Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stanley is our 4-year-old Great Dane. Before Stanley, we had 2 Boxers who were wonderful, sweet, energetic dogs. We are big-dog people, so we decided a little over 4-years ago to go VERY big on our next dog. We also wanted a little lazier of our boxer's had a puppy-personality for 7 straight years. That's a lot of energy.

A friend of ours has a Great Dane, and we offered to start pet sitting him when he went out of town to get a feel for having a dog that size in our home. There is a learning curve, for sure, but it didn't take long for us to realize that this was the breed for us. Thus commenced an almost year-long search for a puppy. We wanted a pure breed, but not a show dog (read: not $$$$). The breeder needed to be within driving distance so we could go see the parents and meet the breeder face to face. We wanted an ethical, caring, educated breeder.

Just when we started to lose hope, we found a breeder about 45 minutes away and soon Stanley was ours.

A dog as big as Stanley can present it's challenges, so I would encourage anyone who is interested in the breed to absolutely do your homework (lots of it) and find a wonderful breeder like we did. Take your time, it's worth it. I say all the time Stanley was meant to be in our family, and I truly believe it. He is the best.

When you own a dog this size, you get a LOT of questions. Usually when we are out on one of our walks. I thought it might be fun to answer some of them here:

IS THAT A HORSE? :: Nope! He's a Great Dane.

DO YOU HAVE A SADDLE? :: No. I wish he could carry me, but he's too lazy. Fun Fact: Someone asks me that question every.single.time. I am out walking him.

HOW MUCH DOES HE WEIGH? :: About 140 Pounds

HOW MUCH DOES HE EAT? :: Between 6-8 cups of food a day

DOES HE MAKE A BIG MESS? :: Well, yes and no. He does when he eats, and so he eats in the garage. He doesn't drool all the time, but IF he does, when he shakes his head it goes everywhere. I mean, I've scrubbed the walls above my head before.

DOES HE NEED A LOT OF EXERCISE? :: Surprisingly, No. He usually has a 12-15 minute walk but not every day. He will run around the back yard for 2 minutes or so once a day and he sleeps the rest of the day (as seen in the above pictures). However, his brother is actually quite active and hyper, so it's not always the case. We just got lucky.

WILL HE GET ANY BIGGER? :: Not unless we let him get fat. When he was a puppy, we kept a growth chart and he gained 5 pounds every week, and on average grew an inch or two every week.

IS HE FRIENDLY? :: He is! But as he ages he has grown a little more protective. We have to be actively mindful to continually socialize him with other dogs and people and we try to never assume we know how he will react in every situation. A dog of his size requires you to be a responsible owner and continually stay on top of his temperament.

That's Stanley! I can't imagine our lives without him. Any other questions? Ask me!

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