The times we spend outside with our dogs, can be some of the happiest moments of their lives.
Dogs thrive on social interaction, exercise and the opportunity to explore new environments, and this time outside during their walk, should be completely geared towards giving them exactly what they need to live a healthy and wonderfully happy life.
The way all dog's lives should be.
As a professional dog walker, currently studying towards a professional certification in positive reinforcement dog training and behaviour modification and most importantly, a dog lover, I understand the importance of enrichment during your dog's walk. An enriched walk acts as an opportunity for your dog to decompress, shake off any separation anxiety or tension that they may have been storing up internally and gives them time to fully enjoy being a dog.
Your dog will benefit from varied walking routes, fresh home made treats and my undivided attention.
They will be returned safely to you, tired, mentally and emotionally rejuvenated and happy.
Picture : My beautiful Rottweiler Labrador Cross, Harry 2003 - 2020
Unlike humans, a dog's nose is their main sense and sniffing is a very important communication tool for them. Through their nose, they explore, examine and understand their surroundings and who has been there before them. The act of sniffing is a very enjoyable experience for your dog and investigating different smells keeps them mentally stimulated and makes them happy. Your dog's walk should be an opportunity for them to do what they love the most, and sniffing is number one on that list.
During our walk, your dog will dictate when and where we stop (as long as it is safe to do so). As our walking routes will be varied every time we go out together, this provides them with much needed mental stimulation and relaxation.
Decompression walks can tire your dog out, much more effectively, than covering long distances, but most importantly, a decompression dog walk can help them cope more effectively with every day life experiences. A decompression walk for your dog is equivalent to meditation for us and can really make a huge difference to improving your dogs emotional state and subsequent behaviour.
Picture: One of the cutest noses I know, my beautiful red fox Labrador, Frank.
Most dogs love the opportunity to make friends with other dogs and dog socialisation is very important to the well being of all dogs, although some dogs, who may not have been socialised properly at a young age, can be reactive to other dogs who may approach them.
Taking into account the temperament of each dog I walk, where appropriate, I like to spend a specific portion of our walk, in an area where your dog will have the opportunity to greet and play with other dogs, either whilst still on lead, or if their recall is good (and once we've established a relationship of trust) off lead.
Like siblings who play fight (and depending on the age and temperament of each dog), play can often escalate from fun to rambunctious behaviour, so I keep a close eye on the situation and when the play starts to show signs of becoming too boisterous, the fun is either paused for a while, whilst each dog has a chance to calm down, before returning to play again, or it is halted altogether and our decompression walk is resumed. Interrupting rambunctious play is beneficial to your dog and helps them to understand boundaries with other dogs, keeping them and the other dog safe.
Dogs learn 'dog etiquette' through interaction with each other and puppies and young dogs especially learn the right way to behave through socialisation with well balanced, older dogs. Therefore this portion of your dogs walk can be both wonderfully enjoyable for them, as well as educationally enriching.
Dogs love having our full attention and small walking groups allow me to offer your dog the dedication they deserve.
As a rule, I do not walk more than three unrelated dogs together, at one time. This enables me to guide them more efficiently whilst we are walking on pavements and ensures that I can keep an eye on them all, during any off lead socialisation time.
When employing the services of any new dog walker, it is always important to make sure that the walker understands your dog. Your dog needs to feel safe and happy when walking with anyone.
Building a positive bond with your dog is of the upmost importance, as it paves the way for any and all dog training that may be needed in the future and it ensures that your dog has an enjoyable walking experience. This is why I will always conduct an initial one on one dog walk with each new customer, even if there are other dogs in the household.
This time with each dog, helps us to get to know each other and allows me to assess any behavioural issues, that I may need to be aware of. This initial one on one walk is for the best interest of your dog and dogs love being taken out individually, especially if they live within a multi dog household.
Whilst walking with reactive dogs, keeping the walking group small, also means that I can easily prevent any lunging behaviour, keep your dog safe and work towards changing this reactivity, through the use of positive reinforcement dog training techniques.
It's important to remember that reactive dogs are actually feeling very scared or insecure, and so adopt this behaviour in an attempt to keep themselves safe. With patience and consistency, counter conditioning positive reinforcement training techniques can improve your dogs confidence and eliminate this behaviour altogether.
Training your dog to walk well on their lead, without pulling, makes a huge difference to the enjoyment of their and your walk together.
With a little time and patience, even a dog that has been pulling during their walks, for years, can be trained to walk calmly by your side.
A well executed loose lead walk can be amazing for improving your dogs emotional well being and their emotional maturity.
Teaching your dog, whilst out on their walk helps to keep their minds stimulated and active and can even be a defense against the onset of canine dementia. Dogs are highly intelligent and enjoy learning new things, especially when it benefits them to do so. By perfecting loose lead walking with your dog, you will find your walks together become more enjoyable, often leading to the desire to walk together more often. This improves both your dog and your own, physical and mental health.
A large part of your dogs walk with me, will be spent practicing and/or perfecting their loose lead walking skills. I use positive reinforcement and of course home made, all meat treats to help them understand the desired, correct loose lead walking behaviour and to reward all their hard work. After all, if we want them to behave well for us on their lead, we have to pay them well in return.
I also offer private one to one dog training sessions, to humans who wish to improve their loose lead walking relationship, with their dog.
Recall is perhaps the most important discipline a dog should be taught. Good recall can literally save a dogs life and yet it is often very overlooked.
Long lead recall training allows your dog to have a degree of freedom, whilst still remaining safe. This technique also allows me to help them with their recall, all whilst making it a fun and exciting game.
Dog thrive on being mentally stimulated and a good decompression dog walk, accompanied by some long lead recall training (along with being paid well in treats), will not only tire your dog out, but also help him/her to gain a great life saving skill.
Training treats are freshly and simply cooked each day. I find fresh pieces of cooked chicken breast or pork work best with dogs, so that is what I provide.
Using high value treats that dogs love, like fresh cooked meat, really gets the dog motivated and is the very best way to reward them for walking well and for completing a training exercise,
Put simply, we wouldn't work for free and dogs are the same. If they are paid well, they preform well.
The added bonus of using freshly cooked chicken or pork is that it is gentle on their stomach, unlike some kibble treats, which can cause a variety of digestive related issues.
For your peace of mind, I am:
Enhanced DBS Cleared
First Aid Certified
I have been a pet owner and carer for over 21 years.
I am experienced with large and small breed dogs, including:
gun dog breeds
and toy dog breed
I am also currently studying professional qualifications in advanced dog training, canine communication and canine behaviour modification, as well as completing a mentorship with NASDU (National Association of Security Dog Users). On completion of this mentorship and the associated exam, I will be qualified to train high drive security dogs.
To help keep my carbon footprint to a minimum, I work predominately within a 3 mile radius and I use earth friendly, fully degradable dog waste bags.
To speak with me now, just call.