If you see the new "Marmaduke" movie and want to go out and get a Great Dane, think before you buy.

They're bigger than you might think: as tall as 6 feet when standing on their back legs. And they eat A LOT.

Concerned that moviegoers will start the same dog-buying craze they did after "101 Dalmatians," animal advocacy groups are urging would-be buyers to consider just how big that cute and cuddly puppy will become.

The American Kennel Club and the Great Dane Club of America describe Great Danes as good family dogs, known to have a gentle and loving disposition. But their size alone makes them a four-legged wrecking ball indoors and they can easily knock over a small child.

The Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley saw an increase in interest in Dalmatians after the 1996 movie starring Glenn Close came out. It's expecting the same now that the live-action/animated "Marmaduke" is in theaters.

"They are typically very gentle, but those big bodies can be a little clumsy, and can pose challenges around small children, so obedience training is essential, and they need a house and yard with enough space for them," said education manager Tammy Noack.

The breed is also prone to a handful of medical issues, which could be costly.

Suzanne Ziegler • 612-673-1707