As most of you know, I am over-the-moon in love with my Great Dane, Penny. What you might not know is that 92.7% of everyone who sees her says, “I’VE ALWAYS WANTED A GREAT DANE!!”
Which brings me to this post.
A shocking thing I’ve come to learn is that so many Great Danes are abandoned because their owners didn’t know what they were getting into (cue: weeping)
SO, if you think you want a Great Dane, here are some things to consider.*
1. Size Matters: Obviously, Danes are ginormous dogs. On average, male Danes measure anywhere from 32″ – 36″ at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 140 – 180 pounds. Females, on average, stand between 28″ and 32″ at the shoulder and weigh around 110 – 140 pounds. While it may look neat, you really need to consider if owning a dog that big is right for you.
2. You’re ready for a financial investment: Great Danes are not inexpensive dogs to own. From vet bills to foods costs, you need to be ready to shell out a pretty penny for your Great Dane. Penny eats 8 cups of food per day, and we’ve yet to have a vet visit under $150. FYI: Big things (beds, collars, toys, etc.) cost more than “average sized” things.
4. If personal space is your thing: Go with another breed. I didn’t know the true meaning of velcro until we got Penny. I absolutely love this about Great Danes, but most people don’t realize that these giants are actually fierce lap dogs 😉
5. Great Dane? More like, Great Diva: Penny is the biggest diva I’ve ever met. When I read that Danes are “strong willed” I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the truth. Then, we got Penny. She moans if you try to get her to move and she doesn’t want to. She groans if you move and she doesn’t want to you. Danes do what Danes want to do. (Proof)6. Separation anxiety: Danes are not dogs you can leave alone for 10 hours a day. Most Danes are prone to separation anxiety, and can become destructive and depressed when left alone for too long. (Velcro, remember? 😉 )
7. Training, training, training: If you do not want to invest your time and money into training, a Great Dane might not be the best breed for you. It’s not realistic to think you can have a dog this size and not have them obey you. A Great Dane pulling on the leash is quite terrifying. A Great Dane chewing on your couch is quite devastating. A Great Dane jumping on you when you walk in the door is quite painful. You get the picture…you need to be in charge. (We owe so much to the fantastic people at 2 Speak Dog!)
8. You’re ready for your heart to explode with love: Yes, Penny is expensive. She’s going to be freakin’ huge. She’s slobbery. She’s needy. She’s more work than smaller dog might be.
But, in my experience, she’s worth all of that and more. She’s a gentle giant. She’s a love bug. She’s funny. She’s fantastic. Penny has easily become the third member of our family and I love her tremendously!
*I am not a dog expert, duh. This is just my experience. There is so much information out there about owning Great Danes – please do your research before owning this breed!