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New Dog Day, aka, Got any tips for owning a Great Dane?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by TheGoodTexan, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    A friend of my wife has lost their home and has been given an eviction notice. They have a 5 year old Great Dane, Jasmine, who needs a home. We love dogs, and have a 5 year old Black Lab, Pepper, who we rescued about 3 years ago. He's the best and smartest dog that I've ever had the privilege of being around. And Pepper is a huge Lab. Not huge as in "block head", but tall and athletic. He's one of the tallest Labs that I've ever seen.

    Jasmine dwarfs him. Here she is last night, standing by our 5 foot fence with my wife (who is standing on her toes):

    [​IMG]

    We agreed to dog sit Jasmine for a few days just to see how the two dogs might adapt to each other, and how well Jasmine might do with our set up and schedule. If it does not work out for us, we can take her back to her family, and we've agreed to help find her a home at that point.

    She seems to have the stereotypical Dane demeanor, that is, calm, lovable and goofy. She longs for a human to touch her, and she is quite comfortable in our yard, running up and down the deck and taking about 3 strides at full gallop to cross the width of the yard. Pepper is not an overly dominate or supremely alpha male, but Jasmine submits to him immediately, falling down to her "knees" and kneeling when he approaches. Pepper sniffs and circles her, and if he stays long enough, she will lay all the way down to the ground. There's been no growling or displays of supremacy from either of them. They even both ate a few bites of food from the same bowl last night, with no problems (although we a separate bowl for each of them, about 10 feet apart).

    It seems like it will work out. I hope it works out.

    But I'm not naive. I know that Great Danes are a special breed with special needs. We have not taken her to the vet yet, cause we don't want to spend that money until we're more confident that she's going to be a good fit for us.

    Pepper is extremely active... maybe the most athletic dog that I've ever been around. We run him at least once a day, and some times we have two of three session with him on weekends (vigorous games of fetch or frisbee). Plus we take slow walks in the neighborhood several times a week. He swims at least once a week in the warm months. Jasmine's former family had a pool and said that she loves to swim too. But I know that Dane's aren't supposed to be encouraged to run, like we do with the Lab, so I need to read up on that, and the timing between eating and playing... something to do with the digestive tract I think.

    She doesn't seem to care much about playing right now, but that's probably because she's stressed out from leaving her family and the new surroundings. Also, she appears to me that she may be slightly underweight, but we'll see what the vet says if we make it to that point.

    Any other thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  2. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Afflicted

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    Having been around more than a few, Great Danes are not very active. Also, at 5 years-old, that dog is a serious senior. For such great dogs, they don't live very long and it's what keeps me from owning another one. The average lifespan of a Great Dane is about 7 years. If the money spent on the dog is going to be an issue, the dog is at a time in its life that its medical costs may start going up, so you may want to keep that in mind.

    If you are happy with taking care of a really big dog that likely won't be around for more than a few years, I say go for it. They are tremendous dogs. I would recommend getting a very big shovel for backyard cleanup, though. :lol:
     
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Pointmonger is right.

    Keep her, and quit your jobs and spend the next 2 years with the animal. She might be gone before you know it.
     
  4. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    This is very good to know.

    If we do keep her, we may just need to decide up front that our desire is to provide her a great life, while she finishing out her life... as opposed to spending a lot of money on any major health concerns.

    Is that a responsible manner in which to approach something like this?

    Obviously we can't quit our jobs.
     
  5. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Afflicted

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    Every dog deserves someone that is willing to love them and provide them a great life. If that is what you can give this dog, I'm happy for the dog, and happy for you.

    I wasn't trying to scare you off of the Great Dane, but just wanted to make sure you understood that this dog is in it's twilight years, even at 5 years-old. With any dog of any size, you will always have to weigh costs of medical treatments against the actual quality of life the dog is being provided. Use your judgement, with the understanding that it should always come down to making sure the dog isn't suffering.

    As far as costs go, I recommend finding a good, "country" vet. I drive my dogs an hour out of the city for their vet and I pay less than 50% of what I would in town. The vet care is a lot more pragmatic, as well, in my experience.

    Anyway, as I said, they are fabulous dogs. I hope this works out for both of you. Give that old girl Jasmine a good rub around the ears for me.
     
