Every dog is unique
Like humans, every dog has its own distinct temperament and personality. Each dog knows intuitively how much exercise, socialization and structure it needs to be balanced and fulfilled. This means each dog is going to want something slightly different out of their walking experience, so we work closely with them to understand their needs and connect with them individually. We provide clear and consistent parameters as the foundation of our walks, and then step back and give them the freedom to be themselves within these boundaries.
Structure and consisentency
We thrive when we are part of an effective and cohesive team, where each member feels included, productive, and knows what their role is. Dogs do too! The companions and trails may change, but the rules and expectations on walks are always the same. We expect dogs to be alert, attentive, and respectful of each other and anyone we meet.
What specifically do we mean by structure and consistency? For example, when arriving at the park, we ask dogs to sit and wait patiently before being released to exit the vehicle. Every time. If they exit early, we have them return and repeat the exercise. Also, we train dogs on our walks to be aware of which direction the dog walker is taking and to come *before* being called. This all takes some time and practice, but dogs are overjoyed when it clicks and they ‘get’ it! In addition, these exercises establish and reinforce our role as the pack leader. High fives all around! (Alright, low fives.)
Effective pack leadership and mediation
The key to a balanced pack is prevention! Our role as dog walkers is to correctly interpret situations and respond appropriately before problems arise. Any issues are almost always the result of a dog getting overexcited and carried away, and they simply need us to step in and redirect the energy. For example:
- Recalling a dog before it takes a flying leap of greeting at an unsuspecting passer-by. That actually goes for suspecting passers-by as well. Flying leaps of greeting in general are frowned upon!
- Removing a stick that has gone from being a well-shared toy to an object of possession.
- Catching the twinkle in a dog’s eye immediately before he mounts his buddy.