Perhaps you recently got a Great Dane puppy or are thinking about getting one. Here’s something you should know: YOU WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE A GIANT DOG. Of course you already know this, but one should never underestimate the cognitive wherewithal of the dog-buying public, especially one faced with the brain-melting cuteness of a Great Dane puppy.
Fortunately, Great Dane puppies start out small (and thank God for that, thinks mama dog). For a while, you will actually be able to pick up and carry your dog around — and you will remember these days for the rest of your life, looking back fondly on the time that your dog did not have his own zip code and tip the car starboard when you’re driving down the street. But after you move from the early “Aw, what a cuddle bug!” stage and into the “Whoa, things are getting serious here” months, you’ll eventually hit the crucial “Ouch, my back!” moment — month six, 80 adorable pounds — where you will stand back and look at your wonderful puppy and think, “We’re gonna need a bigger house. And bank account.”
To be sure, your Great Dane puppy will be a fine companion during all this, given his sparkling temperament and disposition — better than yours, especially when you’re loading 50-pound bags of dog food and three dozen rawhide chews into the car. “A gentle, sweet, affectionate pet,” say the professionals, “who loves to play and is relaxed with children. He has a great desire to please, which makes him easy to train.”
Such a nice puppy! In such a quickly growing body!
It’s a good thing, too, because Great Dane puppies are subject to all sorts of fawning over when exposed to the general public. Expect people to bend at the knee and inspect your dog’s comically large paws. Watch them run their hands along your dog’s flank, as if judging the merchandise at a cattle auction. Listen to them ask, again and again, the dumbest questions in the world, from “You know this dog is gonna get big, right?” to “You have any idea how much poop you’re going to scoop?”
“Yes!” you’ll say, exasperated. “And stop asking me that, Dad!”
Better people will quietly congratulate you, knowing you have a sweet, people-oriented puppy who is one of a kind, easy to housetrain, and friendly with visitors — provided you give her early socialization, which is why you’re standing in a dog park at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday trying to catch a cute Beagle’s eyes.
Also from the experts: Don’t let your Great Dane puppy run much until she’s 18 months old (don’t want to stress growing bones), watch her diet (many have dietary requirements for orthopedic issues), and keep your coffee table clear (that powerful tail can knock off a Golden Globe, which noted Great Dane-owner William Shatner surely discovered).
Lastly, if you have a wild boar in the house, use caution: Great Danes were bred to hunt wild boar, and yours may go after your wild boar. Learn more great facts like these from the Dogtime experts on our Great Dane breed page.
Finally, while your Great Dane is still a puppy, make sure to take the time to sit back and reflect on these special moments when your dog still has the relative size and shape of other dogs, before the folks from Guinness World Records start nosing around in search of the next Zeus.
You can ice your back while doing it.
Remember, you can find just about any breed of dog you are looking for at a shelter or rescue. Look on Facebook for a Great Dane Rescue in your area.