If you have finally caved into pressure from your kids and have agreed that they can have a dog, it is now time to choose the breed that is right for you. There are so many to choose from and this is a decision that you must get right because your four-legged friend will be a part of your family for many years to come. A Great Dane is one of the more unusual choices but if you want a gorgeous dog that is bigger than your kids, this could be the smart choice for you!
All about the Great Dane
The first thing you need to know about the Great Dane is that it is not actually Danish! The breed is from Germany and has been around for more than 400 years. They were originally bred to protect property and hunt wild boar.
The most striking thing about the breed is the size! They are over 100-120 lbs and grow to over 32 inches in height (measured to the withers). You need a house big enough to accommodate this.
They eat a lot of food and that costs a lot of money. They need long walks every day. They only live for around 8 years and this could be upsetting for children. They are generally healthy dogs but they are vulnerable to a condition known as bloat. This is a buildup of gas in the intestines which can cause twisting of the gut and can be a life-threatening problem. It can be prevented with a suitable feeding regime and encouraging the dog to rest for at least one hour after eating.
What makes them a great family pet
Great Danes are a joy to have around the house. They are known as one of the breeds of dogs that do not bark that often. If you do have an individual that likes the sound of his or her own voice a bit too much for your liking there is plenty that you can do about it. You can read up on what you can do to rectify this situation in this post on bark collars. The review will point you in the direction of the most suitable collar for your dog in terms of comfort, battery life, and durability.
This breed truly is the gentle giant breed of dogs. Yes, they are huge but they have lovely personalities. They were bred as hunting and guardian dogs. They are quite playful and will be very affectionate with your children. They will soon become a much-loved member of the family.
On the other hand, they are more than capable of guarding their home and make an imposing guard dog. In general, they are happy to get along with other animals but this works best if they are raised with them. It has been known for some Great Danes to be aggressive towards dogs that they do not know but this is unusual. On the whole, they are easy to train, but you may be unlucky and end up with one of the stubborn learners.
Tips for training your Great Dane
Danes would be classed as having average intelligence and are not the geniuses of the dog world. However, they are easy to housebreak and will follow simple commands to sit, stay, down, come and heel. There is no lack in their desire to please and this results in many Great Danes very successfully competing in obedience and agility competitions.
It is essential that you start early. This needs to commence at 3-6 months of age. Also, the puppies grow extremely rapidly and so they will soon be much too big for you to physically restrain them. You must get them under control early on.
Their training must be based on consistent structure and must be gentle yet firm. They will soon become devoted members of your family. Do not make the mistake of allowing Great Dane puppies the free run of the house without supervision. You will find that your carpets and furniture will be in pieces when you return.
For this reason, many owners choose to crate-train their puppies which can be very useful in toilet training and preventing damage to the home. Let your kids know that they must leave the pup alone when it is in the crate. Great Dane pups are like all puppies in that they like to play aggressively and nip and chew. This needs to be controlled carefully so that it does not become a lifelong habit.