Does any one here own any giant breeds?

(47 Posts)
bendertherobot Mon 19-Nov-12 14:24:47

I would love to hear what people have to say about what it is like to live with/own a huge dog. I love St Bernards, but my favourties are newfoundlands. I would love to own a newfie (one day, atleast 5 years into the future), so I would like to learn as much as possible about them. Please come and talk about any massive doggies you own/have owned. Thanks. smile

Aquelven Mon 19-Nov-12 18:13:02

How big do you need?
I used to have Old English Sheepdogs (Bobtails)

Had a friend who kept a couple of Newfoundlands & know a chap in the next village who lives in a two bed bungalow that belongs to eight of them.

bendertherobot Mon 19-Nov-12 21:50:59

Aw love old english sheep dogs. Like dulux dogs?

The chap in the next village owns 8 newfoundlands?! My goodness! Has he had to move out of the bungalow to allow the room for the dogs?

laanndaaannanny Mon 19-Nov-12 22:06:43

I have a Weimaraner. She is the most beautiful dog ever in my eyes and all tiny little dogs are just annoyingly small and in the way in comparison after getting this monster of a dog. grin

DowagersHump Mon 19-Nov-12 22:09:33

My sister has had a succession of Bernese Mountain Dogs in her small house (and before that a flat). Big dogs don't tend to need much exercise but they are very easy to trip over!

I could never have a small dog - massive dogs are much cuddlier smile

ManyMomentsOfMadness Mon 19-Nov-12 22:26:36

I have St Bernards. They are a lovely breed to have as are most of the giant breeds really.
Please do your homework before you get one, you sound like you are giving yourself plenty of time to look into breeders (good and bad!). You could also join a breed club, you'll then have a network of like minded people.

Wolfiefan Mon 19-Nov-12 22:27:47

I want? Check out my name.

Catsmamma Mon 19-Nov-12 22:29:57

I have two massive gsds 45kg+ if that helps, one current sprawled on the chesterfield, the other one is curled up small on two thirds of the other sofa.

I like a proper dog! :D

I only fall over the labrador.....there's no way to miss the other two!

Catsmamma Mon 19-Nov-12 22:30:39

currently...not current!

bendertherobot Tue 20-Nov-12 10:34:26

Manymomentsofmadness, how many St Bernards do you have? I'm guessing that for the giant breeds, the vet bills are alot more? And the food bills? How much exercise do they need? Are they like couch potatoes? Yes, I am giving myself plenty of time to research owning a dog, plus we currently have a lovely cat who wouldn't be too happy if I got a dog while he was still around.

I love newfies because they're big and beautiful, I understand that they're wonderful with children and very trainable. They're great with other animals so I would be ok to have cats as well. smile

But I do want to know of the realities of owning a large dog. Thanks everyone. smile

kilmuir Tue 20-Nov-12 10:37:43

We have Great danes.
Wonderful nature, not keen on yippy little dogs, but to each their own.
Great danes are short haired, hairer breeds need a fair amount of grooming each day

Ephiny Tue 20-Nov-12 11:37:35

I'd love to have a Newfie too smile We've always had rotties, which are not 'giant' but they're the smallest dogs I can imagine having!

It's worth being aware that some of the large breeds sadly have short life-expectancy and are prone to certain health problems, and you need to be careful about feeding and exercise especially when they're young to look after their bones and joints - so make sure you're well-informed and choose your breeder (and insurer!) carefully.

bendertherobot Tue 20-Nov-12 12:19:23

Ephiny, I absolutely love rotties, but I wouldn't be confident enough to own one my self.

My friend had one and she was massive, she was like a bear (the dog, not the firend). She was also soppy as anything and just adorable in general. I walked her round to the local shops once, and I waited outside with the dog while my friend went in. There was a large group of hoodies outside the shop. Normally I would feel intimidated, but I felt so safe with the dog beside me, and I think the youths were a bit wary of me! haha I was just standing there, and I was not trying to intimidate them. It was such a nice feeling to feel safe. I have loved rotties since, but I know that you need to really know what you're doing to be a responsible owner of such a powerful animal.

Pagwatch Tue 20-Nov-12 12:23:55

We have an old english sheepdog (on my profile) and a bischon.

The big dog is less trouble than the little one to be honest. He needs less excercise for a start.
Our attempts to groom him ourselves were more trouble than they were worth so he is groomed once a month. He eats quite a lot but I don't think the vets bills are much different. He is incredibly gentle and great with the children.

I would get another one rather than a smaller dog any day.

