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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone :) Yesterday my long wait was over and I picked up my Dane pup from the breeder. He slept almost the entire 3.5 hour car ride home and chewed on a puppy nylabone when he wasn't sleeping. The introductions with the adult dogs went well, he seems to co-exist perfectly well with them and he's showed signs of wanting to play with my dad's Rott/Lab mix. He's had one accident in the house, otherwise has eliminated outside 6 times.

I did make (perhaps) one mistake, which was that I gave in and removed him from his crate when he was distressed. He seemed to be doing okay inside of the crate until a massive thunderstorm rolled in, then he threw a very loud fit. I decided that I didn't want fear of the thunderstorm to traumatize him during his first night in the crate, so I lined my bed and room with puppy pads and allowed him to sleep with me. He slept through the night and held it for 8 hours (at 9.5 weeks), which I was very happy with (but do not expect to happen every night).

I have a few questions for the more experienced puppy owners here:

1. What would the negative repercussions (if there are any) be of allowing him to continue to sleep with me? I DO want an adult dog who is comfortable with sleeping in my bed, and therefore I have no problem allowing him to continue, as long as it doesn't negatively effect his potty training. He will still be crated when I go to work. Thoughts?

2. My breeder has her adult dogs and the litter on vitamins called NuVet Plus. I don't see anything in the ingredient list that I wouldn't want my dog to have, but does anyone here keep their dogs on vitamins through puppyhood and into adulthood?

3. This puppy is HUNGRY. He's getting a cup of food a day in the morning and at night and still seems hungry when he is finished. While I don't want to overfeed him, I do want him to not feel like he's starving. Thoughts on puppies that seem hungry even after their meals?

Overall, so far, I'm feeling like I hit the puppy Mega Millions. He's calm, seemingly unflappable (outside of the thunderstorm incident), is super easy to redirect when he begins chewing on the wrong things, loves other people and dogs, sits on command and accepted being leashed for the first time with zero resistance. My only slight concern is SA (he whines when I'm out of sight) and how he'll react to his crate after last night, so I'm going to begin doing short term separation and crate games in order to work on those issues.

Thanks for any advice/insights you guys may have!

Here are a few photos of the (sort of) little guy, 9.5 weeks and 24.5 lbs:

With his 9.5 year old grandfather:

The drive home:

How he spent his time at the vet's office:

On his new favorite bed:
 

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Puppy!!! He's so cute!!!

Personally, I think rescuing him from the storm was good. I can't go to sleep anymore without Kabota breathing in my ear, but you should train him to be able to sleep in his own bed, because things may change in the future in terms of sleeping arrangements.
 

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What a cutie! He sounds like a great pup. So glad you finally have him. :)

For sleeping in your bed at his age, my biggest concerns would be accidents and middle of the night wandering. If you think you'd wake up when he stirs and continue regular crate training for times he'll need to be crated, I can't see why there would be a problem with him sleeping in your bed.

I was under the impression that NuVet was some type of MLM product; I could be wrong and be thinking of another similar produce. I found a review on a site I like to use as a starting point for researching medical products and claims.

No idea about food. You might try giving him a bit more food to see if that helps. How much are you giving him compared to what he had been eating and what is recommended on the package?
 

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He's gorgeous! When Panzer came home I was feeding him 3 cups of food a day. Now he's 13 weeks, a little over 30lbs, and getting 4.5 cups and he's still on the thin side. Puppies usually need more food than adult dogs.

Also you might want to be careful about letting him sleep in your bed so young. He could become too dependent. I think sleeping in the crate at night is a good way to get puppies used to being away from you. I let Panzer lay in bed with us in the morning and during they day when I'm home, but he sleeps in the crate at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Puppy!!! He's so cute!!!

Personally, I think rescuing him from the storm was good. I can't go to sleep anymore without Kabota breathing in my ear, but you should train him to be able to sleep in his own bed, because things may change in the future in terms of sleeping arrangements.
I'm so glad to hear you think it's alright that I rescued him. I was literally thinking in my head as I was opening his crate to remove him - "Crate Training: Round 1 goes to puppy".

