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Are Great Danes Good for First Time Owners? Breed Pros & Cons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

a black and white harlequin great dane dog standing outdoor

If you’re looking at getting a dog for the first time, you want to find the right mix. You’re not getting a dog for a short amount of time, so you really should get the breed you want when starting out. But you also don’t want to find yourself in over your head with a dog you don’t know how to care for.

So, does a Great Dane stack up? Is it a good choice for first-time dog owners or should you go with a different dog when you’re still figuring things out? While we’d love to give you a clear-cut answer on this, the experts have divided opinions.

We’ll highlight why some experts say it’s perfectly fine for a first-time dog owner to get a Great Dane, and we’ll break down why some experts recommend you steer clear. That way, you have all the information out there and can make an informed decision about what’s right for you.

divider 9Reasons Why Great Danes Are Good for First Time Owners

While some people will try to talk you out of getting a Great Dane as your first dog, there are also plenty of reasons they make a great pet for a first-time dog owner. We’ve highlighted four reasons getting a Great Dane as your first dog is a good idea.

1. Very Intelligent

male great dane dog on grass
Image Credit: belu gheorghe, Shutterstock

When you’re trying to train a dog, you want one that’s smart enough to figure out what you’re doing. With a Great Dane, that’s not a problem. They’re extremely intelligent, so all it takes is a little consistency and a few training sessions and they should know exactly what you want.

2. Eager to Please

Great Danes want to make you happy. Having a dog that’s actively trying to figure out how to please you is a great thing for beginners trying to figure things out. Just keep in mind that they’re trying to figure out what you want, so it’s up to you to figure out how to show them that.

3. Docile Nature

pregnant great dane
Image Credit: mkzdillon, Shutterstock

While Great Danes are massive dogs, for the most part, they’re well aware of their size. They are extremely docile and careful with their weight, so with even a little training, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Having a dog with a great temperament is a great thing for first-time owners and Great Danes certainly fit that criterion.

4. Low Maintenance

You don’t have to spend a ton of time brushing Great Danes, and they sleep a lot, so you don’t have to spend as much time with them compared to other dogs. You still need to allot plenty of time for them, but there’s no denying that they’re a low-maintenance breed.

divider 10Reasons Why Great Danes Are Bad for First Time Owners

While there are plenty of reasons a Great Dane is a great dog for first-time owners, there are also plenty of reasons you should think twice. Below we’ve highlighted three of the most commonly listed reasons people recommend you don’t get a Great Dane as your first dog.

1. They’re Really Big

young black great dane dog lying outdoor
Image Credit: Vera Reva, Shutterstock

We all know that a Great Dane is really big, but we don’t always think about the practical implications when it comes to raising them. The biggest thing here is that it’s really important to socialize them correctly.

If you don’t properly socialize a smaller dog, they might hop on someone and can easily hurt them by accident. You need to teach a Great Dane how to behave correctly, and there’s not a ton of room for error here.

This is the number one reason you should be hesitant about getting a Great Dane as your first dog. Because while they’re relatively easy dogs to care for, the stakes are pretty high that you train them properly.

2. They Need Lots of Exercise

While Great Danes are docile and have a pretty inactive temperament, all this relies on you getting them out enough. A Great Dane should get at least 2 hours of exercise each day, which is a pretty decent amount.

If you don’t give them the exercise they need, they can get a little rambunctious, and because of their larger size, this can quickly lead to problems.

3. They Eat A Lot

Great Dane Puppy Eating
Image Credit: Rick’s Photography, Shutterstock

It’s really not about how much they eat here; it’s more about how much it costs to feed them and care for them. A 200-pound Great Dane needs about 7.5 cups of kibble each day, which means they’ll go through about 60 pounds of dog food a month. You don’t want to feed them low-quality food, so it’s going to get expensive to feed them.

Not only do they cost a lot to feed, but their medical care generally costs more right along with everything else. Ensure you have enough in the monthly budget before bringing home a Great Dane.

divider 9Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about the pros and cons of getting a Great Dane as your first dog, you can make your own informed decision about whether or not it’s a good decision for you.

But if you’re willing to put in the time, energy, money, and work, there’s no reason you can’t get a Great Dane or any other dog breed as your first dog!

See also: When to Switch a Great Dane From Puppy Food? Get to Know Your Dog

Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

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