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Great Dane People: We're Taking the Plunge = )

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  • Great Dane People: We're Taking the Plunge = )

    My husband and I have always wanted to add a dane to our menagerie, and we decided now is the right time. I'm working part time and often from home, so we are going to go ahead and get a puppy = )

    A good horsey friend of ours got seriously into dog showing several years ago and got her first show dane last year. She was kind enough to introduce us to her breeder, so I think I may be trying out this dog show thing too. Eek!

    Anyhoo, this will be our first puppy and first dane, so I figured I'd start a thread now so COTH will be prepared for my inevitable "need advice" and "look at all these adorable pictures!" threads, haha. I've already purchased (and read) numerous books on puppies, danes, showing, and dog conformation because I'm super excited and our pup is coming from a spring litter. I'm sure there will be days and nights where I'm tearing my hair out, but that's how it goes!

    A couple of questions related to having our first intact dog in the house. Any thoughts on which gender is easier to maintain intact? Sounds like the heat cycle can be a bit of a pain but then you hear the stories of difficult males as well. We will be very on top of socializing and training either way. We do like to take our dogs places, but I'm pretty strict on socializing with other dogs, and we're not a dog park family at all.

    We currently have a female greyhound, but she is pretty laid back and used to having fosters coming in and out. She seems to have little preference for male or female in a housemate. I've found over the years that I tend to bond more with female animals (dogs, cats, horses), but I also have loved many males (my current kitty and gelding included). Our breeder will of course also be helping us pick a pup that suits our home.

    Does anyone have any experience fostering while having an intact animal in the house? I would like to keep fostering greyhounds if our new addition will allow it. Greyhounds tend to be pretty laid back and are also used to being around other intact dogs, so I'm hoping we might be able to make it work. Perhaps if we continue to do it while the pup is still young, it might not be as much of an issue as he/she matures?

    Anyhoo, we are very excited and I just wanted to share with the COTH dog and dane lovers. We are on the list for a spring litter, but I will post pictures once our new addition is on the way = )

  • #2
    Congrats!!!!! Danes are great dogs. We have a male, but he has been neutered so I can't help you there. Ours was an easy puppy and he thinks every human on the planet is here to adore him. He's fairly oblivious to other dogs when we're out and gets along great with our other, much smaller, dogs.

    They are very attached to their people and can have issues with separation anxiety. Be sure to carefully follow your breeder's recommendations for feeding. You don't want them to grow too quickly.

    Can't wait to see your puppy pics! I want a female, but my husband is dragging his feet. Of course, he's the one who has to share the couch with Farley. He'd have no place to sit if we had another!
    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Debbie View Post
      Congrats!!!!! Danes are great dogs. We have a male, but he has been neutered so I can't help you there. Ours was an easy puppy and he thinks every human on the planet is here to adore him. He's fairly oblivious to other dogs when we're out and gets along great with our other, much smaller, dogs.

      They are very attached to their people and can have issues with separation anxiety. Be sure to carefully follow your breeder's recommendations for feeding. You don't want them to grow too quickly.

      Can't wait to see your puppy pics! I want a female, but my husband is dragging his feet. Of course, he's the one who has to share the couch with Farley. He'd have no place to sit if we had another!
      Well the obvious answer is to get another couch = ) Our greyhound has requested at least a love seat in the bedroom, haha. Now we might have to oblige!

      I LOVE to hear about EASY puppies! I am very excited for a pup and excited to get a blank slate to train, but man, you see some of these "dane destruction" photos, and you get a little nervous. We will be using a crate during the destructo phase to keep dog and house safe from harm, haha.

      Waiting until spring is going to be a challenge. To fill the time, I've added several books to the library (and have read or skimmed all of them already, haha) - books on puppies, danes, showing, dog conformation (always loved analyzing horse conformation, so this is fun.) I'm hoping to meet up with some fellow dane owners and show-ers in the area - we have a great greyhound community with lots of events, so I'm hoping to find the same with dane folks.

