• Amazon bestselling mystery series for kids & dog lovers starring Honey the Great Dane!
    Have you read the books starring Honey the Great Dane & her friends? Available as EBOOK & Paperback. Buy on Amazon (also available on iTunes, Barnes & Noble (NOOK), Kobo and through bookstores)

Babysitting duties!


My human was very busy this week and away from home for lots of time, because she was doing some modelling work to put her in the TV box – and it went on all afternoon and night time, for many days. My other human, Paul, also couldn’t come home until late at night because of something called ‘work’ and so nobody could take me for my usual afternoon walk or be at home with me in the evenings.

Hsin-Yi was worried about me being bored – so she took me to spend time with my trainer, Flip, a couple of mornings this week so I could play with other doggies there and get tired – and then she thought I would sleep better when I am alone at home (she doesn’t seem to understand that I sleep very well anyway!  Oh well, humans do lots of things because they get this condition called “guilt”, so you just have to humour them…;) )

Anyway, I got a real surprise when I walked into Flip’s training centre: there was a Mini-Me!


Her name was Raffy and she was a 4 month old Dane puppy who was enrolled on Flip’s ‘Maximum Impact Programme’ (for more information about the MIP, you can read my post here) – not because she had any special problems but just because her humans decided they wanted Flip to train her first, before giving them lessons.



Boy, that Raffy sure was bouncy! Boing! Boing! Boing! I think she must have been born with springs in her paw pads!


 She kept jumping up and climbing over me and wriggling under me and bashing me with her not-so-little-paws…!






Here is a movie to show you what I had to put up with:

What do you think? Wasn’t I a good, patient doggie? Flip said I was being very ‘tolerant’ and told me I was a good girl lots, so I was very proud of myself! 😀

Honey+Raffy-play10Hsin-Yi said Raffy was JUST like me when I was a puppy and this was me getting my come-uppance for harrassing other doggies like this when I was little. What does she mean? I’m sure I was never like this as a puppy! 😈

But Hsin-Yi says there’s a reason I was called “Monster Puppy from Hell” – that I was the most bombastic, boisterous, exuberant, ‘life-&-soul-of-the-party’ kinda puppy you ever met, never afraid of anything, always body-slamming other dogs and trying to sit on their heads and bash them with my (already) gigantic paws… Huh! I am sure she is lying. I am sure I was a calm, angelic puppy – nothing like the little pest, Raffy! 😉

Actually, Raffy is my niece – she’s from my breeders, Kim & John Wylie of Yacanto Great Danes and she is from the latest litter of my big brother, Jake. So I guess we do share some family traits! 😀 Anyway, Hsin-Yi says she’d rather have a confident, exuberant puppy – even if you need to work a bit harder to teach self-control – than a timid, scaredy puppy…which Great Danes sometimes can be, if we don’t come from mummies & daddies with stable temperaments.

Look, Hsin-Yi got a picture of Raffy in exactly the same pose as one she got of me when I was also 4 months old – isn’t that funny?

Raffy @ 4 months…


…and ME @ 4 months!


We look very similar, don’t we? Except that I have more of a mask and dark ears.

Raffy even has a ridge & swirl of fur on the back of her neck, like me!


She also has huge knuckles and gigantic paws, just like I did as a pup. Look, Raffy’s paws are already almost as big as mine and she is still only 4 months old!


 And you can tell that she is going to be a HUGE girl too. But that’s not really surprising ‘coz all my family are big – everyone says that I am really big and tall for a Dane girl (70kg /150lbs , 35″) – in fact, I’m the size of an average Dane boy! But my brothers are even bigger – they make me look really dainty! 😛 A couple of years ago, I met my nephew, Oscar, who also lives in Auckland – he was only 11 months old then and he was already 90kg (200lbs) with a head like a bull! 😆

See, there are 2 types of Danes: the chunky type, which looks more ‘Mastiff-y’ and the dainty type, which looks more ‘Greyhound-y’. I’m the chunky type. Hsin-Yi likes this type of Dane better – we have chunkier heads with more wrinkles, bigger jowls (& lots more drool!) and a more “pronounced head” which means we have a more cartoon profile when you look at us sideways!  And we have bigger bones and look heavier, with more “substance”. The other type of Dane is much daintier and lighter, with less exaggerated heads and less jowl (so they don’t drool as much!) and they have more slender legs and bodies.

