Great Dane dogs are the sole ‘Gentle Giants’ on the planet. Despite the dog’s behemoth presence, the Great Danes are known for their doting temperament. Besides, the huge dog’s amicable and warm disposition is probably the reason behind its vogue. Nevertheless, this does not ensure that you can not get an aggressive Great Dane puppy. Indeed some Great Danes hold aggressive behaviors despite the breed’s amenable temperament.
There are instances when an otherwise warm and outgoing Great Dane dog expresses sudden aggressive behavior. The situation gets further alarming when a huge Great Dane acts aggressive towards people or other dogs. Try to calm the dog and look for probable triggers behind aggression. However, efficacious aggression training can eliminate aggressive such Great Dane behavior altogether.
What is Aggression?
Any such behavior of a Great Dane dog which is linked to a strike or an attack is called aggression. Aggressive behavior in Great Dane pronounces that an attack is imminent. Such a canine retorts to growling, turning into a rigid one, biting, or barking.
Usually, there must be some trigger to a Great Dane’s aggression. Encompassing medical conditions to some trivial incident like change of dog bed. Vaccine reaction can also provoke aggressive behavior in Great Danes. Due to these reasons the dogs can become aggressive with other dogs regardless of their prior congenial relation.
Aggressive Great Dane puppy
If your Great Dane puppy has potential to show aggression, it is probably because the Great Dane puppy is uneasy. There has to be something pestering the dog acting as a stimulus. There are myriad reasons contributing to an aggressive Great Dane puppy. Some Great Dane puppies can learn aggressive temperament at kennels as well where sharing and interconnection prevails at large.
Is a Great Dane an aggressive breed?
Usually, Great Dane dogs are gentle, easy going, and appeasing canines. The dogs are also called as ‘gentle giants’ due to their exemplary warm temperament. A Great Dane dog generally goes along well with other dogs. The potential of a Great Dane to be a family dog is quite high in that the dogs are good around kids also.
Despite such wonderful characteristics, if your Great Dane dog depicts a sudden change in its behavior, the dog must have got its reason.
Great Dane Aggression
As mentioned above, the Great Dane breed’s dogs are mainly complacent and friendly to be around. The dogs are revered as huge bundles of love and affinity. There are instances when these ‘gentle giants’ depict aggressive temperament. If your Great Dane dog has suddenly become aggressive towards you, or other dogs, and displaying anxiety issues, the condition is quite inauspicious.
Sometimes the Great Dane aggression makes the dog to respond as biting. In this scenario the dog is showing its latency to hurt people or dogs around. A huge dog with a latency to bite is not a great idea. Hence, an aggressive Great Dane could become a liability, and peril to itself and its owner. Therefore, finding the reason behind dog’s aggression becomes fundamentally indispensable.
Why is my Great Dane Aggressive?
If your Great Dane dog becomes aggressive suddenly look for the probable sources of the trouble. Such as;
The most paramount reason to the Great Dane’s sudden aggressive temperament could be its health. A sudden discomfort or pain either due to injury or ailment could be the trigger for the dog’s sudden aggression.
Dogs can become aggressive when there is some medical problem going on. As the dogs can not voice their problems, the most fundamental tool the Great Dane dogs possess to show their suffering is through behavior.
Hence, if your Great Dane is showing aggression the foremost step is to take your Dane to a vet. Get a thorough examination of the dog including its oral checkup and blood tests.
The diseases which can instigate aggression in Great Danes by turning a docile Great Dane into an aggressive one are;
- Brain diseases or cancer
- Thyroid diseases
Besides the aforementioned diseases your Great Dane might be showing aggression due to something as simple as an injured paw. Hence, nothing can be ignored while checking on the probable medical triggers provoking aggression in dogs.
Tangible causes behind Aggressive Great Dane behavior
There might be other more tangible sources for Great Dane aggression which you are not perceiving.
Something has changed
A Great Dane dog’s temperament does not allow it to be a bellicose dog. It is congenital in a Great Dane not to be aggressive. And if your Great Dane is showing aggressive behavior, it might not be that sudden. The dog could have gone through some bad incident or a series of events which were negligible for you but surely not for the Great Dane dog.
The Great Dane dogs show aggression as a reaction towards any recent alteration as well. Change of place, and food are key factors. Besides, some vaccine can also instigate aggressive behavior in Great Dane dogs.
