Great Danes are one of the more unique dog breeds. In the end, who could miss this 34 inch, 200-pound dog?!
Still, locating a good Great Dane breeder might seem like a huge task. It’s not an easy job to breed these gentle giants, and it can be even more challenging to find them good owners!
Buyers also have the daunting task of doing their research and going over pages upon pages on Great Dane breeders near them and determining which one is the best choice for them.
To help you out, we have created a list of Great Dane breeders in the US (according to buyer’s reviews). We have also gathered some other information you might find interesting.
Let’s get started!
Top 10 Great Dane Breeders
There are a few challenges for all Great Dane breeders – the first and most notable one being the size of these large dogs.
Also, these pups can be prone to various diseases, so finding good breeding dogs can be a challenge. This is also another reason why a buyer should always look for a reputable breeder who will only sell healthy dogs.
Here is a list of trusted Great Dane breeders all over the US:
1. Old Mission Danes, Michigan
While this list is in no particular order, the first name is an exception. This Great Dane breeder is owned by none other than the multiple-term president, as well as vice president, of the Great Dane Club of America (GDCA)!
While their first litter arrived in 2007, they had been taking care of Great Danes back in 2001 already! This earned them the Breeder and Rescue Certification as well as the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Breeder of Merit award.
Old Mission Danes want to perfect the breed more than they want to profit. This is why their breeding program is limited to only a few litters a year, which is why you might end up on the waiting list for a while.
All of their Danes are well-bred, and they take into consideration not just the appearance of their dogs but also their temperament, soundness, health, and type.
They are in contact with many licensed vets all around the US, and they can point the new dog owners in the right direction if they need it. Also, they have a return policy, so if you, for any reason, need to rehome your Great Dane, you can simply return it to Old Mission Danes, and they will find them a new home.
As proof of how serious they are, all of their Great Danes come chipped, and the main contact is for Old Mission Danes. If this is something that bothers you, then the Old Mission Danes isn’t the best Great Dane breeder for you.
2. The Dane Haven, Florida
This is one of the Great Dane breeders who claim to breed only 100% European Great Danes. They also breed black and blue Great Danes, two of the fairly rare color varieties. Some other colors they offer are merle, mantle, and harlequin.
All of their Great Dane puppies have 10 acres of land to play on, so they get plenty of exercise and the playtime they require for healthy development.
The main goal of Dane Haven is to transfer European Great Dane champion bloodlines to the US, meaning they dedicate a lot of attention to the temperament and appearance of each of their puppies.
If you purchase from this Great Dane breeder, you will get all the necessary AKC registration papers, a health certificate, and a one-year health guarantee. Together with this, you’ll get a one-year supply of heartworm medication, just so they can be certain your puppies will grow up strong and healthy.
3. Azulene Danes, California
Azulene Danes is owned by Sam and Michelle Gillette, who have been in the business of Great Dane breeding for more than 20 years.
They are a member of the GDCA, so they participate in arranging conformation show rings, dog shows, and other similar events.
Breeding and profiting off their litters isn’t their main goal, so they don’t have regular litters, and the waiting list is long. However, all of their puppies are top-quality dogs with great temperaments and an appearance that is up to the breed standard.
Not just that, but they cooperate with several organizations, such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). This also means that all of their puppies are free of any genetic health issues, especially those related to bone health.
4. Majestic Giants, Kentucky
Majestic Giants is a popular local Great Dane breeder run by Sonny and Melody. They specialize in Great Danes that come in all the AKC registered colors, including black, blue, fawn, merle, harlequin, mantle, and brindle Great Danes.
These pups come with an adoption contract, so this is something you should inspect before you decide to adopt from them. If anything else, you need to prepare to be put on a waiting list and pay a deposit.
All of their dogs come with a one or two-year health guarantee that covers all genetic diseases. Also, there is a one-year guarantee that states you can return your puppy if it gets sick from any genetic illness. You can extend this guarantee for one more year, but to do this, you’ll have to get the AKC’s pet insurance and keep your Great Dane on their supplement of choice.
5. Antry Danes, Oklahoma
Antry Danes is owned by Meredith and Bill Antry. They use their 80-acre estate in Tulsa to breed European Danes. They care about their dogs so much they consider them their children.
To create the best quality Great Danes possible, they do their best to choose the finest sires for their females. Priority goes to those with astonishing intelligence, temperament, size, and European features.
All pups have AKC registration papers. They are also socialized and obedience trained, so they can be fully ready for their new homes.
When you buy a puppy from this Great Dane breeder, you will get a two-year health guarantee, as well as all pedigree papers and health records. This is so you can be certain you get the high-quality dogs they advertise.
