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Last Updated on August 26, 2022
Preparing for a Great Dane puppy will be, without a doubt, one of the most precious moments of your life. It’s a time where you think of many things to ensure that the puppy grows up to live a comfortable and healthy life with you.
A lot of things come with preparing for a dog as big as a Great Dane. Their huge size is a trait that often intimidates new fur parents. But since Great Danes are gentle giants, your love for them will surely outweigh the worries.
Get yourself all geared up to welcome your Great Dane puppy. You will need to do a lot of preparations to welcome them! See below to find out 5 of the most important things to do when preparing for a Great Dane Puppy.
5 Checklist Items To Know When Preparing for a Great Dane Puppy
1. Familiarize yourself with the breed
Generally, Great Danes are very affectionate and social dogs. But of course, understanding the breed will greatly help you in preparing for a Great Dane puppy. Learning the breed’s temperament, food requirements, diseases, life span etc. will help you in a lot of your decisions while preparing.
Furthermore, you should get an overview of the Great Dane coat colors. There are seven standard Great Dane colors accepted by the Great Dane Club of America (GDCA). And these include: black, brindle, fawn, mantle, blue, harlequin and merle.
2. Learn about common health problems and procedures
A Great Dane has a short lifespan and can experience a number of common health problems. To make sure they live a life of comfort and health, you should be prepared and understand common health problems and procedures.
Some of the most common diseases Great Danes experience in their lifetime are bloat, Cardiomyopathy, bone and joint problems and thyroid problems.
When preparing for a Great Dane puppy or any puppy, vaccinations are a must. Multiple trips to the vet for vaccinations might seem like an inconvenience, but are extremely necessary. Usually, vaccinations for puppies start as early as 6 weeks old.
Vaccinations help prevent a lot of diseases, especially those that can be deadly. A few diseases that vaccinations can help prevent are Canine Distemper, Canine Hepatitis and Parvo virus.
Ear cropping is a procedure that has always raised concerns. And dog owners and veterinarians alike have divided opinions about it.
However, if you ever decide to get your Great Dane puppy’s ears cropped, it’s best to do it during the age of 7 to 10 weeks. Furthermore, ear cropping is an expensive procedure (roughly about $150 to $600) and must be done by a qualified veterinarian.
Spay or neuter
Spaying or neutering your Great Dane puppy has a lot of benefits. It reduces reproductive health problems such as mammary and testicular cancer among many other things.
3. Prepare for Great Dane puppy training
Preparing for a Great Dane puppy means preparing yourself for puppy training. Potty training, obedience training, house training and leash training – these are just some of the trainings your puppy should undergo.
Some say Great Danes can be easy to train, but some say they can be stubborn. Either way, puppy training is essential, especially when they are at this age. Because it is at this stage in their life where you can help them develop good characteristics and habits.
Furthermore, while you will still need a lot of patience and effort to train a puppy, it’ll still be a lot easier compared to training an adult dog. As the saying goes, you have to start them young!
4. Consider its lifestyle
Comfort and health are other chief elements in the checklist when preparing for a Great Dane puppy. A healthy lifestyle means a healthy puppy!
Make sure to prepare the following to ensure a comfortable and healthy lifestyle for your Great Dane puppy:
Food & Diet
Regardless of breeds, puppies grow at a fast rate. However, the larger the dog breed, the longer their growth timeline is. While a small to average-size dog breed can only take 6 months to reach their adult size, large breeds like Great Danes often take up to 2 years to reach their full size.
In saying that, there are a lot of factors to consider when preparing for a Great Dane puppy’s diet. You have to ensure that they get the right amount of nutrition so they will grow healthily and avoid the risk of growth-related problems.
Here’s a few important factors to consider and remember:
- Make sure to feed them 3 times a day. Puppies need to eat a lot to support their growth. However, you also need to make sure to not overfeed them. Overfeeding results to growth-related issues like Panosteitis and Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy.
- Include a source of calcium to their food. A perfect puppy meal includes 1% to 1.5% calcium to support proper growth.
- Control the amount of calories. In general, giant dog breeds have slower metabolism compared to small breeds. That means they burn off calories at a slower rate. So make sure the amount of calories in their meal is ideal to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
When preparing for a Great Dane puppy, you have to buy a perfectly sized crate for them. Because this is something your Great Dane puppy will be using frequently.
Remember, the Great Dane’s height can reach up to 34 inches. And if you plan on using the same crate from their puppyhood until their adulthood, it’s best to buy a crate that is according to a Great Dane’s size.
Proper sleep is very important for the growth and health of a Great Dane puppy. Great Dane beds need to be durable and comfortable at the same time to support the dog’s size.