And here is a picture of me when I was just over 18 months old, with my friend, Delta, who is actually older than me by 4 months but I was already a lot bigger than her!


Of course, there is no one type better than the other – it is just a personal preference! :) Some people like the lighter, daintier type of Dane and some people like the heavier, bigger-boned Dane with more wrinkles and jowls (and drool…hee! hee! ) Anyway, even the smallest, daintiest Dane is still bigger than most other dogs! 😛

Different breeders favour different types – and it also depends on which country you live in. For example, we have been told that many Danes in UK & Europe are much more solid, bigger-boned and more Mastiff-like, whereas many Danes in the US  & Australia can be taller but “finer” and lighter in bone. My Daddy came to NZ from the UK when he was just a puppy, so maybe that explains my looks! :) But anyway, looks are less important than temperament!!

* Edited: Oops! Our friends, Bess & Heffner in the US have disagreed with this – please read their comment # 26 & #28 for more information. They would probably know better since they live in the US and their human is very experienced in dog showing – we are just repeating what many breeders & Dane people have told us! :)

As we said, we are not implying that the US or European type is ‘superior’ – just that there is definitely a difference!  Also, we are not suggesting that the US show standard favours a lighter type or Danes are smaller in the US – as some people seem to find this offensive – just that this lighter type seems more prevalent across the whole country, whether due to BYB or the gene pool or whatever.

I think the observation was just a statement covering Danes across the whole country, not just those seen at shows, which are, of course, the ideal but probably the minority. I am sure that while many “proper” Danes at shows are as big and solid as European ones, this doesn’t change the fact that there are also a lot of non-show Danes out there which are not of this so-called ‘ideal’ standard.  And interestingly, there are probably also a lot of BYB and non-show Danes in Europe – and yet there isn’t a prevalence of this lighter type, which suggests a difference in the gene pool between the 2 continents…which was our original point! 😀  

In any case, we don’t think there is anything really wrong with being a ‘lighter, daintier, more Greyhound-like’ Dane –  I mean, yes, they don’t conform to an arbitrary standard but there are a lot of such Danes out there whose owners think they are lovely and don’t care what the show world thinks. I also don’t think it is such an awful thing to be compared to a Greyhound – they are beautiful dogs and I think a lot of Greyhound owners would be very insulted to hear of ‘Greyhound-likeness’ being considered a flaw! 😛  But anyway, I have removed the word “Greyhound-y” from my original text as that seemed to be causing the most offence! 😛  

I have to say, it was really nice to have a robust, boisterous puppy to play with – someone who likes to play as rough as me! 😛


 I did, of course, try to teach Raffy the finer points of the only games for civilised canines:  Tennis ball and Tug but the little squirt didn’t really catch on…


Hsin-Yi also started teaching Raffy how to pose for the camera…I have to say, she did pretty well in that!






There was one thing she didn’t need any teaching for, though…like all Dane puppies, she came out of the womb knowing how to shake paws! 😉


 Of course, Raffy also learnt some of the proper training stuff with Flip and I helped too by showing her how to ‘Heel’ and go to her ‘Bed’ and Come when called and do ‘Down Stays’…


 …and some cafe practice too!



 Here is a little movie of all the things Raffy learnt at MIP :


I had a great time with Raffy but I have to say, I’m really glad that I’m an only dog! 😀



Puppies are cute and fun but it’s good to go home to some peace & quiet!


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Babysitting duties!

  1. Mango says:

    I cannot believe you let that annoying thing all step on you in YOUR bed. The Mango would not tolerate that. I would go AR AR AR and muzzle butt the little pest. I never hurt the pups, just don’t want them in my space is all.

    She is super springy. And she is almost as fast as you too! I like to wave toys in Pee-Wee’s face too, but if he grabs them I drop my end and go AR AR AR! What fun!

