The Great Dane was originally bred in England and Germany to be used as a hunting companion or pet exclusive to royalty and the elite upper class. These gentle giants now stand tall and proud alongside many family members in every social class.
Great Dane puppies get along wonderfully with children. Since they grow so quickly and go through childhood and adolescence within the first year, owners should take proper precautions when introducing a Great Dane puppy to their children.
These giants learn to love and adore children. The key word there is “learn”. There are a few steps you should take when bringing a Great Dane puppy into your children’s lives. Below, I’ve come up with a few of the key aspects that you should remember for your Great Dane!
Great Dane Puppy Temperament is Suited for Children
The Great Dane is appropriately known as the gentle giant. These large dogs look ferocious, but they really are soft and caring animals that love and protect their families with all their might.
Great Danes usually grow to their adult size of about 30 inches within the first year. During this first year, they will be growing rapidly both in size, weight, and maturity.
Because these Great Danes grow so fast, they might be a little bit clumsy. Often they don’t know their own strength and size, so they run into things. This includes people.
That being said, Great Dane puppies usually do better with kids who are at least 6 years old. It’s not that they will try to hurt a young child, it’s just that they might bring accidental harm with their huge body mass.
By bringing a Great Dane into your child’s life, you are beginning a process of maturity, love, and responsibility to your child’s future. Great Danes are known for their love and affection to human beings.
Be sure to give your child or children lots of quality time with your Great Dane puppy, as this is a time of great influence in the maturity and well being of both the puppy and your kids.
While yes, Great Danes are generally very gentle and loving, puppies can be unpredictable. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of things to watch out for when raising your Great Dane puppy around your children!
What to Watch Out For
A few friends of mine are raising their first child. She just recently turned two and she is learning that when she gets excited, she has to run everywhere and jump on everything and make a mess! Children can be absolutely wild.
Remember, puppies are children too!
As Great Danes grow and mature, they begin to get more physically active around months 3-6. During these months, you will see an increased amount of playfulness and growth. For this reason, you should be very cautious and watch out for zoomies!
What are zoomies exactly?
Zoomies refers to something that many young Great Danes experience. When in childhood or adolescence, it is common for a Great Dane to become overwhelmed with excitement and joy. In order to express their excitement, they will jump, bark, spin, roll and run all over the place until they are tired out.
This sounds like a blast, am I right? Well, I have to admit, it is fun to watch. Although, with infants, toddlers, or young children around the house, this can be dangerous.
If your Great Dane is experiencing the zoomies, it is best to let them out into a yard or wide open area where they can exert their happiness without knocking over little Tommy.
Beware of zoomies!
Yes, zoomies can be risky, but it’s not the excitement that’s risky, it’s the size and power of the Great Dane. Gentle giant, remember?
Below, I’ve attached a table showing the size and weight of Great Danes during their first year of life.
|Age||Weight (Pounds)||Height (Inches)|
|At Birth||1 – 2||NA|
|1 Week||2 – 3||NA|
|2 Weeks||3 – 5||NA|
|3 Weeks||4 – 7||NA|
|4 Weeks||5 – 8||NA|
|6 Weeks||10 – 20||NA|
|2 Months||18 – 26||13 – 18|
|3 Months||30 – 45||17 – 23|
|4 Months||45 – 65||21 – 26|
|5 Months||60 – 85||23-30|
|6 Months||70 – 105||26 – 33|
|7 Months||75 – 110||27 – 34|
|8 Months||80 – 120||27 – 35|
|9 Months||85 – 125||28 – 35|
|One year||90 – 140||29 – 36|
|Full-grown||100 – 200||28 – 38|
During their first three months, Great Danes are practically harmless!
Although as you can see, after their third month of life, they really begin to pack on the pounds.
Have you ever tried to lift something you thought was heavy only to realize it’s actually very light? Sometimes, we don’t know our own strength! Great Danes can be the same way at times. As they grow muscle and fat, accidents can happen!
Because these puppies are growing and maturing, they can be influenced not only through training but through the way they interact with the people around them.
We’ve all seen young children playing too rough with the dog. Some of us were those kids!
When bringing your Great Dane into your home, be sure to sit down with your children and teach them how to interact with their new friend. At times, puppies can see infants or toddlers as other puppies, since they’re about the same size and express emotions similarly.
Pulling ears, scratching, biting, and hitting are all common when young children play with their dogs. In order to avoid any violent outbursts or aggressive tendencies from your Great Dane, keep an eye out for any foul play.
Lastly, it is no secret that dogs can be very competitive or even violent to other dogs.
Puppies can be influenced easily at young ages. Any violent tendencies embedded in your dog could put your children at risk, especially because of the Great Dane’s size and strength.
If you have any other dogs or pets in the household and you plan on introducing a Great Dane puppy into the mix, pay close attention to any risks of altercations between pets that may cause violent tendencies in your Great Dane.
Training your puppy will guarantee a more positive future relationship with your family.
Great Danes are known for their love of human interaction. They love people! Although, puppies can build violent or destructive tendencies if not properly trained.
Most Great Danes do very well in obedience school or when being trained at home and can be taught basic commands and pet etiquette.
It is ideal to begin training your Great Dane at the age of 3 months. Train with your children! If trained with your children, your Great Dane will understand that the children are in charge as well.
This way, your dog won’t end up like my dog. My mom trained my dog when I was a child. I’m in my 20’s now, and she still won’t listen to a word I say!
In addition, remember to train your puppy on where he is allowed around the house.
One of the best ways to raise a reckless puppy is to let him wander about the house as he pleases.
Set up gates, and do not let your puppy into your child’s room, or any other individual room, until he can be trusted to be left there alone or with a child (which is still not recommended, but does vary with every individual dog.
Crate training is a recommended technique in training a dog to respect your home and family.
Crate training involves leaving your dog in a cage or crate (with ample space) and only letting them out and around the house under your supervision or under certain circumstances.
This establishes in the puppy a mindset in which the cage is his home, and the house is your home. He should respect your home and the people in it.
You can help your puppy’s relationship with your children by only allowing the puppy to leave its cage and play with your children next to or near the cage.
Basically, all these training tactics will instill a reminder to your puppy that while he is a member of your family, he should treat you and your children with equal respect and love.
Your Great Dane puppy will be a blast to have around. Having your children grow up with this puppy and the puppy grow up with your children will create a special bond only experienced by kids and their pups.
Train your pup, watch out for zoomies, and give them lots of affection. Good luck!