A Great Dane dog’s aggression could be due to territorial behavior. In the case the dog would become aggressive to protect what it reason belongs to it. This could be something ranging from a toy to the couch in your living room.
Offensive or defensive instinct
Great Dane dogs bear aggressive behavior at times as a cover of defense. Such dogs becomes aggressive at someone’s approach. On the other hand, there are offensive Great Dane dogs. The dogs retain their aggressive temperament irrespective of others actions be it people or dog.
How to tame an aggressive Great Dane?
Dogs can sense potential threat and might become aggressive to protect what they own. The paramount thing to deal with Great Dane dog aggression is to teach the dog that others including people and dogs are not dangerous. Steps you can take besides hiring a trainer for your Dane are;
- Muzzle is the best and suggested tool to deal with Great Dane dog aggression. Particularly when people are around it is safe to keep the muzzle on an aggressive dog.
- Additionally, involve an aggressive Dane into mainly on leash activities. Tie your Great Dane dog to you on leash. Do this when you both have idle time or at least have nothing important to do. In this way the aggressive Great Dane would follow you wherever you go. Therefore, not being able to get close enough to another dog or other people without your permission and presence.
- An aggressive Great Dane dog ought not to be in contact with anyone except family. When friends visit make sure the dog is put away or at least on leash.
- If you are unable to contain the dog’s aggression, keep it totally away and make sure that not even shorter interactions can occur.
- In case your Great Dane puppy’s aggression is not reducing it is principle to hire a Great Dane dog trainer who aces in dealing with these huge dog’s aggressive behavior. In the meantime decrease the aggressive Dane’s exposure.
- Though, aggressive behavior can be controlled and handled there is no assurance that the dog would be cured completely.
How to correct an aggressive Great Dane?
Here are tips on training along with correcting an aggressive Great Dane in different situations.
Great Dane aggressive behavior towards other dogs
If Great Dane dog is aggressive towards other dogs could be due to the medical reasons mentioned as above. Or even due to something as simple as the change in dog’s routine. This could be due to some illness, injury, a recent visit to a vet or a groomer. You can diffuse the situation by taking off that particular smell by rubbing a moist towel on the dog’s body.
If the Great Dane shows aggressive behavior towards other dogs, excluding the aforementioned situation, this is how you can deal with the condition.
How to teach your Great Dane dog to behave around other dogs?
- Sharing must not be allowed in dogs be it food, toys or anything else. This might provoke a Great Dane dog’s protective instincts.
- Allowing dogs to share food bowls is not suggested at all. This can lead to food aggression in Great Dane dogs.
- If your Great Dane dog is depicting aggressive behavior towards other dogs you must separate the aggressive dog from others. The dog can harm other dogs any moment if not isolated right away.
- Food possessiveness has the tendency to initiate aggressive disposition. Great Dane dog if showing aggression towards other dogs it is recommended to feed dogs in separate rooms with gates and barriers. Sharing food bowls is not a good idea even for friendly dogs. Even toys, bones, other chewing stuff and likeable items must be given to dogs in seclusion. This would inhibit any sort of negative interaction between dogs in that the dog would not have to fight to get what it covet.
- Crating might be a workable option to handle an aggressive Great Dane.
How to train a dog not to go for other dogs?
Training a Great Dane dog not to go for other dogs is a process needing drill. The training is crucial for the aggressive dog as well as you. Yet never to opt for harsh or forceful methods for training a dog not to go for other dogs.
Aggression between dogs could be due to a plethora of reasons ranging from probable tangible influences like incidental instigators to deep sources such as onset of maturity. Look for the possible reason behind aggression in Great Dane dog.
Here is a step by step guide on how to train a Great Dane dog not to go for other dogs.
- Get the aggressive Great Dane dog separated from other dogs.
- Have your Great Dane dog on an inflexible routine. Keep things and activities organized and scheduled. In this way the dog would keep up with the routine easily.
- Keep doing activities in a similar fashion so the dog gets familiar with training schedule. You can include activities like, essential obedience, exercise or physical activity, chew time, walk, mental motivation, and play.
- Keep the aggressive Great Dane dog on leash. Do not let the dog interact with other dogs without your supervision.
- The aggressive dog must not interact with anyone outside the family.
- Feeding must be done separately. Dogs must not be allowed to share food to begin with. If possible do not feed an aggressive dog or other dogs in each others presence. Dogs have an instinct to hold what other dogs possess. Do not let this behavior to develop. Ensure the dogs get their toys and treats separately and individually as well.
