CONGRATULATIONS on your purchase of a Nuttree 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:   When you pick up your puppy, you will receive a detailed feeding guideline and schedule, including type of food, where to purchase, amount to feed etc.  In that changes in food can be a causative factor in a puppy developing bone disorders during the rapid growth stage (i.e. Hypertrophic Osteodystropy, Osteocondritis Dissicans, etc.), our contract requires that the puppy be fed as instructed until at least 8 months of age.  In the event problems arise such as your puppy doesn’t like the food, has soft stools, etc., please contact us and we will give you some recommendations.  ARBITRARILY CHANGING YOUR PUPPY’S FOOD DURING THIS VERY IMPORTANT GROWTH STAGE WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.  Once your puppy has passed the rapid growth stage and you want to change foods, please do it very gradually (i.e. make the change over a period of a month, by adding slightly more of the new food to the ration each day).


We recommend that your puppy be kept on the lean side during the rapid growth stage (3 months to 7 months). Your puppy's stools and appearance are your guide to feeding amounts.  If your puppy looks too 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.


Recently research on Vitamin C supplements has indicated that it could possibly aggravate any growth disorders so we no longer supplement our pups with Vitamin C.  Our adults however do received 500mg Vitamin C once daily.


We also 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.  You can increase your dog's love of his food, if necessary, by adding a spoonful of canned dog food, we recommend Pedigree Adult canned food.   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 one meal - don't even offer your dog the meal.


In the event of an upset stomach.  For diarrhea, we recommend one pinch of Tylan (you will receive information on this product) given with a meal.  Generally, it only needs to be given once.  Another good diarrhea remedy is an herb called Slippery Elm.  For vomiting or gas, we  recommend that you keep on hand liquid Phazyme or  infant simethicone. This can be purchased at K-mart or Wal Mart.  It is also available in softgels at most grocery stores.  Phazyme can be life saving, if given to your dog at the beginning of a bloat episode (see information provided on bloat and torsion)




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, there are also alternative homeopathic treatments which are extremely effective.  You should contact us if this occurs.


Ears:  Should be kept clean.  During the regular bath, we clean the ears with Nolva Cleanse for ears (can be ordered at any pet supply store).   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 an enzymatic dental past that you can purchase from your vet or any pet supply store.


Toenails:  Should be kept short using a dremel tool with the sandpaper bit.  This should be done once a month.  Short toenails are much less destructive than long ones and much better for your puppy's feet.  Also your puppy or adult can break a toe or foot very easily if a long toenail gets snagged in the grass.  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.


Fleas and ticks:  We recommend that you use Frontline which is available in a spray.  It has proven to be most effective for our kennel.  Keep in mind that if your dog does not have fleas and ticks, you should not use pesticides as a preventative.  Only use pesticides when your dog actually has fleas or ticks.


Internal parasites:  Your dog should be checked once a year for the presence of any intestinal parasites and should be on heartworm medication.




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 severe 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.


INSURANCE:  Attached is some information about health insurance for your pet.  We highly recommend that you purchase this for your puppy.  Vet costs for a great dane are much higher than for a smaller dog because the medication requirements are so much more.  This insurance may not pay it all, but it will certainly help in most cases.


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.  Your puppy MUST be vaccinated in accordance with the "Vaccination Notice" attached to your puppy’s vet health certification.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LEPTOSPIROSIS OR CORONA VACCINE TO YOUR PUPPY WILL AUTOMATICALLY VOID YOUR WARRANTY. You should read the information enclosed and discuss same with your veterinarian.  We do not recommend that your dog not be immunized, but the 7 in 1 vaccine may not be the way to go.  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 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.