Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > The Dog Breeds


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:37 PM
Toller_08's Avatar
Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,107
Default Great Danes

Now that we have a fair number of Dane owners here, I thought it would be a good time to ask you all about the breed. :-)

My mom's dream dog is a Great Dane. She has wanted one forever... probably more than twenty years now. She's never had one simply because we've always been a multi dog home and have never had a very big house, so it would be too crowded to have a giant breed amongst other dogs. Plus the fact that she probably didn't really want multiple dogs, plus a Dane, plus two young kids running around all at the same time. But now that my brother and I are older, and both of us will be leaving home within a few years probably (and I will be taking my dogs with me), she really, really would love to finally be able to get a Dane. My Doberman breeder knows of a good Dane breeder (shows, health tests, really friendly lady, great longevity in her dogs), so that's probably covered. But I wanted to ask owners what they're really like to live with?

She does not want anything overly demanding exercise wise. She likes walks and is not one that would enjoy taking a dog out to play endless games of fetch or take for a long run every evening after work.

Training wise she would do best with something pleasing and trainable, but it doesn't have to be super quick and as willing as say a retriever or a herding type breed. She, like most people, enjoys a quick learner but she is also used to a stubborn streak.

Health wise, what are they really like? Are most Dane owners drowning in vet bills? Or is it possible to have a Dane and have it be relatively healthy? Sorry if it's a stupid question. They seem to have similar health concerns to Dobermans and I know most Doberman people aren't constantly running to the vet, but I've heard an awful lot of bad stories about Dane health and vet costs.

Are they prone to dog aggression? I know they seem to have SSA concerns, but not sure about outright dog aggression.

I personally haven't read much about Danes or talked to many Dane people as I didn't think my mom would ever actually own one, but she's dreamed of one for so many years now and really would like one. So I thought it would be good to ask all of you knowledgable Dane owners here first about them. Also, anything else you think a potential Dane owner should know (that I didn't ask about) would be greatly appreciated! She's done a little bit of research and knows quite a bit about them already, but it's good to verify things and I'm sure you all will have new information to add as well.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:08 PM
Greenmagick's Avatar
Greenmagick Greenmagick is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 2,987
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post

She does not want anything overly demanding exercise wise. She likes walks and is not one that would enjoy taking a dog out to play endless games of fetch or take for a long run every evening after work.

Of course this is going to depend on the individual but the majority of danes are pretty low on the exercise scale. They are in general pretty couch potato-ey. They do love to play, and when the zoomies hit, watch out...but its not an all day thing. Mine are pretty easily worn out by a bit of play in the yard or a free shaping session


Training wise she would do best with something pleasing and trainable, but it doesn't have to be super quick and as willing as say a retriever or a herding type breed. She, like most people, enjoys a quick learner but she is also used to a stubborn streak.

They are not the most biddable dogs, but they are nothing like say bull terriers either They really do love their people but are not snappy about obedience generally speaking. I think they are pretty easy to train house manners, basics etc.

Health wise, what are they really like? Are most Dane owners drowning in vet bills? Or is it possible to have a Dane and have it be relatively healthy? Sorry if it's a stupid question. They seem to have similar health concerns to Dobermans and I know most Doberman people aren't constantly running to the vet, but I've heard an awful lot of bad stories about Dane health and vet costs.

Costs can be high but no, I think you hear the extremes and just dont hear all the stories about ones with no to little health problems etc. Good breeder support of course is paramount and knowing your lines
.

Are they prone to dog aggression? I know they seem to have SSA concerns, but not sure about outright dog aggression.

Generally speaking no, and SSA is not a breed trait that is common either. Does it happen, sure just like any breed but its not something I see talked about often. Danes ARE very sensitive so I think can be "messed up" a bit easier than other breeds resulting in fear issues.
I am sure there is a ton more to say, just cant think of it right now lol. Honestly, for big dogs, they do not take up much room.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:09 PM
swabby's Avatar
swabby swabby is offline
Big Dog
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Posts: 105
Default

I had one many years ago. Sweet, goofy, gentle, giant, lovable clown, and a bottomless pit for food.

