10 things you need to know about the Great Dane before you buy one
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10 things you need to know about the Great Dane before you buy one

The Great Dane is a real head-turner of a dog that will immediately catch your attention if you see one out and about in the streets, and the first thing that strikes most people about the breed is their sheer size! The Great Dane is actually reliably ranked as the tallest dog breed in the world, and while they are quite proportionate, they are objectively big in every respect.

Pair this with their often-distinctive coats, which may be found in shades including harlequin spots or steely blue with ice blue eyes, and the Great Dane is a breed that you only need to see once to remember forever.

They also tend to have very nice natures as well, regardless of their imposing size, and so many people who meet and get to know the breed for the first time soon turn their thoughts to the possibility of one day owning a Great Dane of their own.

If you are wondering if the Great Dane is the right dog for you, this is most certainly not a breed to choose on a whim or buy on impulse. There are a great many different things about Great Danes that prospective owners need to know before they commit to a purchase, and this is not a breed that is a good fit for everyone.

This article will tell you ten things you need to know about the Great Dane dog breed if you’re considering buying a Great Dane of your own, and which will get you started with some pointers on the important things you need to learn more about before making a purchase. Read on to learn more.

The Great Dane is a giant breed

First of all, the Great Dane is a giant dog breed, and their sheer size means they need a large, spacious home and plenty of enclosed outdoor space in which to exercise in between walks. Great Danes can stand up to around 81cm tall at the withers, and weigh up to around 62kg, and individual dogs of the breed may be even larger.

Great Danes tend to be expensive to buy and keep

The Great Dane is an expensive dog breed to buy in the first instance, and the average asking price for pedigree Great Dane dogs for sale at the time of writing (September 2019 according to our Pets4Homes Statistics) was £1,000. Non-pedigrees aren’t a lot cheaper, at an average of £834 each.

Coupled with this, the breed is very expensive to keep; they eat a lot, cost a lot to insure, and need all of their accessories in giant sizes.

Great Danes are not hugely long lived

Larger dog breeds tend to live for shorter lifespans than their smaller counterparts, and the Great Dane is no exception. The average lifespan of Great Danes in the UK is between 8-10 years, which is on the low side for the canine species as a whole.

The breed is particularly prone to bloat or GDV

Bloat or GDV is an acute, very serious health condition that can be fatal, and which is apt to develop very quickly in affected dogs and become a threat to life within just an hour or two. The Great Dane dog breed is particularly associated with a high incidence rate of bloat or GDV, and any prospective Great Dane owner needs to learn as much as possible about the condition’s risk factors and symptoms before buying a dog of their own.

There are also a number of other health issues within the breed

Great Danes tend to be slow growing and don’t reach maturity until the age of two or more, and they are particularly prone to inheriting hip and/or elbow dysplasia, which can be worsened or triggered by over exertion in the puppy.

The breed is also associated with higher than normal occurrence rates of heart problems too.

Great Danes are not the most intelligent of dogs

The Great Dane is down towards the bottom end of the canine intelligence spectrum, and they’re ranked in 91st place out of a total number of 138 different dog breeds and types in the Coren ranking of canine intelligence by breed.

This means they can and do learn training commands successfully, but may be limited in terms of how many, and how reliable their responses are.

Their exercise requirements are relatively moderate, given their size

The Great Dane is a large, long-legged breed and as such they need a reasonable amount of exercise, but they are also a fairly slow-moving breed, and not one that is particularly fizzy.

Dogs of the breed will usually be happy with an hour or two a day of walks that combine both on the lead time and off-lead play and socialisation.

The Great Dane is a very affectionate and well-mannered dog, as a rule

The Great Dane tends to be friendly and personable with both their families and strangers, and they are generally considered to be affectionate, mannerly, loving and non-aggressive. However, they might well see off strangers who enter their territory, and can be quite daunting if they do, so ensure they are properly secured and that visitors can get to your house without problems!

Great Danes tend to be good with children

The breed as a whole is generally considered to be a nice choice of giant breed for families with children, and they tend to be very kind and gentle with children of all ages. However, every dog should be considered individually, and children need to be taught to respect the dog in their turn – and never to try to ride it, despite the dog’s size, as this can cause serious injury to the dog.

Great Danes need a large home and knowledgeable owner

Great Danes often have complex health, they need a large home, and they are very expensive to keep, which means that many people who might like to own one simply aren’t well positioned to do so.

This is not a breed to purchase if you’re not completely sure you can provide for them appropriately, and you should also have a plan for how to train and manage a large and potentially powerful dog as well.

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