- An aggressive Great Dane dog shows its negative interactive capability through its disposition. This needs to be altered. Practice some team activities and positive interactive scenarios with other dogs. For example, while keeping the aggressive Great Dane behind a barrier or gate. Feed the other dog with its treat. Then instantly, feed the dog its treat as well and give it a lot of admiration.
- Apply and repeat ‘nothing is for free’ on your aggressive Great Dane dog. It is like giving a job to your dog and furnishing it with things it works for. The dog has to relaxed and appeasing before it gets what it needs. For instance,
when it is time for outing the dog sits till you unleash it. Same goes with food. The dog has to show diffidence to get food. It can have its favourite toy only if the dog follows your command.
- Do not let the dog slip out of its schedule. If possible involve other family members in the training process as well.
- Commending is the key to teach your aggressive Great Dane dog to behave around other dogs. Do not forget to appreciate the dog when it follows your lead perfectly without going for anyone around. Add in treats with appreciation to induce positive reinforcement training rather than punishment or forceful training.
Signs of Aggression
There are numerous signs a Great Dane dog shows when it is aggressive. If the signs in the body language of the dog are read properly you would be able to head off trouble way before the attack occurs. The following are the signs of aggressive disposition of a Great Dane dog;
- Displaying teeth
- Stressed ears
- Rigidity in body
Aggressive Great Dane fear aggression with strangers
Some times, Great Danes express fear aggression with strangers. Such a dog is prone to exhibit aggressive behavior towards strangers while on a walk or at home. The Great Dane dogs must be handled aptly to correct the problem of fear aggression with strangers.
Some dogs depict retreat aggression and show aggressive behavior only when approached.
Whilst dominant aggressive tendency also prevails in canines. The dogs can attack people any time. Such territorial dogs keep staring at people holding a fierce look in their eyes.
The initial step in dealing with a Great Dane dog having fear aggression towards strangers is to put it on the leash.
Training a fear aggressive Great Dane dog
- Keep your dog in a separate room or crate when new people are at home. Then slowly bring them into the crate area where the dog is while talking with your friends.
- If the dog seems easy, relaxed and comfortable, let the guest toss food into the crate.
- Do not look directly on the dog during this whole time.
- Till the dog becomes normal in others presence and does not show any signs of aggression, you can bring the dog out of the crate.
Great Dane behavior problem
Great Dane dogs at times show various behavior problems. Such as;
Biting, and possessive or aggressive behavior towards food. The most imperative reason to such behavioral problems are medical or lack of proper training. Sometimes owners inability to handle the dog’s imminent problems can lead to Great Dane behavioral problems.
For instance, the Great Dane dog could be a subject to manhandling by the kids around. This can induce behavior problems in the dog including aggression.
Great Dane puppy biting could be due to anxiety, frustration, or fear. It is crucial to discourage a Great Dane puppy’s biting behavior even in the beginning. As this can lead to becoming a habit. If such a Great Dane puppy tends to get aggressive the biting could be fierce.
- Provide your Great Dane puppy with a lot of chewing toys.
- Whenever a Great Dane puppy shows its teeth, it is a precursor to the coming bite. Telling the puppy not to bite by showing your disapproval of the behavior can inhibit biting behavior in your puppy.
- Try to deviate the Great Dane puppy’s attention in such a situation. Toss at the puppy its favorite toy so that it can forego biting instinct.
Possessive and food aggressive behavior
The Great Dane dogs might exhibit possessive and food aggressive behavior. In such situations, do not ever try to take the thing over which the dog is getting possessive.
Possessive aggression is mainly an indication that there is a trust deficit.
When the food aggressive Great Dane dog retorts to growling or barking it is expressing its lack of trust. And if you take the thing away from the dog it means that the dog was right in suspecting your presence.
The best way out is to handle the situation meticulously. You need to build trust and make the dog feel protected in your presence.
- The foremost step to discourage possessive and food aggression in a Great Dane dog is to feed the dog in seclusion. When the dog is eating nobody has to be around.
- Taking away things from a dog is prohibited generally and particularly if your dog has possessive behavioral issues.
Training a dog to cease acting possessive and food aggressive
Here is the step by step guide to train a Great Dane dog to cease acting possessive and food aggressive.
- Walk towards the possessive Great Dane dog while it has the object the dog is possessive about, toss some treat at the dog without looking towards it.
