Kenai’s Growth 2-7 months

Being almost entirely European in lineage, Kenai’s growth will be a bit different than purely American Danes. His body will be as his father’s: substantial in bone and heavily muscled, much like their Mastiff ancestors. (His mother is 1/4 American, so Kenai is 1/8th American.)And not being neutered until at least 12 months will keep him from getting tall and weedy looking. But all danes grow the same way: FAST!

The trick to avoiding growth problems in Danes is to control their intake of protien, calcium, phosphorous, calories and fat. In other words, keep them a bit on the skinny side, and avoid most large/giant breed puppy foods. The myth is that protien causes growth deformities, but think about it a moment: protien builds muscle, not bone. Bone problems are cause by improper ratios of calcium and other minerals. Studies have shown that over and over since the 1970’s. I wish vets would stop carrying on about protien levels, it’s the minerals you have to watch!


I’ve never had a European/American cross Dane before, so Kenai’s growth is a minor adventure. This page grows as Kenai grows.

day old Dane pups   Day one: born at around 2 pounds, Kenai would have fit in the palm of your hand. Like all puppies, the eyes aren’t open, but the nose and ears are fully functioning. Touch, smells, and noises are their first experiences.

5 week old Dane puppy  By five weeks, they are roughly 6 inches tall and weigh about 12 pounds. They are learning about their environment through all 5 senses, and discovering that there are rules to the life of a pack. Mom isn’t as patient with sharp little puppy teeth, and being too timid leaves you hungry. They are learning confidence from watching Mom react or not react to all the new sounds and sights in a litter yard. 

9 week old Dane puppy  Kenai is 9 weeks old here. Just shy of 13″ tall, he weighs 26.7 pounds. In the 4 1/2 days that he has been home with us, he has grown 1/8 inch and put on 4 pounds of muscle and bone. His ribs are still visible, so he isn’t getting fat. As with all Danes, his feet are the largest part of him, he’s already drooling at the water dish! Kenai is wider in the chest and stronger than any of my other Danes, even at this age.

This is the age that puppies are taken from their litters and given to new homes. Their little brains are primed to absorb whatever is around them. This is also the time that the new family becomes responsible for their socialization. That’s just a fancy word for getting the puppy used to new people, new places, and new experiences.  

small-kenai-in-camo.jpg  Kenai in camoflage! 3/21/08

Here Kenai is 10 1/2 wks old, and prancing his toffee colored tush through a favorite patch of tall grass. His exercise needs are increasing, so we have 3 wanders through the field or 2 wanders and an outing each day, weather permitting. I can’t last more than 10-15 minutes, but he is learning to entertain himself and to chase sticks I toss. It won’t be much longer before I have to introduce him to a treadmill for additional exercise.

His body is 18″ long, and 18″ tall, weighing in at 30.4 pounds today. So in the 10 days we’ve had him, he’s grown some 5 inches, and put on nearly eight pounds. His chest is 6 1/2 inches wide standing up–far thicker and heavier boned than any of my American Danes! He’s outgrown the front seat of the car, not being able to lay down in it now, and we’ve moved up to from small 24″ wide beds to medium sized beds already. He hasn’t even started puppy class yet…

You can see from the pic he is just a little too thin from his growth spurt, so I’ve had to up his kibble, and reduce his brother BB’s, who is much more sedentary because of his leg. He is eating 2 full cups twice a day, plus maybe 1/8 cup or less of kibble for his treat based training.

 Kenai 13 wks

4/8/08 Kenai is now 23 1/2 inches tall, and weighs exactly 45 pounds, almost double what he weighed a month ago. Told ya they grow fast! He is almost too small for his crate, so a transition to sleeping outside of it without going on the floor is in the immediate future. He has begun his second treatment for the bacteria, coccidia. He is eating almost 8 cups of food a day, and still doesn’t seem satisfied. I think I have to find another kibble with higher fat and calories for him.

 Kenai likes his new bed, 15 wks

As you can see, the boy is THIN. He’s 52 pounds, and 26″ tall. He is switched to Canidae food, and it can’t keep up with his new growth either! So the vet recommended adding rice to his kibble, for the additional calories without added minerals. She said her imported Dobies do the same thing–grow like weeds and always look like a rescue! As long as his bones are good, I’m happy.

