Courtesy of Mr Jack  & Mrs Jean Taylor - Enydelet Great Danes
You have chosen to own a Great Dane. We hope you and your new dog will give each other many years of happiness. This page outlines a few basic rules, guidelines and training tips to help you get the very best from your puppy.  




EARLY DAYS: Your puppy will need a little peace and quiet when it first arrives home. Some puppies take a new environment very much in their stride, whilst others might need a day or so to adjust into the home. Help your puppy settle into his/her new home by ensuring him /her can go and rest undisturbed, especially from young children. Whether you use a plastic bed or even a cardboard box (ideal for the early days), you will need to use soft bedding for the puppy to go to sleep on. Vet bed is perfect as it is easy to wash and dries very quickly. Blankets or doggy duvets are also suitable. Avoid bean filled beds as these may cause choking if torn.



TOILET TRAINING: Its never to soon to start toilet training. Please remember that young puppies have no control over there bladder or bowel, when they feel the need to go they need to go then not in a minute! Put the newspaper down between the puppy's bed and the back door because there will be accidents, especially when you leave the puppy over night. Puppies will nearly always go when they wake up, so take your puppy outside as soon as it wakes up, using a command such as "quickly" or "clean" ( it doesn't matter what you say as long as you are consistent ) and give lots of praise then it does what's required . Puppies will also usually want to go after a meal, so go through the same procedure after meal times. If you are using a puppy pen or cage do not leave your puppy shut in for a long unless the pen has room for newspaper at one end away from the bed. If you don't make a big fuss over housetraining you will find it comes naturally and puppy will soon be heading for the door when ever he feels the urge. 



FEEDING: Your puppy will be being fed on food given to him/ her by the breeder. We would recommend you continue on this feed, but if you prefer to change to another type of food, please ensure the change is gradual. Slowly introduce the new feed by mixing a small quantity into the current feed, increasing the amount of new feed over a matter of days. Whichever feed you choose, follow the manufacturer's recommendations and DO NOT add extra additives to complete or balanced feeds - they are already included and adding extra only creates an imbalance and can actually do harm to your puppy. Whatever type of feed you choose, a constant supply of CLEAN FRESH WATER should be available. As with all long- legged breeds, it is essential that you raise the feeding bowl from floor level so the puppy is not stretching right to the ground to get his food, there are various types of bowl stands on the market. At 6-12 weeks of age a puppy should be fed 4 meals a day. At 3-6 months a puppy should be fed 3 meals a day. At 6-9 months a puppy should be fed 2 meals a day. As the dog reaches adulthood we would recommend that you continue with 2 meals a day- equal amounts morning and evening. Once maturity has been reached (not until at least 18 months to 2 years- please do not try to rush this) care must be taken that your Dane does not become overweight - this will impair his health and ultimately shorten his life. Obviously, while he is still growing he will need lager proportions of food. If you have any worries during this growing time about diet or his weight contact your breeder. Some Great Danes seem to mature quite rapidly but the majority go through an ugly duckling stage of being a lanky teenager. Do not feed your puppy either directly before or just after exercise.


IMMUNISATION: Your puppy MUST NOT be taken into public (where other dogs have been) until he has finished a course of vaccinations. It is very well to say this but for many puppies the prime time for seeing the world is about the same time as they are undergoing vaccinations so you have to balance the risk on this one. I would carry the pup so they see main roads and traffic and other dogs but don't get in close contact with anything. It is all very well and good to have a dog not at risk from infectious diseases but on the other hand you do not want a nervous wreck frightened of his own shadow due to the lack of early socialisation. Immunisation starts at about 10 weeks of age. Consult your vet before you bring your puppy home-he will recommend the best age to start his vaccinations. Also ask your vet for details of any puppy socialisation classes that may be run in your area- these are useful. Your vet will vaccinate against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis. These are all killer diseases and were ever you live one or other can be found. Once immunisation is complete you can take your puppy out into public knowing he is protected (usually 1 week after the last jab). Yearly boosters are required throughout Your pets life time.  


EXERCISE: a very young puppy will get all the exercise he needs through play. Once fully vaccinated he can go for walks but keep them short in the early days, regular but short. Over exercise of young dogs can damage the joints. We would not recommend that you allow your puppy to attempt staircases, apart from the risk of falling, descending stairs will cause detrimental effects to young bones and joints. When ever and where ever your puppy or adult dog is exercised do ensure you clear up after him. don't give the ever-growing anti-dog faction any more ammunition!! Be responsible and always have a couple of plastic bags or nappy bags in your pocket. Most puppies can be trained to 'go' in their own garden before going out for exercise so you will only need to clean up if you are out for a while.  



