The Great Dane


Size/Physique/Colors
 
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A great dane will average between 28"-36" in height and anywhere from 100-200lbs.
 
​We breed to meet the GDCA standards for correct conformation of the Great Dane. Keeping the breed balanced and majestic.
 
When choosing a bloodline or even this breed, it is best to understand how large of a dog you are going to be getting.  Their proper physique is a tiny bit of rib showing, but not where you can see every bone. The Great Dane will grow to its potential height before filling out. 
 
The Great Dane can be a variety of colors. The kennel clubs in the U.S. recognize Fawn, Brindle, Black, Blue, Mantle, and Harlequin. And recently the Merle.
 
Merles were recognized in Europe first. Recently (2016) the merle has been accepted as a show color. Hopefully there will be more to come in the upcoming years.
 
 
Information taken from the GDCA(www.GDCA.ORG):
 
A bit of Danish History:
As early as 3000 BC, carvings of dogs on Egyptian tombs depict the Great Dane. Archeological evidence exists of a Dane-type dog used for hunting and to fight bears and bulls. However, the Great Dane as we know it today was developed in Europe during the 1800s and declared the national breed of Germany in 1876. As a boar hound, the Dane of yesterday was very different, both in structure and temperament from the Dane of today. When no longer used for hunting, the breed changed to one of a companion and estate guard dog
 
Care of the Great Dane:
Today, correctly-bred Great Danes have gentle and loving dispositions that make them wonderful family companions. Although their primary asset in training is their desire to please, it is imperative that your puppy be well socialized from the time you bring it home; kindergarten puppy classes for puppies three to six months old are strongly recommended. These classes should be followed with a basic obedience class.
 
Your puppy will grow as much his first year as a child grows in fourteen years. It is vital that you provide it with the basic structure and consistent training that every puppy needs to make it a happy and well-adjusted member of your family.
 
Great Danes should be raised in the house as family members; they do not do well as yard dogs, although they do need a fenced yard for exercise and playtime. Just as you would not leave older siblings alone with a baby, young children should never be left unattended with your puppy or dog. Because a puppy is not a toy, children must be taught the correct way to interact with a puppy; fair play and respect are a must. Puppies often think of toddlers as other puppies since they are close to the same size and make similar sounds. As the parent, you must teach and monitor correct behavior on the part of the child and the puppy. Puppies chew on each other, wrestle, and growl to determine their pack structure. With correct and consistent training, your puppy will learn that your children are not puppies, but small humans. Quick movements and high-pitched squealing will excite a puppy or dog, while loud, harsh corrections will confuse and intimidate it. Dogs learn through consistency and repetition with love and positive reinforcement. The adults in your household must assume the role of pack leader in order for your puppy to grow up secure and confident.
 
We also recommend crate training your puppy. The crate, when placed in the living area of your home, will become your puppy’s “den.” Keep soft, washable bedding and toys in the crate; newspapers just inside the crate door can help with the baby accidents. The crate door should be left open while you are at home with the puppy so that it can go to the den at will. Children should be taught that they are never to bother the puppy when it is in its den – this is the puppy’s safe place. The puppy should also sleep in its crate until it is old enough to sleep through the night without accidents. If you do not have room for a crate in your bedroom, be sure to leave soft music and a large stuffed toy for it at night so it does not feel completely alone. You should also use a crate or seat belt harness in your vehicle for the same reasons that your child rides in a car seat.
 
 As you have probably come to realize, prior to approximately four months of age, puppies eat, sleep, and potty a lot! The initial three to four meals each day can be reduced to two meals per day by six to nine months of age. The last meal and water should be approximately two hours before bedtime with one last play period and potty break just before going to bed. while still a puppy, it will need to potty immediately after a nap, after coming out of its crate after eating, and after (if not during) a good round of play. Accidents in the house are not the fault of the puppy. If you take the puppy out often, stay with it, and give soft praise, it will soon be housebroken. Your Dane should continue to eat twice each day its entire life. Follow your breeder’s advice on feeding and nutritional supplements.
    
