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Owning a Great Dane


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My husband and I are really interested in owning a Great Dane. Does anybody have any experience with this breed of dog and could offer us advice?


We've been told by friends we are silly, our house isn't big enough, we shouldn't because of the kids etc but we feel otherwise. We have two children 1&5 and I only work 2 days per week so the dog wouldn't be left alone as my husband would be home. We have a normal sized home. Live very close to woods and park. Have experience with other largish (big greyhounds) breeds.




Yan :)

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No, not Lara! Here is a link to H_Hounds website, may be uselful for when you get your new addition!!



Netherlands Boarding and Rescue Kennels- 'Giving Local Dogs A Chance' http://www.netherlandsdogrescue.co.uk

Mill House Animal Sanctuary- 'For The Neglected We Care' http://www.animalsheltersheffield.co.uk

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I do indeed! Mother and daughter. I can talk about great danes until you've fallen asleep! lol


You don't need a big house if you aren't too house proud - by which I mean, things do get knocked and we have to regularly re paint our hallway walls becaus Bella gets so excited she busts her tail open and splats blood all over them :gag: no something everyone could cope with. She regularly bashes the telly stand as she lays down on the rug - totally unaware that she does it - and sometimes the TV looks like an earthquake has just struck lol. We have an average semi detatched house with a medium sized garden.


Great Danes don't need an awful lot of exercise compared to most breeds. An hours stroll a day is plenty. They will do more if you let them but it isn't a good idea to because they can suffer from things like bloat.


They are known to bark for no reason and express themselves vocally. They can also be quite dominating and do need a firm hand and clear instruction. They prefer to be told what to do and problems begin when you become soft with them. They are eager to please though so if you are willing to put the effort in with their training, they are pleasant dogs, you just have to continuously give them commands.


They eat a lot too.


As pups they do knock you over a lot and we still get whipped by Bella's tail so bruises are inevitable! For this reason, you may be better off rehoming one because they calm down as they get older. So with having small children, I would consider an adult one rather than a pup. There are rescues who rehome Great Danes who are in foster care, I can't remember the names of them but if you google the Great Dane Owners forum you will find it.


They have strong guarding instincts in their own territory so they do bark at people who come to the house, and bark at noises nearby. Skye regularly prowls the perimeters of the garden :rolleyes: You can train them not to bark of course but be prepared for a lot of barking. We haven't trained ours out of barking at people who come to the door because we like the 'deterrant' factor, we just shut them into the living room before we open it.


If you want to meet my two, you are more than welcome to!


---------- Post added 12-02-2013 at 08:32 ----------


I didn't say any of the positive things about danes last night :rolleyes:


Well, they are so loving and friendly - to people they know, they can be wary of new people and get all 'scooby doo'. They love to be with you and snuggle up to you. Ours aren't allowed on the settee so we sometimes sit on the rug with them and they love it. They lay all over our legs and snuggle up to us and go to sleep.


They like rules and will obey boundaries you set. They are very eager to please but they can be quite 'thick' at times so you need lots of patience when teaching them new things and keep training sessions short and sweet.


They are very playful. Skye and Bella like to play in the house and do run riot sometimes and love to play tug with each other.


They are very gentle but can be clumsy. Our front garden gate is normally left open cos our drive is open so it doesn't really serve a purpose. One day, on our way out for a walk, it was closed and Alice (cocker) walked straight through the bars, Bella tried to follow her and banged her face on the bars. Confused as to why she couldn't get through, she tried again :loopy: and was about to try again until I opened the gate. I had to laugh at her. She does things like this all the time.


Bella loves playing with other dogs but she barks at them out of excitement, which not all dogs like - most of them ignore her. Bella plays with my friends dogs but she does get boisturous at times. I only let her off lead when she is playing with my friends dogs because of her size and the length of her legs, she is too far away from me in a few strides so I'm constantly calling her back, except for when she wants to play with my friends dogs.


To sum up they are friendly dogs but they are totally unaware of how big they are, which could be a problem for some people. They need a clear master and they need to be told what to do.

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Thank you that's really useful. My son is scared of dogs which is not a good start I know :s

We only have a small garden but are right next to the woods and graves park. The biggest worries I have is the dog pulling while I'm carrying my youngest and jumping up at the kids. As for knocking things, our greyhound was much the same and often used to whip his tail on the radiators (ouch!) but never split it open.

A lot of my friends have said you'll need tons of room and a bed the size of a single bed for a Dane. Also our kitchen is tiny so would worry about feeding.


Apart from that, we're pretty set on the idea of owning one.

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We have a single mattress for ours but we have 2 danes and a cocker and they all share the bed. When we just had Skye, she had a plastic bed - the largest one at Pets at Home, it was about a metre wide. They do like to lay out on the rug but they curl up in a ball when they go to sleep like most dogs do.


All dogs will jump up if you don't teach them not to. Alice is always jumping up me because I like it but she isn't allowed to jump up strangers and she knows the command 'down'.


The danes don't jump up. Skye used to when we got her (when she was one) because her previous owners had allowed her to. We taught her that this was a 'hug' and she now sits and gives us her paw when she wants to hug us and waits for us to say 'ok' or 'hug'. Bella obviously copied Skye but she also learned the commands and she doesn't jump up anyone but me and only when I allow it, it's rare that she wants to really because her head reaches my chest when she is in normal standing position. She does jump up our 6' fences though and nosy at the neighbours. She watches Bob, our neighbour doing his gardening but if he talks to her she barks at him so she isn't left out when I'm not in anymore.


Males are gigantic. Skye is much smaller than Bella too so if you went for an adult one, you would know how big they are going to be.


You would need to get your son comfortable to be around dogs before you get one, IMO, no matter what dog you get. Bella is afraid of children at first and she won't go near them. She is generally afraid of everything and everyone new to her. My 2 year old niece loves her for some reason lol but Bella keeps a distance from her, maybe this makes my niece curious, I'm not sure. lol.

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yan - Have you really thought out why you want a Dane? Having a dog is a wonderful thing for children at some point in their lives but IMO one year old is rather too young. Such a young child is very demanding and your time is probably well taken up with his/her care needs. Just house training a pup can take a fair while and how would you feel if your toddler inadvertently stood in some urine or poo, especially as you have only a small garden? There may be some salivation issues. Also, you can't expect a one year old to understand how to treat a dog e.g. to leave it alone when eating or sleeping. Consider too the cost - vet's fees and insurance premiums are very expensive, some vets charging a minimum of £20 just to cross the surgery door.


I agree with your friends and family and would advise you to wait until the youngest is about 5 years old. Then they will be able to engage in, and enjoy the experience of having a dog.

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Thank you everybody. All very wise advice.


We'd been thinking of getting a dog for a while especially now I work so little. I understand that with a 1 year old it would be very difficult. My partner and I have been brought up with dogs, it's only since our last one died we haven't had one. My son was born into a house with a very large greyhound so we've owned large dogs and a baby.


We've looked into insurance premiums etc and can afford this.


I'm maybe being selfish wanting a Great Dane but I'd love my children to grow up with a dog just like we did


:) x

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