    All that said, it is kind of fun having the little dude around. There are advantages to having a brother, too, like you can blame stuff on him.


  2. Ricky says:

    That’s so cool – Raffy is cute!!!!! Looks like you did a really good job of playing with her, Honey! She really does look like a mini-you! Thanks for sharing all the info on Danes and for sharing all the great photos! Are you sure you wouldn’t want a little sister?

  3. parlance says:

    Honey, this was one of your most interesting posts! You are a lovely natured dog and a credit to yourself and your humans.

    I was most interested in the training method. I thought there were not treats in the training venue – what a fabulous large place! – but i thought there were treats for the recall.

    Is that correct? Was Honey trained with or without food rewards?

  4. parlance says:

    Honey, I meant, did you train with this guy when you were a puppy, and did he train you initially with only verbal rewards, as I think he was doing with Raffy. Or were there some food rewards when you were little?

  5. Bolo says:

    Wow Honey, that was a busy day. What would they have done with Raffy if you hadn’t been around to help? They really should hire you to work there. She is kind of cute, and you do look like sisters. Mom says you have the patience of a saint for putting up with her walking all over you.


  6. Raffy is just like Minnie! Minnie is a pest too!

    Raffy sure is bouncy. She’s so cute! Ooh….the way she played with you, wasn’t that fun, sometimes?

    You sure have taught Raffy a thing or two. She can pose prettily just like you.

    This is really a great post. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Oh my goodness! That might be the most adorable and hilarious thing ever! The apples don’t fall far from the tree I suess, but I will not believe you were ever anything other than the most sweet and angelic puppy that you are today!Your human got some awesome photos of you two together- I love the last one of you two on the bed. hee hee! Almost every post I read here I am more convinced that Moose has a dash ‘o dane in him. If he does it would probably be the more slender type like delta. I tend to like the stockier types of labs too but totally agree that temperament is 99% of what you fall in love with. Also, not that it is a Dane specific thing, but moose grumbles just like you! He is very vocal when he plays and I would have thought it was growling back when I first got him except that he does it when he plays alone with toys even! Other people get worried that it is growling… Big dogs are so misunderstood!
    Anyway, delightful post and glad you got some rest when you came home!
    p.s. human guilt is a great provider of many good things, huh?

  8. Raffy is a cutie. I like in the first video when you were trying to teach her to tug and she grabbed the ball and got slobber all over her nose. Too cute. :)

  9. MAX DOG says:

    Hey there Honey
    You did your breed proud with all that puppy tolerance! Thank you for a great post and such beautiful and interesting pictures. We love those two shots of when you both were puppies…so amazingly similar.
    Well, we hope you get some sleep (and not too many puppy nightmares). Those pups can be real tiring!
    Lots of muzzle wipes

  10. aww Honey! Little Raffy is such a cutie! And you played so well with her.. even when she was trying to climb all over you on the bed.
    Darwin was/is more of a pawer than a bouncer too. But Raffy seems to be doing very well with the training. We are very impressed!

  11. WOWZA! That little one sure kept you furry busy! We think that you deserved a rest and maybe some extra treats, too!

  12. kasha says:

    Wow! Those two together are the cutest friends I have ever seen! I love it.
    Kasha and Africa

  13. Your little frenemy is cute, but you’re the cutest, Honey!

  14. Niamh says:

    You are very patient Honey. Puppies can be so annoying. I have had to be very strict with Ambrose! That Raffy looks pretty cute though and it looks like you did some good playing with her. But I bet you are glad that you don’t have to share your people with her.

    Your friend,

  15. Hi Honey,

    It’s great that you got to play with (babysit) your niece!

    Raffy’s paws are really big!! How can a four-month-old puppy have such big paws?

    We think Raffy was lucky to have you to show her how to behave. You can learn things much quicker and easier by seeing others than being told what to do.

  16. JD and Max says:

    Hi Honey – goodness, you have an unlimited amount of patience, we hope that we were not as pesky as that when we were four months old (aside from female human – “you were worse guys as you egged each other on…!”) and we hope that we can learn to be as patient as you as we get older (another aside from female human – “so do I!!”)

