Puppy Love? Not so Fast.


People often ask us if we have puppies available for adoption.   So let me go ahead and address this to everyone. This is long but important..

Puppies are rare in rescue. That being said, adopting out a Dane puppy is not the same as adopting out a medium to large sized dog puppy. It is a unique adventure. Why you might ask, is it unique when they are in such high demand?  Well the fact that they are in such high demand is a part of the problem. Everyone wants that cute, floppy, uncoordinated adorable Dane puppy. And I mean everyone!  What MOST people fail to realize is that that cute, adorable uncoordinated puppy is going to get big, and I don't mean big by most people's standards I mean GIANT.  (Sorry, but your big Lab or Boxer is a little dog to me; so my definition of big and yours are likely to be pretty different). 

This size brings with it more than one issue. Often people underestimate the amount of time and work that are involved in training and socializing a GIANT puppy. This shouldn't matter right?  You don't need to work that hard on your puppy, they will just get it… Well if they just got it, we would be out of business.

The average age of rescue Danes is 18 months. Why? Well because at that age all those things that the GIANT puppy did that you thought were cute and adorable and knowingly or not you encouraged, well they are not so cute anymore now that he is over 100 lbs. Who would have thought those spontaneous Dane hugs would get dangerous, or the continuous counter surfing would make life difficult when trying to feed, well anyone other than the Dane. And let's not even go for the giant dog that goes barreling down the street after neighbors and other dogs barking his head off because his goofy butt wants to play, but they are running in fear for their lives. 

When we adopt out a puppy, we make an extra effort to ensure the best possible FURever homes for the life of the puppy.  There are a lot of things we consider.

For example: 

We prefer that you have had prior Dane or giant breed experience. This matters for a multitude of reasons but in part, because you are better equipped to understand the commitment you are making. 

Established/Stable home life. You may be the most experienced owner but if you are working 12 hours a day, you don’t have time for a puppy. Sometimes it is a matter of awesome owner but bad timing with their current lifestyle.

Danes are expensive!  They are expensive to feed, their regular vet visits are not inexpensive either. An average well check for one of our dogs is 100-300 dollars.

We also ensure that you are willing to train the dog, and continue training the dog. Because guess what, they are really big toddlers. You must be willing to make the investment of time and money in a positive/ force-free training program. You have to be consistent and continue to work at it, they will push the limits and trust me when I say they will train YOU more than you realize. They are smart, and just really good at making you think otherwise. They also are great at waiting for you to get lazy with the rules and then they push those limits some more. I mean you would too if you were as motivated by food as they are. Anything to fill that giant tummy as often as possible.

For all our dogs we look for adopters who treat their dogs as a member of the family. Because to us, that is what they are. We have adopters who routinely send photos of a couch, a sprinkler system etc. that their bored Dane has decided needed to be taken apart, rearranged or just plain destroyed. And they aren't saying COME GET IT RIGHT NOW, they are telling me it's time to get back to training, or I shouldn't have left that out, or I guess she taught me. This is the type of person we are looking for.

We don't screen this thoroughly to be mean.  We do it because these dogs deserve a home that will last forever. On average we spend over $800 per dog just in veterinary costs to get a Dane ready to adopt. This is with generous discounts from our veterinarians.   That doesn’t include the costs of food, crates leashes, toys and love of a foster family.  We simply ask that their FURever home be as dedicated to their well-being as rescue is.

We ask the difficult questions because it is rescue’s job to find the best for these dogs. Because, if they are in our care, odds are someone has failed them. 

We understand that there are extenuating circumstances, and sometimes things just happen. But, it doesn't change the commitment. 

At the end of the day, we want to know that you are going to love them as much as we do. We need to be able  look our foster in the eye and PROMISE them the dog is going to the best possible place. That is GDRNT’s responsibility. 

Knowing the lifespan of a dane, knowing the dietary requirements, financial commitment and the sheer destruction they are capable of. We choose each and every puppy adopter with great care. 

Before you decide to run out and buy a puppy, know that a Dane puppy is a GIANT commitment, in more ways than one. If everyone that impulsively bought a Dane was prepared for what comes with loving a Dane then rescue would not be here. And trust me I would rather that be the case.

Each year the number of owner surrender requests increase exponentially. Ten years ago we got 5-10 requests a week, in 2017 we got that many requests a DAY. That is 5-10 people wanting to Surender their danes every freaking day…This is in addition to the high number of requests from NTX Shelters. There is no way we could accommodate all there surrender requests.

You really want a Dane? Then consider give one of the older dogs a chance, because guess what? Most of them are already pretty well trained! They are less likely to eat your couch or destroy your carpet with elephant sized lakes of urine.  AND, most of them are already willing to ignore your cat and do not have to be taught that it is NOT a chew toy. Don't worry - they train EASIER than puppies, they bond just as well if not BETTER than a puppy, and most of these guys are so desperate for love they will do just about anything to please you.  A little love and positive reinforcement and that older dog is going to be the best dog ever!

We do not make the adoption process difficult and time consuming because we are jerks.  We work very hard to be sure each and every adoption allows us to go to bed at night feeling good about what we did. I know each and every dogs name (I may not know the name you changed it to). After well over 1,723+ Danes, we  carry each success story, and each failure. I have to sleep with both every night. I sincerely hope if you are thinking about adopting that you take a moment to ask yourself, WHY do we ask the questions that we ask, WHY do we do everything that we do for an adoption? And if you can't answer those questions, I implore you to look at the adopted page on our website. Because those faces are exactly why we do this.

Rising Above Great Dane Funding


Our previous adopters are eligible to apply for financial support if their Great Dane needs vet care that cannot be afforded due to economic hardship and extenuating circumstances; even if the adopters are outside of Rising Above’s coverage area.Rising Above Great Dane Funding | Facebook