Great Dane activity - No need to overdo it!
When compared to activity requirements of many other breeds, Great Dane activity requirements can be considered average to low. Great Danes aren't a lazy breed by any stretch and will gladly occupy your couch for a day if left to do so. However, a dog that has been contained to a house or crated for a day awaiting its family's arrival from work will require more dedication to a structured dog fitness routine. Your rested Dane will have more energy to burn than a dog who has had outdoor access during the day. Yet as a general rule, Great Danes as a breed do not required excessive exercise.
Over exercising a Great Dane is not recommended, especially with a growing puppy. Many Dane owners actually try to minimize Great Dane activity for their pup's first 18-months or so. Minimal exercise is typically enough to keep a growing puppy healthy and in shape. Over working a young dog during its rapid growth period can often have adverse affects on hip and joint development. Go easy with Danes during this stage!
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Daily walks are highly recommended with Great Danes and offer mental stimulation, socialization and fitness for a dog just perfectly. A half hour to 1-hour walk should be planned at least once a day. Keep in mind that the pace a human walks will only allow a Great Dane to slowly lumber along requiring a longer walk and more time. Jogging with a Dane will actually allow it to gait at a natural aerobic pace. A Dane who has courteous leash manner and does not pull or stop suddenly makes a perfect partner for you cyclists as well.
Back yard and outdoor time may suffice yet the benefits of a structured leash walk and many socialization opportunities will be lost. A minimum 6-foot high fence or electric containment fence is highly recommended should your Dane be left outdoors unattended.
Dog friendly parks, or places where dogs congregate are also great for large breed exercise and socialization. Emphasis should be given to keeping a close watch when your Dane is running around with the pack. Our giants tend to tire more quickly than many smaller breeds do to their massive frame and body weight. If you notice your Dane begin to tire, slow their Great Dane activity and calm things down a bit.
For us, a good half hour of heavy running with the dog park pack and we call it a day. Great Danes have very long limbs and an exhausted Dane is prone to injury. Beyond that, daily games of fetch, a river swim, or evening walk keeps our boy trim, chiselled and healthy. For the more athletic minded group, Great Danes due quite well and are very impressive when participating in structured canine activities such as lure coursing, agility, obedience competition, fly-ball and tracking.
Don't overdo it with your Dane and keep on reading this site for more first hand help with your giant friend :)