    Mind you, Raffy is really cute and really is a mini-me for you! What huge paws – she’s gonna be a big girl too! Aw, we think you’d make a superb big-sister to someone! Take it from us – having someone else around is great fun! As Mango says, it’s handy having someone else on-paw to blame for certain things, he he he!

    Schnauzer snuggles – JD and Max.

  17. Oskar says:

    Oh Honey, what a wonderful mentor you are for little Raffy. I use the term “little” loosely!

    She could play the younger version of you in a movie about your life!

  18. Hi Honey!
    Wow, Raffy is like a giant version of my little sister Lola (Lola is only 40 lbs at 6 months old but she is not a Dane). They play the same and everything. Tell your Mom that I am a vocal player as well, especially with puppies so I understand how you feel.
    Hugs and Tail Wags,

  19. Oh Honey, what a great bib babysitter you are, we are not lookin forward to the day mummy brings a new baby dane home either, as we are regal older gentleman now n like to snooze in peace. Our mummy think raffy is soo cute

    Licks n leans
    Stripe n nitro

  20. The OP Pack says:

    That was so much fun to watch. Raffy is so sweet and Honey, you ae so patient and tolerant. Your human may not like us to say this, but this is a perfect example of how wonderful it would be for you to have a sister or brother at home:)

    Tail wags, the OP Pack

  21. Tucker says:

    Wow, Honey your mini-me is awful cute! It looks like she is going to grow up to be almost as beautiful as you. I’m the big-boned type of dane too. My doggie mum was from here (the USA) but my doogie dad was from Europe. I inherited my doggie dad’s lips, and drool – he he! I think that’s why i’m so goofy looking still, I haven’t yet grown into my head. I’m glad I’m not 200 lbs though – I’m 11 months but 200lbs is really big, wow!

    You were very patient with Raffy. When I play with little puppies they bite my jowls and lips. The puppy owners always say that they are sorry for their puppies biting me like that. My momma says it’s ok, that I deserve it. I guess i did it to other doggies when I was a baby so I deserve payback. hmph..

    woof – Tucker

  22. dizzymum says:

    Honey, what a surprise to meet a mini-me! I bet Raffy could learn a lot from you. If you’re ever lonely or bored, tell Hsin-Yi you can always spend time with us too!

  23. Honey, maybe your momma could get your First Aid kit, imPAWtant papers, bottled water and maybe some dehydrated foodables together for you in the trunk of her car. If there is a disaster, heck, whatever fills your belly is going to be good!

  24. Khyra says:


    Two khuties!

    Two unbelievably khute khanines!

    Tank woo fur sharing this AND all the information as well!


  25. Honey, you’re an awesome baby sitter! You look so adorable with your Mini=Me!!!
    You did a great job with her. The pix and videos were so cool!
    Play bows,

  26. Lindsay says:

    I would have to disagree with you on US danes looking more greyhoundy. You’ve probably seen more not as well bred danes than well bred ones. All reputable breeders in the states breed according to the breed standard as set forth by the Great Dane Club of America.

    The Euro look is definitely a more mastiffy looking dane that is heavier on bone and usually doesn’t do as well in the states. However, most people would agree that well bred danes in the US are far from greyhound looking so I’d be careful about making generalizations like that.

    In the states Honey would be considered a doggier bitch. One who has a more masculine head with more lip. She’s not overly heavy on bone and is more along the lines of your average looking bitch. At least that is, if you’re looking at danes from reputable breeders. Again, breeding has a lot to do with it and BYB have a lot of unfortunate looking danes out there giving people the wrong impressions.

  27. Chow Chow says:

    Raffy is adorable! And so are you, Honey!

