Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

June 30th, 2014

Why We Are Not Ready for Giant Dogs… Yet

By Tara

We aren’t ready for giant dogs right now. Here’s why.

Reason 1: Roxie is not well-behaved enough

I think I did a fair job at training Roxie. She’s a pretty well-mannered, friendly girl who is well-trained in most aspects. She has a lot of respect for me and will listen to me (unless she sees a cat. Then it’s “bye-bye Roxie”).

But there are some parts of her training that she is seriously lacking in. And my goal is to have our next dogs be “near-perfect” 1 dogs. Completely under control, 100% well-behaved, model dogs. I feel that now that I’m older and I’ve learned a bit from having Roxie, I’m more prepared for this.

One of the things that concerns me is that our new dogs will pick up Roxie’s bad habits even if we try to teach them otherwise. Does anyone have any experience with this (new puppies picking up the old dog’s bad habits)?

My goal before getting our first pup is to train Roxie to be a model dog. Here is what I hope for:

  • To have her complete attention and to have her under control when she sees a cat, squirrel, or any other small animal
  • Have a solid “recall” with her
  • Having enough confidence in her training that I could let her off leash for a short amount of time and she will not run away
  • To kill her love for kitty treats (and by treats, I mean crusty cat poop)
  • And man, I would LOVE to kill her habit of whining. She is a surprisingly whiny dog!

The phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” definitely does not apply to her; she is an incredibly smart dog. I truly believe in her ability to learn new things and I believe in my ability to train her (or at least, learn how to train her). So I think that training Roxie to be “near-perfect” is achievable.

Reason 2: It is imperative to have your dog under control, inside and outside

Credit: _tar0_

Credit: _tar0_

If a small dog is out of control (barking, snapping at people, jumping on people), you can physically restrain them. With a giant dog, you can’t (unless you’re 220 lbs of pure muscle and, trust me, Christian and I are not).

Imagine this. A small dog jumps on your leg. Their nails dig into your skin and you may get annoyed at them.

Now a Mastiff jumps on your leg. On average, they weigh 185 pounds (120 – 250 pounds). You will fall over. I guarantee it.

A Yorkie pulls on the leash? You can just pull back (although, your dog shouldn’t be pulling on the leash to begin with). A Great Dane pulls on the leash? You will wish you had Draggin’ Jeans on.

Reason 3: We definitely do not have the funds to adopt and raise two giant dogs

Dogs are expensive. Bigger dogs are even more expensive:

  • Cairn Terriers require 0.5 to 1 cup of food a day. Grown gentle giant eats around 8 cups a day.
  • A crate for a Golden Retriever is around $50. A crate for a Great Dane is around $200 (Do you think I’m kidding? CLICK THOSE LINKS!!).
  • If you don’t own a pet, you probably don’t know this. A lot of pet medicines vary in price depending on how many pounds your pet weighs.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Final Thoughts

Christian and I are not ready for giant dogs yet, but we are preparing ourselves. We are researching the breeds, we are training Roxie to be an even better dog, and we are saving every penny we earn so we can afford to own two beasts.

Side note, isn’t it amazing that Chihuahuas and Great Danes are from the same species?

  1. I know dogs (and anyone/anything in the world) cannot be 100% perfect. When I say “near-perfect”, I mean as well-behaved as possible.

  • Jill Wilder July 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I love how you both are thinking all these things through. I’m enjoying your “learning” journey. :-)

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