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Janet @ 1:49PM | Nov 3rd 2003|

what a pretty pup,,it's sad that the pup is deaf and may face blindness as well. I have to admit I got my Dane from a "backyard breeder"but she has had no problems to speak of.. would I do that again,, I'm not so sure after reading all the stories..

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CANDICE @ 4:28PM | Nov 3rd 2003|

it is a sad thing when you see irresponsible breeders producing litters that only have half a chance at life. But for every bad breeder there are caring owners and adoptive parents that are willing to love and care for special need companions... Even though this adorable puppy my have problems down the road, the love and attention it will get will help ease the pain. Thats my opinion. Ginnie, not sure what I would have done about telling the owners thats a tuff call.

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Rana @ 8:13PM | Nov 3rd 2003|

My heart stopped when I saw this picture. I have adopted two deaf danes from Central Florida great dane rescue, and this puppy looks exactly like my little girl. She and my other boy will both be blind in a few years from the cataracts and other eye abnormalities that accompany their host of other problems. It's a day I don't want to think of...

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Jo @ 8:42PM | Nov 3rd 2003|

I commend the young couple on taking the deaf puppy. I rescued a white dane from a shelter that no one knew or took the time to find out that she was deaf. I crate trained her and potty trained her. sher went to live with some friends of mine who loves dogs and didn't work outside the home. I tought that would be best for her. She did real good for about a month, then it was like she had forgot everything that she had learned. They started all over with her and thought she was doing great but when they came homefrom the store one day she had destroyed thier house. So I got her back we started over again and she would do great for anywhere from 2weeks to a month then she would start destroying stuff again.

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Jeri @ 12:48PM | Nov 4th 2003|

While Danes producing deaf or blind offspring should be removed from breeding programs, please don't spread the myth that Danes with a disability are difficult to manage. ALL Danes, with or without a disability, are difficult to manage if not properly trained and socialized. With proper training and socialization, there is no reason why a Dane with a disability should be difficult to manage.

I adopted Sapphire, a 4 year old blue Great Dane, when she was 16 months old. She is completely blind and partially deaf. The only thing that she can’t do, however, is see.

Sapphire earned both her Level 1 and Level 2 APDT Rally Obedience titles this year, and now has 45 points towards her Rally Championship. Level 2 is all off-leash, but she is able to do as well or better than all the other dogs participating in trials. She has scored a perfect 200 in her obedience trials. As of June 1 of this year, she was the # 12 ranked dog in the country for APDT Rally.

She is a member of the Pawsitive Therapy Troupe, and regularly visits the VA hospital, nursing homes, and 2 grade school READ programs. She passed both the Therapy Dogs International test, as well as the Delta Society Pet Partner test.

Sapphire is a member of the Dancing Paws, a canine freestyle group, and will be “dancing” to Jingle Bells this holiday season at hospitals, and nursing homes.

She is also active in agility, (yes, blind dogs can do agility), which she loves.

Sapphire also has been nominated for the 2004 ACTS (Animals Contributing to Society) Award.

She is always the happiest dog wherever she goes, and loves all of her activities. The only thing difficult to manage about Sapphire is her very busy schedule.
Jeri and
Sapphire CGC TDI R1CL R2MCL Delta Society Pet Partner
ACTS (Animals Contributing to Society) Award Nominee
Member of Pawsitive Therapy Troupe
Member of the Dancing Paws

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Diane @ 1:14PM | Nov 4th 2003|

Just my opinion -- I think you missed an important opportunity to apprise the owners of the potential eye problem their Dane might face. As a novice Dane owner, I would appreciate a heads-up on any potential issues -- especially in this day and age where there are early preventive things that can be done to spare issues. I personally learned about the stomach tack and was able to have my dog's performed when she was spayed in an effort to thwart off stomach torsion shoukld she ever bloat. I would never have learned about this had I not talked with Dane owners at such places as dog shows and forums like yours -- which I do love.

