Puppy Preparedness


CONGRATULATIONS on choosing a Great Dane as a member of your family. Graceful Great Danes NV, as a guardian of the breed, would like to offer you some basic information about Great Dane’s that I think will help you in developing a lasting relationship with you puppy.


History

As early as 3000 BC, carvings of dogs on the Egyptian tombs depict the Great Dane. Archeological evidence exists of a Dane-type dog used for hunting and to fight bears and bulls. However, the Great Dane we know today was developed in Europe during the 1800s and declared the national breed of Germany in 1876.

The Great Dane is a giant, powerful dog. Bred for temperament and structure. Square in body, long, rectangular head. Muzzle is deep with a pronounced stop with deep-set eyes that are medium in size and almond shaped, ears are set high and either cropped or left natural. A well arched neck that is set high, firm and muscular. Front legs are straight, with round, cat-like feet. The tail is high, thicker at the base and tapering to a point. The coat is thick and short in length. Great Dane’s coat color pattern comes in Harlequin, Mantle, Merle / Merle Mantle, Brindle, Fawn, Blue and Black.  Dane’s were originally bred as boarhounds, hunting with their powerful bodies. The Dane’s of today are one of companion and estate guard dogs.


Height & Weight 

The AKC standard for Great Dane’s dictates that males should be a minimum of 30 inches and females should be a minimum of 28 inches at the withers / shoulders in order to be eligible for competition at 6 months of age.   

I have found that my dogs tend to grow at a much slower rate and may not be within the standard for their gender by 6 months, this has never been an issue for me as this enables them to hit their genetic potential at a slower, even growth rate. Allowing them to grow slowly and evenly provides the muscles to develop better to support the bone mass of these giant animals, enabling them to be more sound and agile. So, stop measuring your puppy, waiting for them to get “huge”, allow them to grow at their own pace. Stop guessing your puppy’s height will be when they mature. Let them be puppies, let them play and mature. Focus on training, manners and proper socialization. BE PATIENT! Once your Great Dane is full grown their weight will fluctuate but will be between 100 to 150 pounds for females and 120 to 200 pounds for males (give or take depending on muscular structure of your dog). You don’t want to biggest, fattest Great Dane. Having an over weight Great Dane is never the safest thing for your dog, this can cause issues in the bones and prevent your dog from moving like they should be able to. It is not a competition; your dog will grow and be the weight he / she is able to carry comfortably.


Grooming

The smooth, shorthaired coat is easily kept groomed. A rubber brush or comb will remove shedding hair when needed. Grooming a Great Dane can be a chore, but if you introduce your puppy to it from a young age it will make it easier. I personally head over to my local pet store that has a doggy wash station, but any groomer can also give your pup a deep shampoo and blow out.


 

Care of a Great Dane

Today, a correctly bred Great Dane will have a gentle and loving disposition that makes the wonderful family companions. Although their primary asset in training is their desire to please, it is imperative that your puppy is well socialized from the time you bring him / her home; kindergarten puppy classes are meant for puppies 3 to 6 months of age and are STRONGLY recommended (I require your puppy to go through a formal puppy training class; unless you have experience and are capable of training in your home properly). I have my puppies attend STAR Puppy classes which are offered through AKC affiliated training clubs (research for local AKC clubs near you that offer training classes). These classes offer basic manners, obedience and leash training. These classes should be followed up with a basic obedience class. Watch your puppy having fun during these training classes, while he / she gets to socialize and learn new skills. You cannot expect a trainer to teach everything, so you will need to take the responsibility to teach household rules and set boundaries. Your puppy will grow as much in his / her first year of life as a child grows in 14 years. It is vital that you provide him / her with the basic structure and consistent training that every puppy needs to make his / her life happy and well-adjusted. Great Danes should be raised in the house as a family member; they do not do well as “yard dogs”, although they do enjoy being outside, they are not intended to be outside all day and night. Great Danes need a fully fenced in yard for exercise and playtime. Because your puppy is NOT a toy, it is pertinent to teach your children the correct way to interact with your puppy; fair play and respect are a must. Puppies often thing that toddlers are other puppies and will rough house, jump on, chew and growl at them. As the parent, it is important to teach and monitor correct behaviors of both the puppy and children. With correct and consistent training, your puppy will learn that your kids are not other puppies, but just small humans, and will adjust to the pack. Quick movements and high-pitched noises will excite your puppy or dog, while loud, harsh corrections will confuse and intimidate them. Dogs learn through consistency and repetition, with love and positive reinforcement, he / she will learn quickly. The adults in your household must assume the role of pack leader, in order for your puppy to grow up secure and confident.

I also recommend crate training your new puppy. The create, when placed in the living area of your home, will become your puppy’s “den” or “safe space”. I keep soft, easily washed blankets and toys in the crate and reusable pee pads (I never recommend disposable pee pads as these can be easily chewed up and swallowed by your puppy) just inside the crate door can help with any accidents that will happen. The create door should be left open while you are home so that he can go in and out as he / she pleases. Kids should be taught that they are never to bother the puppy while he / she is in his / her “den” – this is their safe space and should be respected. The puppy should also sleep in its crate until he / she is old enough to sleep through the night without having any accidents. If you do not have room for a crate in your room or the living space, be sure to create a space just for your puppy. You should also use a crate (soft crate, plastic crate or metal crate) or barrier in your vehicle for travel for all the same reasons that your child rides in a car seat. As you will soon realize, the first 4 to 6 months of age, puppies eat, sleep and potty A LOT! During the first 6 months of your puppies’ life they should be fed 3 to 4 times a day which can then be reduced to 2 meals a day between 6 and 8 months of age. The last meal and water should be approximately 2 hours before bedtime with one last play period and potty break just before going to bed. While still a young puppy, he / she will need to potty first thing in the morning, before and after naps, immediately upon coming out of their crate, before and after eating and after (and possibly during) a round of playtime. Accidents in the house are inevitable and are not the fault of the puppy. If you take him / her out often, stay with it, and give praises (no food rewards), your puppy will be housebroken in no time. Your Dane should continue to eat 2 times a day for the rest of its life. Follow your breeder’s advice on proper nutritional supplements and recommended food’s.


What you will need to prepare for your new family member

Supplies Needed :

  • First veterinary exam scheduled (you have 72 hours after taking possession of your puppy to have their 1st exam done)
  • Food Bowls
  • Water Bowls
  • Food / Supplements
  • Crate / Kennel
  • Bedding / Kennel Pad
  • Toys
  • Training Treats
  • Flat Collar (I send home a PUL Leather Collar for your puppy to use for a very short period)
  • ID Tags
  • Leash
  • Training Classes Scheduled
  • Dremel
  • Canine Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Dog Poop Bags
  • Shampoo
  • First Aid Kit & Bloat Kit

 Be sure to click HERE to be linked to a detailed list of everything above.


 

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