What to Expect Bringing Home a Great Dane

Great Dane

The term great is not used lightly when describing the Great Dane. This beautiful dog is one of the largest and most amazing breeds in the world, and it’s one that will scare off anyone looking for trouble – or just looking for you – because it is just a big dog. Many people are afraid of big dogs, but they shouldn’t be afraid of the Great Dane. Yes, this is a dog that will protect its family and make its love for its people known, but it’s not a dog that’s aggressive by nature or willing to attack anyone just because it seems like a fun pastime. This is a breed that’s very good with children, and it’s often referred to as a gentle giant. If you’re looking for a sweet-natured dog to keep at home helping you feel safe and to ward off unwanted visitors, this is the breed you should consider.

If you don’t believe me, then take the story of Mary Green and her Great Dane, Asia. It wasn’t even a month ago that the homeowner’s dog managed to stop to robberies in the course of a week. The first was in her own home when she was alerted to the fact that two people had broken into her home. Her dog’s panicked barking saved her home from their terror. A week later, the dog was barking ferociously at her fence when she noticed that there were two people robbing the neighbor’s home. That dog, just by barking, saved two homes from losing all their valuables only a month before Christmas.

This is an amazing breed, and it’s going to stop at nothing to make sure that you are safe, taken care of and well-secured in your own home. In fact, you’re going to sleep well at night knowing that this dog is in your home caring for you and your important life possessions.

These gentle giants, however, are large dogs. This means you have to be prepared for what life will be like living with such a breed. Kind and gentle, loving and affectionate they are; but they’re also big. That means you will need to make a few considerations and learn a few things before you bring home a Great Dane. As wonderful as this breed is, it’s not the breed for everyone. You have to have a special place in your heart – and a big enough home – to care for a dog this size. But once you get him home, you’re never going to want to let him go.

Expect to Need Bigger Furniture

You can train your dog to stay off the furniture, but there is always that dog that just won’t listen. And then there are those dogs that listen like wonders when you are around, yet you always find dog hair on the couch and wonder why. You’ve never seen the dog on the couch, so how is the hair getting there? Our bet is that your dog is leaving it there when he or she is lounging around on the couch when you’re at work, in the shower or otherwise out and about. Dogs aren’t stupid; they know they have to obey the rules, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to break some of them when you’re not looking.

These are dogs that need a lot of space, and they’re not entirely aware of how large they are. It’s not uncommon to see them look for their own place on the couch and claim it. You might need a bigger couch if you’re going to make room for this dog as he gets bigger.

Expect This Breed to Get Big

We don’t meet big. We mean BIG. This is a big dog, and vets and animal rescues often cite one of the most common reasons that people abandon or give up their Great Danes is that they didn’t expect them to get so big. Well, they get really, really big. Even small ones are big. This is not a dog that’s not going to get big, unless you bought or adopted something that’s not a Great Dane at all.

Expect to Buy Special Food

Great Danes are big dogs; have we mentioned that already? And with a big dog usually comes a special dietary concern. For this breed, the dietary concern is the fact that this puppy goes from small to large very quickly, making it necessary for the dog to eat a special kind of food designed for this type of dog. You should never feed your Great Dane a regular diet of everyday puppy food. He needs something designed specifically for large breed puppies if you want him to remain healthy and grow properly. Additionally, your vet will ask you to stick to a very specific feeding schedule that will vary based on the age of your dog and the sex of your dog. It’s very important that you adhere to this feeding regimen or your dog’s health will suffer, and we know that’s not what you want.

Expect Messy Bath Times

The good news is that your Great Dane doesn’t need a daily bath. However, there will be times in which your dog is going to need you to bathe him, and sometimes it’s going to be more often than you like (rainy, wet weather being one example). Bath time with a dog from this breed is a lot like sticking 7 screaming toddlers in a garden tub and letting them have at it in terms of splashing. It will be messy, and it will probably not be high on your list of favorite things to do. We recommend you might bath your dog on the driveway simply because you don’t have to clean up your entire bathroom when you are finished. It’s up to you; but bath time with a dog like this is definitely more stressful than it is relaxing or fun. But, your dog needs this kind of attention from time to time.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

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