What is it like to own a Great Dane - Page 1

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by fawndallas on 29 November 2013 - 19:11

What is it like to own a Great Dane ?  I know they are huge dogs and generally live 5-7 years.  What else can you tell me about them?

Are they hyper like an Dalmatian ?
Are they slow to mature like a lab?
Do they like the outdoors or are they generally house laid back dogs?


by dragonfry on 29 November 2013 - 20:11

Of all the great danes i've met over the years i would say that are really big lap dogs that love to be under foot. Owing a dane is a lot like owning a horse or mule. They take up a lot of space, spend most of their life just hanging around waiting for you to feed them. Dane puppies can be hyper but by the time most are a year they have mellowed out a bit. They are not yard dogs. As they bore easily and would much rather be near you in the house. The make nice guard dogs but lousey attack dogs. They really do have feelings and sulk if you insult them and they are not quick to forgive. They remember things very well but are not the easiest breed to train (And what giant breed is)
Their coats are super short and the hairs stick into everything like spears including your feet if you walk barefoot on their rug and step on one just right.
You will never go to the bathroom alone again if you have a dane.
Almost all the danes i know have been either rescues or showdogs. I do know of one dane living to 14 and she passed with grace because for most of he life she was a very healthy big dog.
They must have soft places to lay or they get those huge "Water of the joints" spots on their hips and elbows. Which really seem to bother the dogs.
They do drool and they do have a big dog odor but not any more then most shepherds. They eat a lot and make big piles in the yard no matter how good the quality of food. Pano and cancer haunt the bred as do several other problems.
They grow rather fast for a big breed but mature at about 2 to 3, and are seniors by 6 to 7.
Maybe someone that owns a dane will post as i have always admired them from afar.

by bebo on 29 November 2013 - 20:11

my sample size is one for about four years as i 'temporarily' took the dog in after his owner died. he was quite sweet, loyal, very low energy, totally laid back with essentially no prey drive, slightly obstinate on the rare occasion. in our case, no aggression or confidence issues at all. happy all around and good with kids, adults, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, etc. truly a gently giant. you probably need your couch and possibly car suspension reinforced and you want a gas mask at hand at all times. flatulence, baby, flatulence. overall, quite an easy keeper, definitely an indoor dog, and not all that suitable for an active household -- summers he spent pretty much 24/7 under the ac. you'd better have space and clear the lower 2/3 of all open shelves, and you want a non-absorbing flooring surface as once they get drooling, you're looking at significant volume. ours was quite the charmer and gentleman and had a great sense of humor. among his antics was a WWF-esque move where he would pin our pesky gsds, up to two at a time, when he had enough. he also served as a reliable winter wooby for the cats.  good times. he had no health issues at all and died with his boots on of cardiac failure while checking calves in pasture at the seemingly ripe age of seven. i wouldn't, and didn't, get another one but enjoyed his time with us and he certainly left a big ol' paw print on our hearts.


by fawndallas on 29 November 2013 - 21:11

Thanks all.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  The drooling thing is a bit of a turn off; reason why I never considered an English bull dog.  I did not know that about Great Danes.  I will probably stick to admiration from afar.    


by vk4gsd on 29 November 2013 - 21:11

they are very popular here amongst the hunting/running catch-dog community as a cross into the breeding programs, good to put over a working lab. haven't really experienced personally the stereotype of the lazy inactive horse-dog thing. like most practical working dogs they are lower energy than the "bred for 15 minutes of sport" type dogs but those high prey bouncy dogs never seem to cut it for practical work from what i seen so i would not hold that against the breed as a general statement.

 at a distance i seen some of the show danes and can see how they get the stereo-type tho.

as hunting/catch dogs they have a chillingly calm but ruthless dominating style, you can pick the tell-tale influence cos they tend to grip the back of neck of the prey and try snap the spine.

awesome dogs if you can get away from the breed purist crowd that seem to screw up everything they put their hands on.


by dragonfry on 29 November 2013 - 22:11

In texas there is a couple that use rescue dane as hog dogs. They do make great catch dogs because of their short burst of speed and long legs and theirs seem to have solid grips and pretty gritty. But i do believe that do not hunt their dane during the day, only at night.
I've seen some interesting Boar hounds from down under in pix.


by Sunsilver on 29 November 2013 - 22:11

I have a rescued dane come in here for boarding. She is an absloute sweetheart! Every time I let her in or out of the runs, she has to have a little cuddle time, leaning against my legs and being petted. Their tails are a real menace, though, and feel like a whip across your bare legs. She injured the tip of her tail, and it took forever to heal because she was always bashing it againt the walls, the fence, whatever she came in contact with.

I can understand why they used to always bob the tails!

I didn't notice any drooling from her. I think that's an individual thing. Some Danes drool a lot, others don't. Boxers seem to be more of a problem when it comes to drooling.


by Ruger1 on 30 November 2013 - 01:11

I absolutely adored my Great Dane,,She was a very loving and kind creature,,,She was definitely a house dog. She loved a soft bed, a timely meal and a sunny spot to nap..Funny enough she loved to ride in the car too,She was not easy to train,,She lived a healthy life and passed away at the ripe age of 12 years old...Yes, those hairs would hurt like heck,,lol,,,

RIP Brandy..Heart...


by fawndallas on 30 November 2013 - 16:11

RIP Brandy.  She sounds like she was a sweet heart


by BabyEagle4U on 05 March 2014 - 03:03

I never owned a Great Dane before or even around one .. my son has a 14 week old male now he named Milo.

In 4 weeks of us having him I can tell you he is as velcro as they get. At first it was hard to walk him for any length of time because he would always walk directly in front of you then on you and stop you walking. He eventually learned how to walk by walking my Malinois with him everywhere. Now he knows how to walk. LOL

This pup was soooo lazy @ 10 weeks old I was thinking maybe this wasn't such a good idea because my son and I are very active. All he did was sleep. He didn't want to do anything - not even leave my sons bed room. I eventually gated off everything in the house to keep him downstairs with all the action. He doesn't sleep with you - he sleeps ON YOU !!!   lol

He's 14 weeks old now and walking a mile every night at steady speedy pace. He jumps almost 3' x 14 like a champ and carries himself well. He uses his nose ALOT and can pick up a random scent and follow it amazingly. We are definately going to teach him to track a specific something eventually.

He cannot and will not ever keep up with my Malinois - BUT - he tries hard. Either way he will be a fast and athletic one, that's for sure. We love him.


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