22, 2002 After spending four weeks
on the subject of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in the Great Dane,
I think we all could use a break. But all the talk about inherited
traits got me wondering. Are certain trademark Dane behaviors such
as boinging, woo-wooing, lap-sitting, and couch-slouching
actually "hardwired" into the breed via their DNA? It's
certainly possible. Preliminary research by Dr. Justin Jest strongly
indicates that Great Danes carry a special gene known as a "couch
It must be a dominant gene, too, because Great Danes don't just
lie on couches they dominate them. And once they've
snuggled into their favorite couch, they don't like to leave. That
presents a real problem when we humans want to sit there, too. Evicting
a fully ensconced Great Dane from comfortable sofa is seldom easy.
Below is a list of techniques that just might do the job:
the usual commands like "Down!" "Off!"
or "Come Here!" Nine times out of ten, your Dane
will pretend he is sleeping, so you have to be a little more
Walk over to the window and say in a loud voice, "Wow!
Just look at the size of that squirrel!!" If he doesn't
respond say, "Oops! I was wrong, that's not a squirrel.
It's your favorite kitty you know, the one who hissed
at you the other day." Still no response? Try this: "By
golly, isn't that (use the name of his favorite female dog)
running down the street? I wonder how she got out... I heard
she was in heat." If that doesn't get a rise out of him,
it's time to head to the kitchen.
Clomp your way into the kitchen. Stand next to your dog's
food bowl, rattle it around a little bit and start talking
to an imaginary dog. If that doesn't work, walk over to the
refrigerator. Open the door. No response? Fiddle around inside
for a moment and then say "Oh no! I just dropped the
steak on the floor." If he doesn't come running, then
pull the steak out of the refrigerator and throw it onto the
If, after all this, your dog is still glued to the couch,
you are going to need some outside assistance. Pizza deliveries
will almost always rouse a Great Dane because if he doesn't
get up to bark at the delivery boy, he'll usually get up for
the pizza. Too cheap to order a pizza, are you?? Well, if
you're lucky somebody else might just happen to show up the
mail man, the meter reader, the trash collector, or even some
girl scouts (but only during cookie season). And remember,
if you get really desperate, there's always the fire department.
Time to Surrender
If you have tried everything and your Great Dane still refuses
to vacate the couch, then you have few remaining options.
At this point you can sit on the floor, you can sit on the
Dane, or you can buy a second couch. Personally, I'd save
myself the trouble and go with a second couch.
I am looking for more "couch potato" photos. If you are
willing to share your potato-Dane pics with me and the
world please drop
me a line.)
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