  6. rolling56

    rolling56 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    When i was taking my dog to puppy training classes, a person with a great dane walked in and one of the puppies in my class saw it and yelped then ran when he saw the dane :lol:

    One of the kewlest dogs i ever saw was a great dane brindle sp? color. Looked tiger stripped :cool:
     
  7. asatfan

    asatfan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Interesting. I do not know too much about Great Danes either. We brought home an 8 week old, 1/2 Dane, 1/2 Australian Cattle Dog, back in January. He looks more like 95% Dane (very much like Jasmine...all black with a bit of white). "Diamond" has already become one of my favorite dogs. He's such a happy dog and he makes us laugh....except now, his nose is about table high and he's starting to realize just what he can do.....

    Fortunately, we live in the country and have plenty of room for him to run.

    I hope you enjoy Jasmine as much as we're enjoying Diamond!
     
  8. DuncanAngus

    DuncanAngus Tele-Afflicted

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    My uncle had one and that dog was a crap factory!!! There were days that a front-end loader was required.

    He was a really sweet dog though.
     
  9. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Danes were bred for guard duty, and therefore do not require a lot of exercise. We had a Dane when I was a kid, and he liked to run around in the yard, but only for a short while. Then he would spend a lot of the day lying down. He loved the couch.
    Read up on how much you should run them.
     
  10. claudel

    claudel Tele-Afflicted

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  11. Northerntele

    Northerntele Tele-Holic

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  12. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'd get the English saddle as opposed to the Western style.
     
  13. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just saw him on the local news 20 minutes ago. Amazing dog.
     
  14. backporch guy

    backporch guy Tele-Afflicted

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    With a Great Dane and a Lab, one of you might have to get a second job to pay for the dog food.
     
  15. cband7

    cband7 Friend of Leo's

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    I've seen stories about this dog; this particular picture is suspect, however. Compare the guys shoes with his head: you don't see too many people with feet twice the size of their head*. The dog really is supposed to be one of the biggest.




    *I have known people whose head disappears when they open their mouths......


    .
     
  16. bonefish

    bonefish Tele-Holic

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    as far as feeding/exercise goes, any deep chested dog (like my hounds) is susceptible to torsion/bloat. it's a good idea to feed them several small meals over the course of the day, and avoid any vigourous activity for about an hour after mealtime.

    most danes i've had the pleasure of meeting have been really stellar dogs...
     
  17. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I know nothing about Great Danes but I wanted to say that it's great that you are caring for the dog.

    Must love dogs!

    Very nice.
     
  18. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Just an update on Jasmine the Great Dane. I think that we've decided to keep her. She's working out wonderfully, both with our Black Lab, and with our schedule. She's absolutely no trouble whatsoever. And she's just a big baby.

    I was off today so I slept in a little. I woke up around 8am and looked out in the back immediately, to find Pepper and Jasmine laying under our tree taking a nap. (They have separate covered sleeping areas on our covered deck, too.)

    What we are learning is that Danes are indeed extremely strong. Our Lab is a strong guy, and can jump out of this world. But Jasmine... she's at least twice as strong as him. As in, you have to have forethought and strategy when you're wanting to enforce your will on her to move to a different place. She's knocked my wife over twice (no harm done) and forced her way into the house twice with me trying to hold her back. The second time, I was able to grab her collar as she ran by - which was a bad choice on my part - I was in sock feet, and it was on a hardwood floor... I immediately went skiing across the living room! Again, no harm... we just have to learn to pay attention to what we're doing around her. She also has this habit of putting her head between your legs from behind, and walking up under you, so that you're basically in a position to ride her.

    She is house broken, but we've decided not to let her in the house just yet. We want to do that in small increments in a week or so, just so that she doesn't feel any immediate "ownership" of the inside. The Lab generally spends the days outside, and the nights inside (although he's not doing that right now). We'd like to have her do the same if possible.

    Here's another pic of her with my wife, taken last night.

    [​IMG]

    And just so you know - we are NOT encouraging her to stand up on us like that. We are certainly discouraging her from doing it. But there is a novelty with having a dog of this size, and before we told her to "get down" I snapped a quick picture to show her off online. This is not a regular thing.
     
  19. claudel

    claudel Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool.

    All the best to you and the new Monster...
     
  20. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    One of my favorite memories as a small child was our GD Shadow. I would tie a pillow on his back and ride him around the yard. Most gentle dog I've ever had. Our next door neighbor had one as well and our little terrier and he would constantly mark the fence line between our houses. I don't have to tell you who won and which one got frequent baths.

    Danes are wonderful dogs. Congrats to you for taking her in.
     
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