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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-10-2019 03:28 PM
dobebug Hi again,

If I was looking for a dog walker who was experienced with reactive dogs I would contact trainers in my area--as Meadowcat recommended. And I'd have a look around my vet's clinic--some of them have bulletin boards and I'd talk to the employees--some of them know who the good trainers are and/or may know who good dog walkers might be.

I work for a vet clinic and I get asked regularly (I'm behind the scenes there so it's the vets and techs or reception folks who do the asking) but one of our ex-employees has done dog walking (or drop in feeding and checking on an at home basis) for years--she's reliable and capable and she gets referals from us on a pretty regular basis.

There are two day car facilities in our area who maintain a list of dog walkers which have been used by either our employees or our clients with excellent skills and they will recommend them for specific problem dogs.

Sometimes the trick is to find out who really knows of good dog walkers. I'm in very much the wrong part of the world to help much in finding you a good dog walker since I'm in the left hand Portland, Oregon.

Keep asking--group dog walkers seem to be much more common on the east coast in big cities than on the west coast (maybe Los Angeles but I've been gone from LA for many years)--the biggest group of dogs around here being walked by someone who told me she walked groups was a lady who had two dogs she was walking but she also said that most of her clients are walked individually.

If Pepper got used to the people at day care I expect there wouldn't be much of a problem for her to get used to a dog walker coming to your house. I'd suggest meeting the dog walker a short distance from the house in the evening when your husband can walk Pepper that far and have her walk with Pepper and your husband. And do a second meet where your husband turns Pepper over to the dog walker and Pepper is walked by that person. If that goes well than the third meeting could be at your house during the day and you could turn Pepper over to the dog walker at the door.

Good luck--that's one advantage to having dogs that are or have been shown in conformation--my dogs will go with anyone who puts a leash on them and wouldn't think of barking at strange people or dogs. The house rule is no barking in the house except at night--and while being walked--no barking ever (but they can stare all they want and particularly with a very small black eyed male of mine it was enough to drive people across the street--it was a rare person who wanted to meet or pet that dog.)

Good luck...

05-10-2019 03:26 PM
4x4bike ped
Originally Posted by kpetro View Post
Thanks John! How did you get your pup used to the new dog walker? Mine will definitely bark and growl at a newcomer... even for a meet n greet. I should probably at least do it outside the house (she's protective over the house). Not sure if off or on leash would go better....
The woman who walked him, exclusively at first, is a professional dog trainer. She came over and spent some time with him before she stated walking him. She had him in her pocket after a couple of walks. She became his new best friend.

She did not charge me for any training or extra time she spent with him. Just for the walks. Usually 1 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour in the afternoon.

When I had my knee replaced, Brenda (walker/trainer) severely broke her ankle and was out of commission for a very long time. Her primary assistant who had walked McCoy in the past took over. No problem.

Hope this helps.

Portland OR
05-10-2019 02:34 PM
PrairieGirl I think you have a few options but I don't think you are wrong to consider safety first for your girl!

1. I use a dog specific treadmill to meet the exercise needs of my reactive girl, maybe you could even find a used one for sale in your area?
2. My dog walker does not take her outside the fenced back yard, could someone play fetch or flirt pole with Pepper in the yard?
3. Meadowcat has wonderful suggestions about finding a trainer/walker experienced with working with reactive dogs
05-10-2019 11:11 AM
MeadowCat Locally, we have some trainers at a great training company who are really experienced with reactive/shy/nervous dogs who also offer dog walking as part of their services. Maybe you could look for a good trainer experienced with reactive dogs and see if they might offer that?

I would agree with you that I sure wouldn't just hire anyone to walk a dog who is reactive - that's asking for trouble. However, there are some very savvy dog walkers out there, too. Even if you can't find an experienced trainer that offers dog walking, at least around here, the trainers who are really good at working with dogs like this would absolutely have recommendations for good dog walkers. That would be the route I'd go with - to connect with a good trainer. As a bonus, you might find some classes that could benefit your girl, too...since you're in a big metro area, you may have some opportunities that you don't even know about!
05-10-2019 11:02 AM
kpetro Thanks John! How did you get your pup used to the new dog walker? Mine will definitely bark and growl at a newcomer... even for a meet n greet. I should probably at least do it outside the house (she's protective over the house). Not sure if off or on leash would go better....
05-09-2019 08:42 PM
4x4bike ped I had a hip and knee replacement a while back. My wife is frequently out of town so I needed someone to walk McCoy a couple of times a day. McCoy is not the kind to walk easily with strange dogs.

I hired a professional company whose services are quite varied. They do group walks. They do nature hikes. They do in home pet sitting. They do one on one visits and on top of that, the two principles are dog trainers. They had no problem with a 85 lb. intact male Doberman

McCoy's primary walker was one of the owners. He adored her, as well as her primary assistance. For a while, I was unable to walk down the stairs to my front door, so she had a key. She still has it in case of an emergency. When I was really disabled she would feed and water him.

So... My experience with dog walkers! I could not have been happier.

Portland OR
05-09-2019 07:41 PM
kpetro Thanks dobebug! I suppose I just need to do a little more research - most of the walkers I came across seemed inexperienced at best, and many had pictures of them walking several at once. It's my pup that has the virus, so I wouldnt want her to spread it to other dogs using the same walker.
05-09-2019 02:30 PM
dobebug Not all dog walkrs walk dogs in groups. And many only walk one dog at a time--it's just going to be a matter of finding one.

Not all dog walkers require dogs to be muzzled and many dogs once they find out that a walker is going to take them out and about get used to the new person pretty quickly. But as far as the muzzle goes--that's a question best answered by the dog walker.

Who, exactly has the virus--your girl or the day care facility and what virus is it?

Good luck...

05-09-2019 02:12 PM
Dog walker for a nervous dog?


Would love some advice regarding my 1 yr old Dobe, Pepper. We're in a bit of a bind in terms of getting her some exercise / being out and about. She cant go to daycare for the next month due to a virus, and I'm injured, so really am not able walk her or play with her like I used to for the next ... while. My husband is taking care of evening walks, but we'd like to get a dog walker for during the day too.... BUT she's also nervous around new people/doesnt warm up very well to strangers. (Also I'm guessing a dog walker will want to walk several dogs at once and while she's fine with other dogs, the virus means she shouldnt be around them).

Are we in a total bind here? Are there walkers who will take just her? Do I need a muzzle for safety (she's not bitten anyone, but we've been 100% (ok like 99%) on top of it when she's with new people so we remove her from the situation before she reaches her threshold). How did you get your dobe used to a walker, if you use one? What kind of experience would you be looking for in a walker in this situation? Any other suggestions are welcome!

And if you've read this far - thank you and here's a few pics of my girl :-)

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