1 - Vaccinate your Great Dane when you first adopt him/her, and follow up with annual booster vaccinations to maintain the dog's immunity to disease. Consult with your veterinarian about heartworm prevention and flea-control products.
2 - Be prepared for the cost of feeding a Great Dane. Adult Great Danes eat about 3 cups of high quality food twice a day. Growing puppies often require 8 to 12 cups per day, depending on their size.
3 - Feed your Great Dane high-grade dog food. The first several ingredients should be meat or meat meal if you want a quality product. Crude protein should be no less than 26 percent for adult Danes. For puppies or fast growing periods, no more than 23 percent. Click on our Dog Food Info tab for more information on food.
4 - Socialize your Great Dane as a puppy with other dogs. Introduce them to a variety of other animals in a controlled environment.
5 - Enroll your Dane in a formal obedience class. Because they're so large, Great Danes can inflict serious damage on others as they mature - even when playing. This breed learns best with positive reinforcement, not with force. Enrolling in a formal class keeps you honest with your training, and is a bonding experience with you and your Dane.
6 - Exercise your Great Dane at least once a day with a long walk.
7 - Brush your Great Dane's coat weekly with a firm-bristle brush. Their short coat stays relatively clean and needs to be washed only when necessary.
8 - Trim toenails every two to three weeks.
9 - Understand health problems related to Great Danes. They are prone to bone cancer and bloat. Learn the signs and symptoms of bloat.
10 - Note that a male Great Dane will grow to 30 to 34 inches with an average weight of 120 to 160 lbs. Females will reach heights between 28 and 32 inches and weigh between 100 and 130 lbs.
11 - Keep in mind that these great dogs usually have a relatively short life span of around 8 to 10 years, so appreciate every minute with them.