Littlehorse Great Danes

Harlequins, Mantles, Blacks, and Merles

Johnny & Melody Rainwater

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Littlehorse Guarantee and Client Information SPAN OF TEN TO THIRTEEN YEARS

·                    WE GUARANTEE GENERAL HEALTH





General Information about AKC Registration Papers Provided With Pet Puppies


We provide A.K.C.’s limited registration papers with pet pups upon receipt of proof of neutering.  Although we do not force you to neuter your pet, no AKC registration papers will be provided until we receive a letter from your veterinarian stating that your pup has, in fact, been neutered.  This is to be sent via the postal system and not by e-mail. We recommend spaying at EIGHT or Ten x months of age and neutering males not before 18 months.  Do not neuter you male sooner than 18  months of age.   Upon receipt of proof of neutering, we will be happy to provide you with AKC’s limited registration papers for your pup.  These registration papers will enable you to register your pup with the American Kennel Club.  You will also be able to show your pet in AKC sanctioned Obedience Shows.  You can not register puppies from a purebred dog who has AKC’s limited registration papers.  You cannot show a purebred pup with AKC’s limited registration papers in Conformation Shows.  This means that although you do not have to neuter your pup, if you do not neuter and furnish us with proof of neutering, you will not receive any AKC registration papers on your puppy.  However this is on a client by client bases.   If we have agreed on full registration the above is null.


Notification Requirement:  All Potential Puppy Problems


In an attempt to minimize every type of potential problem for our puppy buyers, including stress, inconvenience and expense, to insure that our pups are properly raised, and to enable us to keep accurate health records with regard to our breeding program, we now require immediate notification of any behavior, health, or temperament problem.  Failure to provide us with immediate notification of any potential behavior, health, or temperament problem will void any and all guarantees!  The only problem exempt from this requirement is a life threatening medical emergency.  In the case of a life-threatening emergency, we would like to be notified of the problem once the emergency has been dealt  with.  We can frequently provide you with very helpful input.


We can evaluate most problems via a phone conversation with a description of the problem.  If you are local, we might ask you to bring your Dane by for us to evaluate.  If you are out of town, we might ask for a video if a telephone conversation will not adequately define the problem.  In the long run, we will save you money and reduce your stress, and help keep your Dane happy and healthy.


We can often provide input to eliminate the problem quickly with little to no expense.  We have had several incidents of owners reduced to tears by veterinarians who are unfamiliar with the structure and growth patterns of German Danes. One poor lady was told that her Dane needed casts on both front legs because the Dane obviously had a problem.  The Dane was not limping but had large knee joints.  At our request, she brought the pup over.  To her relief, her pup had totally normal front legs for a German Dane.  Her vet was unfamiliar with the German type of structure. If you have reason to suspect a health or development problem, call us immediately before you invest in expensive tests and/or therapies.


Our Danes, unlike many American Danes, are quite intelligent and are also stubborn.  They are also extremely resourceful.  We do not want them to get out of control.  They are gentle giants, and, when properly raised, are wonderful, loving pets.  There are many people who claim to be trainers who are not what they claim to be.  Some use unacceptable methods and can actually injure your dog physically or emotionally.  If you are unsuccessful in getting your Dane to do something that you want it to do or to stop a specific behavior that you do not like, give us an immediate call.  We will provide tips and solutions for you at no charge.  We expect you to take full advantage of our expertise.  We do not want our pups to be ill behaved adults!  If you are having a bad day, your Dane may well out-think you.  It happens to us all the time.  J


General Information about the Great Dane


Great Danes are a giant breed and, therefore, have potential for health problems not normally encountered in an average dog.  Their average life span is supposed to be seven to eight years, but has declined to an average of about five years.  The short life span is partially due to their extreme size and partially due to the fact that many owners are unaware of simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of life-threatening health problems.  The primary health problems that result in premature death in Danes are hip dysplasia, heart trouble, and, first and foremost, torsion.  Hip dysplasia is not fatal, however, a severely dysplastic dog may require extensive and expensive surgery.  Many Danes are put down because their owners can’t afford the required surgery, and the Dane is either in pain or can’t walk or climb steps without the surgery.  The incidence of hip dysplasia can be drastically reduced through careful breeding.  All of our Danes are X-rayed prior to breeding.   Our Great Danes are living an average of 10 to 13 years.


