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Celebrate Your Dog on National Dog Day 2011!
Introducing! The All New Pups-Seeking-Homes Mobile Phone App
A Red Carpet Award Show For Dogs?
The Myth of the Hypoallergenic Dog Breed
The Fourth of July And Fun Times For Your Dog!
Poop Scoop Avoiders to be Identified By Dog Doo DNA
Dog Befriends Deer - And Other Unusual Puppy Friendships!
If you've seen the movie Marmaduke and are tempted to get a Great Dane, please read this APPEAL first. Great Danes are a huge responsibility and the decision to add a Great Dane to your family should not be taken lightly. Shelters across America are already overflowing with Great Danes that became too much for their owners.
If you are reading this as a prospective Great Dane owner, you will by now have read many articles on Great Danes espousing the wonderful nature of these magnificient creatures. When speaking about a well socialized, kept indoors loved member of the family, these things are usually all true. However, as a former Great Dane owner who has been blessed with having 4 Great Danes so far in life, I'd like to take the time to go over with you the realities of owning a Great Dane, and the many additional responsibilities you will have to taken on.
The realities of owning a Great Dane are as follows:
- Great Danes are A LOT of work!
- Great Danes are not suitable for first time dog owners.
- Great Danes cannot be left alone for more than a few hours.
- Great Danes are indoor dogs that need to feel included within the family
- Great Danes need daily exercise; a young Dane needs a walk of an hour a day + off lead time to run.
- If you do not provide your Dane(or any dog for that matter) the exercise that it needs, then you have a very good chance of ending up with a frustrated, destructive, potentially aggressive dog.
- Additionally I've found that Danes(again other dogs too) that do not get their proper exercise often do not become properly socialized as well as the opportunity for exercise also provides the opportunity for socialization.
- An un-exercised, un-socialized Great Dane is a recipe for disaster; trying to control a 150 lb dog from attacking and potentially killing all dogs in its sight is a daunting task, most especially for a 1st time giant breed owner
- you will either quit and give up on the dog because you weren't honest with yourself about the time involved or
- you'll watch lots of Dog Whisperer.
- Save yourself the trouble; don't get a Dane if you can't give it the proper exercise and socialization it will need
- Great Danes need a lot of socialization. A Great Dane that is not properly socialized is not a pretty sight. Many un-socialized Great Danes become dog aggressive, and if that occurs you will enter a vicious circle where:
- Your Great Dane requires its daily walk
- You will loath that walk time because the battle of trying to control your 150 lb dog from killing or seriously injuring someone else's dog. You will watch a lot of Dog Whisperer and you'll walk your Great Dane less frequently, at less busy times etc.
- And so your Great Dane won't get the exercise, nor the continued socialization work it needs
- Great Danes cost a lot. Expect big food bills, and their shots, wormers, and flea treatments, insurance, medicines and operations all cost more than smaller breeds.
- Great Danes have serious health issues. Bloat, Gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, wobblers and thyroid problems are all serious health problems that affect many Great Danes.
- Bloat (Gastric Torsion and Volvulus). Every Great Dane owner's most feared word; especially to the unfortunate ones like myself who have experienced it. This is an extremely serious and often fatal medical condition that is the number one killer of Great Danes. Recent statistics show that 43% of Great Danes will bloat in their lifetime. If a Great Dane begins to bloat you have only minutes to act to get your dog to a vet for emergency surgery. Even if a Dane survives the surgery there is still a high risk of death or developing serious heart problems afterwards due to Reperfusion Injury.
- Bloat prevention requires that Great Danes must be kept on a restricted diet and need to be fed multiple times a day.
- Great Danes absolutely require Pet Insurance:
- You will be on a first name basis with your vet. Great Danes pick up far more ailments and issues in comparison to other breeds.
- Vet bills can be huge. Two of our Great Danes have bloated, and the vet bill is as follows:
- Our first experience with bloat cost $4000 for the surgery, followed up by another $4000 for secondary ailments that came on as a result. We are always vigilant about how are Danes were doing + bloat, and so we got him to the vet in time.
- Our second experience with bloat occurred because one of our older Danes picked up a virus from the Dog Park. She was at the vet for 24/7 care for over 1 week; after day 3 she became stressed and bloated. The total cost for this bill was over $6000
- If you are casual about pet insurance, then Great Danes are not the appropriate breed for you
- Great Danes are not suitable for families with small children or elderly or infirm family members as they can easily knock a person over.
- Even a well socialized Great Danes can get into fights with other dogs, and because of their large size they will always be blamed as the aggressor resulting in potential legal liabilities and lawsuits. Another reason for pet insurance
- Great Danes are not for the house proud - they slobber, drool, shed and knock over anything in their path including furniture, children, people.
- They have a short lifespan. Danes only live 8 years on average.
After reading this, if you still are intent on getting a Great Dane, and you have never owned a giant breed before then perhaps a rescue would be a better option for you. There are well socialized rescue's available who are ownerless through no fault of their own. Dog Adoption not only saves a life, but it will allow you to become accustomed to a full sized, well behaved adult.
Please spread the word so that we can provide this experience to others who are researching / considering adding a Great Dane to their family.
APPEAL! Great Dane "Marmaduke"