Zoey is my “Gentle Giant” she is a 5-year-old blue Great Dane and truly the love of my life.
I am writing from my own personal experience, so remember that each Great Danes personality differs.
The day I got Zoey, she was so big at just 8 weeks old that I could not even carry her. She was full of energy and she had so much love to give. At home, she was fortunate enough to have 2 sisters, Tessa, a Rottweiler and Lulu a “something beautiful” and a brother Sam a Fox Terrier. That helped a lot with socializing Zoey, a big part of raising and ensuring a friendly and outgoing personality. Best of all it saved my garden and furniture!
At the beginning, she was living outside with Tessa in their comfy carpet covered dog house, but soon enough I realized she hated it and all she wanted was my couch. Before I knew it, all 4 dogs were in the house each with their own couch.
Although she was so big, she preferred to be inside, she did not want a big yard to run around in. We would go for walks when possible and she would thoroughly enjoy that, but just prepare yourself for being the one doing all the work. Never would she just walk like a lady on her own with her head held high, instead she would lean against me with all her weight and drool all over my shoes. By the time we got home I would be exhausted and believe it or not, so would she, It was as if she took me for a walk for 2 blocks.
When indoors she will choose the smallest couch, and curl up into a little circle and that is perfect for her. The day she does not want the couch she definitely wants my lap. Great Danes are of average intelligence but still, I would hope that she knows she is bigger than a Fox Terrier. But it never crosses her mind that she is the world’s largest lap dog. When getting a Great Dane, you should definitely be up for the challenge and a bit of patience is key.
Everything Zoey does is so overwhelming and feels overwhelming at times. Then I think of Sam or Lulu and I don’t feel overwhelmed by their antics. I think it may be because she is so much more, about 45 kg more.
Puppy training for a Great Dane is very important because they are so big, you need to know how to control your dog and they need to know how to listen. Zoey had a bad habit of jumping on everyone she would encounter. As I learned how to handle her it was easier controlling her and she knew how to listen. Not all people love our pets as much as we do, and we need to help our pets make the visitor encounter as pleasant as possible.
Something I can complement Zoey on is that she understood the “do your business outside” very well. Yes, it does take time, but compared to my other dogs housetraining her was the easiest.
I am really enjoying having her as my fur baby. She brings lots of love and joy to the house in a different way and loving her is a privilege. She occupies my bed and half of my arm when we sleep but I could not have asked for a better sleeping buddy.
As with all dogs, there are the red flags and the green flags so let’s state them here:
Because of their size, Great Danes can have some health issues. Most common is usually hip or elbow dysplasia. Issues concerning their tummies are also high risk so as a Great Dane owner make sure to do research on preferred diets for Great Danes and make sure to get a slow feeder and never let your Great Dane bend over to eat. The eating and drinking bowl should always be the same height as they are. Try and separate their meals into small portions at various times a day.
They love unconditionally and you are set up for years of laughs and entertainment. The personality that these animals can show is out of this world. They absolutely love being with you and spending time with you, so you never have to worry about being alone. They can be great guard dogs because me, myself and I have even shouted a few words in the wrong direction when I see her dashing towards me.
For me the green definitely outweighs the red, loving a Great Dane for however many years they are blessed with is better than not loving one at all.
I believe dogs are who you raise them to be and ultimately I think we make the difference in all our pets.