My only complaint, was out of all kinds of different breeds of dogs that I have had, Yankee was without a doubt the most difficult to house train. It was an exasperating ordeal, until she "got it".
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:10 PM
Greenmagick's Avatar
Greenmagick Greenmagick is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 2,987
Default

Oh, mine dont eat that much...actually many eat less than dogs that are smaller and more active

Ivy was not hard to housetrain but it took a bit longer. Qcumber was BY FAR the easiest dog ever to housetrain.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:32 PM
SaraB SaraB is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 5,659
Default

Danes arn't for everybody and it's not just because of their size. My experiences with them include fostering a handful of danes varying from a fear aggressive adolescent to a deaf, neglected adult and a puppy with a broken leg. I have owned two, Titan a harl from a BYB and Classic who was purchased from a respected show breeder with the intent to show him.

Danes have very odd nutrition requirements. I know that every breeder/breed hobbyist says that their breed has special requirements to take in account, but danes truly do. If they are fed the wrong type of food as a puppy they will grow up to have deformed legs and will lead a painful short life. Puppies should always be fed a balanced adult or all life stages food (or raw) and never fed a puppy food. The balance of phosphorus and calcium in puppy food can lead to a disorder known as Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD). Pano is very common in the breed as well.

Working at a vet clinic and having the experience I do with the breed, I feel it is safe to say that yes, the breed is riddled with health problems. It does not matter where the dog is purchased from but obviously buying from a reputable breeder that health tests will lessen the chance of severe health issues such as cardiac disorders, hip dysplasia and the like. My well bred dane is fantastic in those regards but is just plain odd when it comes to other health ailments. He cannot be given SQ fluids because they will lead to a abcess, his feet randomly swell and we have not found a cause for that, he either has focal seizures or a stress related fly biting, has had chin acne that is bad enough to bleed since he was a puppy and has recently started to develop pustules on his feet that rupture almost everyday. Allergies, thyroid, seizures and cardiac problems run rampant. The other major health concerns are Wobbler's (a condition where the vertebrae tightens around the spinal cord causing neurological symptoms, mainly untreatable) and bloat. It is said that 50% of all danes bloat. I have not had direct experience with bloat **knock on wood** but it happens. You do what you can to prevent it but it is always in the back of your mind. Osteosarcoma is another major early killer of danes, I've personally known 4 that have passed from this in the last 2 years. The other health concern is that they randomly die young. I'm 99% sure it's a heart issue but there is absolutely nothing sadder than getting the call that a friend's 2 year old dane was found dead in the morning when they were playing, happy and healthy the night before.

Behavioral issues are a whole other thing to consider. Fear reactivity and fear aggression are very common in the breed. I believe when they redeveloped the breed from an estate guardian into the household pet it is today, they went a bit too far in the other direction. Now we have a dog that has guardian tendencies but is scared of it's own shadow. Now, obviously not every dane is this way and socialization certainly helps. The pattern I've noticed is that because they grow into such a large dog so quickly, people forget to continue socializing past the adolescent age. Danes mature physically quickly but mature mentally a lot slower than other dogs. The adolescent stage can last from 10 months until 2-3 years of age with various fear stages cropping up anywhere. People do not to the appropriate socialization to get them past those fear stages and then end up with a fear reactive giant dog.

Size is also a burden. Classic is fear reactive, he barks at strangers but has never attempted to bite or even snap. However, due only to his size I will never trial him in agility. It is one thing to have your 40lb normal dog bark at a judge but absolutely not ok to have your 130lb great dane bark at anyone. He is awesome in agility and it breaks my heart everytime I run him that he will never be able to show off his hard work and his talents. Not only that but just traveling with him, we have to borrow a bigger vehicle to go camping because we can't fit our luggage and our dog in our station wagon. Leash training must be priority from day one because you can't walk a giant dog that pulls. Simple problem behaviors like jumping on guests need to be taken more seriously than with your average dog.

They arn't the most biddable dog, my danes have always thought it was funny to make me mad, stay just out of reach and play bow running away when I reach for their collar. They are very smart, very observant (Classic noticed the new betta I put on the counter and alerted to it, making sure I knew the fish had broken into our house). Clicker training goes pretty smoothly if you start it early, most danes are motivated enough to do a lot of repetitions of any one thing and variety is key to training sessions. My danes have always had fantastic toy drive and work harder for a tennis ball than a treat.

