Great Danes are exclusively household pets, and it is a privilege to have one of these massive yet gentle giants. However, the dog’s behavior may become disturbing, and his sheer size may make it a difficult task to control him. You need to keep an eye on potential Great Dane behavioral problems and ensure that your pet is not a nuisance at home or to your family.
Here are 7 most important Great Dane behavioral problems every owner must be aware of.
Great Dane Behavioral Problems: Physical Contact
Great Danes are the biggest lapdogs in the world. They have a tendency to sit on your lap. They love to jump onto your bed and sleep on you. Another issue is their penchant to stand on hind legs in order to hug and greet you.
Though such Great Dane behavioral problems are not directed at causing any harm to you, their massive size and strength may cause disk problems or back pain. When the giant dog jumps at you, there is a risk of fall due to his sheer weight. Children and the elderly may be at the receiving end when a Great Dane tries to lean against them.
Consistent training and discouragement hold the key to dissuading your dog from hugging or sitting on your lap. You may not allow him to hug you or sit on your lap. Instead, you may want to encourage him to shake hands or sit next to you, and when he obeys you, it is a good idea to reward your dog.
Great Dane Behavioral Problems: Dog Aggression
Usually, Great Danes are gentle giants. However, they are slow to mature mentally – it takes about 3 years for a dog of this breed to have a mature brain. As a result, Great Dane behavioral problems cannot be ruled out when he is not properly socialized or desensitized. His hunting instincts and inability to cope with a condition may result in his aggressive behavior. With his massive size, an aggressive Great Dane may become destructive and potentially harmful.
Great Danes have a strong tendency to chase a running man or animal. This assumes greater proportion when he has pent-up energy and is without adequate mental and physical stimulation. Joint pain, hip dysplasia, and blindness may also cause aggression in these dogs.
Ensure that training, handling, or management do not encourage aggression in your dog. Thoroughly socialize him with enhanced exposure to different objects, animals, and conditions.
Great Dane Behavioral Problems: Social Anxiety, Stress, Boredom
Great Danes thrive in human company and are prone to suffering from social anxiety when kept separated or remain under stress. If left alone, a Great Dane develops anxiety and turns destructive.
An anxious dog may become stubborn, confused, aggressive, disoriented, or even disobedient. Unable to cope with separation, he may suffer from emotional disturbances that have a bearing on his physical behavior and wellbeing.
To resolve such Great Dane behavior problems, you must ensure that your dog receives adequate attention and does not feel isolated. Keep him close to your family and ensure that he is not suffering from the fear of being abandoned.
Regular exercise or daily playing with your dog may also help safeguard him from boredom, anxiety, and stress. While a regular activity regimen provides a Great Dane with adequate physical and psychological stimulation, it also ensures that he stays close to you and grabs your attention. This provides him with emotional satisfaction as well as allows him to overcome boredom.
Great Dane Behavioral Problems: Lack of Energy
These dogs lack the energy of Rottweilers or the playfulness of Golden Retrievers. They tend to remain idle and like to sleep for the entire day unless disturbed. Such a habit coupled with the love for food may spell a disaster for your Great Dane’s health, raising the risk of obesity.
Obesity may cause weight gain, joint problem, cardiovascular issues, respiratory distress, thyroid, and a host of other disorders. It may make your pooch prone to stomach bloating, which may cause the death of the dog.
Pay attention to your Great Danes fitness with proper diet and regular workout. However, avoid playing with such a big dog at home or risk destroying your household items.
Great Dane Behavioral Problems: Digging
Unless prevented, a Great Dane with his love for digging can change the entire landscape of your garden. Find out the cause leading to such Great Dane behavioral problems and address it.
Dogs are naturally instinctive to dig holes in the ground. However, you must try to control their digging behavior, as it is not a natural instinct for the breed. The motivation for such behavior may stem from their level of comfort, love for digging, lack of activity, or boredom. An anxious dog may also dig recurrently to ward of emotional disturbances, especially when not with his family or left alone. Some Great Danes use digging as a pretext to attract the attention of their owners.
Understand the cause of digging by your dog. Discourage him from doing so and try to keep him engaged in other activities. Give him toys to play, take him to regular walks, play with him, keep him off limits from your garden, or ensure that he is not getting any physical or psychological rewards for digging holes in your yard.
Great Dane Behavioral Problems: Whining, Barking, Growling
Great Danes have a tendency to whine or bark to grab the attention of their owners. Although such behavior is common for all types of dogs, a Great Dane who is vulnerable to social anxiety is more predisposed to displaying it.
Your dog is likely to make noise when he is alone or feels the urge to warn you about any stranger. However, it is difficult to discern if he is alerting you or just trying to gain attention. When the noise starts from slow and gains pitch after a while, it may be an indication that your pet is missing you or any member of your family. But if he starts growling and then barks, he may want to alert you.
Growling is also an indication that your dog is aggressive. The lack of proper socialization makes a Great Dane prone to growling. A stressed, anxious, irritated, or diseased dog is also more likely to whine or growl. Discomfort and continued restraint may also cause similar Great Dane behavioral problem.