Your Great Dane and You

Your Great Dane and You
Congratulations on considering adopting a Great Dane. The Great Dane is a very
gentle and special breed. The size of the Great Dane can provide situations that any
other breed of dog would not even be considered. We have listed some situations
that may or may not occur with your Great Dane, as every Great Dane is different.
But we want to cover these items to help you with the transition of your newest
family member.
1. Feeding
Great Danes should not be exercised one hour before meal time and one
hour after meal time. Great Danes are deep chested dogs and are susceptible
to a deadly condition called BLOAT. This is when the stomach fills with air
and the stomach can twist. Once the stomach twists, the blood supply is cut
off and the dog can die if not immediately caught and taken to your vet for
surgery. This is why we recommend no exercising prior to meal time or
immediately after meal time.
We also recommend that your Great Dane is fed with a raised feeder. There
are many theories about using a raised feeder, but we have found that this
may lessen the intake of air while your Great Dane is either eating or
drinking. The more air the dog intakes increases the likely hood of
The above pictures show one type of raised feeders that you can purchase.
You can find these raised feeders at your local pet store. Please notice how
the Great Dane in the picture is more comfortable eating at his height, and
the Cairn terrier is eating at her correct height. If you don’t want to purchase
a raised feeder please consider placing the water and food bowls on a chair
or small table.
2. Crating
We recommend that you purchase a crate for your Great Dane. A crate gives
your newest family member a feeling of security and a place for your Great
Dane to stay when you are gone. There will be an adjustment period and you
need to be sure that your Great Dane is safe while you are away from home,
and that your Great Dane feels secure while you are away from home. We
also recommend that the crate be kept in a living area where the Great Dane
can see the family. You can purchase a crate at your local pet store. We do
recommend that you purchase a crate that is similar to the one pictured
below. Most Danesrequire a colossal size crate.
3. Kitchen
Great Danes can easily reach anything that you may leave on your kitchen
counter. We refer to this as “Counter Surfing”. If you leave anything on the
kitchen counter you can be sure that your Great Dane will take whatever is
left on the counter. Be sure that your counters are clear of food or anything
else that might attract your Great Dane to eat. So please be aware that
anything left out might just turn into a snack.
Notice the cookies, peanuts, medicine, and mail that has been left on this
counter. The Great Dane is tall enough to take anything off the counter that
he would want.
4. Gotta love the Great Dane tail
The Great Dane’s tail has been referred to as a lethal weapon. When your
Great Dane is happy he is going to wag that tail and along with the wagging
tail comes the clearing of breakable items, house plants, and your legs. Be
sure that the wagging tail does not break items or turn over items on coffee
tables, end tables, larger items on the floor.
The other thing that could occur is what we refer to as “Happy Tail”. Happy
Tail is when the Great Dane wags his tail so hard that he hits the tail so hard
that the end of the tail will burst open and then blood sprays everywhere.
This condition sometimes results in docking the tail in order to resolve the
problem. If your Great Dane should have Happy Tail, be sure to visit our
discussion group on our website and we can share our experiences on how to
handle Happy Tail.
5. Cats
If your household has cats please make sure that your Great Dane does not
have access to the litter box. In addition make sure your Great Dane does not
have access to the cat food. Don’t put the cat food on the counter (remember
the counter?) Dogs LOVE the taste of cat food and cat poop. By keeping the
cat food and litter box out of reach of your Great Dane will solve a lot of
6. Fence
Make sure that your fence is in good repair with no holes or missing slates.
Make sure that any gates that open into the backyard have a lock on the gate
at all times in order to protect your Great Dane from being stolen or
accidentally let out of your backyard. Great Danes can climb chain link
fences of any height, and Great Danes can jump 6-8 foot fences, if they
really want to.
7. Zoomies
Great Danes will run for approximately 2-5 minutes 2-3 times a day at full
speed. We refer to these bursts of energy as “Zooming”. This is normal
behavior for a Great Dane, and once you have seen a Zoomie you will never
forget it. Just be sure you are out of the Great Dane’s path when they are
Zooming, because you could be accidentally knocked over. Once the
Zoomies are over, your Great Dane will probably flop down totally
exhausted for the next couple of hours.
