Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds, and they are wildly popular because of their many great attributes. They’re a classy looking dog and if you line to walk or jog, they have a menacing appearance that will discourage any would be muggers. These are unique canines, not only because of their massive size, but because of the personality traits that are specific to their breed. Here are twenty things that only Great Dane owners will understand.
1. They grow rapidly
When Great Danes are puppies, they are so cute and adorable, but they don’t stay small for very long. In fact, you can see the growth rate week by week as they kick into a rapid growth spurt. Soon, the cute fuzzy little puppy is a lanky adolescent. Their legs get extremely long and they go through a terribly awkward stage. You’ll be amazed at how fast your Great Dane puppy transforms.
2. Most of them only “look” intimidating
Great Danes are big dogs and they do have a menacing look about them. The real truth is that most of these dogs are friendly and would rather play than fight. In a few rare cases you may find a mean one, but with proper training, love and nurturing most members of the breed are not aggressive. You have nothing to fear unless they lick you to death.
3. He’s apt to take you out with that tail
The one thing that all Great Danes have in common is their long and substantial tail. Whenever they get excited or happy, the tail swings about wildly. If it happens to connect with you, get ready for a bruise. Try not to get too upset with your pup though, he can’t help it if he’s glad to see you. Tail wagging seems to be an involuntary response and it’s something that you’ll just have to learn to live with. You should plan to become skillful at dodging it however.
4. Great Danes are tolerant
This is one of the traits that make them such perfect family pets. Great Danes don’t mind when the kids make a fuss over them. Some even allow their owners to dress them up as their favorite Halloween characters. They’ve even been known to accompany the kids trick or treating. Just make sure that they don’t eat any of the candy though….sugar isn’t good for them and chocolate can be deadly.
5. Juveniles are still learning how to control their legs
You will notice that after your Great Dane pup reaches the age of four to five months, he becomes seriously clumsy. This is because he is gaining a lot of size and weight quickly. He hasn’t yet learned how to master his new size because of how fast it comes on. It may look really funny to you, but he’s really struggling to get a grip. Most dogs go through this phase, but unlike other dogs, Great Danes have much longer legs than the average dog, so this is a factor that makes it harder for them to walk gracefully. Don’t worry though. This is just a phase and it will pass as they grow into their legs and become more proportionate.
6. Your Great Dane will want to be with you
It’s a trait of the breed to crave human companionship. They love to spend time with their owners and if you don’t initiate the contact, they will seek you out. He may choose the most inconvenient times to want to cuddle or play, but its important to remember that he loves you and just wants to be near you. Just remember. Be careful. These dogs are huge so a little too much affection can put you into the emergency room.
7. They have some serious issues with gas
It’s not clear if their massive size contributes to the stench of their gas when they break wind, but Great Danes are known to clear a room. They’re just doing what comes naturally to them, but it may not seem like a natural event for you or your family. Prepare yourself for these unfortunate events and perhaps, keep a bottle or can of air freshener handy. This can be embarrassing when having guests over for a dinner party. You could try changing his diet to a different formula, but it probably won’t make a difference.
8. Great Danes are sensitive
This one makes non-Great Dane people laugh, but it’s true. You can ask any Great Dane owner and they will tell you that their dog has sensitive feelings. If you yell at your dog, he will feel bad and he might even get a little depressed over the matter. Discipline and training are very important, but it will pay to get a little more creative if you are a Great Dane owner. Sensitive dogs make the greatest pets, as long as their spirits are not broken by mistreatment.
9. They are good pets for apartments
Many people believe that because of their size, Great Danes would not do well in an apartment setting. Contrary to this belief, they do very well. Great Danes don’t require a lot of exercise. If you regularly walk your dog, he’ll be fit as a fiddle. You’ll want to make sure that you keep your prized possessions out of the reach of his tremendous tail though. They have been known to unwittingly sweep a counter or end table clear of its contents.
10. Great Danes like to ride in cars
Granted, it might be a tight fit if you drive a compact car, but Great Danes, in general enjoy going for rides in your car with you. They do best if you start taking them for rides when they are still younger puppies. This gets them used to the sounds and motions that the vehicle makes when its going down the road. Your pet will be happy to spend the extra time with you. Just remember not to give him a lot of food or water prior to leaving. It’s also a good idea to let them toilet before you leave. This helps to cut down on the chances of an accident or for your dog getting car sick.
