When you bring your new puppy home...
With heart set on owning a gentle giant, you have researched the breed, read books, and found a Reputable Breeder, with healthy breeding stock, who socializes puppies from birth, has discussed the idiosyncrasies of the breed with you, and the home you offer.
It is a traumatic experience for a puppy to be suddenly transplanted into a totally new environment, although easier with a "pre-socialized" baby. Let him check things out, and get acquainted with family members individually. If there are other animals in the house they should be introduced individually. Be patient, both you and the puppy will benefit. He needs "guidance" as to how he is to behave in your home, and must be shown his boundaries, both inside and out. A large crate with soft pad, and puppy toys, in a quiet area, will be very advantageous for you and the puppy. Do not lock him in, let him have access. Puppies are very active for an hour or so, then they need to recuperate - and they quickly learn to appreciate the crate for such purposes. It becomes their "Den". Once the puppy is fully ensconced in the household, if you have to leave him alone for a time, you can then close him in "his Den". He will not mind, and it will keep him from getting in trouble, or being destructive. I placed a puppy with a good friend, and recommended a crate, but they thought that would impose unjust restraint. First time he was left alone, albeit only for a few hours, they returned home to a happy puppy sitting in the middle of bits and pieces of a favorite armchair. I received a telephone call from my irate friend! Offered him two solutions - he could return the puppy, or he could get that symbol of "unjust restrain" that had been suggested. He opted for the crate! The dog is 7 years old now, and the love of their lives.
Dane puppies are naturally clean if raised in a clean environment. However, guidance is required. Take the puppy out to the "designated toilet area" after sleeping, after meals, after indoor playtimes, etc. Patience and timing are the basic necessities. Should you catch him starting to urinate or defecate in the house, tell him No-No, and take him to his toilet area. Do not bound up to him, grab and dump him out, or, perish the thought - rub his nose in it - he will have learned nothing other than you scared the you know what out of him. Harsh corrections with a puppy creates distrust.
Dane puppies need to bond. They are people oriented, have tremendous potential as a family dog. They do well in Performance Events, are great Therapy Dogs, and should be introduced to these activities as puppies. The Volhard Publications, (Howell Book House) books and video tapes, by Jack and Wendy Volhard, cover every aspect of preparing puppies for such, they train you to train your puppy.
With "Patience, Timing, Guidance and Motivational training" your puppy will develop his full potential, and become the loving, athletic companion you want to share your life.
Mrs. Paddy Magnuson,