Gus arrived here last April, only 6 weeks old and taken from his mother and litter and everything he knew in the world. Poor wee fella. He was much younger than Taz when she first arrived, and we noticed the difference, he cried at night and when we left for work. The first week he was here, Pete had to go to a course in Brisbane, so I was home alone with the dogs and had my first week at my new job. As I left for work on the first day, Gus was crying and Taz was barking at Gus. Not a great start (if you get a young puppy, plan to be home with them for a few days until they get settled! we got Taz at 12 weeks old and she had been separated from her mother for a few weeks, so she handled the transition better).
Gus grew and grew and grew. He's a Great Dane cross Bull Arab (a "pig dog" bitza, I like to call him my boer hound, he is also known as Horse Dog and Gustopher). We realised after a few days that he needed to be fed more than once a day. He was walking around with his mouth open and eating anything that he ran in to, like a furry pac man. We started feeding him morning and afternoon, and at night if he woke up crying. He was eating twice as much as Taz and he needed it! (We have been feeding them both minced offal, grated veges and eggs)
I think at first Taz was a bit irritated with the little puppy, especially when he decided to start sleeping on her bed (I started to find her in the puppy box instead). Then he got big enough to play with and she didn't mind that. But it wasn't long until he was bigger than her, which has ruined some of her games (hard to win tug of war and rough-and-tumble now that he's twice her size). Taz maintains her dominance by being more nimble and at last resort, she does bite him on the face if he gets too cheeky.
Gus has absolutely no fear, loud noises and new situations do not worry him, he will move towards something new to check it out (the complete opposite of our scaredy cat Taz, her nickname is "little mouse" because she is scared of everything and squeaks a lot). He is pretty keen on "swimming" (mostly just wading and sitting) in the dam to cool off. And he greets all visitors with excited leaping at the gate. Fortunately his size deters most people from opening the gate (he is supposed to be my security system!). He loves humans and at any opportunity will jump up on a chair or the back of the ute to get access for a sneaky face lick.
Last time we weighed Gus he was 45 kg, I think he had filled out a bit since then. Luckily he has finally mastered jumping on the back of the ute instead of waiting to be lifted up.
I am so glad that we taught Gus manners right from the start. Before he eats, he must sit and "give me five" before the command "tucker", then he can eat. He is pretty good at sitting and he only jumps when he's very excited. I taught him to walk with a front clip harness, so he learnt not to pull on the lead and he is lovely to walk with (I did not want a big dog towing me down the road!).
He has chewed odd things. While Taz had a collection of socks and gloves and sunglasses, Gus likes to destroy cardboard boxes and egg cartons (none are safe outside) and he takes the shoelaces out of boots and undoes the ties on our outdoor furniture cushions. He loves ropes. He is learning fetch, but is very uncoordinated and Taz always gets there first.
Its hard to believe now that he was once only a few kilos, just a tiny little furball who couldn't get up the stairs by himself, and now he is a giant shiny black laid-back horse dog. I keep reminding myself that he's still a pup really. Even though he's now 1 year old and full size, he still has a lot to learn and will become mature, coordinated and calmer as he ages (we noticed that with Taz, when she was two, she suddenly could "walk behind").
And here's lots of photos of our boy. Have you raised a pup? Or a few? Did you notice that they take a few years to fully mature? Any differences between breeds?