|3 Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Dog Walker
You wouldn’t put your four-legged companion into the hands of just anyone, would you?
Choosing the right person to walk your dog is not always easy. Here are 3 tips to help you find the dog walker that’s right for your dog!
Tip #1: How many dogs at a time?
On walks in the city and on a leash, there’s only one right answer: One dog at a time! Yours!
Even if your dog likes other dogs, he may not like being close to them. This is especially true when he can’t get away.
Just because dogs aren’t fighting, they may not be friends or even enjoying themselves. Most dogs won’t start a fight, because they know, even at a dog-level, that it might be lethal. There are no antibiotics in nature, and the tiniest bite can get infected.
Dogs kept in “forced packs” during what should be their recreational hour are often frightened, or at least uncomfortable. Still, they won’t start a fight.
A dog walker with more than one dog can’t possibly pay attention to each one individually. Look for someone who will walk your dog alone and give him all the attention he needs. Then his daily walk will be the relaxing adventure it is meant to be.
Tip #2: Does the potential dog walker know how to read your dog?
Dogs can be subtle communicators. We often think that if a dog doesn’t show obvious signs of fear or aggression, everything is fine. Dogs are body language communicators. To the carefully trained eye, however, the dog emits a lot of signals to communicate his discomfort:
You are your dog’s guide and protector. When you leave your dog in the care of a dog walker for an hour or two, this becomes the dog walker’s responsibility.
Many things can make your dog feel insecure: too many other dogs around, kids screaming, horns honking. The dog walker has to be able to read your dog’s signs and help him overcome the situation, either by showing him how to manage it or by leading him away.
Tip #3: Will the dog walker unleash your dog during the walk?
Your dog may respond perfectly to you. That’s because he knows and trusts you. His relationship with the dog walker will be different and he may not respond the same way he would to you.
If he’s particularly sensitive, once unleashed he may start to run to find his way back home. The dog walker should get to know your dog before unleashing him, and always do so in a safe area. I like to free my dogs in the open countryside or in the forest where they won’t get hurt even if they don’t respond immediately to my call.
In the countryside or the forest, it’s fine for the dog walker to have more than one dog. The dogs can choose how far they want to be from one another and can have some fun together exploring the world!
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. We think we can do it all and then find out we can’t. Circumstances change and we may need to find new resources.
While hiring a dog walker may not be part of your plan right now, knowing what to look for should you need one in the future will give you peace of mind.
Learn more about accredited canine educator and dog walker Camilla Torriani on her website.
Though Camilla is based in Milan, Italy, she does internet consultations with dogs owners all over the world and writes for rescute.ca