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Barb Bristol @ 2:16PM | Nov 4th 2003|

Lovely pictures as always, Ginnie - and I'm really glad you took this opportunity to further educate your fans and visitors about the risks of getting puppies from "BYB"s. But I'm also glad Jeri has written in already - saved me the typing!! :-)
I'm a huge fan of Jeri and Sapphire from the Giants Performance list, and I think you should do a story about them!!

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Lin Gardinor @ 2:46PM | Nov 4th 2003|

How timely! Ginnie, Miss Olyvia is 5 today!!! As you may recall, she is bilaterally deaf, and is blind in her left eye. Missy had HOD as a puppy, has bloated twice, had 2 seizures.. and more recently, underwent TPLO surgery for a totally ruptured cruciate... but, this gal has an amazing spirit that I envy. I adopted her as a 7 week old pup... would I do it again? YES, in a heartbeat... I did just that and now have 2 other Danes that are deaf... Miss Molly Dukes who is 3 yo, and Miss Annie who will be 2 yo in January. (I have no hearing dogs any more, we lost our old Brytni last year). All of my girls enjoy a life that is free from harm... I can confidently say that they get far more than the average dog... we rent 8 acres for them to run, and they also go to different safe parks every single day. Many hours have gone into socialising these girls, and that is an ongoing committment of mine... they also go into nursing homes and schools to teach about differences etc. They are fed raw and have the very best holistic and allopathic health care. There may be more medical problems that arise as they age... after all, they are deaf for a reason, right?

Do not misunderstand me, I love every inch of my big white gals.. and every cm of little Miss Macy, my JRTand cannot imagine life without any one of them.... but honestly, there are so very few of us that can and will provide the kind of home that these pups that are deaf, need and deserve. I cringe when I think of any defective dog being in a puppy mill situation and forced to produce more defective pups... Education is the answer and even uthenasia is far kinder in the long run.... but only if the right home is not available as soon as the defect becomes apparent.

Ginnie, you did right in not frightening the guardians with that beautiful pup, they may have further challenges as it is, so why scare them now... they are committed to him, and as with any dog, there is no guarantee that they will stay healthy.. we'll love them anyway.

Thank you for your wonderful site!

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Brenda Plourde @ 2:44AM | Nov 8th 2003|

I really think you should have said something to the owners about the impending eye problem Ginny. As someone who loves Danes, I would want to be able to be finacially prepared for any medical surprise. Please contact them and tell then.

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Scot Billings @ 8:15AM | Nov 8th 2003|

Ginnie, I was reading the comments about the vision abnormality &, at first, thought I would stay out of the discussion, but you know me better than that. Your statement of "...thought I saw the tell-tale signs of an early vision abnormality..." seemed to bring out the "You should have told" crowd. As far as I know you have not yet gotten a graduate degree in opthomology which would mean you would be open to a "little" thing called a Lawsuit had you given a diagnosis at that time. We have too many people out there with little or no education or training in science that continually claim to be experts in various fields. I, for one, am glad you attempt to educate all of us on things you have researched & seen & would hope that you continue to do so, since you present these things in an educational way without complicating them. Thank you Ginnie, Scot

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NalasMom @ 9:00AM | Nov 8th 2003|

I don't know Scot...but I agree with him. They must have a vet they trust, and we on the outside of the situation have no way of KNOWING what these people were or weren't aware of nor what they had already discussed with their vet and decided not to mention to you, a stranger. Perhaps they were just being optimistic...But they still have a happy, beautiful puppy they love and who must love them so in the end...that's the important thing. Just one person's opinion.

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Ginnie @ 9:36AM | Nov 8th 2003|

If I thought the eye condition was treatable, I might have suggested they have the puppy's eyes checked. As far as I know, the eye problem I thought I saw is one that is fairly common to deaf Danes (again due to their genetic abnormality) and there is no cure. It is a condition that worsens with age. I suppose I could have said something about it, but such a comment might have upset them and I didn't want to rain on their parade, so to speak.
If they are unaware of it, they will find out soon enough. Hopefully the information will come from a knowledgeable vet who can counsel them about what to expect, rather than from a stranger on the street. Besides, I might have been wrong about the potential vision deficits. In the end it was just a judgement call.
PS... I have no way to contact them. I don't even know their names.