  Here Kenai is 16 1/2 weeks old. His growth has leveled off a bit: he is 28″ long, and weighs 54 pounds. He is between growth spurts, and eating about 6 cups of food a day. (3 cups, am and pm). His stools tightened up on the Canidae, but his front legs started to knuckle over. So I am considering one last different food for them. He’s nibbling his back legs some too, but I think it is just a little growing pains. He is very healthy and still as much of a tank as he was at 5 weeks! A really solid and well built little fellow.

  5/6/08 Kenai 18 wks old

Kenai is still in a relatively slow growth period, being 28 1/2 inches tall and long, weighing in at 59 pounds. That’s only a half inch, 5 pound difference from a week and a half ago. That’s fine, since he is still very well built. His rump is a bit higher than his shoulders, and he’s arching his back a bit more, which is normal for Dane pups.

Most of the added weight seems to be in the jowels!! Ha! His appearance is more adult like each week, and I am still amazed at how even his growth is: he is filling out as he grows, not once yet seeming lanky or weedy. His girth behind the front legs is 27 inches, so he’s already a deep chested boy. He’s now eating Innova large breed puppy, and doing quite well with it..

5/15/08, 19 weeks old

Kenai is 19 weeks old, and hits the scales at 68.4 pounds now. Despite some diarrhea from a bacteria he picked up, he’s growing very well. The Innova food is controlling his growth nicely, though he still seems hungry all the time. He always has, so I’m not too concerned.

He’s getting equal portions of rice with his food now, and fiber to help with the diarrhea. Hopefully that will clear up soon, though running about in a field where other critters are, I can be sure it will come back again. Such is life. He’s a handsome boy, and his ears are able to stand for nearly 3 days before needing to be taped again. I’m considering adding Flexicose, a joint supplement, to see if that will speed up the ears.


Kenai is 21 weeks old, popping the scales at just over 79 pounds. He no longer gets rice, and the colitis he developed from his antibiotics is cleared up. His rump is slightly higher than the shoulders, which doesn’t concern me at all, and his back is a little less hunched when he walks. The flexicose did not work out well, worsening his tummy troubles. He also started chewing at his back legs, which stopped when I discontinued the flexicose. Guess the ears will have to stand without help.

He’s been helping his brother finish up the ziplock bags of food I took to the puppy hospital, portioned to give BB 8-9 cups of food per day to get well with. Kenai’s getting a little chubby from the amount, his ribs not nearly as visible as they used to be. So I’m cutting him back to 7 cups.

6/13/08–Kenai is 23 weeks old, and is just under 85 pounds. His growth pattern has changed somewhat, growing taller and just a tiny bit lankier than he used to. I’m not sure if it the change in food, or just a genetic change in growth now that he is almost 6 months old. Whatever it is, he’s having more discomfort in his back legs than he used to. I wish he could tolerate the Eagle Pack food, since he did so well with it as far as even, slow growth. His back is about halfway between my knee and my hip joint, getting his petting now even when I’m standing up. Getting Big, little boy!


Kenai is 25 wks old, weighing 90 pounds, nicely lean. He is just a tad more than 30 inches long (and so are the ears!!). Speaking of ears, they are almost done with the taping. They can stand over a week before needing to tape up again.

There’s my pink puppy tongue! I’ve increased his exercise now that the hind legs aren’t bothering him, and he’s putting on a bit more muscle. Not to mention he’s having a ball running around outside and doing the doggie sniff-ums. He may be an indoor dog, but he’s still an outside loving critter!

 7/1/08 Kenai is 26 weeks old, or 6 1/2 months if you prefer. He hits the scales at 95.2 pounds, and from the look of that chest, he’ll make 100 pounds before 7 months.

His tummy troubles continue, so today is a trip to the vet for some serious testing. Something’s just not right.

His rump is slightly higher than the withers, but his father’s are too. The withers are already wide enough for me to run out of fingers if I rest my hand from side to side on him. Girth is 33 inches (around the chest just behind the front legs). So he’s growing, that’s for sure.

 7/21/08, 28 weeks old

Tummy troubles seem to be vanquished: his pancreatic enzymes were normal but just barely, so we’ve started him on enzyme supplements. I’ve also switched his food to Eagle Pack Lamb and rice to rule out food allergies. Hopefully too it will slow his growth, causing him pain in his back legs.

