Y’all remember cute little Rowdy from last week?
Rowdy has a big brother, Zeus. Zeus is a black Great Dane, ears not altered, handsome as the day is long.
I have a soft spot for Danes.
I’m part Danish. Not a very large part, I think, but part. And my Hunny’s family has always had Great Danes. I didn’t know the breed at all until I met him. The very first Dane I met was a huge black with uncropped ears.
So what do you know about the breed? I’m going to tell you a little about my experience with them, then dive into the pros and cons.
First, the Great Dane is (obviously) a huge dog. Zeus’ dad got him five years ago, as a puppy, because he’d grown up with mutts and St. Bernards and wanted something bigger. Bigger than a St. Bernard. Holy moley. But with a lot less hair and more tolerant of the Oklahoma heat.
Y’all, Great Danes shed. It’s like eyelashes, but they shed. And heaven forbid you get those eyelash hairs stuck in a toe or foot. They’re like splinters. Still. It’s not like a long haired dog when it sheds.
Great Danes are lovers, with soft mouths, and they lean. They lean right into you. Danes also like to sit on the couch like humans, butt on the couch, feet on the floor. And when I say soft mouths, I mean that you can play with them and they’ll never clamp down or hurt you.
So let’s look at pros and cons with these beauties. Some are obvious, some not so much. First, here’s what the AKC has to say about the breed:
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]A “gentle giant,” the Great Dane is nothing short of majestic. Sometimes referred to as the “king of dogs,” this extremely large dog breed is known for being strong yet elegant, with a friendly, energetic personality. Striking in the show ring, this breed is also popular as a family pet. Coat colors can be brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin and mantle.[/quote]
- The Dane is a people dog, great with kids, friendly, playful, patient, gentle – this dog has an amazing and sweet disposition
- Great watchdog – as sweet and lovable as this dog is, they know the appropriate time to be aggressive and bark
- Loyal, trustworthy, dependable – like a big brother should be, the Dane makes the perfect companion for a child growing up alone
- Believe it or not, the Great Dane makes a good apartment dog, as long as he gets long daily walks – he’s not very active indoors
- If you brush your Dane a couple of times a week, the need for shampooing is far less
Cons (I hate the cons for this breed – they make me sad):
- Short lifespan – this breed typically doesn’t make it to year ten
- I don’t think the breed is prone to more or less health issues than other breeds, but given the lifespan, anything is too much
- Size – yes, it has to be said – if you crate your dog, the crate will take up half a room, and really, plan your vehicle around your dog, as well as your dwelling space
- Drooling (slobber) – I don’t see this listed, but the Danes I’ve known drool, which is one of the few things that grosses me out – not the drool itself, but when they shake their heads and it gets all over everything (that’s a personal heebie jeebie, y’all)
The Great Dane is actually a great breed. Other than size and lifespan, I’d say this is a fantastic breed for just about any family. Even those two deterrents are minimal given how wonderful it is to own such a great dog. It just requires thought and planning on your part, if you think this is the dog for you. My caution is to find a good breeder with good references. I’ve known poorly bred Danes and it’s a very bad thing to have one. Heartbreaking, really.
Again, if you haven’t entered the giveaway, get cracking! The deadline is tomorrow night at midnight! And I know you want a treat!
Until I write again …