Our beautiful Great Dane, Maggie, has been with us for a little over a month now. She’s just turned 12-weeks-old, and Maggie is honestly the biggest sweetheart (even though at times she drives me mad). So, I thought I’d share some of the ups and downs of what it’s like being a puppy parent to this adorable, enormous breed.
So Much Growing.
Well, duh. The Great Dane is the largest breed of dog in the world. The first thing people always say when they see her is, “Look at those paws!”, or, “She’s how old?”. These two photos are only taken four weeks apart, crazy right? At the moment, Magz puts on an average of around 2kgs a week and eats about six cups of food a day—and those numbers will continue to increase until she’s around 12-months-old. Adult female Danes weigh anywhere from 45kgs-65kgs, can stand up to 81cm tall, and aren’t fully mature until they’re two-years-old, so our girl still has a lot of growing to do!
So Many Puppy Naps.
Because of her crazy growth rate, Magz sleeps a lot. Obviously all puppies sleep heaps, but Dane pups get tired really easily because their bodies are working hard to get all that growin’ done. Twenty minutes of play could mean a three hour nap for Maggie. She also sleep-barks—it’s frickin’ cute.
I can’t say this is true for all Danes, but Maggie is super sassy. She knows what ‘no’ means, and she does not like being told off. Like, she will argue back with a series of growly-barks, as if she’s trying to justify why she was on the couch (she’s not allowed on any furniture). To be honest, I kind of love her sassy nature. It’s so hard not to laugh when I hear her and my husband arguing in the next room. I think, “Don’t talk back”, is his new catch phrase.
So Much Poop.
Like, ten a day. So. Much. Poop. This morning I picked up three before 9AM, how is that even possible?
So Many Cuddles.
Danes are super sociable as a breed, and Maggie just loves to cuddle. She absolutely adores people; she’ll greet anyone that comes to our door with a wagging tail and will happily let strangers pet her. If you sit on her bed, or even just on the floor, she’ll plonk herself down next to (or on top of) you and snuggle in. It’s utterly endearing, and the cure for even a hint of human sadness.
So Much Shadowing.
Maggie is like my little shadow. If I get up to grab a drink, she’s sitting at my feet in the kitchen. If I’m in the bathroom, she’s laying by the door. She’s absolutely a Velcro Dog (and I love it). Surprisingly, her separation anxiety isn’t too bad. Most puppies will experience separation anxiety, but Great Dane puppies are particularly affected because they’re so people oriented. When we first got her, I’d hear her crying from the street as I drove away (it broke my heart, guys), but now she’s used to being left alone and doesn’t whimper at all when I leave the house—what a little champ.
Thank goodness, right? Part of the reason we were so interested in getting a Great Dane is because of their lazy, chilled nature. Maggie is rarely hyper, and even when she is, her crazy mood doesn’t last long. When she isn’t sleeping, she’s more than happy to just lay down wherever the people are. But . . . when she is crazy and bitey and jumping on me and absolutely annihilating my curtains, part of me is like, Okay, how can I return you? Where is the nearest pound? But, that’s okay, right? You’ve thought that about your dog at some point . . . Yeah?
So Much Training.
Some people say Danes are intelligent and easy to train, but mostly what I read and hear is that they’re of average intelligence. That’s not to say they’re dumb, but training just takes a little more patience and persistence. That’s what we’ve found with Maggie, anyway. She nailed ‘sit’ in a day, but ‘down’ took almost three weeks, and even now she kind of only does it when she wants to. ‘Roll over’? You’re having a laugh, mate. She knows ‘come’ and ‘wait’, but only does them when she wants to (it’s super annoying). And sometimes I say a command and she just gives me the sassy-argue-bark, and I’m like, I will choke slam you (I would never do that and do not endorse violence against animals, but sometimes I think it. Don’t judge me.)
So Much Love.
Maggie is literally all I think about when I’m not at home. Like, What is she doing? Is she safe? Is she warm? Is she having fun? Did she get the treat out of the Kong? I hope she did, she really deserves it. She’s so cute. I miss her.
I show people pictures of her when they are clearly not interested and haven’t asked to see them. Sorry, but you will admire my dog and listen as I tell you about her. Maggie is a dream. She’s well behaved (most of the time), friendly, gentle, loving and goofy. I never thought I’d be so obsessed with her. A few days ago my husband said, “I knew I’d love having a dog but I never thought I’d love her this much,” and I completely agree.