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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I'm just finishing school and plan to move out soon, and have been seriously thinking about getting a great dane puppy.

I think they look beautiful, and would really like a large dog. However, I have never owned a large dog. I have family and friends who have had large breed dogs, have gone for walks etc with them, and I think I could handle the responsibility.

At my mums house we currently have a rough collie x (mums dog who i normally look after), a maltese cross and my dog Romeo, a jack russel x foxy who i got from a shelter 11 years ago. Romeo is growing rather old, and I'm not sure how much more time I'll have with him.

If I do moveout, I would definitely take Romeo with me. However, he took a long time to get used to the other two dogs when we got them as puppies, and I dont think he could handle accepting another into our little family. I should wait for my old boy to pass on before I bring home a new puppy, shouldn't I?

Moving on - can people who have experience with this breed give me advice? I have done some research, so have decided to look for a breeder if I get a puppy, and I'm a little worried about health problems common in giant breeds, like stuff with their hips or heart. If I make sure my puppy has been vet checked and from a planned litter, is there a better chance that I will have a healthy dog?

As I live in a rural area, I would have to go on quite a long drive to first see the parents, chat with breeder etc, and then pick up my puppy when ready. Would the puppy be okay for a car ride of atleast 3 hours, if not 5, or even 10... Any tips for long car rides with new puppies?

Then there is when he grows up. Are great danes jumpers? Would I have to make sure my yard had at least a six foot high fence? I would like him to be an inside dog, but if i haveto go somewhere i normally leave my pets outside to avoid messes.

And the big thing I worry about - I need to work, and while hoping to get a place with friends so someone is at home, I wouldn't be able to guarrantee my great dane wouldnt be left alone for up to around 8 hours a couple of times a week. And during the dogs lifetime, I may live alone at sone point, which would mean my dog would definitely haveto be along when I work. (at the moment a have a casual job, normally 8am to 4pm three or four times a week)


Should i wait til I have a family and know my dog ont be left along for long periods of time?

I would really love some tips on owning a great dane! I am very interested in this breed :)
 

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Well ive never owned a extra large breed before. but things to consider. ( from experience working at a vet)

Larger breeds cost larger amounts of money. their medication is more expensive. things like heartworm pills end up having to be doubled up on because of weight. Most medications have to be given in large doses. which can cost big $$. I always recommend looking into dog insurance for the large breeds because of this.

Another issue is if they get seriously sick , being able to get them to the vet if they are not very mobile. This happens a lot people call and they are by themselves with a huge dog and can't get them into the car.

Make sure you get one from a good breeder with thorough health checks. I know great danes can have a lot of problems and with their shorter life spans these are considerations not in the distant future.

That is all I know from the grape vine of things and seeing and dealing with the xtra large dog breed owners that come to my clinic.
 

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Thanks :) the size could definitely be a problem if the dog where to get sick, my car is a coupe, i cant imagine getting a full grown great dane on my back seat.
 

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A puppy that is simply vet checked wouldn't be enough in my books. You want parents that have had proper health testing done, and ideally are either shown in conformation, or proven in other areas (it's limited with Danes!). Research, research, research.

With giant breeds comes more expenses - more money for vets, food, toys, crates, etc. You need to consider this. Danes aren't fragile, but you do need to be prepared for emergencies. Bloat is a huge issue with Danes - that emergency surgery alone will run into thousands. Are you ready for that?

Some Danes are jumpers, so yes, you may need that 6 ft fence. I've been fine with 5 ft. I know others that their 6 ft fences have been cleared. No dog is alike :)

Like any dog, Danes are fine to be left alone for periods of time (although, I wouldn't recommend leaving him/her outside, alone, unsupervised). A puppy shouldn't be alone for long periods of time - it makes potty training difficult!

That all said - Danes are a wonderful breed. I own 2 :) Loki is from a wonderful breeder and he's obtained his CKC championship. Livia is our sweet rescue girl :)
 

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Since my mom volunteered for magdrl for 9 years, I have to plug for rescue. A lot of Danes are, stupidly enough, given up because they get too big. And, most Dane rescues are all foster homes so they know the dog really well and can match one to your lifestyle.