My sleeping arrangements won't be changing any time soon (unless I add another Great Dane in 2017), but I will work on him being able to sleep independently of me.

What a cutie! He sounds like a great pup. So glad you finally have him. :)

For sleeping in your bed at his age, my biggest concerns would be accidents and middle of the night wandering. If you think you'd wake up when he stirs and continue regular crate training for times he'll need to be crated, I can't see why there would be a problem with him sleeping in your bed.

I was under the impression that NuVet was some type of MLM product; I could be wrong and be thinking of another similar produce. I found a review on a site I like to use as a starting point for researching medical products and claims.

No idea about food. You might try giving him a bit more food to see if that helps. How much are you giving him compared to what he had been eating and what is recommended on the package?
I sleep with my bedroom door closed, and my bedroom is entirely puppy proofed, so I'm not too worried about wandering, but allowing accidents does concern me. He seems to reliably go 4 hours at a time without needing to go out, so I'd definitely normally be setting an alarm to get up and let him outside in the middle of the night.

I don't have a food package, as the breeder sent me home with a 1 month supply of the food she's feeding, but I can look it up online!

Thanks for the website, I'll check out the vitamins there!

He's gorgeous! When Panzer came home I was feeding him 3 cups of food a day. Now he's 13 weeks, a little over 30lbs, and getting 4.5 cups and he's still on the thin side. Puppies usually need more food than adult dogs.

Also you might want to be careful about letting him sleep in your bed so young. He could become too dependent. I think sleeping in the crate at night is a good way to get puppies used to being away from you. I let Panzer lay in bed with us in the morning and during they day when I'm home, but he sleeps in the crate at night.
Alrighty, I'll be upping his food portions to 1.5 cups and going from there. I just want to be careful about his caloric intake, as being overweight is bad for any puppy, but especially awful for the giant breeds because of the extra strain it puts on their already stressed skeletal system.

I am worried about him becoming dependent. I DO like velcro dogs, but I don't want a dog who is incapable of functioning when I leave the room. I'm going to start doing some forced separations when I'm home (putting him in the crate with a stuffed Kong while I do chores and such) to try to get him used to existence without me. I've had him less than 24 hours and he is already *very* attached, so I think I need to handle the situation with caution, as it could turn into full-blown SA very easily. The good news is that my dad has Mon-Wed off this week and will be watching the puppy while I'm at work. So while my dad can still continue to work on his potty training and crate breaks, the puppy won't have me around to rely on during the day :)

Thanks for all of the advice everyone! I'll make sure to continue posting photos and I'm sure I'll come up with some more wacky questions as the weeks progress!
 

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Oh he is so adorable. I wanted to say that and jump in board because I too want my berner to sleep with me, but I also have read and been told they shouldn't and should stay in the crate.
 

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Baby!

I too gave in my first night with Laika. She started whining and I was like "nope I can't deal with that." She never had an accident in my bed and actually would wake me up to go outside at night, at 11 weeks. She did occasionally fall off, usually getting wedged between the bed and wall, but that was only maybe a handful of times.

Then a couple of months later, it got warmer out and she was bigger so I kicked her out of my bed and she slept in her crate for, idk, 7-8 months? Never any whining, even the first night back in it. There was no dependence on me. But she's pretty independent to begin with and the crate was in my bedroom.

Then right around a year I freed her from the crate at night, and she sleeps on her own bed on the floor in my room. She doesn't like when I shift around if she's in bed with me so she generally doesn't sleep with me.
 

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The whining when you leave is not SA, just normally loneliness with a new puppy. Conventional suggestion is to ignore the whining for the first three nights and then it may go away.

Try to work on the noise phobia NOW, getting him used to lots of loud noises, incrementally, but purposefully. I believe that you can train thunderphobic puppies, similar to how folks train hunting dogs to ignore guns [but using the gentle methods]. Not, all dogs can learn to ignore loud noises, but training can greatly reduce the anxiety. [Note, my pup had a problem with noise, and I exposed him to lots of noise in his everyday life. It worked. But, he's going deaf now, and he doesn't like to be inside when he feels the rumble of thunder. But, if he's outside, he's OK with thunder and with fireworks.]