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laura nicole @ 9:45PM | Nov 8th 2003|

you should put brindells in your photos. Also, you should change the dog more than once a week!!

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Sara @ 1:03PM | Nov 10th 2003|

There is a website dedicated to Deaf Danes:
We had 3 in our rescue at one time and eventually found responsible homes for all. (Most prior deaf Dane owners). I once had a Dane AKC club question why we continued to rescue deaf and white Danes and not PTS immediately. I told them that in spite of their handicap, they can still make wonderful companion animals. It takes patience, but the rewards are great!

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Marc @ 5:15AM | Nov 11th 2003|

Hi, I am Marc Sayer, the guy who founded and runs Deaf Dane Rescue. We have no troubles finding homes for our rescue dogs. In fact we have a waiting list of homes. We take in deaf Danes from all over the country. We currently have 10 deaf Danes in rescue who share the house with our own 4 dogs and one hearing dog in reascue who is with us because he is a behavioral problem and is "aggressive." They all share the house and they all get along just fine. How many breeders or rescues can say the same about their hearing dogs? And these are not dogs that have all known each other for a long time. Dogs come and go here all the time.

Ginnie you may remember me from my own personal dogs, Gracie of, Delilah our own deaf girl, and Tank our fawn male. You were kind enough to put links up to all three of their pages about a year or so back.

Deaf Danes make fantastic family pets. Our experience is that they all suffer some level of eye defect, but most are stable and the defects are not significant enough to affect their day-to-day lives.

I want to counter the impression your comments gave that deaf Dane pups are somehow more likely to be difficult to manage as they grow up. While most of the young adult deaf Danes we see in rescue are there because they are difficult to manage, this is not due in any way to their being deaf. The sad fact is that most of these dogs were purchased or otherwise acquired by people who did not know anything about Danes or dogs, who did not enroll their Dane pups in obedience classes, and who would have had trouble with any giant breed pup they got. In other words the problem lies in the owner, not the deaf dog.

Deaf dogs are actually easier to train and learn more quickly than their hearing counterparts, in part because visual communication is a more natural format for dogs than verbal communication. Also they tend to pay more attention to you, because they have to to know what you are doing. They must literally keep an eye on you.

However they must be trained while young, as any Dane pup must. And when these unsophisticated owners fail to get them the training they need, and deal with them erratically or inappropriately, they end up with a full grown spoiled brat or behavioral problem who just happens to also be deaf.

A well socialized, well trained deaf Dane is a pleasure to own and makes a wonderful companion. They are no more prone to behavioral problems, nor to being fearful, aggressive, easily startled or any of the myriad of temperament faults we often hear them accused of, than any Dane.

The deaf Dane is first and foremost a dog, second they are a Dane, with all that implies, and lastly they happen not to hear.

They do not need our pity because to them there is nothing wrong with them. They have always lived in a world with little or no sound and have no idea that isn't normal. And their lack of hearing really has very little effect on their lives. I can not recount the number of times I have had to argue with people about the rescue dogs, and our own girl Delilah actually being deaf. People have a very hard time accepting it because the dogs seem so aware of their surroundings and are so attuned to what's going on around them.

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Elisa Law @ 10:36PM | Nov 18th 2003|

Unfortunately, we have too many breeders like the one that bred these two pups in Florida. Florida has one of the worst Dane overpopulation problems in the US. Thank goodness these two found themselves such a good home.

