Are you looking for a Great Dane puppy? You MUST read this post!
There are hundreds of people out there who are pretending to be Great Dane breeders. In this common scam, they will show you cute photos and may even have a nice website.
They will take your deposit and then you’ll never hear from them again.
Learn more about the signs, what to watch for and how to avoid falling victim to this.
HOW TO SPOT A GREAT DANE BREEDER SCAM
First off, know who the scammers target. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking for a puppy that you can take home ASAP?
- Are you looking for a puppy that won’t cost an ‘arm and a leg’, or a ‘pet, not a show dog’?
- Did you find the breeder on Google, Craigslist or Social Media?
- Do you tend to be generally trusting of people, especially if they claim to be ‘family people’, ‘Christian’, ill or in ‘hard times’?
GREAT DANE BREEDER SCAM RED FLAGS
- A selection of cute puppies happen to be available
- Buy Now/Purchase Online Option
- High pressure sales or defensiveness
- No reputation in the Community
- Cannot or will not prove health testing and pedigree with legitimate paperwork
- Strong focus on shipping the puppy to you
- No application, contract or guarantee
- Kennel name is an adjective (‘Pretty’, ‘Huge’, ‘Reputable’, ‘Large’)
Want to read about these Great Dane Breeder Scam red flags in greater detail? Read below:
A VARIETY OF PUPPIES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE
Scam breeders often have a selection of puppies for you to choose from.
The puppies will be available and ready to go, as soon as you purchase.
PUPPIES ARE POTTY TRAINED or CRATE TRAINED
Scam breeders will tell you that the puppies are ‘potty trained’, ‘obedience trained’, ‘crate trained’, etc.
Anything to make you feel less anxious about purchasing an immature puppy.
PUPPIES ARE ‘PAPERED’ or ‘COME WITH PAPERS’
Just because somebody tells you a puppy has papers, doesn’t make it true. Verify their registrations with the AKC. Ask for the pedigree.
BUY NOW/PURCHASE ONLINE OPTION
Never, ever click a ‘purchase now’, ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart’ button. This is always a scam! Puppies are not something you buy on the internet in a shopping cart.
THE BREEDER MAY NOT CARE WHO YOU ARE
Scam breeders rarely care much about how you’ll be a good home for their puppies. Ethical breeders do care, and require an application and interview.
HIGH PRESSURE SALES and PRESSURE TO PLACE A DEPOSIT ASAP
Scammers may huse high-pressure tactics to get you to place your deposit. They may tell you that the puppies are selling fast, that other people are interested or that you’ll lose your chance if you don’t pay, ASAP.
Scam breeders will have no reputation in the community, despite claims of being ‘established family breeders’.
Are they listed in the breeder registry at www.gdca.org?
Do you know anybody who bought a puppy from them?
Still unsure? Ask in the Great Dane Bad Breeders, Owners and Information group, or in our NEW and growing Hello Danes group on Facebook.
(Hint: the photo below? This is from a SCAM website! YIKES!)
STALLS WHEN ASKED FOR MORE INFORMATION
A scam Great Dane breeder will often become defensive if you ask too many questions, or they may stall by telling you lies about why they cannot answer yet.
WILL NOT KNOW ABOUT DANES OR WILL SHARE INCORRECT INFORMATION
Because the Great Dane scammers don’t actually have Great Danes, they often know very little about them.
Some are on to this and copy information about Danes from the internet, so tread cautiously regardless.
THE BREEDER SOLICITED YOU
If a breeder reaches out to you to sell you a puppy (unsolicited), it’s a scam!
THE BREEDER NEEDS TO SELL URGENTLY
Some scam breeders try to sell the puppies as a ‘rescue’ situation, making wild claims that the owner has cancer and must sell the dogs ASAP, or that a child is allergic and the puppy will be in the shelter tonight if you don’t buy it, for example.
NO WRITTEN GUARANTEE, APPLICATION OR CONTRACT
This goes back to that shady ‘buy now’ button. Scam breeders rarely have applications, contracts and guarantees. These are a MUST when choosing to purchase a Great Dane.
A lot of scam breeder websites use ‘keywords’ and adjectives (descriptions) as their ‘kennel’ name or keywords all over their website.
Examples of shady keywords?
