GReat Dane would work, but maybe not:
short coat, good with children (although we wouldn't leave our kids alone with even the best dog), big--but not required, likes long hikes, good off leash, house-loving couch potato.
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#14 of 31 Old 07-28-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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Have you looked at American Bulldogs at all? I've worked a few here and they are just awesome much pots--but powerful. THe only problem is they look enough "pitbullish" that if your city is looking to start breedbans you could have some trouble.
Have you looked ever at a Dutch Shepherd??? Smaller than a german shepherd but all the workability and temperment but fewer cases of "bad example of the breed" since they are far from popular.
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#15 of 31 Old 07-28-2005, 11:42 AM
 
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We are also looking for a new dog, and my requirements are similar. We are getting an American Mastiff puppy in five weeks. Think Mudge, only less drooly. It will be a little bigger than what I'd ideally like, but that's OK.

http://www.flyingwfarms.com/amastiff_index.html
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#16 of 31 Old 07-28-2005, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I love bull dogs and I really love pits. Dh won't have a dog that looks like a pit, though. It was hard enough to get people not to be automatically afraid of Kaya.
But given how many pit-looking dogs I see around my town, there isn't a ban on them.
The Dutch Shepherd is a nice looking dog. ...
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#17 of 31 Old 07-28-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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We had a Great Dane for 6 years and I'd definitely get another one.

He was a rescued Dane and sooooooo mellow. He was almost 3 when we got him. BTW, Dane puppies are notorious for chewing...and I mean chewing BIG things, like destroying an entire couch. So crate-training would probably be great for a puppy.

Anyway, our Dane was the gentlest, sweetest dog ever. He was actually afraid of one of our cats for almost a year, lol. Definitely a beta dog, not an alpha. He was good off-leash too (we did take him to obedience training). He died of cancer last year THe really big dogs do not live very long (10-12 years is LONG for them), so that might be something to consider.

HTH!

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#18 of 31 Old 09-20-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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This is kind of old but oh well... We have two Danes and I really believe they are one of the absolute best breeds of dog. When they are sweet they are sweet to the bone. When they are chickens they are 165 pounds of giant baby.

If you don't mind hair (and I mean HAIR) and you don't mind mopping muddy paws and you want a dog that needs to be with the family a Dane is a great choice. They're bright (most of them) and friendly, lazier than hell, and usually very sweet. Get two if you want to be made into a human sandwich.

ETA: Unless you are an extrememly patient person who loves to train dogs I would not recommend a puppy Dane. I would own another Dane but I would NEVER own another puppy Dane. When your 4 month old puppy weighs 65 pounds it's a little scary. :LOL

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#19 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 02:52 PM
 
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I have been a major great dane rescuer for many years, and have had more than a hundred pass through my home through the years.
They are wonderful. Sweet, funny.. just perfect. I will never live without one. We currently have a very small Brindle dane (Splash) and by very small I mean about 100 pounds.
I do have to say... that if you were coming to me for rescue... I would probably deny you for the scooby doo reference. Anyone who compares them to scooby doo or marmaduke we normally deny initially, and only if they come back do we really look into them.
Don't get a puppy. Really. If you are not an experienced GD owner a puppy is NOT for you. They are really very difficult as puppies, explaining why the median age of a GD in rescue is only eight months old. Seriously look into rescues. If you buy one from a pet store, you are getting one from a puppy mill (regardless of what the pet store says. The dog came from a puppy mill) and if you get one from a "backyard breeder" (someone who has no clue what they are doing and basically wants the money) you are setting yourself up for a nightmare, as well as paying them for being irresponsible. Your best bet is really a rescue dane. I have only once in my life had one returned for behavior problems that we were not aware of (if the dog doesn't get along with kids, is scared of stairs, hates loud noises, etc. I ALWAYS let people know, so do most rescues).
Don't get a white one- They're deaf. If you don't mind a deaf one, then by all means go for it... they're wonderful creatures. But make sure s/he is older and well trained. A deaf one for a new owner is a handful.
Merle is NOT a "rare color"- it's a birth defect, pure and simple.

