What does it say about you if you choose to live with a giant breed dog? It certainly seems to say that you're willing to share! Giant breed dogs need more of everything, period. They require more food and a bigger dog bed. And good training is really important – they can, after all, easily reach the food on the counter, or knock a person down with an overly-friendly greeting!
How big is a giant breed? Here are just a few examples. The Giant Schnauzer (yes, he even has "giant" in his name), weighs in from 55 to 80 pounds. The Bernese Mountain Dog can weigh up to 110 pounds. The Newfoundland can reach 150 pounds. And the Saint Bernard? Up to 200 pounds! Since it's very possible that these dogs will weigh more than their owners, training is very important — especially walking nicely on a leash. Most giant dogs are described as calm, agreeable and pleasant. It's almost as if they have no idea how big they are.
One such breed is the Great Dane, who can weigh up to 200 pounds. And what if you decide to add more than one giant breed to your family? Just ask Steve, the proud owner of three Great Danes, Olive, Chloe and Alfredo. Their combined weight? 370 pounds! That's a lot of dog to walk.
What's it like to live with three giants? Steve says he often has to try to get them to stop standing on his foot. "Alfredo has a tendency to lean on visitors, and if not prepared, the visitor loses balance," Steve says.
Thomas, who also lives with Great Danes, says, "We bought a taller dining room table due to losing a dinner to one or another dog after a little table surfing. That worked just fine before Great Danes. Now that the Danes are here, the higher table seems just the right height for them. They make our house seem smaller than it actually is."
Where does a giant breed sleep? Steve says, "The $2000 dog bed (aka the sectional sofa) or their dog beds in the bedroom. We have other dog beds – really LARGE dog beds – in the living room, guest room and bedroom. Depending on the day's events it can either be challenging or downright comical watching all of them jockey for position on just the right bed."
Do they know how big they are? How much power they could have? Steve says, "Olive hides behind me when the neighbor kid comes over or she will retreat to the couch. She is afraid of little dogs and children. Chloe can't stand the sound of trucks on the street. They all come to us for protection."
Satie, a Blue Merle Great Dane, has shared her one-bedroom apartment with Alex for a year now. Satie weighs in at 100 pounds, but does she realize it?
"She does not know she is a giant. We go to the dog park often and she is obsessed with the little dogs and very timid around the large dogs. Eventually she will play with all the dogs but there is something about the smaller dogs that she loves. When my fiancé and I are watching TV or a movie, she always jumps/crawls on the couch and lays on us. It's like she thinks she doesn't weigh a thing."
And it seems big dogs have big hearts. "I love how Satie leans on me," Alex says. "It really makes me feel loved and my fiancé agrees. She just always wants to know how I am and what I am doing. When I am in a bad/sad mood, Satie sitting next to me really brightens my day."
So should you consider living with giants? Thomas thinks so. "After a while, our Danes don't seem like giant-size or out-of-the-ordinary to me. They seem normal, just right. I still have a soft spot for small dogs too, but at this time I think the bigger the dog the bigger the love.