Is a Great Dane Right for You?

Great Danes are magnificent animals and are admired by many people.  But, admiring a Dane in the park and owning one are two completely different things.  Acquiring a Great Dane is not a matter to be taken lightly, and they do not fit easily into everyone’s lifestyle.  Danes are enormous dogs, and with their size comes enormous responsibility.

Everything about these dogs is large.  They need large bowls, large collars, large crates, even large pooper scoopers!  All of these things will cost more than similar items for smaller dogs.  Vet bills will be proportionally larger also.  If your dog should need medicine or surgery, it will cost more than for a smaller dog.  Danes need to eat high quality food, and will eat 8-12 cups per day for most of their lives.

You do not need a huge home or huge vehicle to own a Great Dane, but you need to be willing to share your space with a VERY large dog.  I personally drive a small Ford Escort wagon, and often have two Great Danes in the back, but not everyone is willing to do this.  Have you talked to all family members about the impact this dog will have on their lives?  Are they agreeable?  Enthusiastic?

Do you have the time?  It takes time and energy to raise any puppy, and particularly a Great Dane puppy.  Danes are very social animals and are at their happiest when they are with their family.  Their favorite place will probably be in the living room curled up at your feet, or, if you choose to allow it, snoozing on the sofa and watching TV with you.  Great Danes are NOT outdoor dogs.  They need to be in the house and interacting with the people there.  Their coats are short, and they cannot be outside in the cold weather for long periods of time.

Training is important for all dogs, and even more so for a dog as large as a Great Dane.  A full grown Dane with a habit of jumping on people can be truly dangerous, and a poorly leash trained Dane will be impossible to control.  You will need to invest the time and energy to train your puppy properly.

This is not meant to discourage anyone from getting a Great Dane who truly wants one.  A well trained and properly socialized Dane is a joy to live with.  The rewards of sharing ones life with one of these magnificent animals are greater than any of the challenges.