TRAINING: An obedient dog is a happy dog-and and a pleasure to own. To ensure that your sense of humour stays intact start as you mean to go on / what a puppy grows up to be used for, it accepts as the norm-if you don't want a large Dane on your furniture do not allow your puppy on it. Keep your commands short and consistent -it is important that everyone in the family uses the same words for the same commands. Come, Heal, Sit, Wait/Stay, Down (for lying down) and Off (for not jumping up) are the key commands. Training can start at meal times by telling your puppy to SIT for his meal, and perhaps when he is a bit older to Wait until allowed to take it. Keep training sessions short, a puppy - like a small child -has a short attention span. Do consider taking your puppy to training classes, the vet or the Kennel Club will be able to advise you of ones in your locality. You will be taught how to teach your dog the basics of obedience but he will be able to socialise with other dogs-this is also very important. If this is your first dog and your puppy is to young to attend classes, why not go along as a spectator-you will get an idea of how it is done.       



GROOMING: Groom your puppy regularly, at least once a week. You will need to be quite firm to start with-most puppies think a brush is a toy to be played with, this may seem funny when he is about 10 weeks old-but it is not amusing when he gets older (and is a lot bigger!). You will need a body brush and a chamois leather. Keep a watch for fleas-these can be treated with a shampoo, powder or spray from your vet but you must also treat the dogs bedding and around your skirting boards as fleas only jump on the dog when hungry, they live and breed elsewhere. A word about ears come under the heading of grooming. At least once a month it is wise to clean your dogs ears with one of the proprietary ear cleaners available from your vet. Otherwise you may get a nasty wax build up with associated problems. Here again, get your puppy used to this whilst fairly young so he takes it as normal part of life when he grows up. Also, claw clipping, another thing he should take for granted and not object to


WORMING: Your breeder will advise you if your puppy has already been wormed. However you will need to continue his worming treatment at 3,6 and 12 months of age, then every 6 months for the rest of his life. Consult your vet when you take your puppy for vaccinations. 



TRAVELLING: Get your puppy used to the car gradually. Start with short journeys (not to the vets!) and avoid travelling shortly after meal times. Quite a few young Great Danes seem to experience travel sickness but they usually grow out of it quite quickly. Ensure adequate ventilation whilst in motion and stationary but do not let your dog hang its head out of the window. NEVER leave your dog in the car. Even with the windows open a car can turn into an oven in minutes-dogs die every year due to thoughtless or ignorant owners and a car theft were the dog is taken to is common.                   



BITCHES IN SEASON: If you have acquired a bitch and decide not to have her spayed you must ensure you keep her confined to quarters when she is in season. Seasons usually start 6 months onwards and then accur approximately every 6 months ( each bitch is different and this can vary from 4 to 12 months). A season lasts 21 days and your bitch will be ready to mate between day 8 and 15 (as a general rule). During a season NEVER leave your bitch outside unsupervised-not even in a fenced garden-where there is a will there is usually a way! If you do not envisage breeding from your bitch you may be best advised to consider having her spayed after the first season . This avoids the risk of mis-matings, womb trouble in later life, false pregnancies plus the twice yearly inconvenience of keeping her confined.         



MEDICAL: Great Danes can react adversely to certain anaesthetics-if your dog needs a general anaesthetic make sure your vet is aware of this. 


DO ensure your puppy has adequate rest without disturbance (especially from children)

DO be consistent, fair and firm in your commands, training and treatment of your puppy.

DO check your garden fences for holes and gaps.

DO  train your dog-an obedient dog is a happy dog and a pleasure to own.

DO be prepared to clear up if your dog fouls in a public place

DON'T throw balls or sticks for your dog to catch-these could get lodged in his throat.

over exercise your puppy or young dog.  

allow small toys which could choke your dog, balls should be bigger than a tennis ball.  

DON'T leave choke chains on your dog-it can get caught up in things with disastrous consequences.  

DON'T leave your dog tied up outside shops etc-there is, unfortunately, a market for stolen dogs.
NEVER leave your dog in a car-this can be a killer.

AND LASTLY if you ever need help or advice please telephone the breeder in the event that you may not b able to keep your dog (at whatever age) please contact the breeder-there will be no recriminations just help and advice from a responsible breeder.

Please note this information is only a guide and any queries or concerns please contact your breeder.


Copyright © 2010 The Northern Great Dane Club. All rights reserved.