Does Your Pet Sitter Take The Time Necessary To Walk Your Timid Dog?

SaydeDog walking isn’t as easy as it looks. Sometimes I walk very large dogs that are bouncing with energy and other times I help a timid dog learn to love walking outdoors.

Shelley, Founder of Hillsboro Dog Walkers and Pet Sitter shares her method for helping “Princess”.

Meet Princess, she is a sweetheart and a timid dog.

The harness makes a sound when it is put on. The sound of the velcro separating and the clicking of the clasp causes her to shake. A great pet sitter will have to be patient and gently lure the dog into the harness without making her stressing her out.  I use high value treats so she will associate the harness with something positive.   Princess’s high value treats are green beans, she will do almost anything for a green bean, I’m not kidding!

It isn’t a quick, click, snap process.  It has to be done with patience and care. Now we are ready to leave.

Princess is reluctant to go outside.  She was perfectly happy playing with her toy in her safe cozy bed by the heater.  Getting a small dog outside is easy.  I simply pick her up and walk the dog while carrying her in my arms.   I know this seems a little silly since the objective is to get the dog out for a walk.  But, we have to start somewhere right? Who says the dog has to do the initial walking?

Whew! Now we are outside.   It seems that princess now realizes she has no choice, I set her on the ground and she follows very slowly.  Once we are on the grass where all those wonderful tantalizing smells are pasted all over the ground she has forgotten her worst fears until…..a noisy car drives by, or the click of the retractable leash sounds off.  Oh yes, this happens.  I walk over and pick Princess up, walk a few steps, set her back down.  Now she is sort of willing to walk but proceeds walking sideways, as if she were a crab.  Can you picture it? Yes, it may seem amusing at first but it is sad that she is unable to enjoy the outdoors.  Let’s just pray raindrops don’t fall or she will freeze like a statue and I will be looking for covered walkways.

Now, I haven’t mentioned that her brother has no fear except he hates the rain.  He loves to go, go, go.  Prince is 10 feet ahead pulling on the leash and Princess is 10 feet behind refusing to budge. (BTW, I changed the names to maintain client confidentiality.)

Hark! Who Goes There?!

Hark! Who Goes There?!

Okay folks, Princess is only 7 pounds and I could pull her but I hate to force her into something she is afraid of.  I would much rather coax her so she will move on her own free will. I kneel down and make myself small, turn away from her and call her name. “Come here Princess, Its okay, I won’t let anything happen to you, I promise!”

Everything is going pretty smoothly until, the next major distraction. Yep, you guessed it, another dog.  Oh lord.  Here we go, now all the sudden both dogs turn into the ferocious little canines that they believe they are! Once the dog has left, Princess has forgotten her fears and is ready to happily proceed.

Personally, I embrace the challenges. I schedule enough time in between dog walks so I can accommodate the unexpected.  “NO TIME LIMITS”

Now, I ask you, if you hire a pet sitter that states 30 minute walks…

What would that look like here?

Would Princess have had a chance to relieve?

Would she have been rushed and felt anxious? Maybe.

What if it did take longer that 30 minutes, would you be charged extra? Maybe.

Does Hillsboro Dog Walkers sound like the kind of dog walker/pet sitter you would like on your team?  I think so.

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