I have had a Great Dane mentor, owned Danes, specialize in training them (they take a special approach, 'em big babies!), and know their feeding needs well. They are not a breed for everyone. While they are my absolute favorite breed, they have more health problems than I can count, they are the #1 breed prone to "bloat". My goal in life is to start my own Dane breeding line and improve the breed. Breed standards are falling apart, breeders that were once amazing are giving in, and to me this is NOT okay. I love this breed with a burning passion, if anything ever happened to them, I would be devastated.
As for Daschunds, lovely dogs, but nearly all of them will have at least one back surgery.
Please, just because you can get a dog, doesn't mean you should. Look at your lifestyle realistically, and do TONS of research beforehand so you don't end up stuck and either a) neglecting the dog or b) giving the dog to a shelter. Also, puppies are not what they're cracked up to be. They are a CHORE, and I personally love getting older dogs than puppies because puppies cannot be unattended ever, can not be crated for more than 2 hours, and need constanty care.
I am a dog expert, if you ever have a question, no matter how "stupid" it may sound to you, please, feel free to ask me! I'd rather you ask me 100 "stupid" questions and you becoming prepared than you jumping into it and be way over your head.
I know nearly all breeds like the back of my hand and have done extensive research and have had experience with them personally. I am kind of obsessed, you could say, but dogs and horses are my life, and I've never done anything else. I'm in college right now making my way into veterinarian school, so digestion and health are huge on my list. If I cannot answer something for you, I will call up my mentors and more experienced alliances to help discover it for you.
Right now I am trying to gain another Dane mentor strictly to show conformation events, and hopefully within another year will receive my Rottweiler show dog.
This is my last Dane girl. By 1 year old she knew 30+ commands, was fully house trained within the first week (it IS possible, anyone who says it takes month is full of it and doesn't know how to properly house train), and just after a year old she was ready to become a therapy dog.
If you are still struggling on breeds, ask these major questions:
1.) How active are you, realistically? NOT how much you want to be!Pretty active...I do a lot of exercise, sports, running etc..
2.) What grooming are you okay with doing? (i.e. how much)We're okay with daily brushing or daily wrinkle cleaning (I.e. If we got a Bulldog or Boxer)
3.) How long are you (& family) gone during the day, again, realistically? Do your parents work full time, and you and siblings go to school that whole time as well, and you sleep typically 8-10 hours? Or do you only go to school 4 hours, or a parent stays home full-time?1 parent stays at home full time; I go to school for 6 hours and Yes I sleep around 8-10 hours...
4.) What are the personalities/dynamics of the household? Are you a follower or a leader? Do you like being firm/aggressive, or being laid back? Is there a lot of arguements in the house, or does everyone get along without a hitch? Etc..I'd consider myself more of a leader and a little of both on the firm/laid back. Not a lot of arguments around the house.
5.) What size expectations are you looking for? Chihuahua size, Beagle size, Brittany size, German Shepherd Dog size, or Great Dane size? (Not those breeds specifically, but their size.)Beagle-German Shepherd size.
6.) Would you like an extremely playful dog (constantly being bugged to play) or that companion that quietly follows you around the house, staying close, but not bugging you? I wouldn't mind a playful dog....
7.) Where will the dog be most of the day? Indoors or out? In a crate, or a dog run? Roaming the house freely? The dog will be indoors most of the time but will have a good sized yard if needed to/wanted to.
8.) What is the weather like where you live? Are summers bitterly cold, and summers excrucaitingly hot? Or is there a mild summer and freezing winter? Or a breezy winter and hot-as-heck summer? Or over-all nice?Where we might move Summers are pretty hot...Normally gets up to 100* F. Winters are very mild.
9.) What do you expect from this dog? Strictly companion, or used for other things (besides "guard dog")? Agility, conformation events, etc?Comapanion. Maybe will try out agility.
10.) How much experience do you have with dogs in the past? Are you willing to do anything to have your dog well trained and socially "approved" and live a happy life? Parents have had plenty of experience with dogs; I grew up with a couple. And of course...
Those are the main 10 questions, there will be more, but those are the ones that will set a good list of breeds for you that I can help you choose. Then I can ask more specific questions to help narrow it down more. From there, I'd suggest for you to research a LOT and try and gain real-life experience with the breed so you can get a "feel" for the breed and if it is really for you.