If you’re thinking of buying a Great Dane, you’ve made an intelligent choice. That said, there are caveats to consider—Great Danes are enormous dogs and require a lot of emotional attention and physical upkeep.
While such points aren’t deal-breakers, it’s good to know about them in advance. Here’s what to keep in mind when buying Great Danes.
Great Danes 101: What to Know Before Buying
A Great Dane is a purebred dog that originates in Germany. These large canines were initially bred for boar hunting. A boar is a big and ferocious animal. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Great Danes are physically strong and brave.
You can recognize this canine by its square-jawed head, long body lines, and—of course—its size. Great Danes are the tallest type of working breed dog.
A male can be up to 30 inches. A female can be up to 28 inches. A Great Dane can weigh from 120 to 150 pounds.
Great Danes come in various colors, including black, brindle, fawn, and blue-gray. You can also find black-and-white colored Great Danes.
Great Danes have a few other vital characteristics beyond their sheer size worth noting. In general, they are known for being:
Traits like friendliness and dependability make Great Danes an excellent fit for families with kids. Although they were bred for hunting, these dogs are pretty gentle. If you’re looking for a loveable pup for your children, this is a great pick.
Key Considerations When Buying a Great Dane
There are a few key considerations to take into account when buying a Great Dane. This list covers the highlights, giving you the essential information you need.
Great Danes are considered the gentle giants of the dog world. They are affectionate and great with kids. Further, they are loyal dogs and will help guard your home.
Great Danes can also be quite playful. They want to interact with people. They may even try to climb on your lap, regardless of their immense size.
Great Danes usually get along well with other animals, including cats and dogs. However, they may get aggressive around unknown canines.
Cleaning up after a big dog can be a challenge. Great Danes are no exception.
One of the most significant issues with these pups is that they tend to drool. If you want to keep your furniture safe, teach your dog to stay off.
A Great Dane needs weekly brushing and monthly bathing.
It would help if you also got the dog’s ears cleaned and nails clipped monthly. Teeth brushing is recommended at least every second week.
Given their enormous size, these dogs do need adequate space to exercise.
Your dog should get at least two hours of exercise every day. This helps them burn off energy and will keep them healthy. They can get their activity playing outside or on walks.
However, note that Great Dane puppies are prone to overexercise. If they get too rambunctious, it can hurt bone and joint development.
Like any big dog, a Great Dane needs plenty of food for fuel.
On average, a dog needs about 30 calories of nutrition per pound of weight. For larger breeds, about 25 calories will often do. Knowing your Great Dane’s weight will help you portion their food correctly.
Just what should you feed a Great Dane?
They will need a moderate-fat and high-protein diet. Feeding may have to be adjusted according to the canine’s age. Always check with a veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition it needs.
This is especially important for Great Danes, which are prone to bloat. Find out more about this health condition in the below section on health.
Social Requirements / Time Commitment
Great Danes are super dedicated dogs that adore their families.
While this is sweet, it can also cause problems. For example, Great Danes are prone to anxiety when left alone. Anxious dogs can get depressed or aggressive.
You should only get a Great Dane if you have sufficient time for it.
As mentioned, the dogs need at least two hours of exercise daily. This is just the minimum time-spend you’ll have to put in as they will need much more attention throughout the day.
Since a Great Dane is so large, you want to ensure you can control it. Otherwise, the animal can run away with you on the leash!
The great news is that Great Danes are generally considered easy to train.
Obedience training should start early when the pup is still young, small, and manageable.
Your dog will be eager to please you once you’ve established a bond. Encourage them with positive reinforcement.
Integration with Other Pets and Children
Have kids or other animals in the home? Some added training steps will be needed to integrate your Great Dane. Introduce them slowly. First, keep the kids or animals in a separate room.
Give the dog a chance to get used to the foreign smells. You can then introduce the puppy to the children or other animals on a leash.
When introducing animals, you can try having them eat on opposite sides of a door.
This teaches both animals there is no threat to their territory (their food). They can also get used to the general presence of the other creature.
The great news is that Great Danes generally interact well with others.
Like most purebreds, Great Danes are prone to certain health issues. On average, a Great Dane can live from seven to ten years.
Bloat, already mentioned, is one common problem. This can be a life-threatening condition. It may occur if the dog eats too fast or drinks too much water.
Other possible health problems include skin allergies and hip dysplasia.
Cardiomyopathy, a fatal heart issue, is another common problem. Finally, as a large breed, Great Danes are at higher risk for osteosarcoma bone cancer.
Any pet costs money. Since they are larger, Great Danes tend to cost more. According to the American Kennel Club, it costs $3,536 annually to raise Great Danes.
This doesn’t take into account possible specialty medical treatments the animal may require.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Great Dane
There are some additional considerations to take into account before bringing home a Great Dane.
You will have to prepare your home for your Great Dane. Here’s how to do it.
Before your Great Dane comes home, you will need to invest in basic dog supplies. This includes:
- Grooming supplies
- Chew toys
- Collar and leash
- Food and water dish
- Food and treats
You will also want to prepare your home. For example, dog gates can keep your pup away from off-limits areas (like your couch).
Your yard is an excellent space for your Great Dane to play and get exercise. Dog-proof your yard. It would help if you had a fence to keep the dog on your property.
Otherwise, they may run into traffic or get into altercations with wild animals.
Make sure there is a shady spot for your dog to rest. They should also have access to water when they’re outdoors.
A Quick Guide to Getting Your Great Dane
Have you decided that a Great Dane is for you and prepared your home accordingly? Now, you can get your dog. You have a few options when it comes to buying a Great Dane.
- Consult a breeder: Look for a breeder registered with the Great Dane Club of America (GDCA). This will be the most expensive option, so choose a reputable breeder. The GDCA has a directory of trusted breeders.
- Look at an animal shelter: This is an opportunity to give a dog in need of shelter a loving home. Note that shelters may charge adoption fees and initial health costs.
- Opt for private adoption: While this is a viable option, it requires more due diligence. It would help if you got the dog checked by a vet before buying.
Regardless of where you get your dog, arrange a veterinarian appointment before bringing them home. You want to address any potential health concerns quickly.
The Final Word on Buying Great Danes
As the above guide has hopefully made clear, a Great Dane can make for a great pet. These dogs genuinely are “gentle giants,” being loving, friendly, and loyal. They make for popular pets as a result.
It’s no wonder that this dog has been immortalized in many films and television shows. Famous Great Danes include Marmaduke, Scooby-Doo, and Astro from “The Jetsons.”
That said, Great Danes aren’t without complications. Their sheer size can be a challenge, especially considering that they think they’re lap dogs!
Since they are purebred dogs, Great Danes are also prone to health issues.
All that said, if your dream dog is a Great Dane, you’ve made a good choice. The key to successful Great Dane ownership is doing your research beforehand.
This educational article is a good start. Talk to your veterinarian about additional concerns before getting a Great Dane.
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