The majestic Great Dane – sometimes referred to as the king of all dogs, is a gentle giant that is great with kids and a wonderful and faithful companion. It takes consideration and research before you are ready to bring a Great Dane into your home; you need to make sure you have the space to house it, the money to feed it (just imagine how much food such a large dog eats), the patience to educate it and the love to allow it to live out its days by your side. Here are a few tips for what you should think about before buying a Great Dane puppy.
About Great Dane Puppies
A Great Dane puppy is big, bigger than what you would expect a puppy to be when you bring it home at the age of 8 weeks, but it is nothing compared to what it will eventually grow to be! They have large soft paws and a head that seems a little too heavy for the rest of their body; a Great Dane puppy has almond-shaped eyes that are deep and often dark, big silky ears and they are adorably clumsy while they are still learning to control their oversized bodies.
They come in a variety of colors; black with white, with white markings, the color pure blue and much more. A pure blue Great Dane can be an impressive sight, but so can that adorable brindle male you’ve had your eyes on, so in the end, you need to choose the GD that feels right for you.
What to look out for when buying a Great Dane puppy
Many dog breeders will let you pick out your own puppy from the available puppies in the litter, and if this opportunity presents itself – take it, as it allows you to choose the little guy or girl from the beautiful litter that will likely become your new best friend.
A smart thing to do first (once you have selected your breeder) is to explain to the breeder what you hope to get out of your Great Dane ownership; are you planning to provide it with an active life where there are kids involved, or will the dog live calmly in a home with only one or two people? The breeder should have a basic idea of which puppy’s personality that would make a good fit, and then you can go from there.
You should always ask to see the parent animals (both the males and females) before ever purchasing a puppy available, and it is a cause for concern if the breeder is unable or unwilling to show these.
Keep in mind that a professional breeder might have used a male dog from another breeder, which means the dog possibly won’t be at the house, but they should be able to provide you with photos from their photo gallery and contact details for whoever owns him.
Great Dane Life Stages
The originally European Great Dane, just like any other dog, should not be separated from their mother and siblings before they reach 8 weeks of age, as this could have severe effects on both their health and their ability to develop normal social skills.
Just like most other larger dog breeds, they mature rather late and is not estimated to be fully grown up (mentally) until they are around the age of 3. This is relevant as it helps you manage your own expectations when training and educating your Great Dane.
The average lifespan of a Great Dane is somewhere between 7 and 10 years – significantly less than the average lifespan of a smaller breed, but it is still a long time during which you will need to be prepared to care for your dog, and even more so as it grows older.
Great Dane Health Concerns
Unfortunately, the Great Dane is prone to some breed-specific diseases and health conditions, and it is important to be familiar with these both before you decide to get a Great Dane, but also to stay up to date with the latest when you are already a Great Dane owner.
Bloat is known to occur in the breed, and it is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills up with air, eventually cutting off the air supply from the back part of the dog’s body, and to the heart. Bloat can cause sudden death and is considered a medical emergency.
Bone and joint disease like arthritis is also common in the Great Dane, especially in older registered Great Danes, which can be either genetic or a result of their body weight putting too much stress on the bones and joints. Serious issues may be preventable with the right diet and supplements throughout the dog’s life.
Great Dane Breeder Information
You might opt for looking for Great Dane dogs for adoption, but if you are planning to buy – you need to choose your breeder wisely when you look through dog listings and breeder listings. The price range you will find is wide, don’t go for cheap, is rule number one, as cheap can quickly become expensive if the puppy isn’t healthy.
Look for Great Dane dog breeders that are AKC registered (American Kennel Club), as these are responsible breeders that work consciously to preserve the breed, by responsibly breeding healthy parent animals with health guarantees.
A backyard breeder can’t offer you the same security, and when you buy from someone who doesn’t have the knowledge and proper intent, you run a much bigger risk of ending up with a Great Dane with health issues. An AKC Great Dane puppy is not guaranteed to stay healthy throughout its life, but by buying an AKC Great Dane, you significantly better the odds.
Great Dane Puppy Diet
Food and nutrition also play a big role in keeping your Great Dane healthy, and it starts already when the dog is a puppy. Choose a high-quality puppy dog food, with real meat listed preferably first on the ingredient list, and food that does not contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
It could be wise to pick a puppy dog food for big dogs, as these tend to contain just the right amount of calcium, to help the puppy grow at a healthy and safe rate.
Is a Great Dane Right for You?
This is an amazing breed that is hard not to love, but you need to make sure you have the financial stability to feed a Great Dane. They will finish a bag of dog food a lot faster than a small dog would, as a grown Great Dane is basically the size of a small pony.
Money isn’t the only thing that will determine whether a Great Dane is right for you, but you also need to make sure you have space for one. Sure, they are great at adapting to new circumstances, and they can live in small apartments, but it will probably be more comfortable (for both you and the dog) if you have some extra space to offer.
Only you can decide if a Great Dane is the right dog breed for you, so do your research and be honest with yourself before you go ahead and get one.