I grew up with Danes and tell people all the time that I couldn't have grown up around more sensitive, calm, sweet dogs. After my family's last Dane passed in 2007, my mom said she needed a brake and we have 2 bully mixes. In the future, my parents are ready to go back to Danes. So, once you go Dane, you can never go back.

If you go the breeder route, be careful. Even though they aren't a super popular breed, there's a ton of BYBs that don't do the necessary testing. And keep in mind that large breeds tend to be more expensive in every aspect and a lot of pet friendly apartments still won't rent to them because of their size. If you're going to be moving around a lot for the next few years, I'd wait until you are in a solid place that allows them.
 

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Thanks :) the size could definitely be a problem if the dog where to get sick, my car is a coupe, i cant imagine getting a full grown great dane on my back seat.
This is one of the things I mention to people when they are thinking of a getting a exlarge breed dog...transportation(we have to transport out Pyr in the horse trailer) and the amount they eat and also all flea and tick control and other meds will cost more.
 

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This is one of the things I mention to people when they are thinking of a getting a exlarge breed dog...transportation(we have to transport out Pyr in the horse trailer) and the amount they eat and also all flea and tick control and other meds will cost more.
Really?? Our 2 Danes fit in the back of our PT Cruiser just fine (seats out of course). Not saying a Dane will fit in a mini cooper or anything, but they manage okay in average sized cards I think.
 

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Really?? Our 2 Danes fit in the back of our PT Cruiser just fine (seats out of course). Not saying a Dane will fit in a mini cooper or anything, but they manage okay in average sized cards I think.
Wow! I have a Great Pyr not a Great Dane but he is just as big and want fit in my hyundai,..ha..ha..
 

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I work at an animal hospital and all the great danes I have me personalities. They are docile, loyal and majestic.

As others have said the costs for medications and treatment would be high. Bloat and heart problems are an issue. Their short lifespan would be deter me...we just had a great dane in a couple of weeks ago who was huge (89 kg) and only 6 years old. Died of heart disease. His heart just couldn't support his size. He wasn't overweight; just really big and tall. Sweet as pie though. I know people who want a dog with a short life span so they can get a new dog more often

However if you can handle the expense then go for it. I would suggest having a gastropexy done. This is a surgery where the stomach is sutured to the body so it won't twist. It's not a 100% thing but it reduces the chance of Bloat. Also, make sure you teach the dog not to eat too fast by putting a Kong or large rock in his bowl or putting his food on a baking sheet. There are bowls with raised nubs or made like a maze to slow down eating. And don't exercise a dane after eating.

If you do get one, please post pictures!
 

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However if you can handle the expense then go for it. I would suggest having a gastropexy done. This is a surgery where the stomach is sutured to the body so it won't twist. It's not a 100% thing but it reduces the chance of Bloat.
While I do recommend a pexy being done, just a note - it does NOT reduce the chance of bloat. It helps prevent torsion (the twisting of the stomach) that occurs during bloat. As mentioned, it's not a guarantee to save the life, but it may help you buy some time to get to the vet.
 

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The bigger the dog, the higher the expenses: vet bills, monthly meds, food, boarding, as well as the amount of poo (I had a Dane before a long time ago - holy cow, the poo - lol!), logistics problems with transport, etc. If you can handle all that, then it's really your decision. I thoroughly endorse getting a dog from a rescue (I have 3 adopted rescues!). They've been vetted and temperament tested (if it's a good rescue), and they can help you select the right dog. I gave the boxer rescue an impossibly long list of must haves/have nots, thinking they'd laugh at me, and I got Dempsey!

Danes are really inside, couch potato dogs (of course given plenty of outside exercise time, too), and love to be lap dogs - can you picture this? My boxer is too, and if he doesn't get to snooze with me, holding him on my lap like a baby (yes, all 55 pounds of him, and a Dane is much bigger!) for at least 20-30 minutes each night, he's NOT a happy camper!

Danes do tend to have a short life span, as already noted, but who am I to talk? I'm a boxer lover - same problem! I love them anyway!

If you get one, feed small meals at least twice a day to try and minimize the chance of bloat, even as an adult, and be very careful what you feed them (boxers have the same problem). The other current Dane owners on here can give you good advice on that aspect.
 
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