 



​​ Exercise
The Great Dane needs plenty of exercise.  Jogging is NOT recommended until the dog is at least one year old, but a long walk is necessary if there is no yard available. AKC has approved the Great Dane as an apartment dog, as long as they are walked daily. 
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Nutrition
 
   
Protein intake should be no more than 26%, and no more than 1% phosphorous and 1.5% calcium. The lower protein, calcium, and phosphorous levels allows them to grow at a slower rate. If they grow too fast, too quickly it can cause a number of health issues, stunt their growth, cause hip dysplasia, future joint problems, knuckling, HOD etc.  When choosing a food always check the ingredients to see if the first ingredient listed is a meat, try and stick with a food for "ALL LIFE STAGES." Also, try and stay up to date on any recalls with the dog food being used. 
NEVER FEED PUPPY FOOD!!
 ​

QUICK REFERENCE:
PROTEIN: 22-26%
CALCIUM: 1-1.5%
PHOSPHOUROUS: 1-1.2%


Improper Nutrition Problems:

OCD (Osteochondrosis Dissecans)
This happens when the normal process of bone growth results in cartilage that is replaced by bone, and growth regions are overgrown. This can effect the shoulder. elbow, hock and even the stifle. Protein intake should be less than 25% to help prevent this condition- slower growth may prevent OCD.


Pano or “longbone” (Panosteitis)
This condition effects the long bones of fast growing young dogs. Lameness is acute and painful, but is not related to injury. Lameness goes from one leg to another, and may go away without treatment. Limit activity, treat pain (usually with analgesics), lower protein ot less than 20% for a few months to slow down growth. Talk to your vet about MSM as a means to aide rehabilitation.

HOD (Hypertrophied Osteodsytrophy)
This disease may be caused by excessive caloric intake in relation to energy expended. More in, than out! This usually effects Great Danes between the ages of 12 weeks and 7 months of age. First signs are a swelling of the front wrist area-this area is usually hot and tender to the touch. (progress to faulty rear movement-because of pain in the lower back legs). Then, there is a dropping of the front wrist (pastern), splayed feet (toes are spread out flat), the topline (the top of the back) gets curvy (like a Greyhound) and the back legs are tucked under the body (like a Deerhound) making the dog appear deformed. Sometimes the rear legs look “cow hocked” (feet facing outward and hocks facing towards each other) and the front legs may toe inward. In some cases the dog will toe out; when viewing the puppy from straight above the shoulders down to the front feet, the legs will have a knock-kneed appearance. In extreme cases there are high fevers, refusal to eat, and constantly aching joints. This is caused by high protein foods consumed in larger amounts than is actually needed by puppies. Puppies do better on high quality, lower protein food ranging from around 20% to 25% protein.

Feeding:

Three feedings a day are usually adequate for young puppies. You can move to two feedings a day once your puppy reaches six months of age. Your puppy has been on a feeding schedule of 9am, noon, and 5pm.  Allowing the puppy to eat until full.  You should make your puppy’s feeding schedule to what suits your lifestyle routine. Start off with one cup of food per feeding and UP AS NEEDED or until the puppy is full.
    
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FEEDING CHART
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Victor Dog Food  
We feed Victor Dog Food to all of our Great Danes. It is made in the USA, hasn't had any recalls, and is great for your dog's health if feeding kibble. 
 

Find a distributor near you:

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*Your puppy is fed Victor High Energy while here. (The red bag pictured.)  We send each puppy home with a small bag of food to give you enough time to either get the food or have enough to mix to transition him/her to their new food.*   
Raw Coconut Oil Benefits
Clears up skin problems from allergies due to dry skin, improves general skin health, makes their coat shiny while also deodorizing any doggy odor, prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, disinfects cuts, improves digestion, reduces or eliminates bad breath, helps control diabetes, and aids in arthritis or ligament problems.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
*Cleans dog's ears and treats yeast based ear infections. 
*Improves fur, skin, and odor. Treats dandruff and rejuvenates hair, also gets rid of mange.
*Soothes itchy, irritated paws.  
*Repels fleas and ticks.
*Treats dog bruises, itchy skin, rashes, hot spots, and burns and helps with arthritis. Alleviates dog muscle sprains, soreness, and fatigue.  Boosts their immune system and helps with digestion.   
*Fights tooth decay.
*Treats urinary tract infections (UTI) and bladder issues.  
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Additional Things to Know:

* Use www.dogfoodadvisor.com to keep up to date with your chosen food of choice. Formulas change frequently and the dog food company is not going to tell you they changed.

* Danes are picky, they eat when they want, especially as they get older. Adults may skip meals 3-4 times a month.

* NEVER feed any table food. Dane sized gastric distress is NOT something you want to clean up, and it’s just not good for them to have to go through that.

*If changing food mix the new brand with the kibble provided.
        Start with ¼ new ¾ old and move up to half and half, then ¾ new and ¼ old until fully switched.
Do not free feed.
Rest minimally for one hour after eating.
    
Grooming
 
   
In general, you only need to bathe your dog once a month or when it is smelly or dirty.  Bathing too often can remove natural oils, making the dogs coat and skin too dry.  Brushing your dog can help to stimulate natural coat oils and is a great way to check for external parasites.  Such as ticks and fleas.  You should also trim your dog’s nails every 1-2 weeks to prevent pain when walking and to prevent overgrowth of the quick.   Grooming should be a comfortable experience for your dog. This should not be too difficult if you accustom your dog to being handled as a puppy. This will make it easier when your dog becomes an adult.
 
