A Complete Guide to Raising a Large Breed Puppy

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - featured image

There are many of us who would love to own a large dog breed. The impressive size of these dogs when they reach adulthood is appealing to a lot of owners. Others also prefer to keep these breeds for hunting purposes or for guarding their houses.

There are, however, important differences between a large breed puppy and other breeds. The differences range from care and dog supplies to behavior etc.

These differences are important while the dogs are still puppies. If not given the proper care and training, they might wreak havoc in your home. In this article, we will discuss the key things to remember while raising such a puppy. 

Learn About the Large Breed

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - know about the breed

This is the first step in raising a large breed puppy. There are so many breeds out there that can grow up to weigh anything between 150 to 200 pounds.

Dalmatians and German Shepherds are two examples of large dog breeds. There are larger breeds known as ‘giant dogs’. This category includes dogs such as Great Danes and Newfoundlands. All these breeds have varying degrees of aggression and temperament.

Different breeds are prone to different health concerns. So, before you even think of adopting or buying a puppy, it is always wise to study its breed. Knowing more about the breed will make it a lot easier for you to raise the little pooch properly. You will know what to expect from a puppy and match that with your lifestyle. 

Related Read: English Mastiff – Feeding, Grooming, Training, Health & Care Guide

Large Breed Puppy Common Health Problems

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - common health problems

Large breed dogs are prone to various health risks due to their size. Here are a few common health problems. 

Hip Dysplasia

A congenital condition, this problem affects large breeds at the hip joint and socket. An early sign of this condition is the puppy becoming less active. Keep your pup active and at an ideal weight to reduce the risk of this condition. 


This condition is caused by genetic factors. The eyelid rolls inwards which damages the eyeball. A common sign of this condition is irritation and redness in the puppy’s eyes. Surgery might be required based on the severity of the individual case.

Gastric Torsion

This condition affects a large breed dog when excessive gas gathers in the stomach. Large breeds usually have a distinct chest shape. This is one of the reasons for this problem. Sometimes stomach and intestines can twist and this often turns out to be fatal. Signs include too much salivation, retching etc.

You might want to check your puppy for any health condition it might susceptible to. Consult your local vet. He will be able to provide a more thorough insight based on the dog’s breed. 

Related Read: German Shepherd – Facts, Training, Feeding, Grooming, & Health

Large Breed Puppy Diet and Nutrition

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - diet and nutrition needs

We all know that puppies do grow quite quickly. Large sized breeds do so in an even shorter time span. But never overfeed or underfeed the puppy. If overfed, he might grow too quickly. This will lead to joint problems and other health issues.

With a vet’s help, you can decide on the amount of puppy food you need to give your dog daily. Usually, it is three meals per day. Continue this routine until he grows to be six months of age. It is always best to measure the amount of food you give him. This prevents the risk of overfeeding or underfeeding your pooch.

Nutrition plays a hugely important role in the overall wellbeing of your growing dog. Do not provide calcium supplements during the puppy stage to these breeds. This can cause rapid bone growth. This, in turn, will lead to health conditions in adulthood. 

Related Read: Can Dogs Eat This? Foods You Can and Can’t Share With Your Dog

Giant Breed Puppies are Quite Active

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - they lead a active lifestyle

Your puppy can be very active if it belongs to a large breed. Puppies will bite various things. These include your arms or legs. This indicates that the puppy’s teeth are growing. Your doggo does this to relieve itself from discomfort. Try your best to discourage this behavior by providing plenty of chew toys. A chew bone or a rope toy are good examples.

Provide the Puppy with Quality Time

Invest time to take part in physical activities with your pup. Throw him a ball. Take your puppy out for a walk around the neighborhood. All these can be great fun activities for both you and your pooch.

Canine Club

Join a local canine club. These clubs often arrange sessions where different dog owners can meet with their dogs. These meetups are great for socializing your puppy.


Buy him toys. Toys keep puppies mentally sharp. By keeping your pup mentally and physically active, you can make sure he will grow up to be a confident adult dog. 

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Large Breed Puppy Care

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - puppy care

It will take time for your little pooch to familiarize itself with human contact. Do not frighten him. Let him take time to adjust to his surroundings. While touching your puppy, you can examine his paws and facial structures including the teeth. You will be able to notice whether something is wrong by doing so. If your little companion is injured, you can take him right away to the nearest vet.

A Word of Caution

Never forget to supervise a baby while it is handling your puppy. If mistreated, it can inflict lifelong mental trauma on your dog. Aggression and excessive fear are common side effects of such trauma. Make sure you remove all hazardous materials from the puppy’s reach. This includes chemicals and household objects that can hurt your doggo.

