Quick Q&A with Walter and Cody's Mom

If you’re like me I love to have a gazillion doodles running around (warranting someone who can help scoop the poop). But the reality of being a doodle hoarder doesn’t work. But having 2 or maybe 3 sounds more reasonable. Walter’s mom shares what it was like adding him to their family where his big brother Cody wasn't so quick to welcome him with open paws.  

Thank you to Walter’s mom for sharing their story and be sure to follow him for more of his adventures @walterthegentlegiant

How many dogs do you have? How old are they? What breed are they?  Where are you located?

We have 2 dogs in our family -- Cody, our 13-year-old blind chihuahua mix, and Walter, our 5 month old sheepadoodle puppy. Together with my husband Ben, our family of four live in Atlanta, Georgia. 

What made you decide to get multiple dogs? How did you introduce them?

Although Ben has been a part of Cody's daily life for the last few years, Cody is still primarily my dog who is fiercely loyal to me since I raised him as a pup. We decided to add Walter to our family because Ben and I wanted to experience raising a dog together and at the same time, have a dog that would also match our active lifestyles. When introducing Walter, an energetic and large puppy, to Cody, our very reserved and docile senior dog, we wanted to be mindful of Cody's sensitivities so we knew we wanted to go very slowly to ensure it was a positive, stressless experience for all involved. The first couple of days that we brought Walter home, we let them sniff each other through a gate and that was it. Slowly, we progressed to having them in the same room by placing Cody on the couch and Walter on the rug and now, they're comfortable enough to share the same bed or couch! Walter has been obsessed with Cody since day one, always trying to cuddle him even if it's only with the touch of a paw. Most recently, we are so excited that Walter's constant love has helped Cody to come out of his shell a bit more as his fondness for his big little brother continues to grow. 

Training Walter? Was it easier or harder ?

It's taken a lot of practice and patience to train Walter to be gentle around Cody but because sheepadoodles are an intelligent breed, Walter understood the concept of being gentle much more quickly than we expected. We were lucky that Walter was so food motivated that we could simply use his regular kibble as treats for good behavior. Not all dogs are the same, however, and I think the key to training is not only consistency but also identifying what really motivates your dog so that you can reward them with things that are truly rewarding to them.