The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,375

    Default Great Dane or not?

    Hey folks,

    One of my friends has a female 8 week old Great Dane puppy she wants to give me (purebred). She would give it to me for free since she knows I'd give her a good home.

    I've been wanting a dog for a while, but I've been waiting until one comes along that seems "right." This puppy is beautiful and I could easily fall in love with her.
    I'm not an uninformed person, but I could use a little input from the people who have owned Great Danes before.

    My hesitations right now include the fact that I live in a 560 sq ft apt on the 3rd floor and I'm not sure where I will be living next year. I have a small sedan car. I'm not sure that I have the right living situation for one. I've also never owned a dog before so this would be a big deal for me.

    I know all about their health issues (being a vet, I see all the worst) so I'd like to hear about other aspects of owning one and your experiences.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,822

    Default

    Great Danes are a a broken heart in waiting. As a vet you might as well get used to it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,375

    Default

    Yeah, all my vet friends are telling me "no way!" because I just see a potential osteosarcoma, DM, DCM, GDV, insert other cancer, with 4 legs... isn't it awful?
    Another one of my friends said "well they will only live to be 8 anyway so it's not a big commitment." Sad but true!

    It's bad that I see diseases when I see most purebreds now... Dobies=DCM, Cavaliers=heart disease, Bassett=glaucoma, Cockers=ears+eyes+heart, etc.

    I definitely know what you mean though, Laurierace. I've never met a Dane with a happy ending.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2005
    Location
    Spring, TX
    Posts
    489

    Default

    While I've never OWNED a Dane, I've been around plenty.

    I vote no. They are one of the last breeds I would ever choose.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2004
    Location
    Collegeville, PA
    Posts
    3,250

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JackandMo View Post
    While I've never OWNED a Dane, I've been around plenty.

    I vote no. They are one of the last breeds I would ever choose.
    Can you elaborate?
    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
    http://www.youtube.com/kheit86



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2007
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    1,138

    Default

    I am on my second Dane. I LOVE LOVE LOVE him. They are incredible wonderful dogs and have a tremendously sweet personality. We lost our first to bloat ( I believe he was brought out of anesthesia incorrectly while getting neutered at an older age) so when our second Dane got neutered at 1 year old (the recommended age) we had his stomach tacked down to prevent him from suffering the same fate.

    They are more expensive in every way possible, have sensitive tummies, sensitive personalities. Your current living situation does not sound to me like it would be a good one for a Dane. Your apartment is to small and being on the third floor potty training would be horribly difficult. Great Danes gain control of those functions later then most dogs. For you, right now, I would recommend no.

    That being said there is no joy like a Great Dane and I can not imagine not having one in my life



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2010
    Location
    Six miles from the beaten path
    Posts
    330

    Default

    BTDT-I'd vote for holding off until you're in a bigger place.

    I had a Great Dane-I love them dearly, and I think they are just flat COOL dogs. I've known several who are amazing, wonderful dogs, and I. Want. One.

    Mine was a less than stellar experience, and it's possible the fact that the 'breeders' mine came from didn't do anything (he wasn't named, had no recall, no house/crate training) until I bought him at 16 weeks contributed. I'm assuming that's the case, so do take what I say with a grain of salt.

    I have a 1300 sq foot house-it was too little. They get the 'zoomies'-which are hilarious-unbelievably so!-still-150 lbs of dog racing at top speed through a 560 sq foot apt? Bitches may be different than dogs, IDK, but forewarned is forearmed, right?

    Gryffin chewed and dug incessantly regardless of the toys/walks/attention he got (and he got a LOT)-and they're strong enough to do a LOT of damage. So...couch may = fluff if she gets bored. Crate pads and beds lasted a week, tops. And they aren't cheap-EVERYTHING is bigger. I fed Wolf King Wolfcub food-he loved it, and looked great.

    Mine-and he may well have been an anomaly-was D U M B. (Coming from cowdogs, yes, but he was stoo-pid by notcowdog standards, even). I've seen others that were smart, but they're mature dogs, not teenage pups. He had very little desire to please.