Great Danes are wonderful... the best dogs there are. They shed a LOT, they eat a lot as puppies (Splash would eat 4-5 lbs of food a DAY and still look like she was starving... that was at 4 months old!) but as adults they even out (she eats about 6 cups a day now, not too bad... a 30 lb bag of high quality food lasts us about 2 weeks, with two big dogs) and they are obstinant as hell, but there is nothing like them
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#20 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by splash
Merle is NOT a "rare color"- it's a birth defect, pure and simple.
Oh thank you for saying that. Nothing pisses me off more than certain "breeders" who want to charge extra for their genetic mistake. I've heard them all. "I have a white german shepherd--they're very rare ya know" Yeah, they're rare because it's a breed fault. Their incidence of seizure is 60% higher than the rest of the breed, they often have skin and digestive issues and have I believe at 30% greater chance of developing cancer. Anytime you specifically breed for a fault you are working with such a shallow gene pool it's not even funny. I had a client tell me he paid $3000 for his rare long haired rottweiler (hmmm, sucker born every minute) Then there are always the wonderful "King" shepherds and dobes. No such thing--it's just a big dog--and if all you breed for is size, the most important things get messed up. Don't even get me started on designer breeds! :
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#21 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info, and reviving the thread. I appreciate everyone's responses!

I would never refer to a Great Dane as a Scooby Doo dog outside my family or in general conversation (to describe what dog I am talking about). I actually didn't know that Scooby Doo was a GD until a few months ago, long after I've considered getting one.

I'd never get a pet store dog either!

I've been reconsidering getting a rescue. I think there are other factors that would make us ineligible for a rescue dog--we have small children. When we start seriously looking for the right dog, our girls will be 1 1/2 and 7 (maybe older, we'll see next year). I know many rescue orgs, particularly those for larger breeds will not adopt to families with small children, although, as you will read, we've had experience with a large breed, and my dh grew up with a weinmaraner (but I can't spell it!)

Our previous dog was a rescue, and she was the best dog I've ever known. She was slightly smaller than a typical GD--a 100# Rottwieler. That said, trust me, I had 10 years experience with a stubborn (and we kept up with her training!), but loyal and intelligent dog, whom I'm never thought of as the cute kid loving Carl-dog.

First thing's first. We have one more side of our yard to fence in before we can even think of getting a dog, and we'd like to make a kennel (although our future dog will be a house dog. We don't leave our pets outside unattended or unsupervised.

And while I really want another dog, I'm really not ready for another dog. Kaya was my first baby, and was a very important creature in our family. I'm still grieving. I dreamed about Kaya last night and woke up sobbing. And I still have an infant who needs so much of our time and energy, we have very little to offer a dog at any age. As much as we want another giant drooling machine, we're just not ready now.
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#22 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by shannon0218
I had a client tell me he paid $3000 for his rare long haired rottweiler (hmmm, sucker born every minute)
Maybe it was a really overweight Gordon Setter. :LOL
JUST KIDDING! That's sad!
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#23 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 06:41 PM
 
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I adopt to families with small children all the time. I know these dogs. I test them out. I would never ever recommend someone trust a dog completely (I don't even trust splash and wally completely, though i do leave them in the room alone with charlie often... but once he is more mobile I will stop that) and to always supervise, but most dogs are very child friendly. I test all my dogs out in kid foster homes first, and they pass. I pull on their ears and tail (hey, it's a fact of life with kids... and I don't do it hard enough to hurt, just to annoy them) and tease them with food. I always have complete faith in the dogs I send out as rescues to homes with kids.
Ask a rescue what their policy is, how they make sure the dogs are kid friendly, etc.
Good luck! I know what you mean about loving a dog so completely like that. Once Wally is gone... I don't know how I will ever get another one. I cannot imagine living without that goofball. I love Splash, but Wally is my soulmate.
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#24 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
Don't even get me started on designer breeds! :
I had someone tell me they had a multi poo. WTF? I am guessing maltese and poodle...
I always feel the need to yell at them "MUTT!" come ON people, it's a MUTT!
My SIL has a pug/pekingese/poodle that she paid $600 for... all the health problems in the world... and she was told she was getting a "registered" pugapeekapoo.... good lord.
Goldendoodles, cockapoos, labradanes... they are MUTTS! Although, I must say, that I DO love labradanes... as in, MISTAKE MUTTS that happen to come from a mostly great dane and a mostly lab. They get the best of both but I would NEVER buy one or breed one or advocate them. But if I came across one in a pound... I might not be able to stop myself.
Grrr.... I hate producers. And I hate even more that they call themselves breeders. A breeder has the breeds best interest in mind... invests time and heart and money into each litter and is lucky to break even money wise... a breeder knows everything possible about their dogs, their breed, and their future. Someone with two "purebred" dogs they got from a bed store that makes puppies with them to buy a new TV is NOT a breeder...
When anyone says something is RARE in an animal... most people with half a brain wonder why. If it is so special, wouldn't it occur more often?
Although, of all the great dane colors... my fav really is merle. I know it's a defect and they have problems and you should never breed them or strive for them (and if your harlequin or black dane is throwing them out in high numbers, most good breeders understand you should retire that dog) but when I come across them... I just love them. And Harls.... LOVE harls.. I don't care for fawns or brindles... and blacks scare me. Blues I can live without too, mostly for the health problems.
Oh, and if you end up looking for a dane... and you end up buying from a producer (not a good breeder)... you should only ever breed within a color family...
Blacks can breed with anything, but should really only breed with harl, black and blue. Blue and harl can ONLY breed with black or with the same (harl and harl, blue and blue) TRUE blacks (from ALL black dogs, never any other color) can breed with anything, but they are hard to come by.
Fawns and brindles should only breed with fawns and brindles, though it is acceptable for them to breed with black, but not preferable. And ONLY a true bled black (from an all black line, not a black from a harl/black or a blue/black or any other black breeding)
Merles and whites should never ever be bred with anything.
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#25 of 31 Old 09-23-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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Ok, so tonight I just ran into someone at our local fall fair. He bought one of our shepherds for his mother years ago. Stunning dog and he swears Kato saved his mother's life. So he wanted another one, but we're not breeding anymore. I don't want another stud until long after Havoc goes (he's my soulmate too) and all our females were getting too old. So my breeder is travelling right now and figures in 5 yrs or so, she and I will aquire another working dog so I can title him and she can breed him. This guy paid $800 for Kato. Both parents titled (mine to a Schutzhund III, FH, search and rescue work, both parents with OFA excellent hips and elbows. So when we didn't have any pups he just went to someone he got out of the paper. He paid $2500 for this dog that I would seriously question even has any german shepherd in him, he looks like a huskey/lab cross. He has white socks on all 4 feet, his tail is short and he's square. This guy was told and believed that the socks were a rarety and that's why this pup was selling for so much. Just unfreakinbelievable :
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#26 of 31 Old 09-24-2005, 09:59 AM
 