  28. Lindsay says:

    I’m not offended by the comparison of european danes versus US danes. However, calling one type of dane greyhoundy versus lighter in bone in comparison to the european style of dane are two very different things. The term greyhoundy is generally used to describe an animal that is not only very slight of build, but also has a roached topline and a snipy face. Generally like a greyhound. This is the total opposite of what a great dane should look like. Even a dane that is on the lighter side with regards to bone should not have such serious faults that render it so unlike the breed. That term is generally used on the very poorly bred great danes that don’t resemble the standard much at all and are par for the course with back yard breeders. That’s why I cringe when I hear someone refer to a general acceptable type as greyhoundy, because that’s not acceptable at all. Lighter in bone is an adequate description. When I said that Honey would be considered more average I didn’t mean average for the European type, but for the US. Her head is doggier, but nothing that we don’t see at the shows in the US.

  29. Mr Darcy says:

    Dear Honey,
    I just loved this post – a complete overload of cuteness! You were such a good girl, as always! She is definitely your mini-me! We all enjoyed watching you and her soooo much!
    Flip’s school is so good. I wish we had a Flip!

    Darcy’s Mumma :-)

  30. Pipa says:

    Oh Honey! You can’t possibly imagine the fun I had watching your video! Gosh! You are so patient and a very very good auntie! :)



  31. parlance says:

    Hsin Yi, thanks for coming over to my blog to answer my questions about Honey’s early training. I’ll repeat over here what I said there, to save you the trip, lol.

    I said,
    Thanks, Hsin-Yi,
    It does tell me what I wanted to know! I think I also treat too much, perhaps, but, like Honey, Penny will do most things without being rewarded with food.

    However, she’s not that interested in verbal praise or pats, and I don’t know whether that is because of the history of food treats, or whether that is just an aspect of her nature that we have to live with

  32. Hey! Thanks for explaining the hold to me. :) That makes me feel better. I have tried teaching Jackal to hold an object that I offered out of my hand and it didn’t seem to go well. Then again we seem to have two or three false start lessons on everything with breaks in between and then suddenly one day he gets it, so maybe that’s just his learning style LOL!

    As for the pictures I was using a tripod so I didn’t have to hold it thank goodness. Jackal and Storm both need to see my hand to wave too, so I was using the self timer on the camera. It took me about a million times to figure out the delay of the timer and the digital camera shutter, but by the time I did I knew how much time I had to ask them for the behavior before it took the picture. Unfortunately then you have to factor in the delay of the dog’s brain. I can tell you it was very frustrating, but I am happy with the pictures I ended up with and I kept it fun for them at least so all in all I’m pleased. 😀

  33. Boxen N Bella says:

    What a fun thing to do! I wonder if she still had puppy breath? We love puppies around here but mom says they are too much work and she has already raised two puppies. You look like you did some great teaching with her and you are such a good teacher to put up with all her puppy playhabits.

    We are missing Benjamin but enjoying our nice quiet time. This morning we actually got to go out to potty and then come back to bed, we didn’t ahve to stay awake to defend ourselves from impending Benjmain warfare.

    Thank you for your kind comments toward my mom, she is very proud to have helped him.

    I hope your humans can be home now, I know they probably love to be home with you. Have a great doggyweek.

    Kisses from
    Boxen and Bella

  34. OMG coulc Raffy be any cuter. I love all the pics and videos of them together. Honey is wayyyy more patient than my girls lol. Nanuchy would have snarled and chomped on her within a few minutes lol.

    Lots of interesting points and do agree with Lindsay’s descriptions and explanations being that I grew up in Europe and live in the US.

    As usual, had a total blast reading your blog :)

  35. Marjie says:

    We think Honey has prettier markings than Raffy, but that’s just preference. There was a harlequin Dane named Jeffrey living about a mile from here, and he definitely had a lighter bone structure than Honey. But the height on him was awe inspiring, since he could about walk into my 1990 Suburban (really huge truck), and our Mastiffs have all had to climb into it. And, of course, we must have a really huge truck so Thor has a comfy place to ride! Love your pictures. Hope Raffy gets her people trained soon; people are so difficult! Thor’s been working on us for 8 years, and sometimes we are still stupid!

