As a giant dog bread, we get a lot of comments from people that walk by. Probably the most common is 'Horse'. I just want to get things straight I am not a horse, nor a elephant, nor a dinosaur but a Great Dane.
Although, I do have a soft spot for the larger version of me as you can see from the video and photos:
Bones are like gobstoppers for kids. We can naw at them for hours and unlike gobstoppers that rot your teeth, bones clean ours. It is important to choose the right bones otherwise we can find ourselves in a lot of trouble.
For instance dont give us chicken bones as they can get lodged in our throat or splinter and hurt our stomach and intestine. Robert swears by chuck bones or large marrow bones that are cut in quarters (width and length) this allow me to get to the tasty marrow par 😉
My owners often tell me that I have a bottomless pit for a stomach but I just think I love my food. I haven’t found anything that I wont eat and sometime it gets me into trouble. To all those puppy Great Danes that want to learn from my mistakes and the large vet bills that I have created for Robert & Tien I recommend you stay away from;
Too many sausage rolls (40+)
Chicken skewers (incl. skewer sticks) 6+
Protein shake (1kg)
On the other hand, I would highly recommend that you encourage your owners with the following;
Pigs ears (what a treat)
There also of those life indulges like Ice Cream and Pizza that i also love!
This month I learnt a little bit about my name – Bismark (aka. Bissy). Robert said that naming me was difficu
lt but the things that he factored into the name included; I was a Blue Great Dane, giant dog, likely to create havic and destroy a thing or two as a pup and that our breed is regal.
Robert’s dad (my grand dad) served in the Royal New Zealand Navy for 25yrs and Robert and his brother have always been fascinated by Naval ships & sea diving (I dont get blowing bubble under water but then again, Ive never tried).
Combining all of the above together, Robert decided to name me after a famous World War II battle ship called the Bismark (pic below):
To provide the history lesson, Robert took me to Williamstown where I visited a naval ship and got to play with some big guns – just looked, no firing 😉
My owners are obsessed with cushions. Firstly I was kicked off my couch and they have replaced me with cushions (lots of them). They are a favourite of Tien’s but I have discovered another purpose for them – Cushion Demolition.
Over the past few weeks I have made my way through about three or four but Im not worried as there are plenty more!
Its been a hot summer and after plenty of games with the hose, Robert finally decided to buy me a pool. Whilst Robert wanted to show me the basics of swimming with my first lesson, I decided that the real game was trying to drag the pool around the back yard.
Must admit, I couldn't rip it apart despite multiple attempts during the day. For anyone thinking about a paddling pool for a Great Dane, I highly recommend the one I got. Easy to fold away, durable and big enough for me!
You when you dont know what you want to be when you grow up? Well I have been pondering this over the last few months and today, I discovered what excites me - GARDENING!
Im not sure if I was putting the reticulation system in correctly so I had to pull it out a couple of times. Eventually though, I think I got it right. Great doing something that excites me even if it doesnt excite my owner
This month has been great catching up with friends and family of the two legged and four legged kind. Robert has made sure that I have experienced new things since so far so that I become familiar with them and not scared of them in later life. Apparently we can be impacted from a young age if we arent socialised or exposed to different sounds, smells, sites and feelings. Some examples of what Robert has done so far;
Loud sounds - trams, buses, truck and one that did scary me a little Harley Davidson
Sites - Beaches, parks, roads, national parks
Socialisation - other dogs, cats, horses and of course plenty of humans
Great to have spent some time with my grandma, aunt and uncle as well as the first time I met my 'boss/ co-owner' (below):
Socialising with other dogs is also big. Puppy school was the start but meeting other dogs of different ages and manners is all part of growing up
Since day 1 Robert has been teaching me the basics (sit, drop, heel and stay) but the home schooling only takes you so far. Clicker training has been the fastest way for me to learn. For such a simple training tool, it it definetly keeps me focused
I joined four other puppies for some classroom work. Whilst I was the only Great Dane in my class, I wasn't the only large dog, there were two Boxers, a German Shepherd and a Pit Bull Terrier.
Whilst I gained a lot from the class particularly social etiquette with other dogs, I feel as though Robert learnt the most.
Six key takeaways include:
Training with positive reinforcement (encouragement, treats etc) not discipline
Dog treats carry different currency (just like money) - typically boiled chicken, pigs ears etc are a higher order treats. Higher order treats can be used when you are super impressed with a particular behaviour
Socialising with other dogs from a young age is important. We learn manners (dos and dont's). Whilst we are with other puppies, when we get it wrong, the result isn't as bad as getting it wrong with a fully grown dog
Puppy school and other dog training schools are there to teach the owner not the dog. Most of the dog training happens with your owner not in the classroom
Vaccinations and de-worming/fleaing is really important for your dogs health
Pet insurance from a young age is worthwhile. There are plenty of plans out there so shop around (if in Australia, I used PetPlan)