I see no problem with sleeping with a dog, but I suggest that you train him to sleep alone first, so he'll get used to it, if he ever has to sleep alone. Also, if there's some reason that you don't want him in the bed [needs a bath, skunk attack, you want to sleep while he wants to play...], then he won't always assume that it's HIS bed that he can jump into, any time that he wants, without invitation.

Also, I assume that you know that when he's 150lb and 7 feet stretched out, he will want to sleep diagonally across the entire bed, leaving you scrunched up in a lower corner ... in the cold ... without a blanket. :)



Quick Hijack:
@FaithFurMom09 - DO you have pictures of Faith- Lab & Golden w/Shepherd ... I think Shep is a similar mix.
 

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It has been forever since I have fed a dog kibble dog food....

But two cups does not sound nearly enough.... Even a high end dense calorie food .....

What are the guidelines on the bag?

And a young puppy I would be feeding three times a day...
 

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I don't think sleeping in the bed would have any bearing on how the dog does dealing with being alone/SA. Especially if your puppy spends time alone/being away from you during the day. But entirely up to you :)
 

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A lot of people raise puppies letting them sleep in bed with them from day one. It's not my cup of tea but I don't think it's critical either way. Just personal preference.

A lot of dogs/puppies will act hungry all the time no matter how much you feed. If his weight is ok and he's growing properly, he's getting enough food.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just wanted to update everyone:

He did sleep with me again last night, I set my alarm and woke up once at the 4 hour mark so he could go outside, but other than that he slept and didn't have any accidents. That being said, he's sleeping in his crate with the door open right now and I will work on getting him comfortable with the door closed in the coming days.

I think his reaction to the thunderstorm was probably most likely a reaction to a multitude of factors - it was his first night separated from the other 9 pups in his litter, his first night in a new house after a very long car ride, and those two things compounded with the storm just pushed him over the edge. He dealt well with the vacuum cleaner being on today - was cautious, but not terrified.

He reacts to situations that make him nervous or fearful very well, generally - the few times the older dogs have growled at him, he has jumped away and then re-approached with caution, but he has never just left the area without negotiating the situation on his own. I also gave him a bath today - while he was slightly nervous, he was not very fidgety and stood still for the whole thing, just looked kind of miserable in the process.

I've upped his food to 1.5 cups morning and evening and .5 cups for lunch, so 3.5 cups a day. Eventually, according to the 4Health label, around 18 months of age he will be needing 10 cups a day, and then it will reduce to 6-8 from there after he has finished filling out.

I might start another thread about it, but I'm feeling pretty dissatisfied with my vet visit, overall. The puppy was healthy, which was great, but I met with a new vet at my clinic who really pushed year round heartworm preventative on me and tried to guilt trip me into buying a full supply. I'm personally of the school of thought that indoor dogs do NOT need to be on year round heartworm - if anything, they should get it during mosquito season. Heartworm, at the end of the day, isn't preventative, it's pesticide, and I don't like the idea of pumping my dogs full of unnecessary chemicals. The vet told me that if a dog contracts heartworm you have 45 days to kill the parasites or the dog will have to go through difficult (and perhaps fatal) treatment, which *isn't* true. He seemed seriously misinformed about heartworm itself and basically just interested in selling me something I don't want or need.

The other thing he kind of guilted me about was the fact that I don't want to neuter my dog. He asked "are you going to show or breed him?" to which I replied "most likely no", and then he gave me this kind of judge-y stare, like he thought I was being really irresponsible, and said "well, then there's no reason NOT to neuter him". At which point I said "the reason is because I don't want to, especially because I think neutering at 9.5 weeks of age is unhealthy".

On top of that, they drew my other dog's blood for testing and also were supposed to examine two fecal samples I brought from the older dog and the puppy. I was never told results from any of those exams, even just a "everything is normal".