Last week he was 101 pounds, but by now I’m sure he’s gained some more. He’s 33″ tall, and his chest in 9 1/2 inches across. He’s almost outgrown his service vest, so I’m looking at possible harnesses or packs he can wear. Kenai’s ears are a continued battle, poor guy. He’s gotten them posted again, and hates it. But No Floppies!

At 33″ tall, he’s a mere 2-3″ shorter than his anticipated adult height, at only 7 months old. I’m wanting to slow it down, and allow him time to fill out the larger new frame he woke up with! If I must, I can return to the Eagle puppy, but the loose stools will likely return. Right now, we’re just trying to hold him back.

He is awfully handsome. He’s stopping traffic, literally. Foot traffic and even vehicles in parking lots stop to look at him. Teri, you grow ’em gorgeous. Thank you for letting me have him.

7/28/08 Kenai peeking out the window at 29 weeks old.

He is almost 30 wks (7 1/2 months) old, and we have managed to slow his growth. It’s almost stopped, though, so I’ve upped his ration of food by 1/2 cup.

Kenai lost a little weight, at 100.4 pounds but I’m not too worried about it. He is getting less calories along with less calcium and such. And the heat has been awful. He should start adding more muscle mass soon.

I asked his breeder about his growth pattern suddenly changing from evenly filled out as he grew to almost lanky. She said her pups usually hit a lanky spell about this age, then return to the more even growth. Just so I know it’s not abnormal for this breeding line.

The pancreatic enzymes have helped considerably with his case of the hungries. He’s getting 1 1/2 cups at 6 am, 2 cups at noon, 1 1/2 cups at 6 pm, and 1/2 cup right before bed. That’s five and a half cups per day. I can add to that if he doesn’t seem to be filling out enough.

Leave a comment


  1. Roni

     /  July 22, 2008

    cropped ears will have to be tapped again around his age because of teeth growing and adult rest teething from what i have been told hun. so yes i am sure you still are tapping or back to it anyway at his age

  2. bill

     /  October 25, 2008

    I look at your gorgeous dane. and i wondrer why? i love my danes ears and think they establish his has the presence of any dane and i hop you cropped for the right reasons. that aside? your little man is amazing! good luck and all the best. bill karczmarczyk

  3. Yeah, for Kenai I cropped because the ears were very heavy and long–makes them prone to crease sores and blood blisters which are very hard to heal up.
    Also with all the equipment he’ll be having put on an taken off, long ears are more likely to get pinched or pulled accidentally.
    When his fearless personality appeared I was glad I cropped because he thinks nothing of tearing through the briars and brambles. He wouldn’t run away from a snake or groundhog, and is more likely to get the natural ears injured.
    Brother BB isn’t cropped, though his ears are just as heavy and long. He has enough surgeries to face, so a cosmetic one that isn’t really needed didn’t seem important enough to offset the risks of more anesthesia.

  4. megan

     /  March 17, 2009

    I enjoy reading your blog.We have a 6 month old 96lb 33 inch tall merle mantle boy who is now going through is growing up not out faise. He looks grose for lack of a better word. Our 8yr old did the same thing off and on for the 1st 18mnths,then grew normally til he stopped growing totally at 2 and a half years.The only advice I can give you is to stop changing his food and never feed a dane puppy food it makes there growth too fast and can lead to huge joints that will cause problems in the future! Keep up the good work!

  5. Beckilee

     /  April 28, 2009

    wow he is such a gogeous boy! Im raising my first great dane, he is 7 months, i havent had a chance to weigh him but id say aound 100lbs. hes black with white on his chest. Im just not sure what to feed him! Thats been one of my main concerns with my dane, opie, because as big as he is he has a very sensitive stomach, i feed him 6c of eukanuba large breed a day but he’s been looking so thin lately. and he sometimes doesnt even want to eat it. i dont know if i should up his food or switch it. It just worries me because i read so much about them having short lifespans and i love him so much i worry more aout the little things with him than i do my other dogs!

