Our Great Dane Puppy is almost a year now, and in the time that we've had her, I've learned a wealth of information about what this breed needs and is. We also constantly get stopped when we're out in public with her. I swear this girl gets SO much attention! It never fails people stop us with the most random requests or thoughts...
"Can I pet her?"
"Can I take a picture with her?"
"IS THAT A GREAT DANE!? I've always wanted a Great Dane!"
"Did you know they only live to be like seven years old...that's why I could never have one."
"Wow that dog is HUGE! Do you have a saddle for that thing?"
By far though, it never fails that there's always someone who says they've always wanted a Great Dane but then I've wondered, well why don't they?
If you're considering a Great Dane let me be the first to tell you that you can't go wrong with this breed. They truly live up to their nickname "The Gentle Giants". Kai is extremely gentle and loving, and when I hug her, I feel like I'm hugging a human. They are funny, clumsy....kinda dumb (in a good way!) to be honest. But they also require WORK! Too many of these beautiful dogs end up in shelters or returned to their breeders because people don't realize the cost and care that go into them.
Here's a few things you should consider before getting a Great Dane...*DISCLAIMER* I am no expert and am merely going off of my experience with having ONE Great Dane...
1. They eat and poop....A LOT.
Kai is 10 months old and currently eating 9 full cups of food each day. She's also skinny and could definitely eat more. We have spent so much money on food for her, and also have a huge stock up in our basement because she goes through it so fast! Now about the poop...all the food they eat has to come out at some point! I could fill trash bags just with her poop.
2. They are expensive
You might look at the price of a Great Dane Puppy which may range anywhere from $1,500-$3,000 but to be honest, that price is small compared to how much they end up costing you. (I'm not complaining!). Between Kai's food, vet appointments, beds, dog bowls, toys etc, it adds up. You have to keep in mind that everything with a giant breed is going to be more expensive because they're just....bigger! If you're considering a Great Dane, just make sure you're prepared for the cost of one!
3. Puppy Danes actually AREN'T lazy and need tons of play time and exercise
We were told Great Danes are very lazy dogs and would just want to lay around all day...that may be the truth for some, but not ours! If Kai doesn't get lots of exercise and play time during the day, she gets bored, will pace the house, or become a little destructive. It's important for her to get exercise especially being a giant breed.
4. Training may take longer with a Great Dane.
Kai was a far cry from our older Boxer Lab, Tyrza. Everything with Kai took so much longer, training wise. Take housebreaking, for example. Tyrza got it the very first time at 8 weeks old. Kai, however, took 4 months to COMPLETELY housebreak. Even then, she had a few accidents here and there. Patience is key...are you prepared to be patient with your Dane? If you struggle with patience or intolerance, a Great Dane may not be the right dog for you.
*disclaimer* I realize every GD is different, so while it was the case for our Kai, it may not be the case for yours.
5. They don't have the longest lifespans.
Statistically, for dogs and humans, the bigger you are, the less time you'll have here on earth. Although that may be a sad fact, and there are some exceptions to the rule, having a Great Dane will far outweigh the amount of time you have with them. In the short 10 months Kai has lived, she has already given us so much joy, and I would do it all over again (the bills, the food, the destructiveness, the housebreaking, the love, the late nights staying up with her because of diarrhea) in a heartbeat....even if 10 months was all I had with her. I don't know how long Kai will have on this earth, but even if it's 7 years, I'll gladly take it.
Overall, the love we receive from our pets is worth any huge vet bill, any long night, and us outliving them. But there truly is something about having a Great Dane. Just make sure you're ready for allllll that comes with a Great Dane!
So tell me, have you wanted to own a Great Dane? If you do, what's the biggest thing you've learned about having one?
We got our Kai from a breeder in Northern Colorado. Interested in a Dane puppy? Check them out! We LOVE our girl so much!