      Question on the separation anxiety: with our greyhound fosters, we start alone training from day 1. Retired racers are prone to it because they are used to having dogs around them all the time and are used to a very rigid schedule. Can you start working on that with a new pup pretty early? Obviously starting in very short increments. Just don't want to add unnecessary stress.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bort84 View Post


        Does anyone have any experience fostering while having an intact animal in the house? I would like to keep fostering greyhounds if our new addition will allow it. Greyhounds tend to be pretty laid back and are also used to being around other intact dogs, so I'm hoping we might be able to make it work. Perhaps if we continue to do it while the pup is still young, it might not be as much of an issue as he/she matures?
        Just a heads up, many rescues will not allow you to continue fostering with an intact dog. You might want to check with your current rescue before making a final decision (if that would influence your decision).

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
          Just a heads up, many rescues will not allow you to continue fostering with an intact dog. You might want to check with your current rescue before making a final decision (if that would influence your decision).
          I think our group might because I've been fairly involved, but I will certainly confirm = ) None of the greys get fostered before they are speutered, which helps.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bort84 View Post
            I think our group might because I've been fairly involved, but I will certainly confirm = ) None of the greys get fostered before they are speutered, which helps.
            That's great. I've never really understood. I can see a big conflict if someone is breeding and showing the the same breed they're fostering, but if not, and they're responsible breeders and/or show people, why not?

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            • #7
              I love love love this breed! My two cents though, based on my own experience as the owner of a 7 y/o bitch and a 6 y/o dog, and through my involvement with the local Dane club, dog shows, etc......

              Bitches tend to be a bit more aloof than the dogs...mine is affectionate, but on her own terms. Bitches can be growly or otherwise temperamental when in season although my own was not. Both sexes can be very protective of their homes and yards. I do not allow people into my house unless the dogs are secured behind gates, unless it's one of the few people I know the dogs trust, and consider a part of the immediate family. Some Danes have the personality of a Golden Retriever and are friendly with strangers, but just be aware, there are plenty out there who are not.

              FWIW, I took both of my dogs to puppy kindergarten and basic obedience classes, and later to dogs shows. My male's protective instincts became noticeable at about two years of age.

              I realize I'm focusing on negative issues here, but I want you to be aware that not all Danes are the "Gentle Giant" that most people think of. I love my Danes like crazy, but having them in my life comes with extra responsibility.

              I would advise making sure you choose a breeder whose dogs are known for their gentle temperaments. A Great Dane with the right temperament is the best dog in the world!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bort84 View Post
                A couple of questions related to having our first intact dog in the house. Any thoughts on which gender is easier to maintain intact?
                Ask your breeder which is easier to show; that might also influence your decision. My breeder prefers to place males in "new" homes to the breed because she thinks they are a little easier temperament as a pet and for a new handler to show. Obviously the differences are probably very small, but the numbers in your breed might also influence your decision if you are going to show the dog yourself. Sometimes it's harder to get points for one gender than another based on the point schedule.

                I realize those are silly things to consider but maybe something to help you decide. One thing I am sure about is that I don't want intact males and females at my house. So, since I have an intact male, we will never own an intact female, no matter how nice the breeding. Keeping the boys happy together will be easier for us without the introduction of a female, although I know may people who make it work for them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yay!!! They are (in my biased opinion) the best breed ever! I can't help much with puppy advice - I grew up with them as a child, but then it was my parents' problem , and I currently have a rescue who was a year old when I got her. You do want to be super careful about feeding them correctly as puppies, but I'm sure your breeder will help with that. Unfortunately mine came from a pretty terrible situation where she was being fed horrendous and not appropriate food, and I am sure her lifespan is probably going to be shorter as a result. Definitely go ahead and buy that spare couch. The other thing that I struggled with for a long time was finding dog beds that will hold up. My dog is 140 lbs and sleeps a LOT, and most beds were just wearing out and completely mushed down within a few months. A lot of people get twin sized mattresses to deal with this problem, but I live in a small apartment, so I don't have enough room (and she likes to have a bed in every room). The only ones I've found that last are the thicker memory foam ones. They are terrific fun dogs, and I don't have experience with enough of them to comment on the gender personality differences, but I will say that Ella, despite a history of abuse, is the sweetest cuddliest dog I have ever met. She likes to snuggle on the couch, and if I lie on the floor with her, she will wrap her paw around me to "hug." I walk her every morning with my neighbor and her dogs, and every morning Ella walks across the hall and leans on my neighbor, waiting for her morning hug. She is super friendly to other dogs, which I really love as I live in a very doggy neighborhood. This is her with her BFF:
                  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...2&l=44811687b2

