Great Dane Breeder Scam

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Hello Danes
Hello Danes
I'm a dog training, nutrition, and science fanatic that believes in ethical breeders, responsible rescue practices, veterinarians, and modern balanced LIMA dog training. Love the dog in front of you.

Have you heard about the Great Dane Breeder Scam? You MUST read this post!

There are hundreds of people out there who are pretending to be Great Dane breeders. In this common fraudulent scam, they will show you cute photos of Great Dane puppies 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 of breeder scams, what to watch for, and how to avoid falling victim to this.



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’, ‘ill’ or in ‘hard times’?
  • You are looking for an unusual or designer color?

Some people are more susceptible to being scammed than others. If you are looking for Great Dane puppies and hoping to find a deal, you are at risk.

A Great Dane puppy


  • A selection of cute Great Dane puppies in different colors that happen to be available right now
  • 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 Great Dane pups around the Country and directly 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 on! 
A lilac Fawn Great Dane puppy stock image that may be used by scammers


Scam breeders often have a selection of Dane puppies for you to choose from in a variety of colors.

The puppies will be available and ready to go, as soon as you purchase.

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Scam breeders will often tell you that the Great Dane puppies are ‘potty trained’, ‘obedience trained’, ‘crate trained’, etc.

Anything to make you feel less anxious about purchasing an immature Great Dane pup.



Just because somebody tells you a puppy has papers, doesn’t make it true.
Verify their registrations with the AKC. Ask for the pedigree.


Never, ever click a ‘purchase now’, ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart button. This is always a scam!
Great Dane pups are not something you buy on the internet in a shopping cart. 



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. The Best Great Dane breeders have a long waitlist of people interested in purchasing a pup.

Ethical breeders want to know where every puppy they sell is going, and will support you as the buyer for life. Ethical and Reputable breeders will be dedicated to their breeding program and to each puppy they produce.


Puppy scammers may use 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

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.

If you feel uneasy, chances are you’ve found one of many common puppy scams!

(Hint: the photo below? This is from a SCAM website! YIKES!)

Screen Shot 2021 10 19 at 10.00.11 AM
An image from a scam Great Dane breeder website


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.


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.

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If a breeder reaches out to you to sell you a puppy (unsolicited), it’s a scam!


If the breeder needs to sell the puppies urgently, that’s usually a sign that something is wrong.

Screen Shot 2021 10 01 at 5.27.05 PM


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

babyfigfinal 1 of 1 1


You won’t find an ethically-bred Great Dane from a healthy, proven, and fully-tested lineage for less than $1200-$3000. Expect to pay at least $1200 for a Great Dane puppy from an ethical and reputable breeder.

If the price is too good to be true, that is because it is.

Ethical breeders put a lot of time, money and effort into their pedigree and the puppies they produce. This is not cheap and selling puppies is, as a result, not often profitable for them, either.

Choose ethical breeders only.


The scammers spend a LOT of time trying to convince you that they can safely ship their cute puppies 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.



Scam breeders will not be able to share legitimate health testing results with you. These breeders will tell you that the puppies they sell are ‘certified’, ‘health certified’ or ‘veterinarian checked. Tread cautiously as this is just a facade.

It is important that you always ask for information about the parent’s health testing: in particular the PENNHIP or OFA hip scans, thyroid panels, echocardiograms, and eye exams. 


There are many fake Facebook (or Instagram) profiles going around of people who are 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 messages will show you photos of cute puppies.

“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”

Once you place a deposit with them, they will often impose extra costs or offer excuses as to why they won’t be able to deliver your puppy that day.

Before you place a deposit or pay any money to the breeder, we recommend that you ask them to meet you in person or do a live video chat and show you the puppy. There is no legitimate excuse for a breeder to skip this important step.



Testimonials and reviews are intended to boost your confidence in the transaction. We recommend that you proceed with caution. The strange usage of language, spelling errors, and omissions often indicate fraudulent reviews.


If you are about to place a deposit with a breeder that has many of these red flags, you can send us an email to inquire. We will look into it and verify if the breeder you are dealing with is legitimate or not.

[email protected]

Here’s how to start looking for a reputable Great Dane breeder

As of this writing, we have never received an email from somebody whose breeder they found wasn’t a scam. If you are needing to ask us for help, chances are that you’ve found a scam.

Never, ever place a deposit until you see the puppy (video chat or in person) and verify the breeders pedigree and health testing information with the AKC and the OFA.

Grab this infographic and please share it on your social media or website! Help us spread the word about these insidious and common scams.


If you are still unsure whether or not you’ve come across a fraud, go down this checklist:

  • 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 the breeder that you are working with to provide information about the puppies AKC registration and CHIC (OFA) numbers. Verify this information with the AKC and at
  • 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.
Screen Shot 2021 05 14 at 11.04.56 AM
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  • 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
  • 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.
  • Real breeders will send you photos and show you the puppy via video and video chat.
  • Ethical breeders will use Puppy Culture, ENS and other socialization programs
  • The best Great Dane Breeders will prove their dogs temperament and structure with AKC (American Kennel Club), CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) and FCI (European) obedience/CGC, trick, sport and/or conformation titles.
  • They keep a close eye on the written standard and actively breed to improve it and the health of their pedigree.
  • Will have a positive reputation in the Great Dane community among other legitimate, ethical breeders, conformation judges and breed fanciers and are affiliated with the GDCA/GDCC in some way (as a member or as somebody who is mentoring under a mentor. is the best place to begin your search for an ethical Great Dane breeder.
  • Won’t be selling puppies purely on the merits of being ‘designer color’ or ‘Euro’.