6. Creek Danes, Michigan
All of Creek Danes come from a blue Dane called Oz that was owned by David Beek and Kenny Cregg – hence the name Creek Danes.
The duo had two decades of experience taking care of Great Danes before deciding to breed and sell dogs. This came from their belief that Danes shouldn’t be kept in kennels but rather found forever homes and families that are good enough for them.
If you’ve heard of El Jefe, the Great Dane champion, you should know that he came from Creek Danes. They even sell dogs that are a part of his bloodline.
This Great Dane breeder requires two deposits – one to secure your reservation and the second one once the puppies are born.
7. Great Alaskan Danes, Alaska
The duo behind Great Alaskan Danes, Cyndi and Craig, are active members of the GDCA, the Great Dane Club of Mat-Su Alaska, and the Kenai Kennel Club. They use five Great Danes for their breeding program, and they do all they can to focus on the betterment of the breed.
All of these pups are tested from head to toe to make sure they don’t have any health issues. This Great Dane breeder even participates in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) program, a major club that establishes protocols for breeders all across the US.
Great Alaskan Danes encourage all Great Dane owners to give them a call if they have any questions about owning Great Danes, and most of the time, they’ll be eager to help even if you didn’t purchase your Dane from them.
8. Ocean Blue Dane, Florida
This Great Dane breeder is owned by the founder of the Great Dane Club of Southeast Florida, so this alone is enough to let you know how serious they are about dog breeding. They have over 30 years of experience in dog breeding.
The breeder is a member of the AKC, and it has a Breeder of Merit distinction. This also makes them among the few Great Dane breeders advertised by the AKC.
They specialize in producing blue and black Great Dane puppies but sometimes have puppies in other colors.
Once you adopt one of these puppies, you get AKC registration papers, a contract, a genetic health warranty, and even some accessories such as a leash and collar, toys, and even a blanket with the mother’s scent! This will help your dog get used to your home much more comfortably. They’ll even give you a small supply of food, so your home can be prepared for your new puppy.
9. Rainmaster Danes, Ohio
Rainmaster Danes is owned by Jan Miner, who has been taking care of Great Danes for more than two decades. She is an active member of the GDCA, and all of her puppies follow the code of ethics written by this kennel club. A lot of attention is paid to the dog’s temperament, health, and lifespan.
All of Rainmaster Danes’ dogs are approved by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for elbow and hip dysplasia and have undergone thyroid testing and cardio and eye CERF tests. All of this will make sure that you get the healthiest dog possible.
The people working for Rainmaster Danes are more than willing to answer any question you might have about Great Dane dog ownership or regarding your ownership, so send them an email or call their phone number if there is anything else you’d like to know.
10. Rose Great Danes, Colorado
This Great Dane breeder is the name behind many award-winning Great Danes nationwide. They have been active since 1995 and have 8 female Danes birthing puppies. They are considered one of the most trustworthy Great Dane breeders.
All of their puppies are registered with the AKC, which is a guarantee of quality and one less step for their future owners. They will help you choose the best puppy for you and give you tips on how to help your puppy get used to his new home.
Keep in mind that their puppies tend to sell very fast, and the waiting list tends to be quite long. If you plan on purchasing a puppy from this Great Dane breeder, you’ll need to plan ahead.
Great Dane Breeding
While there are some downsides to breeding such large dogs, Great Dane breeding is overall fairly straightforward. In fact, it’s quite a lot easier than breeding smaller size dogs, such as Chihuahuas or miniature Poodles, as there are many more complications that come with having such small mother dogs.
Some issues can occur, however. For example, if the litter is very large, a C-section might be required because of the size of the puppies. Also, they grow rather fast, so all Great Dane breeders will quickly end up with several fairly large dogs running around their properties.
This is why buying from backyard breeders can be tricky. Most of these people don’t have enough space or knowledge to look after large, fast-growing puppies and give them enough space to exercise. All of this can lead to many behavioral problems.
Here is all the information that might interest you about Great Dane breeders and their practices:
The History Behind Great Dane Breeders
The Great Dane is a mastiff-type dog from Germany, and their original name was a misnomer. It isn’t known how they got their name, but it is believed that there were several non-German Great Dane breeders who tried to claim the breed as their own.
These pups were bred for bear and boar hunting, but some were also used as retrievers. Because of this, they were also known as boarhounds for a while. Originally, they were aggressive dogs with a strong prey drive, but these traits were bred out of them as soon as boar hunting lost popularity.