Energy level is all over the board. People always used to say that the harlequin family is higher energy and after having met all the danes I have, I have to agree at least in regards to the breeders who show in AKC. Titan was lower energy but he wasn't harl bred on both sides and from a BYB. Classic is nuts, paces nonstop when not on behavioral meds and is lovingly referred to as a border collie in a giant body where we train.

They arn't all bad though! I adore this breed, there is just something about a well bred dane that makes my heart stop. Their sense of humor is unsurpassed and their heart is as large as you can imagine. I feel 100% safe when I'm around Classic, I know he would protect me from anything and would die trying. I most likely will end up with a dane again... And it will most likely be another crazy, drivey mantle like Classic.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Sit Stay's Avatar
Sit Stay Sit Stay is offline
Not a Border Collie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,798
Default

My boss has a Great Dane. He is a very sweet, goofy boy! Very friendly with people and great with other dogs, although she's mentioned he can be quite in-their-face. He is a little too doofy for me, especially after witnessing him do butt tucked zoomies around our entire warehouse-turned-retail-store, but he's a sweetheart.

She's had quite a lot of health problems and vet visits with him in the year I've known her, 90% stomach-related things. She quite frequently mentions that he's feeling sick and has the runs, and I'm fairly certain she's mentioned that he's always had loose stool. He is on a good, GF diet. I am uncertain, however, if this is a breed thing or just an individual dog thing. I am unsure of what kind of breeder he came from, also.

She has mentioned too that he is not very high energy. She takes him to the dog park and out for walks at her parent's farm and he loves it but I get the impression that he's not a dog that will routinely bug you for exercise and stimulation. Probably content to chill in the house for the day if that's what you're up to!

We have another Dane who comes into the store regularly and oh man, what a beautiful dog! Just very very balanced and beautiful conformation. He is a little less silly and outgoing than my manager's dog, despite being young, but still always pleasant and friendly to people and seems dog friendly as well.
__________________

Quinn - English Shepherd

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-04-2012, 03:07 PM
Danefied's Avatar
Danefied Danefied is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 1,722
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
Now that we have a fair number of Dane owners here, I thought it would be a good time to ask you all about the breed. :-)

My mom's dream dog is a Great Dane. She has wanted one forever... probably more than twenty years now. She's never had one simply because we've always been a multi dog home and have never had a very big house, so it would be too crowded to have a giant breed amongst other dogs. Plus the fact that she probably didn't really want multiple dogs, plus a Dane, plus two young kids running around all at the same time. But now that my brother and I are older, and both of us will be leaving home within a few years probably (and I will be taking my dogs with me), she really, really would love to finally be able to get a Dane. My Doberman breeder knows of a good Dane breeder (shows, health tests, really friendly lady, great longevity in her dogs), so that's probably covered. But I wanted to ask owners what they're really like to live with?

She does not want anything overly demanding exercise wise. She likes walks and is not one that would enjoy taking a dog out to play endless games of fetch or take for a long run every evening after work.
In general, danes do fine with a couple walks a day, I wouldn’t put them high on the energy requirement scale. That said, adolescent puppies DO need a lot of exercise, and it may take up to 4 years for your dane “puppy” to mellow in to a couch potato. There are also enough freak danes out there who never get tired. A good breeder should be able to tell you the typical exercise requirements of the breed.
Also dane zoomies are not like normal dog zoomies. We’re talking furniture moved, windows crashed through, and doors removed off of the frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
Training wise she would do best with something pleasing and trainable, but it doesn't have to be super quick and as willing as say a retriever or a herding type breed. She, like most people, enjoys a quick learner but she is also used to a stubborn streak.
I consider danes fairly biddable. Border collies they are not, no, but I don’t consider them difficult to train. Adolescent danes can go through a “make me” phase, but I think you can head a lot of that off at the pass with good relationship based training. Danes are not a breed you try and *make* do anything. They are bigger and stronger than you and they are quite aware of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
Health wise, what are they really like? Are most Dane owners drowning in vet bills? Or is it possible to have a Dane and have it be relatively healthy? Sorry if it's a stupid question. They seem to have similar health concerns to Dobermans and I know most Doberman people aren't constantly running to the vet, but I've heard an awful lot of bad stories about Dane health and vet costs.
I have been very lucky health wise with our guys, and certainly a good breeder with generations of health testing stacks the odds in your favor. That said, EVERYTHING costs more with a dane. From flea treatments to heartworm meds, to boarding, to tooth extractions etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
Are they prone to dog aggression? I know they seem to have SSA concerns, but not sure about outright dog aggression.
Its not unheard of at all for males especially to have same sex aggression. Danes were originally bred as hunting, protection, and guard dogs. They are not overgrown labs. They have a strong guarding instinct that runs deep. They can also be very prey driven. Both drives can make for a handful of a dog in a large, athletic package.

