If you or someone you know is considering adopting a Great Dane, the following items should be considered first:
- Great danes are considered companion dogs. They are people dogs and only want to please and be with their people. For that reason, great danes must be indoor dogs. As with any dog, they go through stages of chewing and destructive behavior. But, because of their size, they can cause a lot of damage to a home, yard, or car without proper training and supervision.
- Great Danes can weigh from 110 lbs. to 180 lbs. Their size and strength is hardly a match for someone not prepared for it. That is one reason we stress the importance of training at a young age. A 9 month old great dane “puppy” can weigh 80 lbs. to 100 lbs. An untrained 100 lb. dog can cause a lot of damage and anxiety.
- Great danes grow until they are 18 to 24 months old. They can reach a height of 28″ to 38″ tall at the withers (top of the shoulder). If you stop to consider that in terms of feet, they are 2’4″ to 3’2″ tall before you consider the neck and head. That means that not only items on the table but also the counter and stove are within reach of an average sized great dane.
- Great danes must eat a lot of food to sustain their energy and weight. Depending on the age of the dog, great danes typically eat between 6 and 12 cups of food a day of a quality dry dog food. Where a 40 lb. bag of food might last 6 months to 1 year for a 10 lb. dog, it lasts approximately 3 to 4 weeks for a great dane.
- Unfortunately many veterinarian service costs are weight based. You must be prepared to pay higher veterinarian bills for a great dane than you would for a small dog.
- If you are considering a great dane as an exercise companion, you might reconsider. Because great danes are not considered full grown until they are 18-24 months, jogging is not considered good for their joints. Even after they are full grown, it can be stressful on their large bodies.
- A great dane, especially a puppy, has the energy and size to knock a child or older adult down during play. Training and supervision are always a must when children or older adults are present.
- Great danes do not have an undercoat and should never be left outside for extended periods of time or considered outside dogs. They are susceptible to both cold and heat.