Great Danes are among the largest of all dog breeds. Only a few other breeds surpass them in height weight. These giant, lovable dogs make fantastic pets, but need some special care. Again, these dogs are extremely large, so if you don’t have the room or time to allocate to this breed, a Great Dane may not be the best choice.
Due to their calm and gentle nature, Great Danes are suitable as apartment dwellers, but a home with a yard is preferred. They are not outside dogs and thrive on human companionship. Denying them the bond with their owners will only lead to major problems and potential liability as the dog grows into a mature adult. Great Danes can suffer from separation anxiety, so a good and large dog crate is recommended to keep them from damaging the house and belongings when left alone. The crate will provide a safe and secure spot for them to relax and will help curb any anxiety as long as they are properly crate trained.
Originally bred in Germany for hunting large game such as wild boars, the modern day Dane is very relaxed and great for families. However, because of their large size, they should be appropriately socialized and trained early to prevent any unwarranted aggression or jumping up on strangers or friends. Behavior like jumping up to say hello may seem cute when they are puppies, but once that puppy is a fully grown dog (150-200 pounds), that jumping up won’t be so cute and will be dangerous. Also be careful of Great Danes around children. Even though they are great with children, they can inadvertently knock children over by just brushing up against them.
As for grooming, their coats are short and easy to care for. This breed does shed, so be aware that even though their hair is short, their large frames will shed a good bit of hair.
Great Danes are very intelligent and easy to train. Make sure to start their training early. Danes are very sensitive breeds, so avoid aggressive training methods. A gentle and consistent hand will go the farthest in training them.
From a health and longevity perspective, Great Danes require some care and dietary needs. Be sure to walk your Dane about 10-20 minutes per day. Avoid jogging or running with them as this can put too much stress on their bones and joints. If you do try to run them or throw a ball or toy for them, try to do it on a soft surface like grass or sand.
Great Danes grow very rapidly, so it’s important to not overfeed them and to supply them with a diet that is recommended for Danes or large breeds. Danes grow extremely quickly under normal circumstances. Overfeeding can cause growth problems and long term skeletal, hip and joint issues. Be sure to feed them a low protein, low fat and low calcium diet for the first 2 years of his or her life. This will help manage and slow down their growth rate and be much better for their joints over time.
Try to feed your Great Dane about 2-3 small meals per day and avoid exercising them for at least 1 hour before and after eating to avoid bloat, which is a potentially deadly condition. Also, try to feed them on a raised platform at about shoulder height. This will aid in digestion and make give your dog a more comfortable place to eat.
Following these and other guidelines will go a long way in aiding in the health of your Great Dane and it’s relationship with