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Great Dane owners - tips and advice please!(29 Posts)
Buy bigger poo bags.
Done. Scented nappy bags!
Gorgeous! He will get so much attention when out walking.
Please read up about bloat.
Hog thank you - have done. Sounds horrendous and no answers as to why it occurs and best way of avoiding.
DH grew up with Great Danes and they are beautiful gentle giants. With bloat they used raised food and water bowls to avoid it, you'll definitely be a celebrity when walking yours.
I would love a Great Dane and yours looks gorgeous.
Thank you - he’s coming over from Germany so will have to learn English. Best bit is he’s already house trained and goes to puppy school. Are they quick to learn? Do they go through a mouthing stage - can imagine that’s quite painful with a dog this size - was bad enough with our little dog.
Unfortunately I met DH when his families Great Dane was an adult, but he was well trained. Although they never let theirs off lead unless very rural, simply because they are so big and it's better to be safe than sorry.
I know DH said they did a lot of training for biting when the dogs were puppies, again, just because of their size. They did the usual very loud and exaggerated yelps when the dog was mouthy as a puppy, but they are so gentle it shouldn't be a problem.
I had one in our puppy class he was gorgeous but I do recall hearing the trainer saying that they can be quite hard to socialise with other dogs because of their sheer size ie other owners may be reluctant/ wary to let their dogs meet / play with them because they are so large.
The Westie will be the boss (after the cats, of course ). Enjoy.
Be careful about over-exercise while his bones are still developing, also don’t over-feed as they do better in the long run if they’re not carrying extra weight. They get quite rickety when old so consider a joint supplement from around age 5.
I wouldn’t say they’re the quickest of learners but if he’s had a good early foundation and you keep up with lessons then you should be fine. And, yes, they can be very mouthy for their first two years.
Every Dane I’ve ever met liked to lean on people. And sit on chairs like a human. He looks lovely OP - enjoy him!
My family’s Great Danes have always done very well will smaller dogs, but they’ve been around them since the Danes were puppies. The Great Dane was best friends with our Sheltie. The 2 we had from puppies were always fine with cats, but grew up around them. The adult rescue needed closer monitoring. As someone else mentioned, we always did lots of bite training with them as puppies due to their size. They can be a bit stubborn sometimes and one had a hard time with leash training, but did great with a gentle lead and didn’t need it after awhile.
They are wonderful, sweet dogs. They do have a tendency to lean and think they’re lap dogs though
As PP said don't stress or overexercise young joints (up to 18 months).
That includes putting non-slip mats down in the house if you have a e.g wood or laminate hall flooring. Avoid scooby-doo type running.
Not letting them e.g. leap over sofas onto hard or slidy floors.
No looning on slidy or concrete surfaces.
Not an issue at 5 months but as they get taller put furniture bumpers on sharp edge dining tables or similar.
Once they're past the chewing stage have good quality memory foam pet beds whereever they sleep (or sofas). If you stand on the bed you shouldn't feel the floor so 3+ inches thick.
e.g. www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222495247207 (other sellers do ones with nice covers)
Post photos here alot
I had forgotten about the leaning! They absolutely do love leaning on people and think they are lap dogs. DH Danes also grew up around other dogs and a cat so was fine with them.
I remember visiting in Winter when they'd have the fire going. You would be sat in a cold room because the sane would be directly in front of the fire, there'd be a rush of warmth from the fire whenever he moved! Great dogs
Thank you all so much for your tips and advice and the link to a bed as that’s next on my list. We have wooden floors everywhere too..
He’ll be arriving next Friday after a very long drive home. Very excited and also a wee bit apprehensive as to how he’ll be with the other animals who all get on very well.
I was more concerned about the size of his paws in that pic. He's going to be ginormous
Prepare for expensive vet led special diet and low exercise plan until adulthood, protect joints! Steep hills are a bad idea until fully grown.
Just train hard, cleverly and repetitively accepting nothing but total gentleness. Do yourself a big favour and ensure firm rules from the start so never on furniture, no food possessiveness, no face licking, no begging or treat feeding, never allowed to jump, made to lie down instead of lean, approach people to side instead of face on, humans through doorways before dogs, perfect heel and recall, sit at crossings, lie down if small animals/children approach etc. Head down is also a useful command because a Dane lying down can still hold head up at coffee table swiping height
Your dog has to know it can't invade space and you have to teach that without using force because the dog is always going to outstrength you. Castrate as soon as possible. Halti works well for big dogs and horse lunge rope for recall training (because extending lead will break). Giant kong filled with frozen biscuit yuk for teething. Be warned though, don't leave alone too much as a pup, one of mine ate through a wall to find the mouse that lived there.
