Great Danes, as a giant breed, grow very quickly but do not fully mature until they are about two years of age or older. Some breeders do not feel that they are fully mature until 3 or 4 years of age. In this growing process they do pass through some very awkward stages. Growth plates are changing, bones are moving, cartilage is forming. Injuries during a puppy’s first year may become permanent problems for the dog. Too much exercise at an early age is detrimental to good development. Forced exercise is not recommended for this breed – puppies should be allowed to play until they are tired.
The following weight chart gives an overview of the growth pattern of Great Danes.
|Birth weight||1-2 lb|
|Week 1||2-3 lb|
|Week 2||3-5 lb|
|Week 3||4-7 lb|
|Week 4||5-8 lb|
|Week 6||12-20 lb|
|Month 2||18-27 lb||13-17 inches|
|Month 3||30-45 lb||17-22 inches|
|Month 4||50-65 lb||21-25 inches|
|Month 5||65-85 lb||25-30 inches|
|Month 6||70-100 lb||27-33 inches|
|Month 7||75-110 lb||27-33 inches|
|Month 8||80-115lb||27-34 inches|
|Month 9||85-120 lb||28-34 inches|
|One Year||90-135 lb||28-36 inches|
|140-170 lb||33-36 inches|
|110-140 lb||30-33 inches|
The content of the chart above has been compiled and produced by JP Yousha.
There are different schools of thought regarding food. Some breeders use a high quality commercial kibble, while others implement a raw diet (sometimes called B.A.R.F.).
Your best bet is to feed your new Great Dane puppy according to the diet sheet provided by your breeder. Different lines (families) may do better on one type of diet than another. Your breeder has invested a lot of time into their dogs – they know what works!
Traditionally, all dogs received their first immunization from six to eight weeks of age, followed by a second vaccine four weeks later and a third four weeks after that. At six months there is usually a rabies vaccine as well. This was to be followed by yearly vaccines.
Many veterinarians and breeders no longer believe that it is beneficial or wise to subject the immune system of a young puppy to this number of vaccines. The protocol for the reduced numbers of vaccines is still being developed. Most breeders are immunizing their puppies in some form and will be able to share information regarding the vaccines they are recommending with the new owner.
There are breeders who feel that vaccination in any form is detrimental to the health of your puppy and recommend a homeopathic or holistic approach. The experience breeders have had with their dogs will determine the advice they provide.
Much work is still being done by veterinarian research centers to determine what vaccines are beneficial and necessary for the optimum health of your puppy.