    He was sullen and obnoxious about peeing on things-he'd look at you and pee on the floor, and never even attempt to 'ask' to go out (and I tried everything.) No UTI, just not smart about housetraining. When he left at 18 mos (see below) he was no better at coming reliably when called than he was when I first got him-he would look at you, and run the other direction. (I have NEVER had that problem before-and I've had heelers, kelpie/border collies, rotties, and catahoulas, so I'm not inept or inexperienced at handling 'willful' dogs).

    I have a Chevy Trailblazer, and he fit fine in there-I don't know that I'd have tried to stick him in a car. There's a lot of dog there. My sis has a honda civic (a newer one...2008) and he fit fine in there.

    Cropping-if you crop, lots of aftercare to keep them up, I've heard a year is not uncommon. I didn't crop, so I've no personal experience. Your friend

    The good-they really are sweet, and fabulous with kids. My son was 18 months when I got mine, and Gryffin was 4 months old-and even as a clumsy awkward hyperactive brainless pup, he was as good as gold with DS. They are supposed to be good watchdogs, although Gryffin never barked. I think he'd have helped load the TV, had someone tried.

    I ended up rehoming him to a couple in Seattle when my son was dx'd with a chronic illness that required more time traveling to specialists than anticipated-it wasn't fair to him. I WILL have another, but not yet.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,193

    Default

    I have a 3 year old Great Dane right now and he is a joy. He is mine, but my whole family loves him.
    To tell you a bit about him...
    He is very protective. He will absolutely stand up against anyone that he does not know. If they come too close to me or my family(especially me though, he's my baby.) he will bark and growl and if they come TOO close he will nip if he feels threatened. So... UPS and FedEx men can't get out if he's outside. They honk the horn for us to come get the packages. Not very good of him, but it does at least make me feel safe at night.

    We've had a few health issues with him already. When he was about 6 months old he broke his left hock. It's been an ongoing struggle ever since then... we had to get him a permanent brace made by Orthopets that he wears when he goes outside or on walks. He also had to be rushed into surgery for a lung abscess. A seed or something was lodged in there, causing an abscess. If he didn't have surgery he would have died very quickly. While they did that surgery they also did surgery to prevent bloat. That whole ordeal was pretty expensive, however that could have happened to any breed of dog I assume.

    We don't have any aggression issues with him with our other dogs. He really does not like other people's dogs much though. ESPECIALLY little dogs or dogs that are crazy hyper and jump up around him. He also severely dislikes men, except for my bro, dad and boyfriend. And he is terrified of little kids. Once at Petsmart a little boy RAN up to him wanting to pet him and it scared my dog so much that he hid behind me and growled at the little kid.

    An apartment might be an issue, unless you have a place where you can take it to run around every day. When my Dane comes in he usually goes straight to his bed and sleeps or sits on the couch with us. But he loves going outside for a run in the field or to play with a tennis ball. He also likes to "play" with the horses by running around outside their enclosures, but doesn't like it when they "play" back.
    I have a VW Jetta and he fits in the backseat, he likes going on car rides... so if you don't mind having a very hairy backseat and if your car isn't TOO small, I wouldn't worry about that.
    He is the best dog I've ever had and I don't regret having him, even with all his problems. He loves being around me and my family and takes any opportunity he has to come sit on the couch with us... or on my lap. He's an absolute joy to have around...
    So there are a few positives and negatives about him, hope this might help a bit in your situation!

    ETA: I had no problems potty training him. He had VERY few slips. However, that also meant I had to get up at 2 in the morning every night if he had to go out. This was before he had a kennel. When he had a kennel I especially had no problems. But he grew out of his kennel... it's way too small for him now and it's pretty big lol.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 1999
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    3,215

    Default

    Why does your friend have a free 8 week old dane? Was she the breeder? Will the breeder she purchased from not take it back?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2010
    Location
    Six miles from the beaten path
    Posts
    330

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dance_To_Oblivion View Post
    (edit)
    Great Danes gain control of those functions later then most dogs.
    You know, for all the breeders I talked to, all the vets I talked to (three!), this is the first time I've heard this. I wish I'd have known that

    Hmmm...would have made both our lives easier, I think.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    6,901

    Default

    yeah, where did the Dane come from? I would NOT take in a Dane without knowing the breeder and knowing the lines were as healthy as possible, otherwise you're heading for heartbreak and huge vet bills.
    I think an older Dane would do fine in a smallish space- they are big couch potatoes as long as you walk them daily; a puppy might trash the place. Agree with the statement about potty training taking a bit longer.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,375

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BLBGP View Post
    Why does your friend have a free 8 week old dane? Was she the breeder? Will the breeder she purchased from not take it back?
    She is the breeder; she is a licensed/certified vet tech and the dog is well-bred. This is the last one in the litter that has not been sold because she is smaller than all of the others, though she is vigorous and healthy. She is only free to me since I am a vet and she knows I would give it all the health care it needed, and she knows I've been talking about wanting a dog for a while.
    (I would spay her and do the gastropexy at the same time, for what it's worth).



