Von Shrado Great Danes

 Jim & Sandy Hann

757 Forehand Road
Pikeville, N.C. 27863
Telephone 919-736-3776



CONGRATULATIONS on your purchase of a Von Shrado Great Dane puppy. We hope that this puppy will bring you many years of joy and companionship. We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some guidelines and tips which we have learned through trial and error over the years. We ask that you keep in touch with us throughout your puppy's lifetime (even if it is only a Christmas card). Feedback from our puppy buyers is an invaluable resource to us in our breeding program. We have experienced many (if not all) of the trials and tribulations which you will go through getting your puppy to adulthood and can offer you many solutions. Below we have listed some of the very basics, but we strongly encourage you to call us with any questions you may have.

FEEDING: We are what we eat!!! This is never more true than to a growing great dane puppy. Because of the dramatic growth rate of a great dane puppy, his food requirements must be of high quality and correct balance. Your puppy is being raised on a BARF diet. (Bones and Raw Food)   For the health and well being of your puppy we hope that you will continue with this diet.  Attached is a copy of the feeding schedule.  Your puppy's stools and appearance are your guide to feeding. If your puppy looks thin, feed him more, if he looks chunky, feed him less. If your puppy has loose stools and has been tested negative for worms, cutting his food back a little, can tighten the stool up tremendously.

Always feed two times a day no matter what age your dog is. His food bowl should be placed on an elevated stand, preferably chest high.

You can add 1 tbsp. of corn oil to each meal. This adds a few more calories, is good for the coat and adds palatability to the food. We do not recommend "free feeding" (keeping food available all the time), this can lead to a finicky dog which is very frustrating. If the puppy turns his nose up at the food, take it away and do not offer it again until the next feeding time.   If your dog has really become a picky eater and there is no apparent medical reason for it, fasting can sometimes get their attention. To fast a dog, you would skip a meal or two - don't even offer your dog the meal. Fasting will cause no harm.  Make sure fresh water is available. 

In the event of an upset stomach: For diarrhea, we recommend fasting for 24 hours, making sure there is plenty of fresh water for drinking. For vomiting or gas, we recommend that you keep on hand liquid Phazyme. This can be purchased at K-mart or Wal Mart. It is also available in softgels at most grocery stores. Get the large Gel Capsules.  Phazyme can be life saving, if given to your dog at the beginning of a bloat episode (see  paragraph below on BLOAT/TORSION)



Danes as a large breed have several growth problems.  There is HOD (Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy), OCD (Osteocondritis Dessicans), PANO (Panosteitis) WS (Wobblers Syndrome).  We have found that by feeding an excellent diet, raw meaty bones, (Chicken wings, necks, and backs), raw vegetables and fruits and Vitamin C helps eliminate these growth problems.  We have also found a direct correlation to vaccines in causing growth problems. 

If you notice any changes in your puppy, such as difficulty rising, limping, running a fever, lethargy, not eating or drinking, vomiting or diarrhea, these are all indications that something is wrong and your puppy is showing signs of illness or growth problems.  Never allow a veterinarian to give any type of vaccine if your puppy isnít feeling 100%.  Donít take it for granted that they wonít do it.  It can happen and has happened, resulting in the death of a puppy.         


Great Danes are prone to Bloat/Torsion and you should be aware of the warning signs.  If your Dane begins acting restless, canít seem to get comfortable when lying down, gets up, walks around a bit and lies back down and continues to do this, you should become very concerned.   I recommend giving PHAZYME immediately.  Cut the tip off and squeeze the contents of 6 - 8 capsules into the mouth.  The next stage of bloat is a slimy drool from the mouth and trying to vomit with no results.  They will also have a very anxious look to their face.  They are in pain.  They will hunch their back and then you will notice a distention of the stomach  and the stomach will begin to get very hard.

THIS IS AN EMERGENCY situation and you must get the dog to the vet or it will die.  At the first signs of distress give PHAZYME and head for the vet.  He/she may be fine by the time you get there but it is best to be prepared.  Surgery may be required to save his/her life.  Generally, feeding raw foods seems to help eliminate the incidence of bloat.  This is another reason not to feed anything that contains SOY as it is a cheap filler and produces GAS in their stomachs.  We strongly recommend giving Fastrack every day.  