After acquisition of a puppy, weight and exercise control, proper diet, provision of adequate water, housing, and shade are about all we can do to avoid heart problems.  We guarantee against enlarged hearts for seven years.


We are also strongly suggesting that you purchase pet insurance for your puppy. (You will need to confer with your vet about this. ) Many times owners have called or emailed looking for financial help to pay their vet bill.  While we do guarantee the health of our puppies, these are live creatures and can get ill and sometimes sustain injuries.  As much as we would like to help we are not in a position to pay your vet so before you take on the responsibility of a new pet make sure that you are able to shoulder the burden of unforeseen expenses.  If you can’t then don’t get a pet of any kind as it is unfair to them.


Probably the number one “PREMATURE KILLER” of Danes is torsion.  Bloat is a gas build up in the stomach.  If not relieved immediately, bloat can progress and torsion can result.  Torsion occurs when the stomach and/or spleen flips, and, without immediate surgery by a surgeon experienced in torsion surgery, it is usually fatal.  Even with surgery, the mortality rate is extremely high.  Improper feeding, improper timing of exercise, a sudden change in the diet, and stress are just some of the factors that can contribute to the development of bloat and/or torsion.


The following instructions are designed to help you keep your Dane healthy, happy and safe.  Please follow them.  If you have any questions, NEVER HESITATE TO CONTACT US BY EITHER PHONE OR EMAIL.  If you call and our recorder answers, leave your name, your area code, your number, and your state.  We will call you back.  If it is an emergency, so state on the recorder, and we will return your call as soon as we get the message, regardless of the hour!!!!






Always call your vet before you go in for any routine or non-emergency visit. Ask the receptionist if any parvo or corona dogs have come in that day or are in the clinic receiving treatment.  If the answer is yes, change your appointment to another day or utilize another vet.

Carry your puppy into the office and keep him on your lap.  Do not let him down on the floor or on the vet’s furniture.  When he is old enough to walk on a leash, always keep him on the sidewalk and do not let him stray to the grass as sick animals eliminate on it and grass cannot be cleaned like sidewalks.

We have vaccinated your puppy at 5 weeks and again at 7 weeks with parvo vaccine.  When your puppy is 10 weeks he will start his DHLPP vaccinations from your veterinarian.  Do not allow your vet to give the rabies shot with the DHLPP.  Wait at least a month and then give the rabies vaccine.




If your Dane ever has to be anesthetized or tranquilized for any reason, including an ear crop, neutering, etc., please inform your vet each and every time that Great Danes are extremely sensitive to both and that one fourth to one third of the recommended dose for the Dane’s weight is generally enough.  If they start with one half or more of the recommended dose for the Dane’s weight, your Dane’s life may be at risk!!!!!!






Put you Dane on heartworm preventative at three months of age and give the medication year round, no matter what climate you live in! If you prefer not to give daily medication, a monthly wormer is available. Do not miss medication! Do not discontinue medication during winter months.


Please let me stress again, your dog’s health and well being is dependent upon receiving this preventative year round with no interruptions. If you do not keep your Dane on a scheduled heartworm preventative your guarantee will not be honored.







Proper feeding is of critical importance.  There is no readily available dog food formulated especially for giant breeds.  Many foods feature puppy, maintenance, less active, and high protein formulas, but are formulated for the “average” dog.  Since most puppy formulas are high protein, you should not feed puppy food.  Check the label, but most are 26% to 32% .  Your puppy will be on  Iam’s Adult in the green bag.  You will always feed twice daily.  Once in the morning and once in the evening.  Start with two cups of kibble when you get your puppy home and adjust the portions from there.  Remember that all of our puppies eat out of the same bowls and we have no idea exactly how much each puppy eats.

