One of the most easily recognized dog breeds in the world, Great Danes are admired by all dog fanciers, so it’s no wonder you are considering adding one to your home. Maybe you watched Scooby Doo when you were little or enjoyed reading “Marmaduke” each Sunday. It could be that a friend of yours owns one and you just love her.
Whatever your reason, you are now contemplating adding a Dane to your household. And while they can be wonderful pets, there are some things to think about before bringing one home. Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself to make sure a Great Dane is right for you.
#1 – Do I Have The Room?
Great Danes aren’t just big, they are GIANT! You need to think logistically about whether you have room in your life for a Dane. As a puppy, they can fit most places, but do you have room for a full sized Dane crate in your house? Will an adult Dane fit in your car? What about his crate in your car? Can a Dane walk around your house without constantly breaking things? It’s something people don’t think about, but it can really impact your life. If not, you may want to get a smaller breed that will “fit” better in your home.
#2 – Can I Handle Their Lifespan?
The cold hard truth is that these gentle giants just don’t live anywhere near long enough. While all dogs have shorter lives than we would like, Danes lives are even shorter — about 8-10 years, according to the AKC. Are you (and your family) okay with that? It’s a hard question but one that should be considered especially if you have kids.
#3 – Can I Afford The Vet Bills?
Great Danes can be prone to a lot of problems. They have several genetic health concerns, including wobblers, hip dysplasia, and heart issues. In addition, Danes are very prone to bloat, which can quickly cause death. Many of them develop cancer as they age as well, so being prepared for vet costs is important with this breed.
#4 – Do I Have Time For Appropriate Exercise?
Although Great Danes are definitely comfy on the couch, exercise is important. A fat Dane would have major joint issues. However, be sure to think about your Dane’s age when exercising and only do things that are appropriate for their development stages. They are a breed that matures slower than others and puppies should not be running and jumping around too much or they can hurt their joints.
#5 – Am I Willing To Train Him?
A giant breed like the Great Dane needs to be trained or they could cause harm to someone. Your Dane should learn how to greet people without jumping up on them or pushing them over for the safety of children, seniors and even small adults. Aside from basic obedience, Danes are intelligent and love to have a job – so doing advanced training is always a good idea. Providing mental stimulation will also help curb problem behaviors when paired with exercise.