    I also have a cat, so hearing that some are not as friendly towards other dogs is a bit concerning. I wonder if your pup, NBChoice, wasn't properly socialized? This puppy has grown up around all animals and dogs and people.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Clemson, SC
    Posts
    867

    Default

    I LOVE my Dane!!! I have wanted one since I was little, but when I got older I realized the extent of their health problems and I could never bring myself to get one.

    Gaines is a rescue who was going to be put down as a small puppy (4-5 weeks) because he was blind. A friend rescued him and asked me to take him (she has a Dane of her own as well as other dogs... in an apartment). I lived in an apartment (with 2 other big dogs) until Gaines was 1 1/2 yo.

    He is definitely the most expensive dog by far. He has a sensitive stomach and it is NOT fun to clean up Great Dane diarrhea! So not only does he eat ~8 cups of food per day (down from ~12 when he was growing), but his food also costs more!

    Gaines wan't difficult to potty train at all and very rarely had an accident even though I lived on the 2nd floor. He has been a wonderful dog. The only problems so far (he's only 2) have been his eye surgery (for Cherry eye at around 6 months old) and his bad stomach. However, I HATE when people walk up to me and tell me they loved their Dane, but he only lived to be 5 or 6 or whatever. It drives me nuts! Yeah, I hate knowing my time with him is limited, but he's such a wonderful animal that I plan on enjoying every day that I have with him.

    ETA: Gaines is protective but not at all aggressive. He lets me know how he feels but the only time he's ever even growled is when he felt like one of the horses was going to hurt me; never at a person. He takes his cues from me. He is always by my side and will watch to make sure I'm comfortable if he isn't sure. I don't know how he would react if I were uncomfortable, but he would NEVER dream of nipping at someone for no reason! (I have a friend with a Dane that nips and would bite if she felt threatened, so maybe I just got a good one).

    Gaines is very friendly with other dogs as well as the 4 cats who live here. but he has been around them since he was 6 weeks old and he was only even allowed to play with the cats until he was about 10 weeks old. After that he had to ignore them because I worried about him being 150 lbs. and trying to play! He does chew, but loves chew toys. He just goes through them more quickly than even the Bullmastiff.
    A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2010
    Location
    Six miles from the beaten path
    Posts
    330

    Default

    My Dane was introduced to cats at 4 mos, and they did fine.

    Willow thumped him on the nose right off the bat, and he was quite respectful, from there on out.

    She never trusted him, but he was fine with her.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    6,901

    Default

    no heart disease or hip problems in her lines?
    Our Dane died suddenly from what appeared to be a stroke at age eight which is the best ending I've ever heard of from Dane owners.
    I'm not getting another one. He was an awesome dog, but so much trouble- he had to have clothing and boots, special food, more money at the vet, difficult to train (very stubborn and no food or toy drive), had to buy a bigger car to cart him around. I compare him to my current batch of robust medium-sized well-furred high drive dogs and well, no.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2007
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    1,138

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eklecktika View Post
    You know, for all the breeders I talked to, all the vets I talked to (three!), this is the first time I've heard this. I wish I'd have known that

    Hmmm...would have made both our lives easier, I think.
    Really?!? That surprises me! My puppy's breeders (our second Dane so we knew anyway) told us as did the vet that did his ears and later neutered and tacked his stomach.

    Honestly and I mean no disrespect to any vets here but I have found that most vets don't really know much about how Danes are different then other dogs. Most vets don't know ANYTHING about ear crops (our first Dane's ears were ruined by an idiot emergency vet). It is really important to be well educated on their specific needs and issues before getting a Dane.

