Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In The Beginning

I've wanted a great dane ever since I can remember. It was only around 2004 when I gained enough stability in my life to seriously consider buying a puppy. I began with researching the breed extensively, though there are still many things I'm sure I don't know. I started going to a few all-breed dog shows, which are an awesome experience that I stongly recommend. Not only are they really informative, they are also a lot of fun! They are also probably the best way to get to know breeders in your area. I take tons of pictures and buy the program so that if I see a dane that I'm interested in online I can compare it's name and number to my pictures to figure out if the dog was there and if I got to meet him/her. Dog shows get confusing, especially if you are (like me) wild with excitement. I have never seen so many beautiful danes in one place. I have yet to attend a specialty show since I live in a pretty remote area, but I look forward to it in the near future.
At the same time I began searching for a puppy a close friend of mine was doing the same. In August of 2004 she brought home her new dane baby, a little blue boy. As he grows I spend time every week with him and take pictures at least bi-monthly in order to compare his growth with my future puppy's when I finally take the plunge into dog ownership. Talking with her about her dane has been another valuable source of information, and it's great to be aware of things that the books may not tell you.
The first breeder I actually spoke with in person gave me quite a bit of advice and I still e-mail her once in a while if I have a question about my search for a reputable breeder. She breeds fawns and I have my mind set on a blue but being so involved in the breed, she knows a lot about other kennels with all colors in my area. It's very intimidating to just walk up and introduce yourself to a breeder (this one was waiting in line for pictures with her winning fawn when I accosted her) but I had e-mailed her beforehand and she encouraged me to meet her at the dog show. Above all, when speaking in person with breeders at a dog show, know that they probably have very little time to talk. Keep it short and ask if you may call or e-mail them at a later date. They also talk to many people about their dogs, so don't be offended if they don't remember you right away.
It makes me crazy to have to wait for so long in the process of buying a puppy. But I know the more information I have and the more breeders I research, the better the outcome will be. I'm hoping to have a puppy in my home sometime this winter. I have already decided on the name Savage, simply because I like the sound of it, and it may be comical to have such a big baby with such an intimidating name. I am looking for a blue male, hopefully from a kennel in the state I live in. It will probably be a smart idea to visit the kennel and see the dam (and sire, if possible) so I can get to know my puppy's family. Oh yeah, and the people, too!


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