The Great Dane is low maintenance in grooming compared to most dogs. If nails are not done on a regular basis, their quick will grow out longer and longer. Once this happens, it will be harder to get them down to a reasonable length; but can be done after time. Regular baths are important and can be a chore with the size of this breed. To make things a bit easier, you can use a waterless shampoo. The Great Dane sheds moderately. Coconut oil in their food can help with shedding and give them a shiny coat.
 
 
We have found that the KING KOMB has worked best with a shedding Great Dane.  We highly recommend this when grooming your Gentle Giant.
 
Tooth and Oral Care:
 
You have a few options for their teeth.
       *We use a blue liquid called Nylabone Advanced Oral Care. We put this in our dog’s water and it cleans their teeth by dissolving plaque and freshens their breath.
*Your other option includes brushing their teeth, which if you choose this option, start them off young so they can get used to it.
 
**Having clean teeth can extend your pet’s life by 3-5 years!**
 
 
Ears
 
Ears need to be cleaned weekly or bi weekly. Use an ear solution when cleaning, it will help with yeasty ears.
 
Nails
 
Dane nails should not be heard clicking on the floor.
Weekly or Bi weekly dremmeling is recommended. Start this NOW so that it is a normal part of their routine. This will make it easier on you when they are 100+ pounds.
 
Puppy Acne
 
This is a common problem with danes 3-18 months of age.
Use stainless steel bowls and clean them frequently – they can go in the dishwasher.
Use probiotics to boost the immune system.
    
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Veterinarians

When choosing a vet, make sure that he/she is KNOWLEDGEABLE of the breed and does not treat your Dane like any other dog. They are a special breed that cannot be treated as such. If they suggest spaying/neutering before a year, RUN.  If you already have a vet and this is your first Dane, ask your vet to please RESEARCH the breed so he/she knows more about them.  If you go a to a vet and you feel pressured into their beliefs and ways, find a new one.  Your vet expereince should be enjoyable and educational with any questions you may ask.
 

If you are in the area, we use Dr. Hillman at Hillman Veterinarian Clinic. Click the button below and recieve 50% off your first visit if you are a new client.  Also, please find the referral form and send that in that Gulf Coast Great Danes referred you! He is truly a very talented, intelligent, and caring vet with a great team that is there for you with any questions or conerns.





Vaccines

Vaccines produce immunity to distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvoirus, and para-influenza. Your puppy will receive a series of these shots up to 8 weeks under our care, but need to have following shots up to the age of three or four months. After that an annual shot and rabies shot as required by your state law. 







   
Vaccine Schedule
8 weeks – 5 way
12 weeks – 7 way
16 weeks – 7 way/Bordetella
1 year – 9 way/Rabies/Bordetella
 
DO NOT GIVE RABIES BEFORE 6 MONTHS OF AGE.
If you absolutely have to do the rabies prior to 6 months, PLEASE DO NOT give the rabies at the same time as their standard vaccine. Wait 30 days in between
 
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Learn More About Vaccines
Learn More About Parvo
Dog Park Health Related Risks

Spay/Neuter

The larger the breed the later they mature. Therefore, spaying/neutering your Dane should be postponed until they are at least 2 years of age for males and after the third heat cycle for females, unless there are any medical or serious behavioral issues to take into consideration. In females, the Great Danes should have a minimum of 3 seasons. You must wait approximately 3 months after the season before considering spaying allowing the internal organs to settle down after the season. We highly recommend spaying your female after the third season if she is not going to be bred. By doing so you are saving her from pyometra, cervical cancer, and other health issues. HOWEVER, spaying/neutering TOO SOON can cause growth issues and health issues later on. If this is not followed we DO NOT GUARANTEE the dog's health. 

                                                Health Issues linked to Spaying/Neutering
 


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Related Health Issues/Life Expectancy
 
The Great Dane is proned to hip dysplasia, bloat, heart disease, tail injuries (happy tail), and mast cell tumors. 

Bloat is something that MUST be watched for in this breed. It is caused from stress, excitement, vigorous exercise, large meals, long drinks, swallowed air, or familial tendency. Bloat happens when the stomach completely flips leading to possible death.  This occurs in most large breed animals. When having your female spayed ask your vet to staple the stomach to minimize the risk of bloat. *See Table below*
 
Great Danes have a life expectancy of under 10 years. However, some can live to be 12-14 years old.


