A bit about my history:
I am a veterinarian in Seattle, Washington -- and I specialize in emergency care for dogs, cats and the exotic pets. I started to rescue great danes in 1985 (it is amazing the number that come into the clinic for back problems, heart problems, bloat, knee issues, etc.) and have had 26 in the last 24 years. I am very familiar with the devastating health problems that they can suffer, and since I rescue unwanted or sick danes, we have had more than our share of loss from illness. The ones that suffer from heart failure are particularly devastating, because they usually do not let us know they are sick until it is too late...
We lost our blue boy (Blueper) about 1 year ago to an autoimmune bleeding disorder. My husband and I wanted to find a healthy blue baby (rather than rescuing a sick one) to help us fill the "blue void." We have had a blue ever since we have been married and we are particularly fond of them. Since we wanted to start healthy, I began to research black/blue blood lines, with HEALTH and TEMPERAMENT as my primary qualifiers. I quickly eliminated the "american bloodlines," since many ( but not all ) american breeders do not pay attention to health in their breeding programs. The "american" blood lines tend to produce a very tall, greyhound shaped dog with high anxiety issues (not a good thing in a 175# dog).. The tall narrow shape predisposes these dogs to back, knee, and hip problems. And the "american" blues have a greater tendency to develop osteosarcoma and other forms of cancer.
I began researching european lines and found that LaBenjamine kennel (in France) has an excellent reputation concerning health and temperament. In addition, the european breeding has selected for a shorter, stockier dane (when compared to the american breeding) that results in better bone structure, less tendency toward back/neck and stifle/hip problems. They also have kept tract of bloat and cancers, and these conditions are no more prevalent in their lines than in any other dogs (in other words, there is probably no genetic tendency toward bloat or cancer). LaBenjamine produces a dane that is a true mastiff - square and muscular.
The only problem was, I did not want to go to France to get my puppy nor have him shipped on such a long flight unless I could avoid it. Cornerstone danes solved that problem for me -- the right breeding in the right location.
Libby and Aaron are two great people who are truly concerned with placing puppies in the right homes.
We took custody of our new boy, Bluegar, about 2 weeks ago. He is a delightful puppy - already potty trained, no mouthing, no signs of aggression, very smart. He has no aggression towards my grandchildren (2 - 8 years old) and interacts well with my other 9 dogs (8 danes, ages 17 weeks to 14 years, and 1 "rare whats-it," 5 yr old). He is doing well in puppy kindergarten and is not showing any signs of anxiety or compulsive behavior (like barking or excessive whining when he is separated from us).
It is very obvious that Bluegar was socialized in the house and with a baby (I believe that Libby's little girl is 5 months old) and with both men and women because he is comfortable with everyone.
thank you and good luck finding the right puppy.
Cathy Corrigan, Hoquiam, WA