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My parents had a GSD when I was a baby... my dad was looking for one, came across this breeder by word of mouth, went to see the puppies, and fell in love with one. Until he got to the price of $1500... back in the early 70s! So he had to tell the lady no, although he loved the dog.
He went on and on to my mom and so a few days later she went out there to get him the dog. She had to drain their savings to do it, but she knew he loved the dog so much and love like that only comes once in a lifetime, ya know?
So she got there, ready to hand over two months' salary for a dog, and this time met with the husband. He told he to take the dog, no charge. She asked why and he told her he could never be shown or bred, because the tips of one of his ears wouldn't stand. At this point all of the other pups (I guess they were older puppies) were already erect, but this pup's ear wouldn't go all the way up. So he knew how much my mom was sacrificing to get the dog, so he told her just to take him, give him a good home, make sure he never had puppies, and enjoy him.
My father was of course ecstatic, especially after finding out she got him for free (they sent the man and his wife a very nice gift afterwards). Kilgore was my father's best friend for eleven years before they put him down. My dad still cries about that dog, and he has never owned another one (well, I had a dog when I was younger, but dad never bonded with it and we gave him to a friend of ours who now is massively in debt paying for all this dog's old age care, but she adores him). He never will own another dog. Kilgore was his one and only. He talks sometimes about how he would love to have another GSD, but Kilgore took a piece of his heart with him... he could never love another dog that much, so he doesn't even want to try.
I love GSDs. They are wonderful. I'm not the right owner for them, and I know that, so I would not get one. But I do adore them. Although now, like with great danes and labs, it's so hard to find one from good stock and that hasn't been bred into the ground. That's why I stick with mutts, unless a PB comes across my path that I cannot turn away.
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#27 of 31 Old 09-24-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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I always LMAO about the designer Poodle dogs now being bred. I watched a whole show about the breakthrough Cockapoos and Labradoodles. Erm, we had a Cockapoo when I was little, we got her for free at a garage sale because they are Mutts!

I, personally, like Poodles and I think they are fabulous pets for those with allergies. If Poodles didn't exist I would have not had a pet because my sister is severely allergic. However, why does it have to be a Labradoodle??? Just get the damn Poodle.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#28 of 31 Old 09-24-2005, 10:47 AM
 
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Here are pics of our Danes:

Nixon - 5-7 year old Mantle/Merle

Polly - 4 year old Fawn

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#29 of 31 Old 09-24-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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[B]I have a great dane. This is my 3rd. They are wonderful pets. They are a giant breed. Help out a resuce and get a rescue dane.
Good luck
Lynda
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#30 of 31 Old 09-24-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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I was approached to let Havoc breed to a standard poodle--this woman had never produced any pups at all. I just shook my head and said "ummm, yeah, not a chance" Can you imagine how funny looking those pups would be?? :

He did have some accidental fun with a standard schnauzer that my neibor was showing (who leaves a bitch in standing heat on a tie out on their front lawn?????) I have to admit, mt friend took a male (for free of course--they are mutts afterall) and Regis is ugly he's cute
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