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GDCA Breeder's Code of Ethics

This Code is established in accordance with the objectives of the GDCA to protect and advance the interests of Great Danes and provide guidelines for responsible ownership and ethical breeding practices.

  •  Maintain the best possible standards of health, cleanliness, safety and care of their dogs.
  • Take all appropriate measures to assist a Dane in distress.
  • Display good sportsmanship and conduct, whether at home, at shows, or in hotels, in such a manner as to reflect credit upon themselves and the GDCA.
  • Not alter the appearance, physical structure, condition, or natural temperament of a dog by any means other than allowed for in the Official Breed Standard if the dog is to be exhibited.
  • Bear the responsibility for the truth and accuracy of any information and/or photographs submitted for publication.

  • Breed Great Danes which are temperamentally and structurally sound.
  • Be familiar with the Breed Standard and breed only those dogs and bitches which most closely conform to it.
  • Keep well informed in the field of genetics and work to eliminate hereditary defects from the breed.
  • Refrain from further use of a Great Dane for breeding if the dog or bitch has produced any offspring with serious inherited defects detrimental to an animal's well being (physically or mentally), and has produced like results with a different mating partner.
  • Not breed to an unregistered Great Dane.
  • Not wholesale litters of Great Danes, sell to Brokers or Pet Shops, provide any animal for prize or raffle purposes; nor use a Stud Dog in like manner.
  • Keep all puppies with the litter until at least 7 or 8 weeks of age.
  • Adhere to State and Local laws regarding the sale of puppies.
  • Sell dogs in good condition, health and sound temperament at time of delivery. They shall be free of internal parasites to the best knowledge of the seller; will have received the necessary inoculations to date; a record of dates and types of immunizations will be given; and a health certificate provided if required. Written instructions on the feeding, health care, training and any other information necessary for the dog's well being (e.g. ear crop care) will be made available after the sale to assist the new owner.
  • Provide a four or more generation color marked pedigree and the AKC registration at the time of sale of each dog. Any dog sold as a pet and not for breeding should be given a limited registration or a written contract specifying conditions of sale (e.g. spay/neuter agreement, show or pet quality, co-ownership, breeding rights, etc.).
  • Provide buyer with copies of all pre-screenings done on both parents to assure the buyer that every possible effort has been made to produce puppies free of hereditary problems.
  • Sell or place each Great Dane with the contemplated final owner, therefore the seller should ascertain that the prospective buyer has the knowledge and facilities to properly care for a growing or grown dog. As a condition of sale or placement, the breeder shall retain the right of first refusal should the purchaser ever decide to transfer ownership or resell the dog, therefore giving the seller every opportunity to help the purchaser find a new home for the dog if necessary.
  • All dogs sold (puppy or adult) shall have a signed agreement between the seller and purchaser that the animal shall be examined by a Veterinarian of the purchaser's choice (and paid for by that party) within 72 hours of purchase or delivery. If the dog is deemed unhealthy or possessing an inherited defect which would impair the use for which it was purchased (pet, show or breeding program) the seller will refund the full purchase price upon the return of the dog with a Veterinarian certified documentation of the condition. The dog will be returned at the purchaser's expense.
  • Provide and honor all contracts regarding sales, co-ownerships, breeding rights, agreements, compensation for future puppies, leasing a bitch, stud service, etc.

  • All dogs and bitches to be bred be x-rayed prior to breeding and declared free of hip dysplasia by a knowledgeable Veterinarian or the OFA. It is also encouraged that any and all technology available be used to screen all animals to be used for breeding, according to known problems within the breed (e.g. OFA, cardiac check, thyroid check, vWD, PRA, etc.).
  • A written Stud Contract be used which specifies all conditions of the breeding and a color marked pedigree be provided by both parties.
  • A stud dog should be a year or more of age before breeding and a bitch not less than 18 months.
  • A bitch not be bred not more than once a year.
Both parties provide Veterinarian reports certifying that each animal is clear of any transmittable infections. 
With the agreement of both the seller and the purchaser, any puppy sold as a show prospect which subsequently develops a disqualifying defect shall be:
replaced by the breeder with another show prospect puppy and the dog returned to the seller, OR
the money refunded and the dog returned to the seller, OR
the buyer's money refunded to the extent of the difference between the price paid and the price of the pet puppies sold from the same or similar litters if the buyer retains and spays or neuters the dog.
  • Breeders adhere to the GDCA Breeders' Color Code.

Clare Lincoln and Margaret Shappard

Karla Callahan
Anita Dunne
Col. Harry Hutchinson
Marilyn Riggins
Terri Welti


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