Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

November 25th, 2014

My First Thoughts about Bubba (My First Great Dane)

By Tara

As you know, this is the first time I have ever taken care of a Great Dane before. I’ve only ever seen one or interacted with one for less than an hour at a time, so it has definitely been an interesting experience so far.

Bubba is ridiculously sweet and perfect. There is nothing wrong with this pup (if you call a senior dog a “pup”!). According to what I’ve studied about Great Danes, he is the exact image of the average Dane (personality wise). Here is what I think so far:

He is ridiculously attached to me

And I love it.

He follows me around everywhere. If I shift in my seat, most of the time he will look up and see what’s going on. If I stand up, he stands up. If I walk away, he walks away. God forbid I leave him in a closed room (with another person) and do something else somewhere else for a minute. He doesn’t make a fuss. He just stands patiently by the door waiting for me to come back. After a few minutes, he relaxes and hangs out with whoever he’s in the room with.

When I let him out to go potty, I always go out with him (one part of our fence is weak and if he really wanted to, he could bust through it. I don’t think he would, but I still want to supervise him while he’s out there).

Anyway, when we are outside, he will go and pee (like a lady, by the way!) but once he’s done doing that and walking around for 5 minutes, he will walk over to me and just hang out within 5 feet of me. It’s so cute, but I wish he would explore more!

He listens very well

I’m actually surprised! He is very eager to please us and takes corrections very well. We wanted to establish the “stay out of the kitchen” rule immediately.  It took about two big “no!”s before he got the point and stayed out. It was funny: the first time we said no, he stepped back and Roxie went into the kitchen (she’s allowed to because she’s smaller and doesn’t get in the way) and just sat and looked at me. Yes, baby. You are still my favorite.

He is loud!

I don’t mean he barks a lot. I mean his panting is loud. His feet are loud. He is always happy so that tail is always going and slamming against the wall. Did I mention his panting is loud? I totally don’t mind, but this past weekend we had a guest over who was sleeping in the living room and I couldn’t really let Bubba out while our guest was sleeping, even if he just wanted to walk to his water bowl.

Having a dog at hip-height is fun

Like I said before, he is so attached to me and I love him to bits, so it’s nice that he’s always next to me and I get to rub on him. He comes up to my hip so I oftentimes rest my hand on his back and pet him as we are walking to another room together. Can’t explain why, but that’s super fun for me! I feel bad though, because it’s convenient to pet him and give him attention since his presence is hard to miss and I don’t have to bend down to pet him. I’m trying to make an extra effort to also remember that Roxie is following behind closely and that I need to bend down and love on her, too.

I have never had a harder time giving an animal medicine

Roxie is the only dog I’ve ever had. She inHALES medication or any food item. Christian always says, “She would eat broken glass”. I completely disagree (she’s not stupid!) but I agree with the sentiment. She really is a hoover.

With Bubba being older, he has a few medications he needs to take and one of them he has to take twice a day and let me tell you: no matter how much he likes you, he will NOT take the meds!

The previous foster said they tried putting it in peanut butter first. That worked for a few days but then he wised up. Then they tried cream cheese. Worked for a few days. Wised up. Then they tried a slice of cheese. Worked. But I guess he wised up before coming here, because he won’t fall for it now.

We figured out he will eat it with wet dog food. Fingers crossed that this will work, because shoving them down his throat definitely doesn’t work (trust me, we tried). He let us pry his mouth open, but he pushed his tongue back to cover his throat and keep the pills out. Bah.

They must have been lying when he said he was 8 years old

The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 8-10 years (debatable, but it seems that most people agree on those numbers). The lucky ones live to see 10-12. So I think of an 8 year old Dane as a 60-70 year old person.

This dog cannot be 8.

I tend to exaggerate for comedic effect sometimes (and it’s obvious that I’m exaggerating), but I am 100% serious when I say this dog acts like a young dog. Maybe not a puppy, but he is so bouncy and excitable and active. If he wasn’t slightly slower to stand up and had a grey muzzle, I would seriously doubt the people who said he is 8. However, we do have documentation for him and we know for a fact that he is in fact 8 years old.

I sincerely hope that I can showcase his energy level and his lovey-ness so that someone will take a chance on him. Older dogs are harder to adopt out because people often think they are more mellow, have a lot of health problems, or whatever else. This dog does not act like he is old.


  • Our Gentle Giants » And so it begins February 8, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    […] I have SO much more to say about him but I’ll save all that for another post. Edit: here are my first thoughts about living with a Great Dane. […]