11. Get ready to cuddle
Yes, Great Danes are very large when they’re full grown, but hey, everyone needs love. They enjoy cuddling from the time that they are puppies, all through adulthood. Whether it’s an adult or the children giving him love and attention, your Great Dane needs to have this kind of contact to feel secure and assured. As he grows, you’ll need to make sure that he knows which types of physical contact are appropriate and which ones aren’t.
12. He will know more than you think
Yes, your Great Dane is a canine, but he is still smart. This breed has a tendency to be intuitive when it comes to their owners and family. They are watchful over the children and when there is danger afoot, he may very well sense it and become defensive. While this breed is generally not aggressive, they do protect their loved ones from all perceived threats. Their size alone is enough to scare off any potential harm doers.
13. He likes to share meals with you
Great Danes are lovers of food. They will follow you into the kitchen when it’s time to prepare a meal. You will probably feel their eyes on you the entire time that you’re eating. This is because they know that there is a chance you might drop a scrap of food. They also know that if they’re quick enough, they can slurp it up before you will have the chance to stop them. This magnificent dog does enjoy “people food” but there are a lot of things that human eat, that could make your Great Dane sick, or even worse.
14. He wants to please you
Great Danes don’t live solely to please their owners and any one who has had experience with them will heartily agree, but they do like it when you’re happy with them. When your dog know that you’re not happy with him, you may notice that he becomes a bit withdrawn. While all dogs within a breed are individuals, this is a common trait that we see in the breed as a whole. The same is true if he knows that he has done something wrong. He will hang his head and be quieter. Every dog has his moments, and in this regard they are not a lot different than humans. He is going to make mistakes along the way, but you’ll see how hard he tries to be a good boy so you will be happy with him.
15. He likes physical contact
Great Danes truly enjoy physical contact. They like it in quite a few different forms. They love to be rubbed, petted, have their ears and head scratched and they truly thrive when the get a good amount of cuddling. Granted, their size may make it a little hard to do, but any type of physical contact that is gentle and loving makes them feel more assured that they are loved and wanted.
16. Your Great Dane puppy needs constant supervision
A common complaint of Great Dane owners is when their Great Dane puppy sneaks into the bathroom and shreds the toilet paper. This is an activity that they absolutely love to participate in. This is bad enough, but if you have any important documents that you want to preserve, don’t leave them within reach of your Great Dane. Their sharp teeth work as nature’s perfect shredder. These are the top two complaints, but they do like to get up to mischief if they are left to their own devices. They start to grow out of it by the time that they are three or four years old. Don’t trust that they are adult at age two. They may look the part, but they’ll revert back to the actions of a puppy from time to time, so keep an eye on your Great Dane and keep your valuables up high.
17. They sleep in weird positions
Some of the positions that your Great Dane will fall asleep in will crack you up. Many of the odd poses that they assume don’t even look comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with your dog so don’t freak out, they just do whatever they must to find the most comfortable position possible. You might see this more when they are trying to adapt to a fast changing body and mass size. Their bones and joints get sore when they grow too fast, just like people.
18. They don’t realize their size
You may see your Great Dane as a huge guy, but he doesn’t know that he’s really big. He may think that he’s still a little guy and when he plays with you, it could get a little rough. Because of his size, this could be a little dangerous. He won’t mean to hurt you, but that won’t make your black eye go away any faster if he roughs you up. It’s important to train your Great Dane about the kind of play that is appropriate, because unless you do, he may hurt you without meaning to.
19. He thinks he’s a lap dog
Your Great Dane loves to sit on your lap regardless of how big he gets. This is where you need to become diplomatic. If you can handle the weight, more power to you, but those who can’t need to find alternative ways of showing their love to their pets. Perhaps more cuddling with him sitting by your side is a good solution.
20. You gain a bed partner
Great Danes love to sleep in bed with their owners. If you start taking him to sleep with you when he’s a puppy, remember that he’s going to get a lot bigger, and the speed of his growth will amaze you. If he lies peacefully at the foot of the bed, it might just work out. Don’t be surprised if he ends up right beside you on a cold winter’s night. It’s also possible that you’ll wake up, only to be staring into his eyes. On the plus side, if he lays at the foot of your bed in cold weather, you’ll be able to keep each other warm.