Meet Ellie the Great Dane

In our third ever episode of Toby Talks we sat down with the owner of a great dane to see what their experience was like raising such a gentle giant. We've summarized the conversation to give you the details along with linking to expert opinions on what we covered in our conversation. If you have any questions or concerns about raising your great dane, be sure to get in touch with one of our Veterinarian's or behaviour experts and we will be sure to help!

How are you doing today?

I’m good I’m good thank you.

Awesome well thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today… obviously I need to know what the puppy’s name is…

Her name’s Ellie.

Is there a sub breed of Great Dane she falls into?

She is an American great dane, there is also the European great dane which can be larger and have the droopier jowls.

Dog Time does a great overview on the great dane breed and their characteristics!

Okay so Ellie’s not too tall, how tall is she?

Well… she comes up to my waist, so when we say not too tall she’s about three feet..

Wow… so how much does she weigh then?

We haven’t weighed her in a while, but last time we checked it was 120 pounds

and when you picked her out… how did it happen?

So we got her from a breeder in Sarnia, Ontario. My wife’s dad fostered dane’s his whole life so she’s always wanted one. We also have a dachshund puppy and she’s always thought the contrast was hilarious there.

Right on… and did you pick her out specifically?

We actually just specified that we wanted a female and preferably black… and we got one that’s all black with a white chest.

Beautiful and she still has her markings on the chest then?

Yeah she kept all her colouring.

Okay cool, so you’ve picked out your puppy and brought her home… describe your first night back home with your puppy.

Our first night went pretty well. She was pretty timid considering a puppy coming home for the first night. So we kept a crate beside the bed, we didn't do the traditional crate training but more left it there for her with the door wide open. She took to that pretty quickly and I think part of that was just being timid, so we got rid of the crate pretty quickly altogether. Now she just uses a bed on the floor beside us.

Unfortunately with our dachshund we tried the same thing and it didn’t work as well. So he sleeps in our bed now...

What about potty training, how did that go?

She did really well Within the first week or two we were pretty much accident free. She knew what she was doing pretty quickly from the time we got home until the time we were done training.

That’s impressive! Did you use any tricks?

No just praise and treats. She's very food motivated, my wife and I joke that she fits the personality of Scooby Doo to a “T”. She loves food and is terrified of everything that moves…

If you're having difficulty house training your puppy, checkout our 5 tips to house training!

That’s hilarious, what about being able to hold it through the entire night?

She did that very quickly too. Pretty much as soon as she was potty trained she was going through the night.

Do you think training was easier with a bigger dog?

Definitely, honestly she was much easier to train in all aspects compared to our dachshund. I mean she’s still a puppy so she still gets excited and things, but as far as taking commands and potty training, ten times easier than our dachshund. However, dachshunds are known to be quite stubborn.

It's important to note that this is not a professional opinion, but merely an opinion stated in interview. Any dog can pose difficulties when training no matter the size of dog or breed they are.

So what’s next for Ellie, any more vaccinations or vet visits coming up in the near future?

Well, she just went through her first heat a little while ago, so we’re going to be getting her spayed this month. Plus, because great dane's are bigger chested, there’s a procedure called tummy tacking where they sew the tummy to the stomach making it impossible to flip their stomach. It also makes them less susceptible to bloat which is common with great dane's.

Tummy Tacking is the common term for a gastropexy. Read more about the procedure and whether your dog should get it done.

Okay wow, so I’m assuming you have to watch how fast she eats?

Yeah, we use a slow feeder that kind of makes her lick food out in small bits. Then we’ll also add some water to it to really slow her down.

Slow feeders are recommended to slow down a dogs eating. Quick eating can cause lots of health issues including bloat, diarrhea and vomiting so be sure to monitor how fast your pup is eating.

So there you have it... a quick intro on what it's like to own a Great Dane! If you have any more questions you'd like answered about great dane's, or any topics you'd like us to cover next, tag us in a post on social media and use the hashtag "#tobytalks" and we'll get that included in an upcoming episode!

Disclaimer: The opinion's expressed within this interview are the opinion of the interviewee and not of MaxCare. It is important to note that our interviewee is an owner of a Great Dane but not a registered expert of any means. This is solely for entertainment purposes.

Good luck with your puppy training, and if you have any queries about your experiences in pet parenting, feel free to contact us on