HarlettOScara Tue 20-Nov-12 12:40:06

I have a Newfie. And a Rottweiler X.

MagiMingeWassailsAgain Tue 20-Nov-12 12:53:28

I have met several giant schnauzers recently and blimey they are gorgeous. Really amazingly huge though. I have a terrier (about 9kg) and a medium sized border collie - the collie seems big to me grin

Ephiny Tue 20-Nov-12 13:02:26

Oh don't be put off rotties by their reputation. Yes they're a guarding breed and can be assertive pushy types sometimes <glares at BearDog>, so they do need sensible owners to give them boundaries. But they have just the most fantastic personalities, and with the people they know and love they can be the most affectionate cuddly dogs you can imagine.

Newfies are great too. All the ones I've met have been real gentle giants, absolutely lovely temperaments. So big though. We met a 6 month old puppy a while ago, typical daft playful pup and adorable as anything, but OMG enormous. You must have to really get on top of things like teaching them not to jump up, pull on the lead etc at a young age, or you'd have a real handful shock.

BedsocksarenotsexybutIlovethem Tue 20-Nov-12 16:53:58

Love big dogs but can't handle the amounts of drool some of them produce! Yuck!

I love giant dogs, but I don't think my heart could take their short life spans. My DB's friend had a Great Dane called Merlin. Gorgeous beast of a dog, and gentle as anything. But he only lived to be 7 sad

SrirachaGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 17:05:52

I've never had big dogs but I do love them. This morning at the dog park we met a pair of four month old Great Dane pups. They were silvery blue, drop-dead gorgeous and SO calm (unlike other puppies I know <ahem>). Their owner says she goes through one of those giant bags of dog food every two weeks because they eat 7 CUPS A DAY! I didn't like to ask about the poop grin.

SrirachaGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 17:07:38

I didn't know that, Chickens sad.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 20-Nov-12 17:07:42

I have three giant breeds as well as six dc because I am obviously mad

One of my dogs is an old English mastiff, he is massive, we constantly get comments about him being a pony really grin despite being almost ten stone he is a big soppy baby and we love him to bits

Space wise they do take up a bit of room but actually not as much as you'd think, and our dogs do better with less exercise rather than more. Food wise they do eat more but there are ways of feeding them well but not too expensively (we but in bulk!)

We haven't really had any downsides of them all being so huge

HarlettOScara Tue 20-Nov-12 17:35:14

The biggest downside of owning giant breeds is the shorter lifespan. Most won't make it to 10 although there are always exceptions and ever advancing veterinary medicine and health screening by breeders is helping to increase longevity in many breeds.

The next biggest downside is the associated costs. Everything costs more than with a small/medium breed...feeding, vet bills (even if relatively healthy, they need larger doses of medication such as worming tablets etc), insurance etc. Even collars, leads and beds are much more expensive because you need the biggest size in everything. We even had to change our car as Newfie puppy had outgrown the boot of our hatchback by the time she was 4 months old.

Then there's the health concerns. Apart from the genetic conditions in many breeds(which good breeders are trying to breed out where possible), giant breeds just wear out quicker due to extra stress on joints and heart.

However, contrary to popular belief, you don't need a massive house; just enough space for them to lie down and stretch out comfortably. The average 3 seater sofa is just about the perfect sizewink My Newfie and large Rottie X live quite comfortably in our very average 3 bed semi and easily found space for the Bernese Mountain Dog who used to stay regularly.

JaquelineHyde Tue 20-Nov-12 17:43:16

We used to have a couple of Anatolian Karabash and I loved them.

If we were to get a dog it would have to be a large breed.

dwagdays Tue 20-Nov-12 20:49:00

I have wolfhounds and Danes, one of each at the moment. Have had a handful of each over the years. Wonderful, lovely dogs that die suddenly, painfully and too early. Before they do this they cost thousands in insurance, food and vet bills.

My dogs dictate my drive, my interior design, my lifestyle. Biggies are soppy and not dogs to leave alone for long. Also they can bloat so shouldn't be left unchecked for too long. Costs... At the moment 120 a month insurance, 150 food (raw fed but one eats three times what you might expect!), random excesses 75 a time, new beds 150 a year, heartbreak...expected at any minute.

We walk miles, I could arm wrestle an alligator thanks to their contribution to my bicep development and am never short of company on walks as we attract company. Those little six stone old ladies always want a cuddle from a dog weighing twice what they do.

Agree with harlett about space not being a huge need although some of mine have needed big runs and walks everyday and have bounced round the house with a complete lack of respect for the sleepy hound stereotype!

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