Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Breeding Great Danes’ Category

The Sounds of Silence…..

…..except in my head!!  There are so many words I have wanted to write…so many times I have wished to sit down in a quiet corner of the room and just talk with you all.  There are seasons.  This has been a quiet one…..HA!!!  Silence is deafening.  It truly is one of the loudest sounds in all of creation, however, there is one that is louder……

If you have visited my website http://haveadanehilldanes.com you will know what we have been up to the past few months.  As we move forward, with our Great Dane, Penni ‘s, one singleton pup life is exciting!!  Life for me on the homestead is focused within the house….because puppy is mostly indoors right now.  She is just five weeks old, yet an amazing amount of development has occurred in her short life.  We are actively house training, and she is doing remarkably well….and then there is this…..

October 2016

Four Weeks Old


…..how did that happen already??  Penni seems quite happy with it!!  Hahaha  She is able to close up the milk bar more often….

October 2016

Four Weeks Old

….and she is pretty pleased about that.  This week will be about finalizing the weaning process, and hopefully by next Saturday, the pup will be fully weaned.

October 2016

Three Weeks Old

You may notice that I keep calling the little one, puppy or pup?  Much to my surprise, the hardest part of this whole process (after the whelping, that is) has been naming this little girl.  We have rolled around so many names, and nothing has seemed to stick.  The one name that will be part of her registered name is Esther….somehow I will work that in.  She was Esther from the time I first saw her, but as a call name, it is not working out well…..so……what to call her???  If I say a name here, somehow I think it is then official.  I did that once on Facebook and then retracted the name, and somehow, it was odd because I had publicly announced it.  So, am I ready to do that here???????????????

October 2016

Three Weeks Old

I have a name…..I’m liking it very much!  I need to just decide, because I am starting her training to focus on me already, and I need to call her something.  Soooooooooooooooooooooooo…….here goes……!!!  OMGosh……….I can’t believe my reluctance to settle on a name!!   But, I am ready…….this time it is in stone!!

Drum roll please………………………………………..

October 2016

Introducing, Penelopi Mae Buoy’s little girl, whose call name is……… Alivia……”Livi”  for short!!!  I’m still working on her AKC registered name….but at least we know what to call her now!!

October 2016

Four Weeks Old

BTW, her name means “Peace.”  In this day and time in our world, we need a lot of peace to shower upon us all.  The political environment this past year, and the violence throughout the world has brought so many sad, aggravating, and frustrating moments….and when I look at her, when I hold her…..all I can think about is how peaceful life is in that moment.  Her name means, “Peace” …. a rendition of the name, Olivia, it represents the olive tree, an emblem of peace.  The root of this can be found in the Bible, Genesis 8:11, when a dove comes to Noah with a freshly plucked olive leaf after the floods subside.  The olive leaf became a symbol of impending peace….. as when one “extends an olive branch” to another.

October 2016

Four Weeks Old

Have I ever given so much thought to a dog’s name……No!!  I don’t have any idea why this has been such a pain staking task….or why there seems to have to be meaning to this little girl’s name.  I guess I’m just overthinking it….but she was the one little survivor.  Maybe that is why?


Four Weeks Old

Four Weeks Old

I do look forward to the amazing growth that will happen in the next few weeks and months ahead, as it will allow me time to get out and help with the other critters relying on us out there.  For now, however, I am basking in the littleness of the moment…because that littleness is very short lived in the life of a Great Dane.  Just look at those legs already!!  <sigh>

Thank you for visiting the homestead today.  I hope you find peace in the different moments of your day!!

Your friend from Oregon,








To Breed or Not to Breed

I realized the other day that it has been quite awhile since I mentioned our Great Dane, Penni, in a post.  That is really unacceptable, as she is the pearl…the gem…she brings a, well,….regal quality to the landscape.

July 2013July 2013

If you have been visiting our farm for awhile, you know that Penni is mother of all things chicken….hatchlings, to be more specific.  Every new chick hatched on the farm (or not) is required, by the overseer, to pass the sniff-lick-slobber resiliency test by the queen herself.  Once completed, Penni is bonded to the chicks, and keeps a very close eye on them….