Meh, I dunno. I *really* like two of the female vets at this clinic - they're far more open to listening to their clients and don't assume that every owner is an uneducated moron. But the two male vets I've met have left me with a really sour taste. I'm going to call the clinic and let them know that I'm not overly happy with the service I've received lately and ask about making the two female vets my "preferred" vets and perhaps only see the men for absolute emergencies. Or I might look into going to a different vet, which makes me nervous because I have been a client at this clinic for 10 years and they have done some wonderful things for me. But I refuse to pay for insufficient care.
 

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First congrats on the puppy is very cute, I love Danes. As for the vet I have had the same thing with my two cockers, one there just will not listen that I intend to breed them should they prove--I think you should bring it up to the practice since it is just not right for them to guilt/judge you. I feel for you -you should not be paying for being forced/quilted into stuff- the first time I took my female after picking her up at 8 weeks (2 days) they wanted me to make an appointment for the end of the week to have her fixed and was put off when I said no. Since you have a x-large breed I would think they would understand you may not want to do it right away but down the line if ever.
 

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With giant breeds body condition is what your looking for. Labels give very poor advise. 10 cups a day seems off at 18 months as there biggest growth rate will be the first year and the next 6 months generally more of a steady growth, and from 18 months to 2.5 to 3 years is a much slower rate of growth.
Giant breed have way to wide a range they can end up to follow a label.

Giant breeds should not be neutered until 18 to 24 months for proper growth. And ya sounds like a vet who's more into the commission to push stuff than what is best for the dog.

Good looking pup. Mine have always been crate trained, but unless there's a reason, there free to roam at night and yes it means I generally get woke up once or twice a night by a dog flopping beside me on the bed.
 

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Congrats on the pup. Finally home yay for you.

On the mosquito/heartworm problem- It was in the middle of January one year with about 7 feet of snow (not really but sometime it seems like it is that much) on the ground, I kept killing mosquitoes in the house. I could not for the life of me figure out where these lil critters were coming from. Finally I lifted the lid to the tank of the toilet and found a whole colony of little skeeters. When the toilet would be flushed the lil skeeters would go and cling on the side as the water level went down and would soon be swimming around as the tank was refilled with water. It was very strange and not common. After that episode, I keep my dogs on preventive year round. This year we have seen a lot more toy breeds testing positive for heartworm. Right now a 5 pound Chihuahua is in the process of going through his heartworm treatment. I just believe it is better to prevent than to treat. for all the latest research on this here is a great website https://www.heartwormsociety.org/

On the sleeping in bed. He could end up being the biggest bed hog and you might end up regretting this decision. He could end up just preferring to sleep on his own bed when he gets older.

We just hired two new straight out of school vets. I was asking them about the neutering debate. Odd thing is they have not heard about the studies done and that dogs should wait to be neutered. I find this odd seeing that they were just in school. Your dog being such a giant breed, I would be inclined to wait for the neutering. I would neuter because I just hate the look of intact male dog butt holes. That is just me.


If you like the female vets better than by all means request them.
At the end of the day it is your dog. it will be fun to watch this one grow up.
 

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We just hired two new straight out of school vets. I was asking them about the neutering debate. Odd thing is they have not heard about the studies done and that dogs should wait to be neutered. I find this odd seeing that they were just in school. Your dog being such a giant breed, I would be inclined to wait for the neutering. I would neuter because I just hate the look of intact male dog butt holes. That is just me.
Not sure what the debate would be. Giant breeds the growth plates don't close until 18 months and sometimes up to 24 months. For proper growth and muscle development is the reason to wait.
Do some get neutered early and grow up fine yes, does it cause a issue for some yes.

As for cancers and behavior issues, yep that can be debated forever and a day.
Does it mean it will cost more later? Oh Yes.
Does it mean being proactive to stop unwanted litters? Again Yep.
 