8. Couch Potatoes
Great Danes are inside dogs. Their size may appear to suggest an outdoor
dog, but nothing is further from the truth. Great Danes are very thin skinned
and simply don’t have the coat to protect them from the extreme weather
elements. So before you adopt a Great Dane be prepared to have the dog
inside with the family. Great Danes are pack animals and need to be
included with the family. It is highly likely you may be purchasing a couch
for yourself because your Great Dane will be taking over yours.
9. Prong Collar – Halti – Gentle Leader
Great Danes are referred to as the “Gentle Giant”, but even a Gentle Giant
can become unruly when going for a walk. We suggest you use one of the
following collars (in addition to your regular collar) in order to make sure
that your Great Dane is under control. Remember no matter how gentle they
are in your home, a hundred pound plus dog can easily drag you down the
street. NEVER use a choke collar because you can crush the dog’s trachea.
This is why we recommend that you chose one of these three collars for
walking and training.
The prong collar should have rubber tips on the ends of the prongs. The
proper placement of the collar should be just below the ears and not at the
base of the neck. The prong collar looks cruel, but in reality when used
properly this collar is an excellent tool for not only training but every day
walking. These collars are not painful, as I have personally tried this collar
out on my leg.
This collar should only be used for walking or when taking your Great
Dane outside your home. Proper placement of the prong collar is
important. I
Halti Collar
Halti Headcollars
* Gentle control Halti Head Collars stop dogs from pulling
* Great alternative to choke collars
* Adjustable strap for correct fit
Halti Headcollars put you back in control - kindly. Nylon headcollar stops pulling
because when you guide a dog's head, the body will follow. Attaches to your leash
for those who prefer not to use a choke collar. The strap behind the ears is
adjustable with a quick clip closure
Gentle Leader
Why and How the Gentle Leader® Headcollar Works
First of all, the Gentle Leader® Headcollar is NOT a muzzle.
When fitted properly, your dog is free to open his mouth to eat,
drink, pant, fetch, bark and even bite - except when you close
his mouth by pulling on the leash.
The Gentle Leader® Headcollar features two soft nylon straps the collar portion fits high at the top of the neck, and the nose
loop fits loosely and comfortably across the base of the muzzle.
Each strap has a distinct and important effect.
The Nose Loop - Dogs are naturally "pack" animals with a highly structured social order. One of the ways
the "pack leader" will demonstrate his position is to gently but firmly grasp a subordinate's muzzle in his
mouth. This is a non-aggressive, very clear signal regarding who's the boss! The Gentle Leader's® nose
loop encircles your dog's muzzle in this same manner, letting him know in his own language that you are his
leader. Dogs feel more secure when they know who the leader is.
The Neck Strap - Have you noticed how puppies seem to melt in relaxation when their mother picks them
up at the back of the neck? Gentle Leader applies pressure to the back of the neck rather than the front of
the throat, working with your dog's natural relaxation instinct with an amazing calming effect. Also, dogs
tend to pull against pressure so the gentle pressure at the back of the neck causes the dog to pull
backward, not forward. This means an end to leash pulling forever!
Teaches "Sit" - The Gentle Leader Headcollar quickly encourages controlled sitting - raise your dog's
nose skyward and he lowers his hindquarters - no pushing or shoving.
10. Exercise
Even though Great Danes are couch potatoes, it is still necessary to ensure
that your Great Dane receives daily exercise. If possible walk your Great
Dane for at least 2 thirty minute walks a day. Walking helps bond you with
your Great Dane, and helps give them the exercise that they require daily.
Remember to never exercise your dog before they eat or after they eat.
11. Feeding Puppies
Great Dane puppies grow at a very fast pace and therefore should NEVER
be fed puppy food. Great Danes are a giant breed and most puppy food is
listed for large breeds. Any food you feed your puppy should have 22% or
less protein. This allows for the normal development of bones. We don’t
suggest any specific brand name, but a good rule of thumb is, if you can buy
the food at a supermarket, you shouldn’t feed it to your Dane. You can find
good food for your Dane at your local pet stores, or even feed stores. Please
do your homework and feed your puppy the best quality food possible, as
this will effect their health for years to come. Some quality foods that you
might consider are listed on this website:
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