                  Also you should "like" Giant George on facebook - not for any sort of advice, but for entertaining Dane pictures.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Zelda View Post
                    I love love love this breed! My two cents though, based on my own experience as the owner of a 7 y/o bitch and a 6 y/o dog, and through my involvement with the local Dane club, dog shows, etc......

                    Bitches tend to be a bit more aloof than the dogs...mine is affectionate, but on her own terms. Bitches can be growly or otherwise temperamental when in season although my own was not. Both sexes can be very protective of their homes and yards. I do not allow people into my house unless the dogs are secured behind gates, unless it's one of the few people I know the dogs trust, and consider a part of the immediate family. Some Danes have the personality of a Golden Retriever and are friendly with strangers, but just be aware, there are plenty out there who are not.

                    FWIW, I took both of my dogs to puppy kindergarten and basic obedience classes, and later to dogs shows. My male's protective instincts became noticeable at about two years of age.

                    I realize I'm focusing on negative issues here, but I want you to be aware that not all Danes are the "Gentle Giant" that most people think of. I love my Danes like crazy, but having them in my life comes with extra responsibility.

                    I would advise making sure you choose a breeder whose dogs are known for their gentle temperaments. A Great Dane with the right temperament is the best dog in the world!
                    No, these are great posts for info, it's never all sunshine and roses with animals, haha. We have a friend that had a rare difficult one from an excellent breeding (and she is a GORGEOUS specimen). It sounds like there were just some minor issues that snowballed, and unfortunately, the issue was with children, and she didn't feel comfortable managing the issue in her household.

                    We plan to start socializing as soon as the pup comes home in safe places with other vaccinated dogs/puppies - seems like the benefits outweigh the risks of getting socialization in before all their vaccs are complete. I hear in this breed, socialization is extra HUGE because they are very sensitive. I also am pretty particular about appropriate interactions (both human and dog), so I have no qualms with a dog that ends up not loving every creature he/she meets (our current grey is a bit that way). As long as they are for the most part tolerant and not reactive, I'm happy. I'm very comfortable telling other people that no, their overly excited dog/child can't just come "say hi." Haha.

                    As far as male/female, I find I tend to like the aloof, make you work for it females, haha. However, I'd definitely be open to a male (though I'm sure the comments on a dane's dangly bits are numerous, haha.) I don't see us wanting two intact dogs in the house anytime soon. So I'm guessing if we decided to add another dane to the group in the future, we'd have one fixed (which is fairly common once you've finished a dog and don't want to breed them, right?)

                    I do hear a fawn male is often the easiest to finish in this breed, but I'm not as familiar with our particular area. Our breeder breeds fawn/brindle, so it will be one of those (my fave colors anyway - I love a dark mask). I'm waiting to hear back from the GDC-Houston secretary, so hopefully I can meet a local mentor of sorts (our breeder is out of state.)

                    Thanks for all the thoughts thus far!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd go with a male since you have a female dog. Sometimes same sex aggression can occur and it can be deadly with 2 females. I've had females who get along great with each other, but have heard horror stories of females fighting violently once the female puppy matures. It's easy to avoid the risk of that problem if you get a male.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                        I'd go with a male since you have a female dog. Sometimes same sex aggression can occur and it can be deadly with 2 females. I've had females who get along great with each other, but have heard horror stories of females fighting violently once the female puppy matures. It's easy to avoid the risk of that problem if you get a male.
                        I have heard that it's a problem that can occur, though my breeder said she hasn't seen much of it in her lines (she has 3 mature females in her house right now that live in peace and harmony). However, my husband would be thrilled with a male = ) He's hoping for a small horse I think... I keep telling him how a female is still going to be huge. We would avoid having to deal with heat cycles though, which is a plus! Perhaps we get a male and then he can have a harem of lady greyhounds as we collect more of those, haha.

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