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I don't think it's the end of the world that you let him out of the crate one time when he was freaking out. I think your instincts were good and letting him continue to freak out in there during a thunderstorm could have set back crate training. However, I would stick with having him crated at night from now on. It's just so nice to have a dog who is flexible about that kind of stuff, especially if you visit someone else and need to crate, or if he needs to go to the vet. Once he's full grown he probably won't even fit in a crate anymore, but I would still work on it now. I dunno, up to you. He'll be crated during the day so he will still get used to being crated, but most dogs seem to view crating differently when you're home vs when you're not so it's worth working on both.

I haven't used any vitamins on my dogs. I would talk to your vet and see what he thinks. No sense wasting money if they don't do anything.

2 cups a day seems like a very small amount of food for a Dane puppy. My puppies got almost 3 cups a day from the time they came home (Watson still eats about 2.5 cups per day as an adult). I know you don't want to over feed him since he's a giant breed, but I think you could increase from 2 cups for sure.

He's adorable! I love his head and expression in the picture on his bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Whew, lots of things to reply to!

@SirviRavenWind - Ugh. A vet wanting to neuter an 8-week-old puppy of any breed just makes me feel a bit ill to my stomach. That sucks that your vet judged you, too... It's a really awful feeling.

@MastiffGuy - The puppy is pretty skinny right now - his ribs show and his waist is very narrow. Do you (or does anyone) happen to have an estimate of how long it will take evidence of increased rations equaling a slightly better body weight? A week? A few weeks? Not sure how quickly I'll be able to get him to put on weight.

I don't believe I will neuter him ever, unless any sort of illness like testicular cancer forces me to do so. Any females I get in the future will be crated and rotated until they are old enough to spay.

@luv mi pets - I've gotten ONE mosquito bite in the last 3 years. I fumigate my yard and generally don't go outside at night that frequently. I understand the dogs will be outside at night to go to the bathroom, but the conditions for a dog to contract heartworm have to be absolutely perfect:

You have to have a female mosquito of an appropriate species that has access to a dog already infected with sexually mature male and female heartworms that have produced babies. The babies have to be at the appropriate developmental stage when the bite occurs, then, 10-14 days later, as long as the temperature doesn't drop below 57 degrees (temps lower than that kill heartworm larvae), the infected mosquito has to bite your dog. At that point, the larvae develop in the skin for 3-4 months before making their way to your dog's blood stream (and your dog's immune system can kill these larvae). Then, after around 6 months, the surviving larvae reach maturity in the heart of your dog.

Therefore, pumping dogs full of pesticides to kill heartworm larvae is not only physically unhealthy, but unnecessary. A blood test once a year at the end of the 3-month mosquito season will detect if your dog has been infected, at which point the larvae will still not have migrated to the heart and can be killed with heartworm medication.

I've read the website you've provided, but my question about any website I look at is "what's their agenda?" The agenda of the Heartworm Society is to sell you (and all dog-owning consumers) year round heartworm medication because that's the way they make money. Homeopathic veterinarians have a very different idea about heartworm, and claim that filling your dog with monthly pesticide is actually worse for your dog than a case of adolescent heartworm, which is easy to treat.

Everyone has a different idea about what's right for their dog, and if you feel like your dogs are at a significant risk of heartworm and you don't want to blood test them once or twice a year, then preventative (it's actually not preventative, however, it kills off adolescent heartworms that make it into your dog's skin) is right for you :)

About the straight out of school vets not knowing about the neutering debate: Veterinary schools are sponsored by the people who push pediatric neuter. Vets also make more money from clients who neuter their dogs, both actively through the surgery, and passively through the many problems pediatric neutering can cause. I *don't* think the thought process is "let's alter early to have an unhealthy clientele!", of course. But I do think that vet schools don't supply that kind of information to their students for a reason.

The vet I just saw told me that mature heartworms would appear in my dog and would almost certainly be fatal in just 45 days of the initial mosquito bite, which is either a lie or total ignorance. At the end of the day, being a veterinarian means running a business. Which is why I take what they say with a grain of salt and immediately come to DF to start asking questions and getting answers from people who aren't trying to sell me anything!
 
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