  6. Eduardo Naveda

     /  June 13, 2009

    Hi nice puppy
    well anyway i just wanted to ask you some questions about the copped ears. my dane got his ears cropped but when he gets to exited he puts them in this position ^ exactly like Kenai’s have them in the pic im wondering what can i do to make the ears stand normal? is it gotta come with the time? or do i have to do something? because i see in the pics from 12 to 18 months that he does not put them in this position ^ anymore.

    • Michelle

       /  July 9, 2009

      I have a 7 month old show dane with cropped ears. I tape them up using a pipe foam insulator from Home Depot. I cut them long and the wrap them in surgical tape sticky side out with cotton in the bottom. I then insert that piece into the bell of the ear and adhere the ear to it all the way to the top. Wrap each ear with breathable tape. Not too tight! cut a brace from the foam and wrap in tape. the brace should be long enough to form an H. attach the brace and angle the ears so they are pointing outward more. Better to be out because the ears will flop inward(when taken down) if they are taped too close. A doberman breeder taught me and his ears are already standing, no issues. Montwood Kennels in el cajon california. Good luck!

  7. lynn

     /  September 11, 2009

    my dobies ears after 13months not up yet the vet did not believe in braing method is it late

  8. emily

     /  February 20, 2010

    Love browsing your page, I usually find out something interesting facts.
    Emily Randall from Husky

  9. Lesley Pryor

     /  September 26, 2010

    My great dane puppy is almost eight weeks old and i feed him fromm large breed adult,it’s an all natural holistic food with no grains etc. it has 23% protein and 12% fat. He will only eat at most 3 cups a day and i tried adding a spoonfull of purina one wet food to his dry to encourage eating more but no matter what he wont eat his ribs show even when standing but no spine or hip bone. He weighs 20 pounds and is 14 inches at the withers should i be worried or should I continue this diet?

    • donnie

       /  May 31, 2011

      i have had great danes since about 85 i was 14 he followed me home and i’ve 5 and for the first time i have TWO FAWN BROTHERS 7 ALL TOGETHER THEY ARE “GREAT” AND THEY R KILLING ME IHAVE ALWAYS FED PUPPY CHOW 4 THE FIRST 18 MONTHS all of the problems these people are having is very unusual maybe a little overkill on the worrying my boys r now 7 months right a 100 lbs a pce. very healthy USE THE PUPPY CHOW THEY HAVE SEEN THE VET REG. THEY PLAY HARD AND HURT EACH OTHER ALOT BOYS WILL BE BOYS clemson university says u should keep them lean and be able to see the ribs a lil I SAY BULL#@#@ KEEP THEM HAPPY AND HEALTHY DON’T WORRY HIGH DOLLAR FOOD YOUR WASTING MONEY I HAVE TRIED IT ALL ITS DOG FOOD TO A CERTAIN DEGREE NO OL’ROY OR BS PURINA MAKES GOOD FOOD DOGS R HAPPY AND HEALTHY HE MAY NOT LIKE THE HOLISTIC FOOD WE GIVE HOLISTIC TREATS MOST AT THAT AGE WON’T TURN AWAY FROM FOOD TRY DIFF. DRY FOOD WET FOOD CAUSES CLEAN PROBLEMS AND TUMY PROBLEMS

    • Lesley

       /  February 6, 2016

      Sounds healthy to me. My pup was only 17 pounds, at that age.

  10. Nancy W

     /  August 4, 2011

    I have a merle male, my 3rd dane, the last 2 were both black. All have been lean, could never get weight on them no matter what. My black ones were both females, so I’m curious to see if the male follows a different pattern on filling out. Now, he just turned 6 months old, floppy ears (only my first dane had cropped ears) and he weighs about 90 lbs maybe, give or take a few. My son tries to hold him and step on the scale, but all the wiggling going on, no way it can be real accurate. I have found out that the more you change their food, the more you will see loose stools. I just picked one brand and stuck with it. never have stomach issues. His food is constantly in the bowl, he has access to it 24 hours a day, and I fill it twice a day. He constantly chews on my female’s face and legs, when he’s not chewing on everything else in the house or outside. I have a young tree outside that he has stripped all of the lower branches off. The taller he gets, (currently 30″ tall) the higher up he can reach. He can be outside 3 minutes, and have a hole dug. Any suggestions on how to stop that? I don’t leave him outside, we have a doggie door that he comes and goes at will, but he loves to dig.

