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Great Dane People Come Here

Any other Great Dane people out there? Ours is 7 months old, a male, our first really big dog. He's been a wonderful addition to our family so far, but his size has definitely been a challenge at times (he seems to grow before our eyes-and obviously this is something that we were prepared for when we got him).

Our particular challenges: finding chew toys that he does not completely, immediately destroy (he is >95 lbs) or try to swallow; fear from others as we're out walking, etc. as he still "acts" like the puppy he is but is much bigger than most grown dogs that we know at this point (other dogs that he has been socializing with while smaller, owners are becoming somewhat reluctant as he is dwarfing those dogs now).

I have started "wearing" him leashed around my waist when we have company over so that he is secured to me and company feels secure that he will not try to sit on them (he does drag me somewhat and does think he is a lapdog). I really don't want to keep him crated while company is over, as I don't want him to negatively associate strangers w/being secluded (maybe I am overthinking).

 I guess the point of this post is to get tips/pointers? Sorry if my OP is all over the place, my 2 year old is wanting to "help". :)

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Re: Great Dane People Come Here

  • My parents have a great dane/bullmastiff mix and there are very few toys they have found that he can't destroy. So far, black kongs are safe, the everlasting fun ball is his favorite indoor toy (http://www.petco.com/product/108788/Star-Mark-Everlasting-Fun-Ball-for-Dogs.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch), and Tuffy toys like this (http://www.petco.com/product/102533/VIP-Products-Tuffys-Bone-Dog-Toy.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch) with a toughness rating of 9 or 10 hold up ok.

    This is his favorite outside toy:

    http://www.petco.com/product/9608/Jolly-Pet-Romp-n-Roll-Dog-Toy.aspx 

    image image image
  • Another tough toy recommendation are "Goughnuts" --  http://www.goughnuts.com/

    Has he been to a basic obedience course?  

  • He does sit, down, off, sit/hold 'til released for mealtimes and sit/hold 'til released before entering/exiting the house. He has a harder time with these things with the added distraction of company. We are working on "quiet", as he has strong protection/guard instincts and wants to growl & bark when he hears someone drive into the driveway to alert us. This we like, but we want him to stop when asked. He's doing pretty well with this. He has not yet been to a class. 

    Our good friend is a trainer for both pets & protection/police dogs and does local classes, but will not start him until at least 9 months. We would not be training him as protection, but want him to be well trained as he is expected to reach at least 200 lbs. and I need him to come to me every single time he is called. Friend expects with the progress he has made with basics it should be easily achievable.

    image
  • image Tamiam30:

    He does sit, down, off, sit/hold 'til released for mealtimes and sit/hold 'til released before entering/exiting the house. He has a harder time with these things with the added distraction of company. We are working on "quiet", as he has strong protection/guard instincts and wants to growl & bark when he hears someone drive into the driveway to alert us. This we like, but we want him to stop when asked. He's doing pretty well with this. He has not yet been to a class.

    My dog (Australian Kelpie) has some of the same issues you describe, as far as neophobia and such.  He is also an alarm barker.  However, our trainers and behaviorist have told us this isn't being "protective," but rather it's anxiety.  Neophobia and alarm barking are both anxious behaviors.  I would start working with a trainer or even a behaviorist right away to nip these in the bud so things aren't worse when he's 200 pounds.  We acquired our dog from a shelter at 2 years old, and the first 2 years were sheer hell.  He's now on anti-anxiety meds that seem to be helping a bit, but y'know...it'd be great if we hadn't had to end up in this place.

  • Our Great Dane mix, Lucy, ended up being a lot smaller than we had ever imagined (she's 1 year old, only 80lbs, the rescue spayed her at 3 months, and we're pretty sure she is mixed with Catahoula Leopard Dog), but we had been preparing for a xxl dog from the day we adopted her.  Her smaller physique has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise though.