Also, even though dogs in general are comfortable sleeping on the floor, it’s difficult for Great Danes to fit on couches or other furniture due to their huge size. That’s why it’s important to provide them a high quality bed where they can comfortably rest and sleep.
5. Prepare necessary tools and accessories
When preparing for a Great Dane puppy, you will need a lot of tools and accessories to buy to further support their health and lifestyle.
Dog collars are sophisticated dog accessories. However, when choosing a collar, style is not the only factor you should consider. You should also consider the puppy’s comfort.
Dog collars come in different types. There are martingale collars, nylon, velvet, leather and even head collars. Though, if you are training your Great Dane puppy, a harness is another option to consider.
Great Danes have a smooth and short coat. However, they are moderate shedders. So grooming and brushing them regularly is important.
As Great Danes have smooth and short coats, brushing them using a high quality slicker brush will help keep their coat and skin healthy. Other grooming tools you’ll need are ear cleaning, bathing and nail trimming tools.
Furthermore, since Great Danes drool a lot, you have to be prepared to have grooming or cleaning wipes, especially when you bring them outside.
Overall, grooming of a Great Dane dog is not as tough as you imagine it. You can easily bathe and groom them at home as long as you have the right tools. Of course, professional groomers are always an option.
Toys are important not just for Great Dane puppies, but for dogs in general. They provide exercise, fun, bonding times and mental stimulation.
There are a variety of toys to choose from! There are fetch toys, tug toys, plush, chew toys, and even toys that are a combination of previously listed toys.
However, for Great Dane puppies (especially when they’re teething!), chew toys are the best type of toys for them to help them stay busy. But, as mentioned above, there are dog toys that are a combination type. So if you’d like to turn play time into bonding time with your puppy, a tug and chew type of toy is your best friend!
Preparing for and dealing with a Great Dane puppy’s arrival
The Great Dane puppy’s first week would be crucial for you and your Great Dane puppy. It’s an exciting time for you, but it might a little stressful for the puppy. You will need patience and effort as the adjustment period is a gradual process.
Here are a number of things to prepare during the puppy’s adjustment period:
1. Create a schedule
Create a schedule of their daily activities and stick to it. An organized schedule helps the adjustment period become a lot easier for both the puppy and the owner.
Furthermore, this is also where a few training comes in the picture, like house training. Their feeding time, play time and bed time are just some of the few activities to include in their daily schedule.
And soon enough, your puppy will start establishing their own routine, habits and behavior. Furthermore, it will help with problems such as separation anxiety.
2. Establish basic rules
When you finally have your Great Dane puppy at home, remember that they are just learning to live in a world without their mom and littermates for their first time at a very young age. And this is why it is important to establish rules. You will need to help them navigate a new world.
Establishing basic rules also involves training, such as potty training. For example, you have to start establishing that the puppy cannot and should not pee inside the house.
When establishing the rules and training your puppy to follow them, be firm but do not be harsh. Getting mad or shouting will only result to negative behavior.
3. Interaction with children
While Great Danes are known to be friendly and good with children, direct supervision during their first meeting is advised. Both the child and the puppy should meet face to face in a calm environment to avoid any accidents or problems from arising. Kids, at times, can be rowdy and puppies can growl and/or bite when agitated.
4. Meeting other house pets
Many new Great Dane parents prepare for a Great Dane puppy while having other canine pets already.
When introducing your new Great Dane puppy to your other dogs, you have to remember a few points:
- Introduce on a neutral territory rather than doing it at home or at an enclosed space.
- You have to let the dogs determine the pace of the introduction. Let them approach each other on their own and do not force anything.
- Always be alert and watch their body language.
- Give verbal feedback on their reaction. If you feel tension rising, you can say something like “Knock it off!” or if they look like they’re getting along say things like “Good boy/girl!”
- Pay close attention to you Great Dane puppy and other dogs when at home.
5. Be Consistent
Admittedly, preparing for a Great Dane puppy is not easy. However, you have to be consistent and stick to your established rules and the puppy’s training. Things might be difficult in the beginning, but it will all pay off eventually as your Great Dane puppy establishes good behavior as it grows old.
Positive reinforcement is the key while training the Great Dane puppy. Socializing the Great Dane puppy would also equip it befittingly to interact peacefully with everyone and everything it encounters.
Preparing for a Great Dane puppy is a journey on its own. You need to do a lot of things and you need to equip yourself with a lot of patience. It can be both an exhausting and fulfilling experience as you go along the way. But before you know it, your new Great Dane puppy is settled in with you living a loving, healthy and wonderful live.