    Our two have been completely different dogs. Rickson, our first, was extremely quiet and well behaved, protective, loved to please. Rearden, our second, is the most joyful dog ever, he loves to romp and play and have zoomies and frolic with his toys. Rearden plays with our three year old gelding in the field and the three year old plays back. He doesn't always listen well but that's more my fault them his! lol he adores me and is always so happy when I come home but is also very friendly with new people once I've said they are okay (new people are scary which means he stands 20 feet from them barking his scary bark which terrifies the new people! lol)

    I love the breed despite their idiosyncrasies.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2008
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,375

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    no heart disease or hip problems in her lines?
    Our Dane died suddenly from what appeared to be a stroke at age eight which is the best ending I've ever heard of from Dane owners.
    I'm not getting another one. He was an awesome dog, but so much trouble- he had to have clothing and boots, special food, more money at the vet, difficult to train (very stubborn and no food or toy drive), had to buy a bigger car to cart him around. I compare him to my current batch of robust medium-sized well-furred high drive dogs and well, no.
    Not that I know of, but I also know that ANY breed can have hip problems, and I'd be doing PennHip films and JPS surgery for it if needed (same as any dog).
    I also wouldn't be ear-cropping. I don't see any need to on my own dog.

    I really appreciate everyone's input so far. They sound like such characters, but the fact that some can be very stubborn and difficult to train is a little concerning too, especially since I've never had a dog before. I know some are just very gentle giants who are big lovers, too. Glad to hear all the input, good and bad.
    Vet care is no object -- I will do whatever I need to and I'm totally aware of all the problems that they have. It's the everyday house stuff that I'm not as familiar with that you guys are helping with!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,193

    Default

    I also have a cat, so hearing that some are not as friendly towards other dogs is a bit concerning. I wonder if your pup, NBChoice, wasn't properly socialized? This puppy has grown up around all animals and dogs and people.
    See, the real kicker is that he was taken EVERYWHERE with me as a puppy. I took him to Bark Park, Petsmart, friend's houses, on walks where he encountered many people and dogs, the barn, puppy classes, etc. He was around people and other animals at all times. He was completely fine as a puppy. As he got older he started to become scared/protective. I'm not sure what caused it because he showed absolutely no signs of it as a young dog.
    We have a few cats and he gets along fine with them. He usually ignores them, sometimes he'll sniff them and he doesn't mind if they rub against him.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2005
    Location
    Paris, Kentucky
    Posts
    3,200

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
    She is the breeder; she is a licensed/certified vet tech and the dog is well-bred. This is the last one in the litter that has not been sold because she is smaller than all of the others, though she is vigorous and healthy. She is only free to me since I am a vet and she knows I would give it all the health care it needed, and she knows I've been talking about wanting a dog for a while.
    (I would spay her and do the gastropexy at the same time, for what it's worth).
    I also have a cat, so hearing that some are not as friendly towards other dogs is a bit concerning. I wonder if your pup, NBChoice, wasn't properly socialized? This puppy has grown up around all animals and dogs and people.
    This. I tried to do it with my dobie, but she was having trouble with the anesthesia and we wanted to get her off the table.

    Most of the ones that I've met (my brother has one too) have been couch potatoes from the word go, not a lot of energy at all.
    Holly
    www.ironhorsefrm.com
    Oldenburg foals and young prospects
    LIKE us on Facebook!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,193

    Default

    Let me just add about my dog's aggression... I've noticed it is usually because the person shows fear. He stands back at first and does his big dog bark. If the person shows any signs of being concerned about him, he gets cocky and takes control of the situation. However, if the person stays calm and ignores him or gives him a treat, he relaxes and backs off. I've heard of other Danes doing this as well, so that might also be something to think about.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



Similar Threads

  1. Great Dane in need of forever home- WI
    By JSjumper in forum Giveaways
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Sep. 20, 2012, 06:12 PM
  2. FREE Great Dane - CL Colorado
    By BEARCAT in forum The Menagerie
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Dec. 17, 2011, 11:20 AM
  3. Great Dane mix female, central FL
    By Hampton Bay in forum Giveaways
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Oct. 24, 2010, 06:57 PM
  4. Great Dane Mix - mid-GA
    By Debbie in forum Giveaways
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Mar. 22, 2010, 01:39 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: Apr. 1, 2009, 09:09 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •