We have a Great Dane named Nyx. She’s a very good and gentle dog, and she has been quite happy to have Katja added to the household. Mostly this is true, I think, because she gets lots of treats, but she is starting to check on Katja and respond when she cries. Whenever a diaper is changed, the dog gets a treat; eventually this will lead Nyx to alert us to a messy diaper. When Katja gets fed, Nyx gets a treat; this is one of the few times we don’t have extra hands to pet her, so giving her a treat helps her understand that we may not be paying as much attention at this exact moment, but she is part of this. I’m also teaching her “Where’s the baby?” which is a new game – I put a treat on Katja’s lap, preferably without Nyx noticing, and then I say “Where’s the baby?” Nyx goes to Katja and gets a treat without my involvement.
Today I took them both for a walk. The stroller is nice because I can guide it one handed. The hand on the stroller is through the loop of the leash, and my other hand has the rest of the leash with one wrap around my hand so any pulls will not be transmitted to the stroller. Nyx is generally pretty good on leash, but she gets excited around other dogs, so I wasn’t sure how well she’d handle this if we had to pass barking dogs.
We only walked half a mile, so it was not a huge trip, but by the end of it Nyx was doing very well. “Stay with the baby” is the newest command; it basically means don’t pull in front of the stroller. I needed a different command because it is a very different way of walking than just walking the dog by herself. I had a lot of treats, so I kept her attention easily, and once she figured out what I was asking, she did very well. We even managed to get past the yappy little dogs down the street with no more response than Nyx going up on her toes a little bit. I was very proud of her.
We’ll be walking every day that weather permits, I think. It is good for all of us, and Nyx seems to be able to handle the change. As long as I have enough treats for her, we should be fine! I do have to say that it is very nice having such a responsive and sweet dog; I am not sure how well some of my other dogs would have dealt with such a huge change.