  11. I?ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i am happy to show that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much no doubt will make certain to do not overlook this website and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  12. Wendy Cookie

     /  November 18, 2011

    I have a 6 month old fawn great dane. Since the time she was 12 weeks old she has been on and off antibiotics for skin rashes and staph infections. I have tried numerous foods from Inova large breed puppy food , Dick Van Patten’s fish and potato and finally Royal Canin hypoallergenic which really caused her to go downhill. I took her to a holistic vet who suggested the BARF diet which she has been on now for 3 weeks. So far so good!

    • Lesley

       /  February 6, 2016

      I feed my blue dane IAMS large breed puppy food. He gets 2 1/2 cups in morning and 2 1/2 cups at dinner. He has no itching and is doing great.

  13. Ernie Price

     /  June 22, 2013

    Just brought a great dane puppy would like to know if you feed your on cooked meat . And any tips you may have for my 20week old dane names Alfie

  14. Brittany

     /  July 27, 2013

    I have a Great Dane English Mastiff puppy. He just turned 6 months and weighed 83.6 lbs. and was 31 inches tall. I think he’s growing nicely at a steady rate and I’ve always kept him a little thin. I feed Blue Buffalo large breed puppy, 1 cup 5 times a day and love the results. No upset tummy, no soreness, and the shiniest softest coat you could ask for.

  15. terri murphy

     /  November 23, 2013

    I have the answer to ALL your issues,,RAW..
    The RAW diet is by far the most beneficial diet for danes. I have owned Danes for 16years.have tried every food you can name and the advice of countless Vets.The ONLY help I got was from switching to Raw. No dog smell,firm solid poops..(with 4 dogs ,,very important!)..No yeast in their hound ears,,No itchy,No bad breath,No health problems at ALL.
    Pet food companies want to brainwash us,,and Vet schools are funded and sponsored by big name pet food companies.
    When a dog leaves its food for the entire day,,he does not like it,,a dane should never be “free fed”,,as it is difficult to exercise them if you have no clue when the last food was eaten.
    They MUST no have activity after meals for a MINIMUM of 2 hours.Bloat is the leading cause of dane deaths.
    There is SO MUCH info online about how to feed RAW,,prey diet. Vets will for the most part not condone this diet,,but the proof is in the pudding,,they thrive and have far FEWER vet visits.
    I have seen the turnaround in dozens of dogs when switched to is amazing.
    No need to “phase in”just start on the morning meal..then the diner. Danes should NOT be fed once a day. Twice,, is best after the puppy weeks.
    Give it a try,,
    Google myths of Raw,,and from there a better understanding will follow.

    ps,,I am not a vet,,but have studied/researched dogs and nutrition,,specific to Danes and Pugs.These are my opinions based on those studies.

  16. I just want to say thank you for your great blog! I have been referencing your site non-stop since getting my own european great dane pup back in October. It’s supremely helpful to see the growth of a euro pup- since they really are larger than their American counterparts. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to document all these details! :)

  17. terri

     /  March 13, 2014

    Hi..just wondering how Kenai is doing? I have a 9 month old Euro blue from Hungary,,
    I know how you feel with the growth patterns,,:)
    hope all is well with him!

  18. Jay

     /  May 22, 2014

    Your Dane is gorgeous. I just got mine he’s black with a white chest and white paws. So adding rice to his meal helps his protein and his growth?

  19. david

     /  May 4, 2015

    How do I get my greatdane ears stand? Please

  20. Govind

     /  May 17, 2015

    Hello…i really enjoyed reading dought..1 cup how many grams…?I use to gave my 6 month old puppy 600 grams per day divide by 3 meals…Is that correct amount..?

  21. Gary krasinsku

     /  November 21, 2015

    Always wanted a dane. I have a pug and
    We house sat for my friends Dane triton

  22. Lesley

     /  February 6, 2016

    He is beautiful. Reminds me of the dane I had as, a kid. I just got a new dane his name is Dozer. He is,15 wks today. He weighs 40 lbs. I’m not cropping his ears. He is a Blue dane and gorgeous. I feed him Iams large breed puppy food, 2 1/2 cups in morning and 2 1/2 cups at night.


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