Unfortunately there is also a lot of fear aggression in danes too. It is entirely incorrect for the breed, but it is out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
I personally haven't read much about Danes or talked to many Dane people as I didn't think my mom would ever actually own one, but she's dreamed of one for so many years now and really would like one. So I thought it would be good to ask all of you knowledgable Dane owners here first about them. Also, anything else you think a potential Dane owner should know (that I didn't ask about) would be greatly appreciated! She's done a little bit of research and knows quite a bit about them already, but it's good to verify things and I'm sure you all will have new information to add as well.
We have two danes and they’re awesome dogs. Love ‘em. But I agree, they are not the dog for everyone and the breed does have its issues.

Definitely go through either a super awesome breeder or a reputable rescue.
__________________
"We become better trainers by refusing to swallow uncritically what is tossed to us as truth,
by developing our powers of empathy and observation,
and by searching for better ways to teach and educate the dogs we love."
~Suzanne Clothier
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:37 PM
Toller_08's Avatar
Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,107
Default

Thanks for all of the info, guys! I really appreciate all of it.

I didn't realize fear aggression and reactivity were so common in the breed. That's very unfortunate. We've met a few dogs from this particular breeder and they all seem to have pretty solid, stable temperaments thank goodness. We've only seen them while they were visiting or staying at our Dobe breeder's house, so not sure what they're like elsewhere, but if they're good there then I imagine they're probably good everywhere. Her house tends to bring out the worst in dogs. Only trouble with this breeder is that most of her dogs are black, but hey, colour isn't everything. Mantles are my mom's favourite, though she says she'd be happy with anything. And who knows, maybe she won't go with this breeder as I am sure there are other good ones too. But this particular breeder seems highly recommended by many people here so chances are she is who my mom will go to.

It's not like anything is set in stone or anything and it won't happen for a bit yet, but the more info from actual owners, the better. :-)
__________________

Ripley
Keira (Very much missed 2007-2014)
Journey - Oracle Twist of Fate TreeStarr
Dance - Tollwest's Dancing In Style CGN FM RN
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:45 PM
poodlesmom's Avatar
poodlesmom poodlesmom is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Halfmoon, NY
Posts: 1,867
Default

I have been lucky enough in years past to have had 2 of these wonderful creatures! My 1st was one (a fawn) I got from the local humane society who was picked up running the streets. He was great with the other dog (a heinz 57 mutt) we had but was aggressive with other dogs. I think this was due to him being on the streets for a while. We lost him when he was around 9 yo to bloat.

The 2nd one I got at a yr old (a harli) from a local ad from a guy who was originally going to breed danes and then decided pittbulls would probably sell quicker. This was in the days before I knew better. He was better with other dogs but I had to keep a close eye because occassionally one would seem to set him off. When he was almost 9 we had have the vet help him to the bridge. He had gone blind and he was getting to where he was having alot of difficulty walking.

Both were great with people, kids & adults - although with smaller kids we had to be careful just because of their size. What would be a gentle bump with a smaller dog with them would knock a kid on their butt.

They were both total goofballs and very lovable. Loved to snuggle and they both thought they were lapdogs. If your mother likes to have trinkets on tables tell her that is a no go - one wag of their tail can clear off a coffee table in one swoop. Plus what would be out of reach for an average dog is easy pickins for them. Both lived with cats and believe me the cats ruled the roost - they learned that quickly. My daughter was young at the time and they were great with her.

As far as training both were housebroken when I got them. Walking politely on leash took a little while but they caught on. Counter-surfing was the one I experienced the most problems with and I had to be vigilant.

I do still love the breed but their shorter average lifespan of 7-9 yrs is heartbreaking. I do agree that regular vet visits do cost more if meds are needed just due to the doseage required.
__________________
Denise a/k/a Poodlesmom
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:33 AM.


©1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site