They are known as Gentle giants. But you wouldn’t guess that, when you have not seen Ghost and Buster tearing across the lawn. And you probably would find it difficult to believe the*gentle* bit when you see the assortment of shoes and furniture that their teeth have conquered. But that doesn’t matter Coz the harlequin Great Dane goofballs are the cutest little things in the Thakur home.
While most would be happy with one giant breed, entrepreneur Kaustubh Thakur and wife Dr Pranjali Gadgil, an onco surgeon thought long and hard and decided on two Great Danes!
Says Kaustubh, “We firmly believe that regardless of the breed, getting one dog is a bigger emotional investment for the family as the dog has only its humans to bond with, and in their absence, whether for a short or extended period of time behavioural issues like separation anxiety and isolation distress crop-up. This issue is more so amplified for Great Danes as they’re known to be “velcro-dogs” and always like a warm body around. They don’t do well by themselves and you really don’t want a stressed/misbehaving giant breed in your home. That was our rationale in getting two. We chose to get two brothers despite the risk of “littermate syndrome” as Pranjali didn’t want to separate the two.” Pranjali’s first pets, she was slightly apprehensive but the boys vaulted straight into her heart. Now she can’t do without cuddles from the furry two! She stated that she couldn’t stop herself from showering them with love, buying them gifts, treats, and calming beds to help them get a good sleep.
Just two months old, the brothers sleep a lot but when they are awake, its an absolute party at home. Puppies have boundless curiosity and they only express this curiosity by chewing on everything. “Great Dane puppies have a voracious appetite; so our boys eat only three things –
- food they like
- food they don’t like
- things that aren’t even food :),” laughs Kaustubh.
The duo has taken up the job of redoing the garden very seriously. While Kaustubh and Pranjali had already removed fauna know to be poisonous to dogs, ghost and Buster decided to change a couple of things too. “We had some exotic plants that had thorns on them which the puppies liked to run through so we had them removed. I’m sure by the time they’re done with their puppy phase we’ll be left with some grass and a whole lot of soil. Fun!” He laughs.
They are pretty much nocturnal, love to chew on furniture, shoes and anything they can get their little puppy teeth on. It can be annoying fur those who haven’t had dogs earlier but since Kaustubh has raised many dogs, he knows that its a phase and patience is key.
Already their training is on and they have managed to get basic commands like “sit”, “paw” and “come”.
Though brothers, they are polar opposites in terms of their personalities. “Ghost” is dignified and elegant even as a pup and behaves like a miniature adult great dane. “Buster” on the other hand is a total goofball; his behaviour explains why cartoon characters like ScoobyDoo and Marmaduke are based on Great Danes. “Ghost is a total papa’s boy. Buster somehow knows he was supposed to be my wife’s dog and follows her all day long,” says Kaustubh.
The naming ceremony
“Our bigger pup had a face that just screamed “Ghost” when he would grow up. So we tried to solve for what goes with Ghost and my wife came up with Buster, which is in fact a great name for a dog. Their names obviously have already become “Ghosty” and “Busty”.
They very much have their designated spots at home. Both are undergoing crate training at the moment and have started identifying the word “place” with their bed.
I’ve had large dogs in the past but this is my first time dealing with giant breeds. Here’s a few pointers I’d like to share specific to Great Danes –
- They’re succeptable to hip displacia and other orthopedic issues found commonly in giant breeds. So its absolutely IMPERATIVE to grow your great Danes slowly. They should be given less protein and fat compared to puppies of other breeds.
- They have a very heavy bone structure so its also essential they get supplements for calcium, glucosamine and chondroitin to ensure good bone health.
- I cannot emphasise enough that obedience training is a MUST for any giant breed as they can easily overpower you once they’re fully grown. Giving training to your puppy is an essential part of them growing up and learning about the world around them, this will help them in the future.
- BLOAT (twisting of stomach) is the number one killer in great danes as they have deep chests and they’re stomachs are not as supported. To prevent this from happening you MUST ensure you train your dane puppies to rest for half hour right after meals.
- There isn’t a direct relationship between a dog’s size and how much exercise they need. Danes have a hound lineage but they’re not energetic athletic dogs. They’re more in the couch potato category. Excessive exercising them could also crop up orthopaedic issues sooner than later.
- Lastly, this breed is known to be “velcro dogs”. In other words, enjoy all your personal space and alone time before you get a great dane. Once its here, don’t expect to ever be alone!
And we can see that stick on Velcro effect as they don’t leave their humans alone!
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