Many Great Danes found their place as royal dogs in the courts. This is likely the reason behind another of their names, the Apollo of Dogs. They became beloved family members to many historical figures, such as General Cornwallis and Otto von Bismark. During Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, they even got into the White House!
Great Dane Health Concerns
Photo from: @its.a.danes.world
Great Dane breeders have several things they should worry about when breeding these glorious dogs. The main one is their short lifespan. Unfortunately, these gentle giants live 6 to 10 years because of the many health problems they are prone to.
This is because large dog breeds typically age faster. Their cells divide rapidly to allow these canines to reach their full size fast enough, which increases the chances of many genetic health conditions.
Cancer is something that plagues Great Danes, especially bone cancer and lymphoma. Unfortunately, Danes will typically get it at a younger age than most other affected dog breeds.
A slow metabolism is another health concern that comes with Great Danes. Such large dogs eat huge amounts of food daily, and it’s easy to go overboard. Many Great Danes become obese, and once this happens, they are prone to several other health conditions.
The most common disease that can result from obesity is canine thyroiditis or hypothyroidism. While Great Dane breeders are doing their best to prevent this from happening, as the genetics behind hypothyroidism aren’t yet entirely known, this condition is still prevalent.
However, the deadliest of all conditions is gastric dilatation-volvulus, also known as bloat. Bloat is responsible for the deaths of many large dogs, and Great Danes are extremely prone to it.
Great Danes are prone to a few more health concerns, including cardiomyopathy, wobblers syndrome, and hip dysplasia.
This is the main reason why potential Great Dane owners should always buy from responsible breeders. While backyard breeders don’t have the knowledge and resources, other places, such as pet shops or puppy mills, don’t really care enough about the well-being of the puppies; their only concern is money.
Sure, all of them are cheaper than reputable dog breeders. However, what you don’t pay in initial costs, you might end up paying in medical bills, so this is something to keep in mind.
Also, all of these health concerns are the main reason behind the cost of purebred Great Danes bought from responsible breeders. Genetic testing costs money, and all Great Dane breeders need to get a return on investment.
Average Litter Size
Great Danes can birth a lot of puppies. While the average litter size is 8 puppies, it isn’t uncommon to get ten puppies as well. This means that a Great Dane breeder can produce plenty of puppies yearly, depending on how many females they have.
Keep in mind that the more puppies a Great Dane has, the higher the chances of a necessary cesarean section. In fact, Danes are somewhat prone to birth difficulties. Despite this, they are not overly challenging dogs to breed.
Acceptable Great Dane Colors
According to the AKC breed standard, there are nine colors allowed:
• black and white
They also allow black and white markings and the black mask, but many of these patterns are neither desirable nor allowed in the show ring.
The biggest issue comes with the merle color, and most responsible Great Dane breeders will avoid the intentional breeding of merle puppies. This is because the merle pattern is often associated with eye abnormalities and hearing loss.
While a heterozygous merle isn’t an issue most of the time, homozygous merles are a whole other story. These pups won’t come in a merle pattern, but rather in pure white (or at least mostly white). Most of these white pups will be blind, deaf, and prone to several other defects – most notably heart problems. Some will even be stillborn or die very young.
Because of this, breeding merle dogs is considered unethical, even if the pattern is recognized by the AKC club.
As the merle gene is recessive, it can occur unexpectedly, even if none of the parent dogs express the pattern. Still, most Great Dane breeders will refuse further breeding of these dogs to avoid the creation of double merles.
Tail Docking And Ear Cropping
Ear cropping has a historical background. When Great Danes were used as hunting dogs, their naturally floppy ears would get in their way. Boars, bears, and other wild animals could grasp onto them and rip them, causing injuries to the dog. This is why many owners decided to have them cropped.
Today, however, ear cropping serves no purpose. It is done for purely cosmetic reasons. Great Dane breeders who decide to have their dog’s ears cropped and tail docked will usually do this while the puppies are between 10 and 12 weeks old. The procedure is fairly expensive, and the aftercare is long and complicated.
In recent years, both procedures were deemed cruel. Many countries have entirely banned them. For example, both are illegal in the UK, and the UKC will disqualify any dog that has had its ears cropped or tail docked.
Ear cropping isn’t illegal in the US, and it is allowed by the AKC. Tail docking, however, isn’t.
Keep in mind that sometimes there is a practical reason behind docking a Great Dane’s tail. These are extremely large dogs that don’t do well in confined spaces. It isn’t uncommon for a Great Dane to break its tail by hitting it against a wall. This is known as happy tail injuries.
Once this happens, vets advise the docking of the pup’s tail to prevent further injuries and because a broken tail is very hard to heal.
