Breeding Great Danes is not something one should undertake lightly.
A dog generally comes into ‘heat’ or into ‘season’, as it is often termed, twice a year. She will generally have her first season before she is twelve months old, although it isn’t unusual to be slightly longer than this. It has been known for a dog not to have a season until she is nearly two years old, but that is unusual. How often the dog comes into season will vary, on average, it is every six months, but many bitches seasons will vary from every five months to ten months. But what ever its its turly not recomended to breed your dane until she is 2 years.
The breeding of dogs is truly an art. The artist’s medium is living flesh. When one plans a breeding the purpose should be improvement of the breed. Obviously one must be extremely knowledgeable to have a chance of attaining this goal. The breeder must be willing to thoroughly health check both parents, to make sure the temperaments of both parents and their ancestors is typical of the breed, and to take full responsibility, both practical and financial, for every dog they cause to be born until the day it dies. Besides this the breeder must have a thorough knowledge of pedigrees, conformation and the Standard for the breed. One does not obtain this knowledge overnight. This is why no novice should breed a bitch unless they have an experienced mentor to guide them, and have taken the time to educate themselves. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on this litter. And know in advance that you will NOT MAKE money! Be happy if you break even.
Please, before you decide to breed, be honest in your evaluation of your bitch. A championship title is no guarantee that a bitch should be bred. If you have doubts, consult a fellow breeder whom you respect. Sometimes we become so involved with our dogs that we can’t see the faults that may be obvious to others.
If your bitch is of breeding quality, there is still a lot to consider prior to making the decision to breed.
Whelping a bitch and raising a litter is a full time responsibility. You cannot expect your bitch to take care of the puppies on her own during the day while you’re at work. You need to be with her for at least the first 3-4 weeks of the babies lives. A new litter will turn your household upside down.
Consider that the pups usually wait until you’ve fallen soundly asleep to start arriving in the middle of the night. You can usually count on at least one sleepless night, and probably several if you sleep by the whelping box so you can be sure that none of the puppies get squashed by mom. Even the most careful dam can sometimes hurt a puppy this way without meaning to.
You need to be close by for at least 4 weeks so that blankets can be washed and changed and messes cleaned up. (Yes mom does clean up after the puppies, but there’s always an occasional stray turd laying around). Once the puppies are being weaned you’ll be providing from 4 to 5 meals a day. And OH! What a MESS they make in their first meals. They like to swim in the mush. This is, of course, a wonderful treat for mom, as she licks her little pupcakes clean, but what a mess for you! It often takes me ½ hour to clean up the floor of food papers, wash the food off the pups that mom missed and then police the area for any stray poops/pees.
As the pups become older and leave the whelping box your work really begins. 10–15 poop runs a day is at least average! Keeping fresh newspapers down, providing lots of attention and socialization (you know, playing with the little dolls! Oh how we suffer!) mopping up the spills around the water dish when they begin to learn how to swim (and, incidentally, drink water!) and generally being nearby in case someone gets into trouble, such as becoming stuck between mom and the wall.
After all this you decide to breed then wait till she is 2 years and learn things and get yourself ready. All the best and be a responsible pet owner.