Grooming a Great Dane
Many people wonder if grooming a Great Dane is difficult, you may be surprised!
We're often asked, "How do you wash a dog that size?", our reply is always, "We don't!".
Conveniently, Great Danes are a very low odor breed, except of course for the flatulence, but you already knew that:)
Grooming a Great Dane - Bathing
Bathing these mammoths is not a major necessity, which works in our favor, no need to bother, or budget for trips to the dog salon! Frequent bathing will also strip essential oils from your dog's coat and since dry skin affects many Danes, keep baths to an "as needed" basis.
We give no baths during the warmer months, weekly trips to the swimming hole keep our Danes fresh as a mountain spring. On occasion and if necessary, i.e., Skunk attack, we may add a bottle of biodegradable doggie shampoo to the mix. If rare circumstances mandate a winter bath, we wash down our dog with a wet cloth and shampoo.
Grooming a Great Dane - Shedding & Hair Loss
On the average, Great Danes shed like any short-haired breed, that is of course, if they are not suffering from skin problems, or allergies. You may notice quite a bit more hair around the house than would be left by a smaller short haired dog, like a Doberman Pincher. Logically, we are dealing with much more surface area of canine.
Tip: If you feel your Dane is leaving more hair on the carpet than usual you can try supplementing alfalfa powder and organic kelp with meals. Low thyroid function can also cause excessive shedding, a thyroid test is relatively simple and inexpensive.
Slight noticeable dander or dry skin is not uncommon with certain color varieties.
A daily once over with a brush will greatly reduce the amount of hair left on your carpet. We found that grooming a Great Dane using a rubber curry brush works best. Don't waste good money on an expensive brush, we've made that mistake! Our favorite is a Zoom Groom. Imagine that! The simple design and short flat notches pull dead hairs out like a magnet!
Grooming a Great Dane - Head & Face
The head and face require slightly more upkeep. Great Danes seem to differ with regards to drool or slobber. Although there always seems to be a touch of wetness on the jowls, we find that the slimy, white, translucent slobber typically forms when they're on a scent, other canine or animal more specifically.
A trip to the dog park could make quite a mess of you Dane's beautiful face, carrying a drool towel is a wise choice. You may also need to tidy up a bit after your Dane drinks, seems they haven't quite perfected this skill as well.
Eyes may build mucus from time to time such as a road trip, with your dog hanging its head out the window catching the breeze. This mucus is normal and nothing to worry about, unless it looks more of a discharge, changes in color, or intensifies and persists.
Ears should be cleaned once a week, especially if they're cropped. Our favorite natural product for wiping the ears and getting the crud out is TrueBlue Super Easy Ear Wipes. It's also important to clean the ear canal from time to time. To do that we use a natural ear care solution with Tea Tree Oil. Just squirt a little solution into each ear and massage the ear canals between your thumb and forefinger for a few minutes.
Tip: Most tasks associated with grooming a Great Dane will go much easier if started when your Dane is a young puppy.
Most Danes once over the initial sensation of fluid, will quietly rumble with pleasure during the process. Next wrap a soft cloth moist with solution over your finger and go down into and wipe out the ears base, or bell. You'd be surprised at what a pair of cropped ears can collect.
Ear Debris Example..
One year I was spreading grass seed and realized if I didn't clean my dog's ears that Saturday, in 10-days our boy would have perennial rye grass ear fashion:)!
As you can see, grooming a Great Dane with regards to ear care, will be more important if your Dane is cropped.
Teeth are much easier to maintain than with a smaller breed, they're way bigger and not cramped into a tiny little mouth. Grab hold and pull up on the convenient jowl handle. What a nice unobstructed view of those choppers. Watch for tarter or food built up in the creases and crevasses, the rear molars seem to hold the most debris.
Getting your dog used to a toothbrush and teeth care early on will make it a fun, tasty experience for years to come. Those that feed raw or offer a good marrow bone to gnaw on will most likely never need anything else.
Great Danes are pretty tolerant of head maintenance, eye, ear, and face cleanup is a breeze. Teeth brushing may take some practice yet if started early, as a puppy, should go easy as well.
Grooming a Great Dane - Feet, Paws, Nails
Your Danes paws and nails require proper care. A split toenail, splinter, or cut, can have a detrimental effect on the well being of your dog. The giant, heavyweight Great Dane is more susceptible to paw injuries than a smaller breed, their feet take the brunt force of their powerful strides.
Ever wonder how much pressure your Great Dane puts on its feet? Let him step on yours:) A small sharp object such as a piece of glass may only slightly cut or scratch a small dogs paw pad. Under the pressure of a pouncing Dane, it can cause a major gash.
Keep the nails as short as possible! With Dane nail care, we always try to cut as close to the quick as possible. Don't worry, keep a few damp Q-tips coated with Kwik Stop Styptic Powder on hand. If you cut too close, press the Q-tip directly into the tip of the bleeding nail to quickly stop the flow.
You can use a traditional nail cutter for toenail trimming, a good choice is Millers Forge Quality Nail Clipper for Large Dogs. Rotary grinders are available such as the Master Groomer Grinder and the Oster Nail Grinder which is the one I use.
Whatever method you choose begin Dane nail care early, were serious. If you begin while your dog is a young puppy, you will have no problems in the future with a mature, powerful adult.
Dogs are not in pain when you cut their nails, even if they bleed. Yet a dog that's not accustomed to the procedure will make you believe that you're killing them. Wait and see, neglect nail care and it's going to take you, your wife, and your neighbor to clip your adult males toenails.
Tip: Many savvy owners choose a late hour for doggy maintenance. Grooming a Great Dane, especially nail care, will go a little easier while your Dane is in a deep sleep.
Foot and paw care is probably the most important aspect of grooming a Great Dane. Neglect this department and further problems can develop. A Dane with a painful or injured paw will make changes to its posture, gait, and weight distribution. This can lead to orthopedic problems or even a ligament injury.
Start with your young puppy with all the Great Dane grooming practices, make leg and paw rubs a nightly affair. Everything is easier with a young Dane and will only cause much grief if left for later.