As simple as the concept may sound, walking dogs as a profession takes a considerable amount of skill, training and knowledge.
As a responsible pet owner, you should do plenty of research regarding the best practices of proper dog walking.
The goal is to keep yourself as the pack leader (the one in control) during the entire walk.
What Is the Purpose of Walking Dogs in the First Place?
Many dog owners falsely believe that as long as the dog has a place to roam – perhaps a fenced in yard – that the walk around the block becomes redundant and unnecessary.
Dogs, as you know, are social animals. They require exercise and socialization to keep them happy.
One purpose of the walk is exercise and socialization – getting your dog comfortable with a variety of things they’ll encounter during their life.
Many dog owners will hire someone to stop over while they are at work to walk their dog. However, a professional dog walker will bring so much more to the table than simply the ability to let Fido out the back door or to stroll around the block for a few minutes.
Is the Person Walking Your Dog A Professional?
Dogs can be unpredictable. It takes a skilled and knowledgeable person to do the best job possible while caring for your dog.
The Association of Pet Sitting Excellence has plenty of members equipped with the required skills.
Professional Pet Sitters Speak…
Here are a few tips that will make walking your dog go smoothly.
Especially with puppies or high energy dogs, always make sure the dog has a good quality snug-fitting harness (prefer over collars), and that they stay in front/to the side of you – not behind you where they can get startled or distracted and more easily pull out of their harness. A client of mine recently lost her Pug to a truck because a different dog walker let him pull out of his harness.
I recommend the Easy Walk Harness hooked to the collar with the leash so you have control of the whole front of the dog. The walk is so important for dogs to be able to smell, see and experience the outside world. It just is not a physical exercise it is a mental also. For all dog I walk I teach the “HALT” command which stopping on the dime. I use it for corners and driveways. You can never be too safe.
Glen Ellyn, IL
Owners need to understand that a dog walker is there to give their dog a potty break and recreation. Some owner want a two-fer, exercise and fun time AND professional dog training. No can do. There are lots of things we can work on when out walking a dog, and a good dog walker should be able to encourage good leash manners in a moderate puller. But training a hard core musher to walk nicely on leash requires a different skill set. Not every dog walker is a qualified trainer, and to adequately train a dog requires a whole different set up…and fee structure.
No Worries 4 Pets
Questions and Answers:
Pet Owners: Have specific questions you’d like to ask a pet sitter about walking dogs?
Pet Sitters: Have additional tips or tricks you can share about dog walking?
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