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Need to know Facts for New Great Dane Owners

Updated on April 10, 2013
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The Great Dane Breed

Great Danes is a very large beautiful dog breed, and when you take them out they will stop traffic and create crowds when walked in areas with a lot of people, Great Danes are known for being strong, and at the same time elegant, they are friendly, with an energetic personality. The Great Dane's ideal temperament would be courageous, spirited, dependable, and they are never timid or aggressive. But they do come with a lot responsibility, if your thinking about having a Great Dane become part of your family, I am going to go over important facts books aren’t going to tell you, Facts, you need to know before you make a life changing decision.

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Baby Dane inside the Home (3-10 months)

When you decide your ready to purchase a baby Dane make sure you go to a reputable breeder, a baby Dane can cost anywhere from 400-3000 dollars depending on there lineage, there coat colors and papers, with breeding rights they will always cost more if you want to breed them. Finding a reputable breeder like Night Majic Danes takes patience and determination. If you don’t do your homework you can come across breeders that inbreed, and your Dane can have Health issues "Bloat, osteosarcoma, Wobbler's Disease, heart issues, autoimmune issues, cherry eye and HOD (hypertrophic osteodystrophy or swollen joints)," hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism.

You always want to at least see pictures of your Danes parents. I recommend purchasing your Dane between 10-14 weeks, the longer you wait the cheaper they usually are, waiting between 12-14 weeks you will avoid the constant crying at night and having to take out your baby Dane every other hour to go to the bathroom. First, you will have to purchase a crate and begin to crate your Dane. At 3 months your Danes will need to be taken out to the bathroom usually every three to four hours. A good timeline to follow would be for every month is an extra hour of wait time. (4 months 4 hours, 5 months 5 hours). You should crate your Dane for at least the first year.

Warning! You will have mistakes that your Dane will do all over your floor and the crate at times, so prepare yourself mentally, even though your Dane will be the size of a German Sheppard at 10 or 11 months, he/she is still a baby and will not realize how big he or she is. Start your Dane on quality food. Some recommendations would be Holistic Select or Blue (Puppy large breed) cost would be 50-60 dollars a 30 Lb bag. But remember try to get food that is easily accessible from any major dog food chain, you wont have problems when food runs out.

I don’t recommend feeding your Dane house food due to the fact they have sensitive stomachs, at 10 months there diarrhea will fill your home and you will spend hours cleaning the mess, I speak from experience, its not a pretty sight. You should at least try to feed your Dane twice a day, or if not break down his one meal a couple hours apart.

Growing Dane in your Home (10 months to 1 1/2 years)

At 10 months your Dane has just about out grown his crate, hopefully by this time he is house trained for the most part and trained in obedience, if he/she is not I would definitely suggest some kind of training. I recommend changing the crate at this time or within a month you will have to most likely have to purchase the crate online or order it from the store. You will need the size of 54"L x 37"W x 45"H (XX-Large) they cost from 130-250 dollars. You should avoid buying anything smaller because your Dane will outgrow any smaller crate.

Your Dane should be between 80 and 100 lbs by now and will be going through a 30 Lb bag of food every month. When it comes to feeding your Dane, something important to know is that they are very tall and need the bowls to be raised off the ground, to prevent bloat or your Dane throwing up. It is hard for them to eat off the floor. If your Dane likes the food he will eat it very fast, you have to try to control that also to avoid bloat and no exercising before or after eating time.

During his feeding time you will need 2 regular size towels and 2 smaller towels. The regular size towels will be after he eats and drinks water, he will slobber water all over the floor, your going to need something to dry it up. If your Dane drinks only water be prepared for him to regurgitate some of it and those towels will come in handy. The 2 smaller towels are for his mouth and face, after he eats you will want to clean your Danes mouth if not you will have food and slobber all over your clothes and furniture.

Bedding for your Dane, Due to their size and weight a good orthopedic bed is recommended the older your Dane gets the older his bones get. Of coarse your going to have to get the biggest bed you can find they cost from 100-200 dollars depending on the brand name and you will have to replace it on average once a year due to there weight the bed will deform, and go flat after a certain amount of time. Key note to consider wrap the foam with waterproof plastic, if your dane pees on the bed which will happen every once in a while the memory foam inside is impossible to clean, the smell wont go away and it will create bacteria it may also possibly affect your Danes skin creating an allergic reaction.

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Adult Dane in your Home (11/2 years -3 years)

Hopefully by 1½ years you will only need your crate once in a while, your Dane will be house broken, he or she should be around 120-150 lbs and can now be eating a 30 lb bag every 3 weeks. You should have noticed by now how dependent your Dane is to your attention and affection, he or she will follow you all around the house, always wanting to be with you or someone in the family. Your Dane will have spurts of energy, wanting to play followed by getting tired and laying down all the time or sitting. They are not very energetic breed because of their size and weight but they do like to play at times. They will sit on your couch or on your bed just like you. By 2 years your Dane should almost be fully grown, they grow until 2 ½ years. By this time your Dane should be eating a 30lb bag every 2 weeks. At this age you can change his food from Puppy to large breed adult (11/2 years). Your Danes weight can range from 150-220 lbs and between 36-40 inches at his shoulders.

Need to Know Facts

  1. Don’t walk around the house barefoot if your Dane steps on you, there is a good chance you will bleed and will be in a lot of pain.
  2. Beware of your Danes tale if he gets happy tale and swings it, it will hurt especially if you get hit in your private area.
  3. Don’t Bend over while your Dane is playing, he will jump at a moments notice and break your nose or your mouth, with his head.
  4. When cooking don’t leave food close to the edge of the counter because it will be gone, by the time you turn around.
  5. Clean your Danes mouth after every meal if not, he could get dog pimples on his chin and you will have to give him Animax ointment.
  6. Try to keep your Dane from hallways, his tale will hit the walls and he will cut it leaving blood all over your walls.
  7. You should purchase dog wipes for when he/she poops so that your Dane doesn't sit and leave poop on the furniture or his/her bed.

After all that, Do You still want to own a Great Dane?

After hearing all the responsibilities and issues that comes with owning a Great Dane and you still want one, then you will make a great home for your Dane. All these issues were never told to me when I made the choice of making my Great Dane Hercules part of my life, and with all these responsibilities I wouldn’t change him for the world, he has changed my life, and made me understand what true loyalty and friendship is. I hope these facts help those looking to make this great breed of animal "The Gentle Giant" a part of their life.

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      Lisa m 2 years ago

      So many things wrong with this article. Raised bowls do NOT prevent bloat. Not to mention you should never feed a Dane puppy food.

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