Tall Great Danes
Best Great Danes
Great Danes Puppies
Heavy Great Danes
Great Dane Pups
Reputable Great Danes
TO GOOD TO BE TRUE PRICING
You will not find an ethically bred REAL Great Dane from a healthy, proven, fully-tested pedigree for less than $1200-$3000.
If the price is too good to be true, that’s because it is.
CAN AND WILL SHIP YOUR PUPPY ASAP
The scammers spend a LOT of time trying to convince you that they can safely ship a puppy to you in just a day or two.
Puppies are not Amazon Prime! Shipping puppies is complicated, and ethical breeders won’t often do it. This process is not a ‘normal’ part of puppy buying.
MISSING ETHICAL INDICATORS
Scam breeders will not be able to share legitimate health testing results with you. They will SAY that the puppies are ‘certified’, ‘health certified’ or ‘veterinarian checked, but this is just a facade. Ask for information about the parents health testing, in particular the PENNHIP or OFA hip scans, thyroid panels, echocardiograms and eye exams.
SOCIAL MEDIA SELLER
There are more than one fake Facebook (or Instagram) profiles going around pretending to be a breeder or dog owner with puppies.
They will make you feel they are legitimate by being a ‘real person’, and through private message will show you photos of a puppy. They may tell you sob stories such as:
“I’m not a breeder, this was an accident”
“My spouse/kid/mom has cancer/COVID/etc.”
“I’m selling the puppies for my mom/friend/co-worker”
“I got this puppy and don’t need/want it”
“I’m a breeder but don’t have a website yet”
Once they have a little money from you, they may tack on additional fees or start making excuses for why they cannot deliver your puppy that day.
Treat a transaction like this as you would the sale of a car. SEE the car (puppy) in person FIRST before paying a single cent, even if the person you are talking too seems nice.
A pile of testimonials are meant to make you feel confident in the process, but tread cautiously.
Reviews are so easy to fake! Notice the odd use of language, spelling errors, missing words, and focus on how ‘easy’ the purchase process was.
WE ARE SICK OF SCAMMERS
If you’ve gotten this far and see tons of red flags but are STILL convinced you are getting a puppy shipped to you from a breeder you found, send us an email. We will look into it and verify if the breeder you are dealing with is legitimate or not.
Additionally, feel free to grab this infographic and share it on your social media or website! Great Dane Breeder scammers are everywhere right now and people are still falling for their tricks.
If you still aren’t sure you’ve found a scammer, try these things:
- Do a reverse image search (use Google) of the images the breeder has shared with you.
- Ask them for references (be careful, they can fake this!).
- Ask your local breed club and enthusiast groups if they are familiar with the breeder, if they aren’t , ask them who they recommend.
- Search for and ask about the breeder in the Facebook group Great Dane Bad Breeders, Owners and Information
- Ask them to provide AKC registrations and CHIC (OFA) numbers, then verify this information.
- Ask them for more photos of the puppies. Are their markings the same from one photo to the next? Structure? Backgrounds?
- Ask them to do a live chat where you can SEE the puppies and the parents. If they will not do this, or won’t do it without a deposit, RUN.
LEGITIMATE GREAT DANE BREEDERS
- Are very interested in you as the buyer and have questions about your experience with Giant breeds, puppies, and having a dog in your home.
- They will want to know about your veterinarian, home life, fencing, and work schedule.
- A legitimate breeder will have CHIC#’s for both Dam & Sire that you can verify at www.OFA.org
- They will have an application, a contract, and a return guarantee.
- You will not likely be able to purchase a puppy right now, and may have to get on a waitlist.
- An ethical breeder will be cautious about shipping puppies.
- They will send you photos and show you the puppy via video and video chat.
Quality, REAL Great Dane breeders will be PROUD of their program and happy to share information with you.
They will also sell their puppies on their true merits (health, structure and temperament) not on buzz words such as ‘Euro’, ‘Champion’, ‘Potty Trained’, ‘Papered’, or ‘Designer Color’.
Have you been scammed? We’d love to hear from you! Tell your story below!
If you are unsure if the breeder you have chosen is a scam or not, or is operating ethically, send us an email. We are always happy to verify. firstname.lastname@example.org
LOOKING FOR A LEGITIMATE BREEDER? There are only TWO places to look!
www.GDCA.org has a breeder registry, and so do we.
We maintain STRICT standards to list on our website and are actively growing this list.