I promise to watch over you... I may chase you, but I will protect you!

I promise to watch over you… I may chase you, but I will protect you!

…the downside of this is like any mommy, she becomes very protective of her chicks, and will let the other dog(s) know in no uncertain terms.  This is a very natural response, however harsh it may seem.

We’ve come to a  point of “decision” with Penni.  She is not spayed, and is a wonderful example of a classic, old school Great Dane.

Yeah, she thinks she's a mountain goat!

Yeah, she thinks she’s a mountain goat!

By this I mean, she envelopes all the qualities of Danes before there was the trend to breed taller and taller dogs.  This trend, and acceptance by the AKC, bothers me so much.  I don’t believe that this adds to the health of the breed, I think it weakens it.  I have seen danes with such long legs that they look spindly, the rear end is often higher than the shoulders, and the dog’s gait / strength appears off, weakened.  I don’t like it at all; our Great Dane babies are not Irish Wolfhounds or Deerhounds…they were not originally bred to be as tall as those.

Penni Jan. 2015

I think this breeding taller trend is what has also sparked the other current trend of breeding European Danes into the American Dane’s bloodlines.  This, in my opinion, is a good, healthy trend, as it is bringing sturdiness back to the breed.  Okay…I’m off of my soapbox now!!

My beauty!

My beauty!

Our pending decision…to breed or not to breed.  I know…this is a dirty word to many….I usually think that way too, and am a huge advocate of spaying and neutering.  In fact, this is the first animal I have ever had (besides chickens haha) that has not been “fixed” … she is the only four legged beauty that I have ever considered breeding.  Physically, she is amazing, strong, and adheres to the standards of the American Kennel Club ( http://www.akc.org/breeds/great_dane/breed_standard.cfm ) ….mentally, she has a great, loving temperment….not at all aloof (although a common quality of the breed) and is very intelligent.  Yes, I said it….I do believe that dogs think, and are not solely reactive…especially Danes.

Seriously...can't you see the problems of the world being solved right there in that chair!!

Seriously…can’t you see the problems of the world being solved right there in that chair!!


Why would you breed her while there are so many in shelters and rescue?  Beyond Penni’s safety and the safety of the pups throughout their lives, this is my biggest hindrance.  I have worked in shelters or with shelters most of my life…this is an issue that I have not been able to justify yet, hence, Penni has never been bred.  However, we have the acreage to take back any of our babies that may need to be rehomed.

Sleepy Puppy

Penni at 8 weeks old

Is Penni OFA certified?  This is an expense that we will put out if / when we decide breeding is what we intend.  She will be certified in heart, hips, knees, elbows, and thyroid… if and when.

Those are some great hips on that girl!!

Those are some great hips on that girl!!

Do you show Penni?  No, Penni is an amazing family member.  Although I thought, at one point, to show,  I have not gone that route with her.

April 2014

What’s the real reason you are considering breeding, Penni?  If her OFA certifications are favorable, her classic dane stature, strength, beauty, and demeanor would be great characteristics to pass onto the next generation.  If I could provide a few other families with a forever sweetheart like our girl, it would be a great gift….I know I’m romanticizing this very important decision…believe me, I’m looking at the issue with eyes wide open!

April 2014

Reason for discussion?  Penni will be three years old in April…at this point, she has been through five heat cycles.  I will not breed her as long as we still have our 15 year old little Karli with us, as I will not subject Karli to that level of stress.  For Penni’s safety, I don’t want her to go through too many more heat cycles if we’re not going to breed her…..hence, before her next cycle, I want to decide what to do.  There are risks associated with the fluctuation of hormones in our furry kids that are unaltered.

Karli & Penni

Karli & Penni

Bottom line, there is much to consider…financial, emotional, intellectual, and social issues surround this decision, let alone the health and safety of our girl and her pups.  Penni is depending on us to make the right choice.  Beyond that, a suitable male would need to be found….not an easy task.  I know this is a very controversial discussion for many…I highly respect your opinions, as I hope you will mine.

Thanks for talking with me today.  Animal management (livestock or pet) on the farm always requires thoughtful consideration.  It is never a light-hearted choice.

Your friend from Oregon,


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