You will be asked if you can get this food before purchase of the puppy.  It is available at Pet Smart and most grocery stores.  Make sure that you can acquire this food before your puppy comes home. You will always for the entire life of your Great Dane wet the food and add a couple of tablespoons of a good canned food.  We use Pedigree canned to add in with the chicken and rice we cook daily in a pressure cooker.  We never free feed.  You give them 15 minutes to eat and then PICK IT UP!


Always feed twice a day. “ Never once a day for the entire life of your dog.”


Never leave moistened kibble down for more than 15 minutes or so.  Moistened kibble sours quickly outside in the summer and will also sour at room temperature.  Sour food can contribute to the development of bloat and/or torsion.





A sudden change of food can result in a case of bloat and/or torsion.  If you want to change kibble, do so over a few days.  The first day, feed ¾ old brand food and ¼ new brand food.  The second day, feed half new brand kibble and half old brand kibble.  The third day, feed ¾ new brand kibble and ¼ old brand kibble.  The fourth day, feed all new brand kibble.




Consumption of a small amount of water with meals or immediately after meals is normal.  Excessive water consumption with or immediately after meals can contribute to a bloat and/or torsion problem.  If your Dane attempts to consume an excessive amount of water with or immediately after meals, limit his or her water intake to about eight ounces for an hour after meals.  One hour after meals, you can allow free consumption of water.


With the exception of possible controlled water intake within an hour of eating, always have plenty of clean, fresh water available for your Dane.




Excessive exercise immediately after meals can contribute to the development of bloat and/or torsion.  This is very important!!




Do not allow you Dane to play with or chew old shoes, rawhide, cow hoofs, pig ears!!!  Who is to determine what is an old shoe and what is a “good” shoe?  Shoes are off limits.  Rawhide, cow hoofs, and pig ears can choke Danes.

Give your Danes ONLY  beef shank and/or knuckle bones.  They don’t splinter…. they chip.  Other bones can choke your Dane.  Do not feed pork or chicken bones at all.  We let our guys have a couple of Milk Bones a day, and a beef shank bone with the knuckles attached.  Your grocer may be willing to provide them.  We bake ours for just a while so they do not get extremely slimy.

We also let the Danes play with gallon milk jugs, litter drink bottles, and stuffed toys with no plastic eyes or nose.  Once they rip a jug or drink bottle, we throw it away and give them a new one. 




This is a heavy breed and they have a tendency to “plop” when they go from a standing position to lying down.  Always provide a soft surface for them to do so.  If they are allowed to lay on hard surfaces continuously, they could develop fluid filled areas on their elbows called “hygromas” that sometimes require draining and can be quiet painful.




Many vets want to give Dane pups calcium supplements.  Calcium supplements are only not necessary, but too much calcium can be harmful.  We suggest at 3 months of age you start giving your puppy 500 mg of Ester C twice a day.





DO NOT ALLOW YOUR DANE TO GET GROSSLY OVER-WEIGHT!!  Do not confuse large with fat. Excessive weight can result in a fatal heart attack. So, once again, please do not confuse large with fat.  You should be able to easily feel your Dane’s ribs.  The ribs should not be readily visible.

If you keep your adult Dane outside year round, during the summer, you should be able to see faint fib ripples, not protruding ribs.  During the winter, the ribs should be well covered but easily felt.  This means a 10-15 pound adjustment from summer to winter and again from winter to summer.  The weight adjustments should be made slowly over a three-month period.  If your Dane is a housedog, a constant weight should be maintained.  Remember, you should be able to easily feel the ribs, but they should not protrude.