The hardest bit is socialisation and your best bet is to find someone with a pair of well behaved adult large breeds that can do that for you on a regular basis as part of your walk routine. I was lucky enough to find an understanding owner with a couple of big alsatians who sorted mine out (especially between 2-3 yrs when boundary testing is in full effect).
There is a firm rule about animal beds in our house. If the animal is overwhelmed then it can go to it's bed for peace and children are not allowed to disturb animals on beds. Everyone needs a time out space that can be respected!
I just made dog bed from duvet folded in half, if you are handy get 2 cheap fleece blankets from primark or ikea and sew together as a fluffy cover. Big dog beds a madly expensive and always need replacing on a regular basis so duvet is a much cheaper option.
Small dogs are often the worst behaved because they can be scooped up by their owners instead of trained as dogs should be. Big dogs don't have that luxury and need to be bomb proof.
Sorry this is such a long post, congrats on the cuteypup!
They’re very sociable creatures, so should integrate with your other animals very well.
But I’d recommend keeping up with the training as they can be utter nightmares if they have bad manners.
Also - and I’m very sorry to introduce a sobering thought - but larger male Danes tend not to have very long lives as their bodies are generally larger than their heart capacity. Heart failure is a major issue for this breed and, these days, it does tend to crop up prior to them turning ten.
Obviously this may not be the case with your boy OP, but just be mindful and consider getting him onto joint supplements as soon as you see fit.
My friend used to have one - life expectancy is low and hers had ankylysing spondilitis so had to be fed from raised bowls.
Hers weighed 16 stone and it really hurt when he trod on your foot. He couldn't turn around on the upstairs landing and had to reverse out. He tried to sit on visitors laps human style and it was pretty awful if he tried to hump visitors.
Hope your house is big with wide corridors!
He is gorgeous! We have a Great Dane, we've had him since he was a puppy - those paws don't grow, the rest of him will grow to match!
Advice/tips we were given which have been great:
Don't let them 'stand' on their hind legs. Great when they are small, not so when they are taller than you. In the same vein, be strict about jumping up - at 75 kilos this is not advisable - but they need to learn young. Ours has not been that 'trainable' sadly.
Avoid them going upstairs if you can. Fine when they are young, when they are older with creaky joints you will struggle to get them down again.
Practice patience. People will photograph you without always asking and if I had a fiver for every saddle joke I've heard I would be a millionaire.
There's lots of fur to moult - it's a big body!
Get decent insurance. It's over £150 just to anaesthetise them. Ours racked up £7k in vets bills in the first two years.
They are beautiful gentle natured dogs, really one of the family. Ours is 8 now, I can't bear to think what our lives will be like when we lose him.
About the bloat, raised bowls is important, this also helps them avoid a twisted gut which is horrendous.
As with any puppy, mouthing can be an issue but genuinely isn't any worse than with say a labrador.
I have 2 main pieces of advice as a previous Dane owner (I stopped owning because of their ridiculously short life span, I twice devoted to my heart and soul to one only to have both pass away at age 6). The first is intense training as soon as u get him, 5 months is quite old to get a pup and by 6 months a great dane can be almost impossible for all but the strongest man to control so being able to control him with your voice alone is absolutely paramount. Hopefully he's already learned the basics and it will be up to you to reinforce those and teach him what your family expects. As you probably know, Danes are generally great with other animals but I found that simply because of their size, they tend to elicit bad reactions from some dogs when out and about. Whatever you do, don't let that make you nervous or he will pick up on your nerves and become aggressive himself (a couple I know have ruined a lovely friendly dane doing this).I'm rambling a bit so onto my 2nd piece of advice, a top notch pet insurance with a high limit per condition (unlimited would be perfect if you can afford it). For example, a double hip replacement costs around 11 thousand pounds (and that wasn't for a giant breed, I'm unsure if it's more expensive for larger breeds) so if your insurance has a £1500 limit then you have some serious money to raise.
All in all, great Danes are amazing pets, if you follow the 2 important rules, training and insurance, then you'll never regret your choice. If they lived longer I'd still have them now. They're super chilled out after puppyhood, super friendly and love their family and any children fiercely. There really aren't any other drawbacks except their lifespan. I'm sure you'll do fine. Good luck
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