- Keep doing it till you find your dog expecting more things from you when you are near.
- Slowly come decrease the distance form which you toss treats at the dog.
- Try to practice basic commands during this possessive training and other interesting games which can control the possessiveness in a Great Dane dog. For example,
- Take two similar items one is for you and the other is with the dog. Now let the dog give its to you to get yours. And then continue the changing of items to and fro.
Great Dane Anxiety Issues
Great Dane breed’s anxiety issues are similar to dog’s behavioral problems. The dog can retort to biting, growling, barking, possessive and aggressive over food due to its anxiety issues as well.
Signs of Anxiety in Great Danes
Some signs of anxiety in Great Dane dogs are;
- Change in Great Dane dog’s disposition
An otherwise amenable, and friendly dog becoming an aggressive Great Dane.
- Change in dog’s eating habits
- Biting, barking, or growling
- Lethargy and lack of interest
Can Great Dane be left alone?
The Great Dane dogs can be left alone. Though the dogs are exuberant in the presence of people they love. When left alone for longer duration the Great Dane dogs can show signs of separation anxiety.
Great Dane Separation Anxiety
Great Dane dogs are extremely loving and caring. The dogs have unmatched admiration for their owners. These attributes of a Great Dane temperament can provide the basic stimulus inducing separation anxiety in a Great Dane dog.
Simply leaving the Great Dane dog alone for hours can make it sad and bored. Sometimes Great Dane separation anxiety is due to the fact that the owner left its dog without telling it. Like proper greeting and a goodbye can work to reduce a Great Dane’s separation anxiety. Leaving the dog anxious when you step out of the house is the recurrent cause behind Great Dane separation anxiety. Resolve the issue which is making the dog anxious first, it could be due to lack of proper exercise or skipping some morning routine.
Great Dane Anxiety Medication
There are instances when Great Dane anxiety issues keeps on augmenting. Despite all the efforts the owners put in into calming the dog, the number of pillows destroyed never comes down. This desperate situation can be dealt with the help of a vet.
Your vat can prescribe some anxiety medication for your Great Dane anxiety issues. There are many Great Dane dog anxiety medications prescribed by vet. Among which Prozac is considered the most effective Great Dane anxiety medication. Administer your Great Dane dog suffering from anxiety the medication according to the dosage your vet recommends.
How to Calm a Great Dane?
Beside medication there are other ways to calm a Great Dane dog. Music is said to be the food for one’s soul. It might be true for dogs as well. Many studies have been conducted over the years to evaluate the effects of music on dogs.
It can be inferred based on the studies that music can help canines suffering from aggression. Many kennels around the U.S. employ music to calm dogs. Some of the critical ways on how to calm a Great Dane are as follows;
- Music can be a way to calm a Great Dane dog down. Right after it has shown its aggression and you have put the dog in the crate. Let the Great Dane dog listen to some soothing melodies. The notes for a Great Dane dog are not high same is the case with volume. Higher notes and higher volume can further get a dog excited.
- Try to understand what the Great Dane dog is conveying. Generally, dogs get excited over things like potential danger alert.
- some underlying source can also make a dog exasperated. Removing the source will calm the Great Dane dog.
- Dog trainers mainly recommend thunder shirts to calm aggressive dogs. Employ a thunder shirt to calm your aggressive Great Dane dog.
- In addition to thunder shirts anxiety wraps are also available. Use the item to calm your Great Dane which works better on your dog.
- Do not forget to pet your Great Dane dog if its is showing anxiety. Positive interaction with owners can calm a Great Dane dog readily.
New dog when you have an aggressive dog already?
If you want a new dog when you have an aggressive Great Dane or any other dog already, it is better to first handle and control the dog you own already. As aggressive dogs poses a serious danger to other dogs. And your new dog might become defensive or exhibit a total retreat behavior. In this case the dog would become shy, insecure canine which you obviously would not want.
If a Great Dane has become suddenly aggressive or showing some minimal signs of aggression, it is high time to act. Training an aggressive Great Dane, though a diligent pursuit yet not an impossible one. Remember, the sooner the better.
Follow the aforementioned steps with an aggressive Great Dane puppy to correct its behavior. Yet, if nothing works try to look for a professional help. And in case you are unable to find a suitable trainer for your aggressive Great Dane re homing your dog might be an option. However, rehoming is the last resort. This would get your large breed furry friend a chance to get better training and a probable desertion from aggressive behavior.