Spanish teacher finds forever homes for her Great Dane puppies


Jodi Grice

One of Jodi Grice’s Great Dane puppies prepares to be adopted by its new owner.

Taegan Jacobs, Reporter

Spanish teacher Jodi Grice began breeding Great Danes in 2014 after the idea was suggested by her husband.

“I think he thought Great Danes were kinda cool,” Grice said.

Although they had some of their own, once they decided to breed Great Danes, there was a lot of research that went into it to make sure it was done correctly and safely. One thing they learned was that they had to be careful about which dogs they paired together.

“The first one we had was a harlequin and the harlequin kinda looks like a cow, he’s white with black spots,” Grice said. “Then we got a merle. But before the breeding ever happened, we learned that you couldn’t breed those two because they each have a recessive gene. That’s how you get the blind or deaf puppies. You have to be careful about that.”

But Great Danes paired correctly can have litters with an average of ten or eleven perfectly healthy puppies. Grice said one of the dogs even had a litter of 13 earlier in the year before one of the puppies passed away.

In addition to the puppies being big in number, they are quick to grow in size.

“When they’re born they’re like a pound,” Grice said. “But by the time they leave us after eight weeks, some of them are about 15 pounds. So in eight weeks they grow that much.”

Grice said they have two big storage rooms in their house, one of which they use for storage and the other they call the puppy room, where the puppies are kept until they are adopted at eight weeks old.

“It’s a lot of work because I don’t want them to just be stuck in a box for eight weeks,” Grice said. “so we make sure they get outside and they get played with. Especially once they have families, then I, a lot of time, get their families to come over at least once a week to come and visit the puppy and to get acquainted with their puppy. When that happens, I get everyone outside because I’ve got extra helpers.

Before the adoption process can fully begin, those interested must be approved of by Grice.

“I go through an interview process for families before I let them put a deposit down for the puppy because I’m super picky about who takes my puppies,” Grice said.  “The other thing that we do, is that we have a Facebook group for all of our families–puppy families–that I require them to be in. So all of our puppy families, from all litters, they all stay connected to each other.”

Their Facebook page, Giant Canines Create Great Joy, titled with the first letter of each family member’s name, has a total of 98 members.

Deb Starnes, a member of the page, adopted their dog, Cash, after they had lost two Boxers the previous year and she saw an ad for the Great Danes.

“Jodi does not let just anyone adopt her pups,” Starnes wrote in an email. “She has to approve you and know you will love them as much as she does.”

But after getting approved, the adoption and care process is easy. All the hard work is taken care of by Grice.

“I weigh them on a weekly basis.” Grice said. “I do all their shots, I do all their deworming – they get dewormed every two weeks. It’s a lot of work. The first couple of weeks it’s easy because the momma dog does everything.”

The family even names them.

“Every time we have a litter we have a new theme.” Grice said. “So we name everybody. This current litter we have now is the college dogs. They’re all college mascots. So we’ve got Brutus and Buster and Big Al from Alabama, Sebastian is the Miami. Oregon’s mascot is Puddles, so there’s Puddles.”

Jody VanRooyan, another person who has adopted from the family, says there a lots of pros to adopting a Great Dane.

They are big and beautiful with an awesome disposition,” VanRooyan wrote in an email. “They can be gentle and protective but a friend to all. Cons, they can clear a coffee table with a swipe of a tail and they can put their feet on your counter and eat anything they can reach without you knowing.”

Both Starnes and VanRooyan said they would recommend the family to anyone interested in adopting.

“I would always recommend the Grice’s for adoption of their litters.” Starnes wrote in an email. “We will always be grateful for her care and how she loves him. It was our privilege to be allowed to be his forever family. For this we will always be grateful. Cash is one of us and always will be.”