One thing that helps Great Dane breeders is this breed’s good temperament. Great Danes make amazing family dogs! They are a true example of the title gentle giants.
These are great family companions that can even be excellent with kids. Just keep in mind that these are large dogs, and as such, they might accidentally knock a child over or injure them during rough play.
Great Danes are loyal dogs that would love nothing else than to be by your side all the time. They might even confuse themselves with lapdogs, so be prepared to spend lots of time explaining to them that they cannot be on the couch.
They are decently intelligent dogs that are easy to train because they love pleasing their owners. All of this makes Great Dane breeding a breeze!
The exact price of a Great Dane will vary according to many factors. You can find these puppies costing anywhere between a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. This depends on things such as pedigree, the bloodline, your location, the puppy’s physical traits, but also on the Great Dane breeders themselves.
Many Great Dane breeders we’ve listed keep their prices high. This is because of all the expenses that go with breeding healthy dogs. At the same time, the breeders know the quality of their puppies, which is why they are allowed to keep their prices so high.
However, owning Great Danes can be a very expensive ordeal.
First off, these are extremely large dogs. Adults can weigh more than 200 lbs! This also means they come with a huge appetite. An adult male will need around 12 cups of dog food daily! This is a lot of food.
Not just that, but you want to keep their food nutritionally balanced to avoid weight gain and stomach problems like bloat. Forget about giving them spicy food or whipped cream! These dogs should be fed with dog food and only dog food.
Another complication is that Great Danes belong to the top ten dog breeds with the highest vet bills. If bloat occurs, urgent treatment can cost several thousands of dollars. Not to mention the cost of treating orthopedic issues.
Fortunately, most Great Dane breeders will deal with the first vaccination shots, but everything else is up to you.
Finally, due to their size, these aren’t dogs suitable for small living spaces. While they can live in larger apartments, they’ll require a large number of daily walks to stay healthy. A house with a big backyard is more suitable for these giants.
How To Know You Have A Good Great Dane Breeder
After reading all of this, you may wonder how you can tell a responsible breeder apart from a backyard breeder. While it is necessary to do your homework, there are some tips that can help. Let’s start!
Meet The Breeder
First things first, the best way to see whether your Great Dane breeder is committed is to meet them in person. This will usually happen at their kennel or home (if they breed dogs where they live). You might even arrange a video meeting if live meetings aren’t currently possible.
This will give you the opportunity to observe both the breeder and the dogs. Is everything kept clean and odor-free? Does the breeder love their dogs? Are the dogs well-fed, and how do they interact with both the breeder and the other dogs? This will give you all the answers you need.
A responsible Great Dane breeder will stay with you throughout your puppy’s life. This is why you need to make sure they have all the right knowledge and that they are eager to give you the answers you want.
Ask them anything you think is important! There are no stupid questions. Also, this will help you see whether the breeder is patient or gets annoyed by the number of things you want to know. For a good breeder, there is never too much information they can share with you.
Meet The Parents
The best way to estimate how your Great Dane puppy will look is to meet the parents. As sires are not always on the property, you should at least want to meet the mother. This will tell you all you need to know about your future dog’s physical traits and personality.
Get A Medical History
Many Great Dane breeders from our list offer you health guarantees and paperwork regarding your Great Dane’s health. Dogs with CERF and OFA certificates have proof of good health, so you can sleep soundly if your puppy has this paperwork.
Buying a dog is a process. You likely won’t be able to meet the breeder, choose a dog, then go home with that same dog on the same day.
Most responsible dog breeders will keep their puppies with the mother for 8 to 12 weeks. This is necessary for proper socialization and emotional stability. While you are certainly excited about the thought of taking your puppy home as soon as possible, you need to be patient.
If you speed up this process, you risk causing issues to your dog’s health and behavior. It is better to stay patient for a while than to insist on everything happening rapidly.
Should You Get A Great Dane Puppy?
Provided you take a healthy pup from a good Great Dane breeder, Danes make amazing family pets. Despite their size, they are gentle dogs that will love their owners with all their hearts.
Of course, you shouldn’t get this dog breed if you cannot provide it with the life it needs. Great Danes require lots of space and plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. You cannot get a Great Dane and expect it to live happily in a tiny apartment with one half-hour walk a day.
Also, these pups can cost a lot of money in the long run. They eat a lot of food and require large dog beds and lots of toys. If this is something you are not ready to finance, maybe you should find a smaller dog breed.
Other than that, Great Danes make amazing pets, and Great Dane breeders can come in handy to help you with your endeavors as a new dog owner.