Vikings Litter

born: 03.09.2021 (natural birth)
Alma vom Irschener Winkel x Great Bel’s Nairobi
COI: 0,39%, ALC: 92,06

15 puppies/3 still borns

0/1 harle
4/4 black mantle
1/2 merle mantle

I decided to use the father of my Vikings litter, Great Bel’s Nairobi “Robbie”, because of many reasons. First of all he had reached a good age of 8,5 years and was still going strong when he mated Alma. He has produced 15 puppies! Unfortunately he suddenly died just one day after he has visited his puppies when they were 8 weeks old because of a bursted spleen tumor. This was totally unexpected and very dramatic, because he seemed healthy until his last day. Robbie had lots of fun with his puppies and my girls then.

Robbie as a veteran just 4 months before his death. RIP dear boy

But an age of almost 9 years is pretty good for a great dane male and he did not die of one of the common genetic diseases of the breed. He was heart screened just a few months before his death and had no DCM.

We visited Robbie in 2019 to get to know him, because I was interested in him already for a while (the pictures of our visit are added below). He was a true gentle giant, with an absolutely friendly and sovereign character. He had a correct anatomy and a very good movement, even as a veteran.

Robbie has only produced 5 litters until today and in his pedigree are no popular sires either in the first generations. So by using him rare blood could be preserved for the population. His parents are both from the American kennel “TR”. They were imported to Scandinavia as adult dogs and died in rather tragic circumstances, but not of typical GD diseases. I contacted their breeder, Sharon Showers, to find out more about them and their ancestors. She had to give up breeding because she had to take care of her ill husband and had to replace all her dogs. Most of the danes she has bred reached a very good age with double digits. I got to know Alma’s grandfather in the 5th generation, TR Special Agent, when he was over 10 years old. He lived in Denmark and died at the age of 11.5 years. This litter is very lightly inbred (COI 0,39%) on his mother TR Sentimental Reaction, who died with 10 years. But the ancestor loss coefficent is very high (ALC 92,06%), so the combination has a high genetic diversity with ancestors from all over the world, which increases the chance for healthy offspring. Robbie was color tested and did neither carry fawn, blue, nor piebald or harlequin, only black. This means that the puppies could have the colors harlequin, merle, merle mantle, black and black mantle. So no color suprises this time 😉 Btw Robbie also had a lot of Champion titles, but this was not the reason why I chose him.

Alma gave birth to her 15 puppies without any problems, but unfortunately 3 weren’t born alive. This is not unusual in big litters, they just suffocated on the long way out 🙁 The 12 remaining puppies were quite a task, but they all developed well and I could find good homes for them. I kept the only (living) harlequin in this litter, my Leni-Lagertha. The rest moved to Sweden, Denmark and Germany. We already had two puppy meetings and I visited Ubbe and Gyda in Denmark and Aslög and Björn in Sweden. All puppies were named after one of my most favourite TV shows “Vikings”. Here you can see their puppy collages at the age of 8 weeks:

We regularly meet Björn (Bo), who lives not so far away from us. We took care of him for some days in May, when his owner was on holidays. Maybe he will one day be health-tested for breeding.

Alma with her son Björn (Bo) and daughter Leni in May 2022