Your puppy has been given the best start at life, what you do in the next year will determine just how good of a dog you will have for the rest of your life. Remember that he/she is a puppy until they are done growing. . . this is between 18 months and 2 years. Some lines are slower to mature then others and some dogs will go through multiple regressions back in to puppy behavior, consistency and patience is the key.
Crate training is HIGHLY recommended.
There are some people that think it is cruel; I am not one of those, I have seen what unattended puppies can do and crating is worth not having a $2000 bill for a foreign body OR the loss of a family treasure due to boredom.
Your puppy will not be unable to have complete bowel and urine continence until they are at LEAST 4 months old.
The rule for a puppy is that they can be crated for as many hours as they are MONTHS old PLUS one.
When you take home an 8 week old puppy you can not expect them to not mess in the crate UNLESS you are willing to get them out every 2-3 hours DAY AND NIGHT> the more consistent you are the quicker your puppy will train.
Take your puppy out EVERY TIME they get up from resting. . . when they first wake up they have to go. . . the longer you wait the bigger the chance for accidents.
The other thing to remember: if you are not watching them they need to be in the crate, you can't get mad because YOU missed the signs.
Food and Water:
Puppies SHOULD have water 24 hours a day. . . unfortunately this also makes it harder to train. You can limit water but BE CAREFUL--you can also cause urinary tract infections. Great Danes should be fed at LEAST twice per day. Feeding three times AGAIN makes training a little harder but will also keep your puppy happier. We have made SPECIFIC feeding recommendations and I hope you follow them. Look at the Body Condition Chart that was sent with you and evaluate your puppy on a weekly basis. Adjust feedings accordingly. Here is a link to our Feeding Information: FEEDING
A bored puppy is a destructive puppy. Having 50 toys will not help. . .
Think about a kid with all the cool stuff in the world. . .they act out MORE then kids that have family support and an active life style, this breeds contentment. Getting up and going places, walks, the park, ANYTHING will help keep your puppies mind happy and stimulated. The more tired he or she is, the easier they will be to manage. IF you were cooped up 24 hours a day would you be happy? You should be willing to walk your puppy at LEAST once a day. . . 2-3 times would be better.
Not unlike children Puppies thrive on structure. Too little or too much and they will act out. Obedience training gives structure to your puppies life. We require that you take your puppy through some sort of formal training. This is for you and your puppy. Getting out, meeting other dogs, learning how to make your puppy behave, learning to read signals and body language is just a few of the benefits. Who knows, you might like it and want to pursue training on a higher level. Many danes do quite will in performance sports, there are MANY different levels and it is a wonderful bonding experience. It is also a way to show off just how good of a trainer you can be! Going to class is also a great way to socialize your dog, socialization is important for any breed of dog. Dogs need to learn about different people and things in life. The more they see and do when they are young the more sound of an adult they will be come ( MIND AND BODY ! )
Here are a couple great articles on socialization:
Other things to think of:
You will need a Crate. This will run you between $150-$300
There are several different brands, some are drop pin and some are collapsible, some come with dividers ( to make the crate smaller while they are growing) One of the most important things will be: Where do you put it?
Currently MUTTMART has the best deal.
Pads: PRIMO PADS
You will need a food an water bowl. I recommend large Stainless Steal bowls. They will last a life time and are easy to clean. Plastic bowls can cause some local allergic reactions, the metal bowels are easier to sterilize and keep clean. I buy mine at Wal-Mart. I don't buy the "dog" bowl's. . .I go to the people kitchen isle and buy the big stainless mixing bowls for $3. I also Use Flat backed buckets for water. You can find those at most on line pet stores.
You will need a collar and leash: I recommend you buy one that fits now and worry about the next size later. Lupine makes the best and has a life time guaranty like no other. . .if your dog chews it up they will replace it! Here is one of the many links:http://www.lupinepet.com/
You need to locate the food your breeder is using and make sure you will be able to get it on a regular basis.
We currently use Puppy Chow (yep. . .plain old puppy chow)
until they are 12-16 weeks old and then we recommend switching to a lower protein food.
Between 21 and 24% protein and 14-16% fat with as high of fiber as you can find. The brand we use is Pedigree.
Where will you go for training?
In the Houston : Dogwood
In the Austin area :Triple Crown Dog Academy .
In the Chandler/Tyler (close to Canton too) area Circle Star Pet Resort is another my owners have used and recommend.
If you have a training facility in your area you would like to recommend, feel free to contact me with there information.
Vaccinations and wormings:
Though we have started out puppies off with vaccinations: they are far from covered.
Puppies will need to continue vaccinations for the next several months. Typical schedule is 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age.
Once a month for life your Great Dane will also need to be on Heart worm Prevention. This will usually include an intestinal wormer and some even do fleas. Make sure you know what you are buying and that your puppy is well covered. The best preventive I know of is Sentinel. It does Heartworms, Roundworms, Whipworms, hook worms and has an inhibitor for fleas in it. Fantastic product. Here is our Page on Vaccinations
Last but not least: ASK QUESTIONS! We are more then happy to help and answer questions, all breeder's should be more then happy to help you with trouble shooting FOR LIFE.
We are available to talk 10 am to 6 pm most days, we also answer all of our emails.
We also run a private on line message group for new owners, if you are an owner and are not on the board, please let us know and we will send you the information.
It has proven to be a fantastic resource for owners and a support group like no other! Not only do you have our help but also the support of other dane owners that have successfully raised there dane puppy. They are a fantastic group and they will do just about anything they can to help.
REMEMBER: ask for help before you have a problem. . .don't worry what anyone else will think, each dog and situation is different.