great dane dog standing in snow

We are the first to admit that this dog breed makes an amazing pet. But there is no doubt about it, adding a Great Dane to your life is quite an adjustment due to a number of factors.  So if you are tired of looking up pictures of Great Dane puppies every day, and you want to go actually get one, stop in your tracks and review these considerations with us.

What To Know About Owning Great Danes

They are enormous. Picture a big dog, sprawled across your couch, leaving you a small sliver of space to fit in.  Imagine a pooch whose head is more like the size of a small horse.  These dogs are enormous in size, and have long powerful limbs, and huge padded paws. Another word of caution: these big dogs drool frequently as well.

They act like lap dogs. Plenty of large pets behave like they are lap dogs,  but no breed is this truer of than the Great Dane.  These huge dogs seem to believe they are small, and will want to jump up on your lap for some snuggle time. This means they are also quite playful, as a littler dog would be,  without realizing that their pawing and playful nips could actually hurt someone!

They need plenty of space.  Great Danes are wonderful dogs, even for apartment dwellers.  But if you plan to leave your pup home alone all day, he might need a decent-sized play pen with plenty of toys to play with.  The best option is if you have a backyard or side yard they can move around in, so they don’t get too bored.

They are very low-key and love lounging. All dogs require daily walks,  but once the Great Dane is done stretching his legs,  you can bet the next thing he will want to do is cuddle on the carpet by your feet.   As far as athletic dogs go, Great Danes are not considered the most active of breeds. They are much more inclined to lounging and snoozing than running around.

They eat a TON.  Great Dane owners often underestimate how much it will cost to feed them.  Put it this way, one bag of dog food weighing 50 lbs will last the dog roughly 3 weeks. There are Great Dane owners who have noted that it costs them several dollars a day to feed their pup, and up to $100 a month!

They do have health problems.  Part of the downside of being a larger breed, is that spinal issues, joint discomfort, and organ strain are much more likely to occur.  The bigger the dog, the shorter his life expectancy, meaning Great Danes usually lives around 6-8 years.  If you plan on getting one of these pups, you may need to get friendly with the local veterinarian office.

They are challenging to handle. Little things like brushing the dog’s teeth, holding the squirming pup down when you pull a thorn out of his paw, bathing the dog is so much more difficult when you are dealing with a pet of these mammoth proportions. (We recommend bathing a Great Dane when there is a large pond, outdoor basin, or outdoor shower you can use!)  Handling a dog of this size is a hands-on job for the able-bodied.

They do not like being alone.  A Great Dane will follow his owner from room to room when they get home. They love company, and enjoy being with their family as often as possible. Now this doesn’t mean that the moment you get a Great Dane that you are suddenly chained to being at home all the time, just be prepared for a little separation anxiety (and some doggy-crying) while they are learning your routine.

They are very easy going and lovable. Great Danes seldom have great outbursts of uncontrollable energy, and overall they are very easy to manage.  If you are considering getting a dog, and you have the patience and space to afford it, Great Danes are a fantastic choice.

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