Great Dane Dogs: Three Essential Elements to Successful Ownership

Ownership of a Great Dane, or any giant breed for that matter, is not something to be taken lightly. It requires a certain caliber of person, namely one with excellent monetary resources, and a very calm stomach, to belong to a gentle giant. When your new pet decides he would prefer the ceiling fan be located on the floor for instance, it will take the patience of a saint not to consider turning his large form into a new living room rug.

Looking at the loving, massive face which a few hours later happens to be propped on your shoulder to better see the television however, can create a warm feeling that far outweighs the cost of the fan. Great Danes are truly unique in many of their characteristics and mannerisms. They are also one of the most loyal and believe it or not gentle breeds out there today. Having owned three of these amazing creatures, though thankfully not at the same time, I thought I’d share the three key elements to successful Great Dane Ownership.

1 – A Willingness to Spend Money.

I can tell many of you have run from the room screaming in terror already, but one of the earliest things you’ll discover about giant breed ownership is that it costs. And costs. And costs some more. For starters, your big baby eats considerably more than your standard size dog. After all, it takes much more energy to get 160 pounds moving than it does to gear up just 65. Vet visits will also cost considerably more than the forty dollars your snooty neighbor paid last time she took in her toy poodle. The bigger the dog, the stronger the medicines, the bigger the doses, and thus the gargantuan bills that result.

Basic heartworm prevention for many Great Danes for instance, a medication which, keep in mind, is required to be given monthly, involves twice the dosage given to your standard Labrador. As heartworm prevention is most often purchased in six-packs, realizing you have to dish out money again for the same thing in three short months might have you on the way to the store for you own six-pack. And God forbid your gentle giant decides to eat something non-edible (your toilet lid or back door for instance) and thus requires surgery. Anesthetic is given by weight, and charged accordingly. So sit back, hand over the wallet and start thinking about living the rest of your life without a toilet lid.

2 – Patience and Understanding.

Great Danes are notorious for getting into things most other dogs don’t. This isn’t a breed characteristic; it’s simply a matter of physics. If your lab mix could reach the cookie jar on top of the fridge, he would pull it down too. He simply can’t reach that high. Your Great Dane, should he put his mind to it, can do that and much more. In being larger overall than some foreign cars, a Dane has thus a considerably wider range of temptations every day. He can also create much higher levels of exasperation in much shorter periods of time.

He can knock over the Christmas tree (it was an accident!), block the entire television screen (wanna play?), rearrange all the pillows on your bed (I just wanted to take a nap!), scare the bejesus out of the postman (how come he didn’t pet me?), and get stuck in the bathtub (just wanted to see what was behind this curtain!) all before lunchtime. These higher levels of exasperation must be tempered with as much patience as you can muster, because, after all, he’s not doing anything your small dog wouldn’t do if he was simply physically able to do so.

3 – Excessive Amounts of Love.

After mentioning all these horrible possibilities, it is necessary to mention key element number three. A Great Dane has a heart almost as big as he is. He is willing and ever so eager to please on a moment’s notice. He loves to jump and play rough just like any other canine, but he’s also just as likely to plop down in the middle of the floor and expel a sigh of total contentment. He may run laps around the living room, or turn circles just as fast as his massive body will let him, but when he stops to look at you, hoping to share his excitement with his favorite person, you will be unable to keep the smile from your face.

The first time he scares a lurker away from your house with one rafter rattling bark you’ll discover a sense of security you never considered you might need before. When his protective instinct has him sticking his massive nose behind the shower curtain to make sure the water doesn’t hurt you, or sending warning growls to the vacuum to mind it’s manners, you won’t be able to tap down the laughter. And before you know it, your gentle giant will have wiggled his massive form deep into your heart.

Owning a Great Dane is perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Having the opportunity to offer a home to three different gentle giants has been one of my greatest blessings. And when you catch yours in the living room, patiently allowing your two year old to use him as a jungle gym, don’t forget I told you so.

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