When introducing a new puppy to the family, a good degree of exuberant behavior is to be expected. This can be a challenging time for humans and other pets in the home—not to mention the furniture, the carpets, and your shoes!
It’s even more challenging when your new doggie is a Great Dane pup and roughly the size of a full-grown medium size dog. A few months in, and you might wearily be wondering when your bundle of joy is going to start mellowing out.
Well, there’s good news and somewhat bad news. The good news is that Great Danes don’t have a reputation for being a hyperactive breed, so your pup will calm down and that usually happens after a few different things happen. The somewhat bad news is, this giant breed has a longer puppy phase than other dog breeds. As a result, that lively puppy behavior may continue until your doggie turns two.
The 6 Reasons Why So Your Great Dane Has So Much Energy
Your pup’s age is probably the main reason for its high energy levels, but there can be other reasons. If your colossal canine is beyond its puppy years and showing no signs of calming down, it’s time to consider some other reasons. Let’s take a look at some possibilities.
As mentioned, age is likely to be the most obvious reason for your gentle giant’s high spirits. With most animals, playfulness and high energy are key attributes of the pre-adult phase and Great Danes are no exception. However, Great Danes mature more slowly than smaller dog breeds and are puppies until they are two years old.
They can reasonably be expected to begin to mellow as they ease into adulthood between the ages of two and three years.
A lack of stimulation and engagement can exacerbate a puppy’s ebullient behavior, but even a mature dog may display erratically hyperactive behavior under these conditions. If your adult doggie is not settling down, has become excessively vocal, or has begun to exhibit destructive tendencies, it might be because it’s bored.
Great Danes were originally bred as hunting dogs, so it is not in their genes to be content with lazing around all day. Having said this, as a generally mellow breed, many may be accepting of a relaxed lifestyle once they are fully grown.
3. Insufficient exercise
As a working dog bred to be active in the field, your Great Dane requires daily exercise as part of its care regime. Neglecting this may lead to behavioral issues, such as unmanageable hyperactivity, destructiveness, and obstinacy.
4. Not enough attention
You are the center of your dog’s universe, and if you don’t let them know that they’re loved, you could end up with a very unhappy pooch. Each Great Dane is an individual and, as such, its requirements for affirmation will differ. However, without fail, each and every one does require a degree of loving attention.
A lack thereof can result in manic, attention-seeking behavior or, on the other end of the scale, depression and lethargy.
5. Inherent Character
Even if you are the model fur parent who dotes on your Dane with regular game-playing, love, cuddles, and walks, some Great Danes may remain overly exuberant. Much like any other animal or human, some individuals are just naturally lively. If this is your Great Dane, embrace and enjoy it!
If you are convinced that none of the above reasons accounts for your Great Dane’s crazy behavior, you might want to consider anxiety as a possible cause. Anxiety doesn’t always show up as obviously nervous or skittish behavior. Other symptoms can include hyperactivity, clinginess, decreased appetite, panting, and destructiveness, amongst others.
Some causes of anxiety in Great Danes are times of separation from their beloved human, noisy, or busy environments and lack of routine. These are just a few examples—depending on the individual dog, there could be any number of other triggers. The only way to get to the bottom of it is to be patient, observant, and make slow, calculated changes in their environment and notice if there is an improvement.
If you are uncertain, check in with your veterinary practitioner or an animal behaviorist.
Are Female Great Danes Less Hyper Than Males?
Many dog breeds display marked sexual morphological and behavioral differences. Often, adult females tend to be calmer and more sensible than males. As an owner of a young female Great Dane, you may be wondering whether her sex will ultimately result in her being calmer.
The answer is no. There are no indications that high levels of energy in Great Danes are more prevalent in one sex or the other. Your female Dane is just as likely to be a boisterous damsel as your male.
Will Spaying Or Neutering Help Calm Them Down?
Many owners of unmanageable and hyperactive doggies have experienced great success with calming them down by spaying or neutering them. Often, the wayward behavior is hormonally driven, so removing the source of the behavior can have beneficial results.
Similarly, spaying and neutering of these mostly gentle, but occasionally unmanageable, giants could have a calming effect on hyperactive behavior, provided it is due to hormones. In males, neutering may assist in lessening any developing aggressive behavior, but it may not address hyperactivity unless it is hormone-driven. In females, spaying will halt any difficult behavior associated with the heat cycle, such as restlessness and roaming.
Current guidelines recommend spaying and neutering only once the dog has finished growing. For large dogs, it is suggested that this is between 5–15 months old. However, we know that Great Danes only finish growing around the 20-month to two-year-old mark, so it may be best to delay until then.
The 4 Methods on How To Calm Your Great Dane Down
Considering these key reasons why your big guy or gal has over-the-top energy, there are—fortunately—solutions at hand. Have a look at the following suggestions. One or more likely a combination of these may have a positive effect on your big dog’s behavior.
The best solution for excess energy is to burn it off! As a working dog breed, Great Danes require daily exercise as part of their care regime. Puppies need at least 90 minutes of age-appropriate exercise.
Care should be taken not to overstress their still-developing bones, joints and muscles. Adults can get by with around an hour of daily exercise. Long leisurely walks interspersed with an off-lead gallop (if possible) are great. A short early morning run-around is a great idea to get out all that post-sleep energy.
Great Danes benefit enormously from routine in their lives. Although they are a laid-back breed, a lack of routine can be unsettling. Try and instill some structure into their daily lives by sticking to a routine.
Meal times, playtime, walkies time and rest time are examples of daily activities that can be arranged into an easy-to-follow schedule. If your gentle giant knows what to expect and when, fear associated with uncertainty can be eliminated resulting in a calmer, happier dog.
3. Mental Stimulation
Just like us, individual Great Danes differ according to whether they are more physical or more cerebral. Great Danes are an intelligent breed, but if your Dane is a super-smarty-pants, they may prefer games and training over simple physical activities like walking or running.
You can include specific command training exercises into their daily routine. Encourage your Dane to think by teaching it specific tasks like sitting, staying, and fetching. They’re perfectly capable of even more complex requests and training, as they are eager to please and respond well to rewards. Get them involved in problem-solving activities like doggie puzzles.
Even if your super-size pup seems to prefer mental stimulation over physical activity, the latter should not be neglected.
Especially if your big dog is slightly highly strung and prone to anxiety, careful consideration should be given to its environment. Creating a calm and quiet environment for a boisterous or anxious Great Dane goes a long way towards curbing mania.
Have a safe space to locate your Dane’s bed or a chill-out area that is away from noisy kids, bustling home activity or other loud noises.
Set an example for your hyper pooch by being quiet, calm, and deliberate around it. Work out when is the best time for exciting play and lively love, and when it’s the right time for quiet cuddles and relaxation.
The most likely cause of your Great Dane’s liveliness is its age. With patience, understanding, and application of some of the above-mentioned suggestions, you can work out the best way to manage and enjoy your big pup.
With time, your Dane is certain to mellow into the gentle giant typified by this majestic breed. If that proves not to be the case, then hopefully some of the points discussed above will help you pinpoint the cause of their unsettled behavior.
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