Never leave a Dane in a fenced yard when you are not home unless the gate is LOCKED.  Leaving a Dane in the yard with an unlocked gate is asking for trouble.  A child could open the gate to play with your Dane and accidentally let the Dane out.  Your Dane could be hit by a car, get lost, be picked up by someone, etc.  There are individuals who steal purebred dogs.  Locking your gate will make theft more difficult, especially as the Dane matures, and will generally avoid unnecessary problems.




Never leave a choke collar on a Dane, and never leave any collar on an unattended puppy.  If a pup’s collar gets caught on something, the pup will panic and can choke itself.  We’ve known of several cases of adult dogs who, while playing with another dog, got their choke collars entangled; could not get the collars untangled; and choked to death.



We do not crop ears anymore.  If you elect to do so make sure you find a supportive DVM that is willing to help you with the tapings if you can’t do it yourself.  Also consider that it can take up to a year in some cases to get the ears to stand.  So if you don’t have the patience or the time don’t do it.  If you are determined to crop the ears they need to be done between 8 and 12 weeks of age.  The earlier the better.




Put your Dane on heartworm preventative at three months and give the medication year round.  If you prefer not to give daily medication, a monthly wormer is available.  Do not miss medication! Do not discontinue medication during winter months.




Most Danes will require worming a couple of times a year, so have your Dane checked every four to six months by taking a stool sample to your vet and asking him/her to check for parasites.  If you observe blood in your Dane’s stool, or you can’t seem to keep him/her in good weight, although food consumption is good, check for worms.





Distemper, parvo and rabies (unless your Dane had the 3 year shot) are boostered annually.  Keep accurate records of your Danes immunizations.




Most Danes do not require a vast amount of exercise.  Walking with you is great.  They can play fetch and retrieve a ball, but Great Danes are so large that all unnecessary stress to their skeletal system should be avoided, especially for their first two years.  As most jogging is done on concrete, Danes are not good candidates for jogging partners.  Jogging is very hard on their hips and can destroy a sound set of hips.  Do not take your Dane jogging.




If you raise your Dane as you would a child with love, discipline, rules, and praise, you will have a super pet.  These guys are not dumb animals.  They are intelligent, often stubborn…don’t sell them short!  They are capable of every emotion that you experience.    When you are having a bad day, your Dane may be smarter than you are.J  Do not allow a puppy to do anything that you would not want a 150 pound Dane doing!!




If you have a problem with your Dane, never hesitate to call us.  If our recorder answers, leave your name, area code, phone number, and state.  We will get back to you as quickly as possible.  If it is an emergency, so state on the recorder, and we will call you as soon as we get the message, regardless of the hour!


Never fail to call us if you need advice or suggestions with a physical problem, a medical problem, or a behavior problem.  We are always willing to call you back.  Remember, we cannot be expected to guarantee the Dane if we are unaware of the problem.  If a problem exists, we need to know about it immediately in order to provide meaningful input for its resolution.




If you are using a veterinarian whose instructions conflict with ours, remember, we guarantee your Dane.  Your vet does not.  Our instructions must take priority.


If there are instructional conflicts and you are uncomfortable, please call us immediately so that the conflict can be quickly resolved.


*Returning your puppy or dog to us*


If for any reason you cannot keep your puppy, we reserve the right to be notified and may require you return the dog or puppy Littlehorse in order to find it proper placement. If shipping is required the owner agrees to ship the puppy or dog back to us at their expense.  When we rehome the puppy the adoption fee will be sent to original owner.

 If you place your puppy in another home that we haven’t approved of we will not transfer the guarantee or the A.K.C. registration.

 At no time do we agree to refund money.  We are not responsible for any expenses incurred by one of our puppies.   All puppies have a “puppy replacement” guarantee if they fall under our health clause.  Such as hip dysplasia, enlarged hearts at less than 7 years of age, or general health.  (That does not mean that you return your dog to us.  We would not expect you to give up a family member.)