    I would highly recommend starting training classes now.  We started with Lucy at about 4 months old, and I'm so glad we did.  I couldn't imagine trying to start training her now (she's right in the middle of her naughty phase...), and she is now in the advanced level classes.  The classes have been a huge help, and when she's acting naughty, we know how to redirect/retrain/etc.

     As for toys,  we've had good luck with the CUZ toys that just have the feet on them (though the dogs rip the feet right off, but they can't seem to destroy them much more after the feet are off).  Our current foster (a Great Dane/Pit Bull/Boxer mix) loves the black kong, and basketballs/soccer balls.  He's actually been quite gentle with the large Air Kong dumbbell, which has been surprising despite the fact that most tennis balls don't last more than 10 minutes in our house.

    [img]http://tinyurl.com/79vwg8p[/img]
    <A HREF="http://tinyurl.com/l2u32h" target="_blank"> Luke+Kate</A>
    <A HREF="http://tinyurl.com/42bprdx" target="_blank"> We Love Lucy</A>
  • image KatiesCats:
    image Tamiam30:

    He does sit, down, off, sit/hold 'til released for mealtimes and sit/hold 'til released before entering/exiting the house. He has a harder time with these things with the added distraction of company. We are working on "quiet", as he has strong protection/guard instincts and wants to growl & bark when he hears someone drive into the driveway to alert us. This we like, but we want him to stop when asked. He's doing pretty well with this. He has not yet been to a class.

    My dog (Australian Kelpie) has some of the same issues you describe, as far as neophobia and such.  He is also an alarm barker.  However, our trainers and behaviorist have told us this isn't being "protective," but rather it's anxiety.  Neophobia and alarm barking are both anxious behaviors.  I would start working with a trainer or even a behaviorist right away to nip these in the bud so things aren't worse when he's 200 pounds.  We acquired our dog from a shelter at 2 years old, and the first 2 years were sheer hell.  He's now on anti-anxiety meds that seem to be helping a bit, but y'know...it'd be great if we hadn't had to end up in this place.

    Agree with this.

    Also, make sure you find a professional who uses positive reinforcement techniques. There are links in the board FAQ's:

    https://sites.google.com/site/petsboardfaqs/home/training-and-behavior/difference-between-trainer-and-behaviorist 

  • image KatiesCats:
    image Tamiam30:

    He does sit, down, off, sit/hold 'til released for mealtimes and sit/hold 'til released before entering/exiting the house. He has a harder time with these things with the added distraction of company. We are working on "quiet", as he has strong protection/guard instincts and wants to growl & bark when he hears someone drive into the driveway to alert us. This we like, but we want him to stop when asked. He's doing pretty well with this. He has not yet been to a class.

    My dog (Australian Kelpie) has some of the same issues you describe, as far as neophobia and such.  He is also an alarm barker.  However, our trainers and behaviorist have told us this isn't being "protective," but rather it's anxiety.  Neophobia and alarm barking are both anxious behaviors.  I would start working with a trainer or even a behaviorist right away to nip these in the bud so things aren't worse when he's 200 pounds.  We acquired our dog from a shelter at 2 years old, and the first 2 years were sheer hell.  He's now on anti-anxiety meds that seem to be helping a bit, but y'know...it'd be great if we hadn't had to end up in this place.

      Hmmm...I hadn't really thought of it as being anxiety related, but will definitely keep this in mind. Our research of the breed had indicated that they tend be protective of family/home, so that is what I had attributed it to.

     On the plus, when out walking the neighborhood and exposed to other barking dogs (enclosed in their yards, etc.), he does not tend to "respond" or bark back at them, and is responding pretty well to the "quiet" command at home. 

     On the negative, he has a very sensitive tummy, even when we increase his food intake to the next weight level he gets loose stools for a couple of days. We use his kibble as training treats (in very limited quantities). We feed Eagle Pack Giant Breed, BTW, which has been the best giant breed food we could find that he can tolerate. 

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  • Everybody has good suggestions so far, just wanted to say good luck! I always say having a GD puppy is like having a 100+ lb toddler :)
  • Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions! D will be thrilled with his new toys, I'm sure! 
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