Quality, REAL Great Dane breeders will be PROUD of their program and happy to share information with you.

Ethical breeders will market their pups on the basis of their true strengths including health, structure, and disposition. These breeders won’t use terms like “Euro,” “Champion,” or “Potty Trained.”

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. [email protected]

All of the images below are from SCAM Great Dane Breeder Websites:

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Screen Shot 2021 05 13 at 10.55.17 AM
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Screen Shot 2021 05 13 at 10.53.47 AM

Read more:

What Does Euro Mean in Great Danes?

Is My Great Dane Puppy Knuckling?

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  1. I had recently lost my Boerboel due to illness and he had to be put down. This left a huge hole in my heart which meant I was thinking clearly. I wanted a great dane and because I was so desperate to fill that void I got scammed. So I am now out $920 and left feeling like I lost another dog. Lessoned learned. Wish I had seen this site first and used my head and not my heart. The site is and while they act legitimate I figured it out during the shipping process and luckily stopped myself from getting scammed even more.

  2. I am looking for an ethical, experienced, and reputable breeder in the eastern WA/Montana/ Idaho area and I’m definitely having trouble locating breeders! Unfortunately, this page has the wrong link to the GDCA website. It’s , not When I click on the button to search your list of breeders, it takes me to a page that says ” [drts-directory-view directory=”danebreeders”] ” and there’s no list or ability to search a list. I’m guessing that this is simply human error and possibly because some of this website is still being developed, but wanted to let you know! Thanks!

    • Hi Kami,

      Yes our page had a glitch with our built registry and we had to deactivate it temporarily while the problem is resolved. Super frustrating for sure! Great catch on that error, we have it as .org in other places but that was an oversight. Thank you! Look into Daynakin Great Danes in the Washington area, if they don’t have a litter upcoming or don’t have the colors you want, they are a great resource!

      • Hi Chris,
        I figured the issue was something along those lines. Creating and maintaining a website can be frustrating for sure! Thank you for the recommendation! Daynakin Great Danes is one of the breeders on my list. There are a couple more I’m researching, but they aren’t breeders listed on the GDCA website. They are listed on AKC’s marketplace website and they do all the appropriate testing (CHIC #’s listed). If a breeder isn’t registered with GDCA, does that mean they’re a backyard breeder or are there reputable breeders that are just not focused on conformation showing? I can definitely understand how people fall for scams or end up buying a puppy from a backyard breeder! There are so many breeders who know enough to market themselves, but clearly know little about breeding!

        • Yes, if you know of a good business registry plugin for WordPress I’m all ears HAHHA! We’ve tried several and they all have problems. We have tons of breeders and rescues and trainers to list, too!

          The AKC marketplace can definitely be a good place to search for breeders that aren’t yet affiliated with the GDCA but that have ethical practices, yes! It’s also a hotbed for backyard breeders so it still requires a keen eye.

          It’s actually a bit tricky to become affiliated with the GDCA – you have to be sponsored by TWO people who have been members of the GDCA in good standing for 2 years. I believe there are many breeders not currently listed with the GDCA who are mentoring with GDCA breeders that would be a legitimate choice. It’s a good reason to reach out to Danyakin or otherwise and see if they can point you to a newer breeder that they’ve been mentoring and may have sold a show puppy to.

          Basically – if you’ve found a breeder that has CHIC#’s on both dogs (verifiable), with dogs that appear to meet the breed standard in structure and temperament (you can search the Apollo of Dogs Facebook group to see how structure is evaluated) and the breeder is able to confidently discuss the pedigree, temperaments, etc. with you that’s fantastic!

          I like to also personally see CGC and/or therapy titles on puppies from the breeder too, it tells me that they consistently have stable temperaments and dedicated owners. We like to see breeders showing their dogs, but we also know that many dogs from the top show breeders are unobtainable/waitlisted and there is a HUGE market for thoughtfully bred, healthy sound pet Great Danes from responsible breeders.

  3. Do you have a list of scammers? We were scammed and would like to give the scammer’s name, etc. Also still looking for a Great Dane and a list of scammers could be helpful.

    • Hi Alex, we are SO sorry to hear you were scammed!!! We are sad and angry for you. It’s easy to fall for and the scammers are pretty ruthless, unfortunately.

      We do have a list of known scammers but it’s out of date, I need to update it! Unfortunately as soon as a scam becomes known, they just make a new website and do it again with a new name.

      You can see the list here:

      Feel free to reply to this comment with your fake breeder and we will add it to the list. We would also love to publish your story, if you would like to share it! You would remain anonymous. You can send us an email [email protected] with how you were scammed. Your story can help others avoid this headache. Again, we are so sorry 🙁 is an excellent place to start your breeder search!


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