Puppies do not need exercise! All they need is freedom to roam in the house and garden. Gradually introduce exercise by no more than 5 minutes a day. You will probably find the puppy will fight the lead, and in fact won’t walk at all. Do not force the puppy, take him/her straight back indoors, and forget a walk for the rest of the day.
Introduce the lead to the puppy in the garden, and take it for a walk around your lovely rose bed that has become a site of excavation for the ‘Lost World of Bones’.
When you are in control, and the Dane has learnt who is boss, you may wish to take the dog to ‘socialising’ classes at a reputable dog training centre. There, both you and the Dane will learn in a safe environment, how to behave in public places.
Remember a young Dane grows quickly, that does not mean it can take 5 mile walks as daily exercise. The skeletal structure needs time to develop and strengthen, and the muscles need time to develop too.
A Great Dane of any age should be exercised before or after any meals; i.e. exercise your Dane 1½ hours before its breakfast/dinner leaving at least 1½ - 2 hours resting time after feeding before any exercise is resumed. If you think on it, you wouldn’t go on a 5 mile hike after eating roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, nor could you sit down to a 3 course meal the second you finish the London marathon! One of the main reasons why this routine is followed, is to reduce the risk of Bloat.
Ensure you fit a comfortable collar, one that does not cut into the neck but has a ‘check’ chain section to enable control. Remember to attach a disc to the collar stating micro-chipped and mobile phone numbers.
If you are unable to have full control of the dog when out walking, then try using a head collar, ‘Dogmatic’ works very well.
Great Danes vary in the amount of exercise they want. Some ‘teenage’ Danes will happily go for many miles on a steady walk, others can become plodders. Steadily build up the amount of exercise you give your Dane each day, and keep to the same amount. As a Dane gets older the length of exercise reduces; always observe how the dog is feeling before continuing on a ‘usual’ walk.
Too fast, too far, too crowded, too noisy, too hot, too cold, too long.