Educate Others in your Home

If there are others in your home, you should educate them on how to handle your pooch with care. Ensure that the food and water that you are providing him with is fresh and clean. Don’t forget to remove stale water and food. Make sure others looking after your pup in your home know all these things. 

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Large Breed Puppy Socialization

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - Socialization

As stated before, your puppy will quickly grow up to become a big, strong adult. You must make sure that your pup has adequate socialization with humans and dogs alike while he is still young. He will need to learn to tolerate other dogs. Socialization also decreases the possibility of aggression in dogs. Try to make sure your pooch has enough social experiences in the first two months.

Nothing Beats ‘the Daily Walk

This is one of the best ways to socialize your puppy. Even small walking sessions of 10 to 15 minutes will be great. Your puppy will learn a lot from these walks. He will learn to be comfortable with cars, buildings and everything else around him.

Dog Training Classes

You can take your little doggo to these classes where he can meet many others like him. Dog training classes provide an opportunity for puppies to actively socialize with other dogs and their owners. 

Related Read: Labrador Puppy – A Guide to Feeding, Grooming, Training, & Health 

Large Breed Puppy Basic Training

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - basic training needs

It is easy to train dogs if they are taught at a young age. There are various commands like “sit”, “come”, and “no” which can be taught to puppies. These basic commands are the building blocks of more advanced commands.

Start Early

Training your dog at a young age will ensure a couple of things. Firstly, the dog will not attempt to overpower you by disobeying your commands. Secondly, it will ensure that your dog will not cause any inconvenience to others. If a dog listens to your basic commands, you will rarely have to pull his leash.

Offer Occasional Treats

Remember, large breeds are pretty strong which is evident due to their size. Provide regular treats to your puppy during the training period. The treats will act as incentives or motivation to repeat good behavior.

Mistakes Are Okay

Never punish your dog for any accident or mistakes. You are training him by teaching him new things. Training doesn’t need to be an activity your puppy dreads.

Give Importance to Potty Training

Training should not only include teaching verbal commands. It should also include potty training. After all, you have to teach your companion not to make a mess pretty quickly. 

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Large Breed Puppy Exercise

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - exercise needs

Make sure that you do not over exercise your dog. The soft tissues around the puppy’s bones can get injured if you do this. Large breed puppies are more prone to this issue. You will need to exercise him so that he maintains good health and is mentally stimulated.

A puppy that takes part in regular exercise suffers less from mental and physical conditions. He has more opportunities to socialize with other dogs and humans. He will be overall happier and more active.

Play a Game of Fetch

There are various exercise routines you can follow for a puppy of any breed. Before you start anything, try to warm him up by taking him for a walk. This can be anywhere from five to 10 minutes. Follow this up with a game of fetch; this is a great physical recreation for both the dog its owner.

Try a Dog Park

A dog park is a great place to keep your puppy physically active. Your dog will feel motivated to be active in a park. Make sure you give enough water to your pup. Also, remember to maintain the proper dog etiquettes.

Enjoy the Game of “Hide and Seek”

This game is a fantastic form of physical activity for your pup. It also helps to keep his senses sharp and alert. He will also learn obedience from this game. After all, if he doesn’t learn to stay in one place while you’re hiding, you will never get to hide in the first place. 

More Read: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule

Grooming Your Large Breed Puppy

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - grooming needs

Grooming your puppy from early on will help maintain his good fur. It will also make sure he is habituated with the activity when he grows up. It can be very daunting to control a 180-pound dog if it does not behave nicely while getting groomed.

Keep an eye on his teeth, nails, ears, and fur. These are the primary things you need to look out for. Along with these, occasional baths will make sure your dog is healthy and happy.

If you want to groom your dog by yourself, there are tons of materials online that will teach you how to do so. However, you will need to buy clippers, a brush, ear cleaners and some other tools to start grooming. You will also need to be fluent in various grooming techniques. 

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Large Breed Dog Toys

Raising a Large Breed Puppy - large dog toys

Your large breed puppy will need larger and more durable toys as it grows. He is stronger than his smaller cousins. This means he will easily crush any toy made for smaller dogs.

It is therefore wise to buy toys and supplies that are made for these breeds. Make sure the toys are made of strong and high-quality materials. It can be a rope toy or a chew bone. There are good, highly durable balls on the market that you can buy for him.

Toys will help keep your dog mentally active. Toys keep them busy and their instincts sharp. This helps the puppy to grow up to be a disciplined and obedient dog. Toys also help to distract your dog and avoid the development of unwanted, destructive behavior. 

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Last But Not Least

Raising a large breed puppy is an amazing experience. It is an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. Though your little pal will quickly grow up to be a big goofball, you will experience unforgettable moments together.

Large breed dogs need to socialized and trained properly while they are young. This will make sure their large size will not pose a problem when they are adults. With diligence and some attention, anyone can enjoy raising such a breed.  

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