Coats: Great danes are by nature very clean animals and it is not hard to keep them clean and healthy. We recommend a bath at least once a month. Coats should be brushed at least once a week with a rubber curry brush. In the spring, when they are shedding their winter coats, you should use a stripping blade that can be obtained from any pet store. Regular coat grooming will keep down the fluff flying around your house!!! During two and six months of age, puppies can be very susceptible to stress related demodectic mange. Keep your eyes open for any suspicious looking spots on your puppy's coat, a bald spot with a slight reddish tint to the skin. If you see this, your puppy should be seen by your vet and a skin scraping will determine if in fact it is mange. This condition must be treated immediately, there is a veterinary treatment which includes a dip, but we do not recommend this as it can be very harsh on the immune system. There are alternative homeopathic treatments which are extremely effective and completely safe. You should contact us if this occurs.

Ears: Should be kept clean. During the regular bath, we clean the ears with Betadine solution sprinkled on a warm, damp cloth. Be sure to wipe the Betadine solution completely out of the ear after cleaning. We will show you how to tape your puppy's ears so that they will ultimately be correct and beautiful. Getting cropped ears to stand is an exercise in patience, which can be very rewarding when they finally stand.

Teeth: Should be brushed once or twice a month. We use a warm wet towel dipped in Hydrogen Peroxide and then rubbed on the teeth and gums. You can also use baking soda.

Toenails: Should be kept short using a scissor type dog nail clipper. This should be done once a month. Short toenails are much less destructive than long ones and much better for your puppy's feet. We find that giving the puppy special treats during nail clipping (can be a two person job) can make the experience a much happier one for the puppy.  Make sure you have Quik Stop on hand in case the nail is cut too short and begins to bleed. 

Fleas and ticks: We do not recommend any type of chemical/pesticide dips be used as they can be very hard on immune systems.  We use a dip called D'Limonene.  It is citrus based and completely safe.  We very seldom ever find fleas on our dogs even though we have a grooming/boarding kennel in the same building.  We attribute this to a good diet and plenty of garlic.

Internal parasites: Your dog should be checked once a year for the presence of any intestinal parasites and should be on heartworm preventative, we use homeopathic nosodes.  There are alternative treatments for parasites that are effective. 


If you desire to have your dog spayed or neutered, we recommend that you wait until the dog is mature. In females, this is after her first season. In males, it is usually after 12-14 mo. The reason for this is that sexual maturity in dogs is a signal for the growth plates to close, consequently if you take away that trigger, you may get abnormal growth and your dog will be out of proportion.

HOUSING YOUR PUPPY: A great dane sized crate (48"Lx36"Hx24"W) is a must, especially with a puppy. Your puppy should sleep in his crate, this will encourage house breaking and will eliminate chewing and destruction of items that do not belong to your puppy. If you work outside of the home, it is cruel to keep your puppy confined to a crate all day. You should have some plan and a safe outdoor area where your puppy can get exercise during the day. A puppy that is kept in a crate a majority of the time, will not only have some serious growth problem, but you will also be asking for some temperament problems. Just think, how would you like to be kept in a crate all day and all night????? There are many doggie day care facilities opening in all parts of the country. This is a wonderful experience for a puppy. They not only learn to socialize with dogs but with people also.

BEDDING: Your puppy should be allowed to sleep on a very soft surface. Either foam or some type of padded bed. This helps soften the blow to the joints thus preventing calluses on the elbows and the development of water on the elbows (hygromas).

TRAINING: We recommend that you enroll your puppy in some sort of training classes. Most dog training schools now offer obedience in conjunction with some sort of agility training which is absolutely wonderful for puppies (and adults). It teaches confidence and agility and promotes a real strong bond between you and your puppy.

VACCINES: We are providing some information regarding vaccines for dogs. There is a lot of controversy as to the need for yearly vaccines and the damage that multiple vaccines cause to a puppy's immune system. You should read the information enclosed and discuss same with your veterinarian. We  recommend homeopathic nosodes as a way to immunize your puppy.  The 7 in 1 vaccine or any combination vaccine is not acceptable under any circumstances. If your vet is not open minded about this subject, you should seek a vet who is. Remember it is your dog and your money. You should always ask questions of your vet and use your own judgment as to whether a second opinion should be sought. Please keep in mind that you should call us in the event of any illness. Chances are we've seen it before and can help get it fixed. There are a number of alternative therapies (i.e. homeopathy, herbal, accupuncture, etc.) which are sometimes much more effective, less invasive and less expensive.

We wish you many years of happiness and companionship with your dog. Please keep in mind that you can call or e-mail us any time  (shrado@bellsouth.net) with any questions. We would also appreciate being kept informed on the puppy's progress and development at all life stages (Christmas cards are great for this). As we have said before, it is your feedback that lets us know what we should and shouldn't do in our breeding program.

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