Elisa Law
Central Florida Great Dane Rescue

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Tim @ 6:54AM | Dec 6th 2003|

We have a fawn female, and at some point 5 years ago, ran into a respectable handler and breeder of Great Danes. He actually came to look at my pup for show, and in talking, found out that I really loved the white dane, even though they tend to be deaf. One thing led to another, and low and behold "Boy" (aka Blade) has been a part of our family since. The breeder refuses to put down a white pup if and when he has one, and I am living proof that there are responsible breeders out there. To this date, the breeder and I keep in contact, even though we are far apart now. The "Boy" is now push 170 and like most Danes, still thinks he's a lap dog. His eye site has been fine and he continues to be a large part of our lives. I am currently on active duty (because of the war on Iraq) and when I came home for 10 days, he was adament about not letting me out of his site. It wasn't easy, and having our female did make it a lot easier, but I have never regretted bringing him into our lives. I would recommend any responsible pet owner to take the time, love one of these guys as if they had no flaw, and you'd be amazed at how easily they can fool anybody that nothing is wrong!!

Tim Casteel
1LT, MP, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Operation Iraqi Freedom

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JACK FLEMING @ 5:58PM | Dec 9th 2003|


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Janie @ 6:11PM | Feb 9th 2004

I bred my Black Female Dane to a Harlequin, In her two litters she has had 3 solid white Danes. They all had black noses and dark eyes and every one has been completely healthy. What is the difference with her puppies compared to others? Do other people have healthy whites?

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Ginnie @ 10:26AM | Feb 10th 2004


These two web sites will tell you what you need to know about harlequin genetics and breeding:



I urge you to read the articles carefully.

Best wishes,

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charlene @ 12:09AM | Nov 10th 2004

when i first saw this photo i thought to myself what a beautiful pup this is; so i began to read his story i kinda already thought he would be deaf because of my experiance w\ white cats w\ blue eyes and yes these are sad cases but what is sadder than all is most people won't give these challenged pets a chance to be what they were born to be , a loyal companion.
we found a white young cat with blue eyes who had been terribly abused she was covered in blood we brought her in felt these hard knots all over her head and behind her ears after cleaning the blood away we noticed she had beebees embedded all over her poor head as much pain as she must have been in she knew we were trying to help we ended up digging 38 beebees out of this poor cats head and she was deaf, but she was one of the most loving pets and smartest i've ever owned.
so to the owner who took in the deaf pup my hat goes off to you not to many would have done so knowing the circumstances and you'll be paid back 10 folds....GOOD-LUCK TO YOU AND LILLY

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Diana @ 3:00AM | Apr 29th 2005|

We have 2 deaf Danes. Our first we got as a 8 week old pup. Now 3 and 154 lbs. He is very smart
and knows many signs. He too can smell a crumb of food a mile away. Our 2nd we got as a 4 year old all white and a big love bug.
Now 6 his favorite spot for naps is
on our bed. I wouldn't trade them for anything or the experience of having 2 very special deaf pets

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Kathy @ 8:33AM | Aug 27th 2005|

Often Harley breeders put down the whites. Having owned a white and loved him enormously, I hate the idea that. However, I also understand that it may be difficult to place such dogs. Ginny, what's your opinion on culling whites?

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noelle @ 11:12AM | Apr 10th 2006|

The Angel Puppy is almost 5 months old now. What a joy. I got him at 8 weeks from a 'back-yard-breeder' harlequin to harlequin. I was perusing the internet for a dane puppy. A puppy to buy. We have always had pound puppy's and greyhound rescues. I wanted to do this dane right. A beautiful big Harlequin boy. But...I saw this picture of a one week old white, deaf pup that needed a home. My rescue instincts kicked in. I flew to Alabama from Nebraska 7 weeks later to pick him up. Angel is a joy. He is smart as a whip, too. He watches me like a hawk (even though his eyesight is poor) I knew his eyes were screwy when I got him home. Pupils were ragged and different shapes...and different locations. But, Angel is NOT handicapped. After obedience training (I have a private trainer...he trains police dogs...I am learning all the hand signals) I want him to be a Therapy Dog. My biggest challenge is teaching him to be gentle around the three weiner dogs. At four+ months, he's pushing 70 lbs and I need to stop the freight train. He used to be able to play with them. I could go on and on...I have so many pictures and his story on Angel's website -come visit!

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