  36. Honey,
    They don’t really know what started all of this. Mom woke up one morning and her underarm was swollen and really painful. After it had been going on for a while, she started having the attacks. The ER she went to during the first one said it wasn’t a seizure but they don’t really understand what it is. It looks kind of like a seizure because her whole body shakes and she can’t stop and she has a lot of trouble saying anything. It happens when her pain gets really bad. I can tell before she knows she will have one and I touch her knee with my nose so she can get to a safe place and take her medicine.
    I can also tell when she is starting to hurt more. For some reason, Mom didn’t realize that that is another part of my medical alert until she was researching her condition and realized that some people train dogs for people with CRPS to detect when the pain will get worse.
    Hugs and Tail Wags,

  37. Dozer says:

    Hi Honey you know my Daddy is saying the same sorts of thangs bout me and Dubby. He sez that Dubby is jest like me wen I wuz a baby dawg! Isnt that jest preposterus?!? Dont worry Honey I am shore you wuz a perfect baby dawg jest like I wuz. I thinks our Mummys and Daddys have bad memorees!!

    Yer pal Dozer

  38. Kasha the Harlequin Dane says:

    Hi Honey & Hsin-Yi,

    I love your Mini-Me post…too cute. Raffy really does look like your mini-me to me. I loved hearing all about your day together and again where can I get one of those Flips…he seems amazing.

    AARF from Kasha & Denise

  39. Gennasus says:

    What a cute pup Raffy is! I’m very impressed at how well behaved she is at such a young age, that was a great recall when she had chasing on her mind.

    And Honey, you deserve a medal for being so patient when she was at her pushiest!

  40. Sasha says:

    BARK! Honey, even though mommy has been doing a lot of leaking lately, reading all the doggie blogs are helping her heel. She especially loves you and your mommy’s dancing. She was hoping her and Max would learn to dance someday, but oh well. As for me, I just prance along side of her on our walkies. That makes her laugh too. Especially, when we are walking to the song “locomotion”. Mommy and daddy tell people I am a little Dane. Then they say it is because I am short, but wide. I think I am more like a “Mango” doggie. My rear end is a bit heavy so I have to use all my front leg muscles too get up. No matter what type of Dane I look like, mommy and daddy love me. Mommy loved the pictures of you and your mini-you. She loves to see puppy pictures of what I might have looked like. Especially with bug floppy ears and paws! BARK! Sasha the Princess

  41. Brownie says:

    Honey, I loved loved loved the video… especially the part where you said that the woungsters have no respect for their elders! BOL!

    You are such a great role model honey, and of course I believe YOU when you say you weren’t as (um) exuberant as Rafi!

  42. What a sweet, sweet, baby! We love seeing the mini-me and big honey girl in action! We think Waldo is much like the other kind of Dane. He has smaller jowls, not too much slobber, and very skinny legs. We can’t keep weight on him, either, so he always looks a little bit too skinny. But we love him just the same!

    Gus and Waldo

  43. Happy says:

    I can see the uncanny resemblance when you were a pup! Puppysitting must be really tough.

  44. oh Honey, you’re a great babysitter! Maybe you should come over and babysit some of mine? Mom just moved three of them over to our house, so not only do I have four to tend to while I’m at the office, but I now have three stealing all my toys at home! but lol, it’s a lot of fun, and we’re up to tons of mischief all the time!

    Warm greetings from Africa!

  45. CHeryl says:

    Honey you are the best babysitter ever! You should come help me with my bratty baby boston terrier! You are my big dog fix and the posts your mommy puts up about you make my broken heart feel a bit better (my Doberman Pinscher kid passed away in May).

    You are smart, beautiful and obviously very well loved by your parents!

  46. Homer says:

    Sweet Honey!

    You are such a wonderful doggy sitter! Woot! Woot! That ‘Little Miss Pesky Boing Boing’ seems to be doing her training very well! Will you guys be meeting often?


  47. caroline says:

    there super cute! And would there be any way if u respond i could send u a pic of my puppy we were told he was a american bullmastiff but he looks so much more like a great dane! thanks!

We'd love to hear your thoughts... (You can comment using your Facebook or Twitter account too!)

  • * Don't worry if your comment disappears - it's probably gone into the Spam folder but we'll fish it out!