What is Compassionate Dog Walking?

Understanding

Dogs are highly intelligent, physical, and social creatures just like us. So, just like us, they require frequent interaction and stimulation. Both the highly energetic and the slumbering guardian will benefit equally from daily social interaction, new experiences, and exercise. Insufficient stimulation is often cited as the root cause of hyperactivity, nervousness, obsessive behavior, destructive chewing, and aggression.

Further, consistent and dynamic interactions are the building blocks of a well-socialized dog. For this reason, I try to pair dogs together that match each other’s needs Just like exercise, breed, age, temperament and energy level are all factors I take into consideration in order to find the best social group for your dog. Since dogs thrive on routine, once a group clicks then that group stays together. This way your dog and her best friends get to relax, build dynamic relationships and to share their life experiences.

It is for medium to high energy dogs that I provide the ENERGIZE service which includes a scenic run or a vigorous hike to burn off as much energy as possible. For other dogs who were bred to guard a home or maybe to fit into a bag, exercise is no less important. Though strolling with some friends on the trail may be all the exercise they need. For these dogs that I provide the Go Slow service.

Communication

Just like humans, every dog is unique. However, just like humans, establishing rapport and building trust boils down to meaningful communication and reliability… two conditions that can never be accomplished by domination. Gaining your dogs trust means listening to her feedback. Some dogs just aren’t social, some energetic breeds will want to hike slowly. I take pride in being receptive and compassionate to these signals and will make sure your dog gets the service he needs. It is for the process of establishing your dog's needs that I offer the Hang Out and Custom services.

It is an optional, though encouraged, part of my service to practice your dog's personal training. Doing so can enhance your dog’s training by providing practice obeying commands from other humans. This ability is a massive milestone and is guaranteed to take your dog's personal training to a new level. Of course, I will use your preferred treats, of my own if you approve, for positive reinforcement.

I aim to always be there for your dog and never to let her down. For this reason, I never utilize negative reinforcement. It has been my experience and is now my practice, that negative reinforcement will only jeopardize my relationship with your dog. At most I am willing, as part of your personal training regime, to tell your dog no, and/or to withhold validation.

Care

Your dog’s safety always comes first. Under my care your dog will:

  • Always has fresh water to drink, even out on the trail.
  • Never be allowed to commingle with others without supervision. (for example, lose in the back of a truck)
  • Always travel in a well ventilated, heated, or air-conditioned, vehicle.
  • Dogs with harnesses are always attached to a seatbelt (harnesses are highly recommended for our services)
  • Always towel dried and paws wiped when returned
  • Always have an emergency plan on file

Compassionate dog walking means that your dog will come home happy, relaxed and fulfilled with a multitude of new life experiences. As a result, she will be better behaved, happier and live longer.

More

There is no shortage of dog care wisdom, philosophies, approaches, and all degrees of advice. My approach to dog training, communication, and care is constantly evolving. Though my compassion centric approach is most closely aligned with that of dog trainer Zak George. Indeed much of the information above is taken from his book.

Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love

Zak's approach left me feeling closer to my dogs than I ever imagined. Zak's YouTube channel is also very helpful resource.

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