 
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Health Testing

Health testing is available to breeders either through Penn Hip or OFA.  The main two tests needed with Great Danes is hips and heart.  Then following is thyroid and eyes.  OFA offers prelims if under two years old.  Penn Hip can be done before the age of two and measures the laxity of the hips, whereas with OFA the x-ray is sent to them and then put before three veterinarians that specialize in orthopedics.  The three veterinarians then come to a conclusion in rating the hips. 
Health testing does NOT guarantee that a puppy will be healthy.  It only guarantees that the dog being bred is healthy at that time. 

   



Penn Hip
OFA
Importance of Supplements (NuVet)
   
For puppies - Fills the immunity gap all puppies experience. Shortly after birth maternal antibody effectiveness is greatly reduced. By 8 weeks your puppy’s immune system is at a vulnerable point. Once in their new home, the immune system is weakened by the stress of adoption and exposure to novel bacteria and viruses in their environment.  This is also when the vaccine series is started. Vaccines are most effective if the immune system can respond properly.  Starting NuVet Plus now is important to helping your puppy grow into a healthy adult.
 
For dogs in their prime - Improves the luster of their skin and coat while providing the necessary antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, mineral and more to sustain their body’s peak performance during the prime of their lives
 
For older dogs - Helps provide the nutritional requirements to help them live long, happy, and productive lives in their senior years.

For more information please visit the NuVet website:



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Cropping 
Video on how to post cropped ears is posted below.
   

   I get asked a lot "is cropping really a necessity?"  My answer has always been, no.  In my personal experience, until recently, I've never had any issues with floppy ears.  Therefore my answer is now yes, I do believe it should be done to prevent what just happened to one of my girls that has floppy ears.  I will always leave it up to the buyer's preference to crop their puppy's ears or not. 
    One of my girls who has floppy ears recently got a hematoma on her ear.  A hematoma requires surgery. If left unattended it can cause the ear to become a "cauliflower" ear.  So our girl had to go under for surgery costing nearly $400.  Had I gotten her ears done at a younger age this wouldn't have happened.  
     A hematoma is a bursted blood vessel. One had bust in her ear and was causing her ear to fill up with blood. Most hematomas in dog's ears are caused from puncture wounds, from dog's playing too rough and other's getting into a fight.  There weren't any puncture wounds in her ear at all.  The only other cause is that she hit her ear on something hard, by shaking and it flapping and hitting, etc.  When this happened it caused a blood vessel to burst and blood to start filling up. Now she is older and having to wear a cone and I feel this surgery is much more uncomfortbale for her than having her ears cropped at an earlier age. 
     Other reasons that are said for reasons to crop is to help them breathe.  Dogs with large ears like Great Danes can get frequent ear infections because the flap of the ear is so heavy and large that it is holding bacteria in it.  
     So, now if you ask me "Should I crop my Great Dane puppy?" my answer is going to be yes. The surgery is very simple, quick healing, and as puppies they are much more resilient than they are at almost 6 years old and having to undergo a surgery.

Learn More About a Hematoma

Problems Related to Floppy Ears

Products Used for Posting
Not Shown: Zip Ties and Duct Tape

Great for potty training without having to buy multiple kennels. This is a 48" kennel that comes with a divider and you can move your puppy up as he/she gets older. 

We actually recommend toddler mattresses over a dog bed. They are cost efficient, easy to clean as it is just washing the sheets, and very comfrotable for your dane. 

You definitely don't want your dane baby laying on a hard tray. These foam pads made to fit the 54" kennel are amazing, easy to clean, and comfortable for your pet. 

This a 54" kennel that is great for when they are too tall for the 48". HIGHLY recommend. Very sturdy and durable. 

No need to brush their teeth with this stuff. I can honestly vouch for it as far as it keeping their breath fresh and their teeth clean.  We just pour this in their water and tartar is not an issue here. 

This is a wound spray for cuts or scrapes. It is antibacterial and GREAT to help heal any skin problems. Also, a good spray to help the regrowth of hair. 

Great for deworming your dog once a month. Protects against everything except tape worms.  It is 1cc per 100lbs.

Hate scooping poop? Sprinkle some of this and it will dissolve it to dirt in a couple of days.  

Absolutely LOVE these for my dogs. So far this is the only bed that I haven't had an issue with them tearing it up.

If you prefer pen training over kennel training, this is a really good product for that. This what we use for our puppy pens with our litters.

Great for grooming and getting the loose hair and dirt out of your dog's coat. Especially when they start shedding their winter coat. 

This is a useful tool when doing your dog's nails. Great Danes nails are a lot thicker and require this over clippers. 

We recommend *Kuranda Beds*
for chewers

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