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Getting stressed by dog walkers messages about Ddog.(9 Posts)
I have an 10 month old rescue who goes out with a dog walker 3 times a week for a group walk. The dog walker writes little comments in a book in our house after she has her, which is mostly great but often also has comments about her getting a bit carried away etc. However I got quite a long text today about the dog's behaviour on walks, basically she gets too giddy with other dogs sometimes and pulls when she's on the lead. I am trying to train her with loose lead walking she has daily sessions. She's a very bouncy dog and high energy. But has good recall and zero aggression. But I'm finding I'm a bit stressed about the dog walkers feedback. Ive apologised for her behaviour snd assured I'm doing training as an ongoing thing. I'm scared the dog walker is building up to saying she no longer wants to take my dog out. I am trying to reiterate that she is a teenage dog who still has a lot to learn and will hopefully calm down.
I'm a bit stressed in general mind you and might be paranoid. Is it normal for dog walkers to give this sort of feedback?
I would get a new dog walker. Our ddog rescue always pulls on the lead. Our dog walker never commented. I don’t see why you should apologise as it is not your fault.
Does the dog walker provide individual walks? Perhaps the group walks are not suitable for your dog right now.
Perhaps you just need a conversation with the dogwalker about strategies you can BOTH use to help your dog. No point you training her on loose leash in a single-dog situation if the problem is the multi-dog situation that you aren't at. Your dog walker needs to use the same strategies you do. Have a proper chat about it, not text messages etc.
I get mostly pictures from my dog walker of him having a good time. Occasionally in the past when mine was young she has commented that he's regressed and is jumping up at people but she's 'working on his training' but that's when we are face to face talking about his behaviour and how he is getting on.
I can imagine it's hard when the dog pulls on the lead. Mine pulls as well and I find it hard work at times but when he goes with the dog walker it's mostly off lead so doesn't matter. If yours has good recall is he on the lead much?
It does sound like the group of dogs isn't matched though which is what your dog walker might be implying with the 'too giddy around the other dogs'. What I would do is have a sensible talk with her rather than texts or notes and ask if there is anything you can do to help and that way you can gauge if she is thinking of dropping you (better to be forewarned).
I think the walker is just being honest about the situation, and if she is working up to saying she can't walk your dog anymore, it would be entirely reasonable if your dog doesn't work in a group dynamic. If she offers one on one walks then ask for that. If she doesn't or doesn't have a one on one slot available, you'll have to find another arrangement.
You've said yourself she's a bouncy dog with high energy, and that kind of dog will be disruptive in a group situation if the dog isn't properly trained to interact. That's your responsibility to make sure the dog is able to handle that. It's also the walker's responsibility to tell you if your dog isn't suited to that, and to provide feedback etc, along with whether or not they can continue a group walk. She has to take the other dogs Into account too, is it ruining their experience? Both of you have responsibility here.
The notes she's left you are her way of telling you that perhaps your dog isn't suited to a group walk right now. You talk about training her, but even with training she might be a bit too boingy for a group walk. I think by the sounds of it you're going to have to ask her directly and discuss a one on one walk situation so she doesn't disrupt the walk for the other animals. There might be dogs that don't mix well with her for various reasons.
I've asked her directly now and she says she wants to keep walking her.
A walker occasionally takes my dog and we only ever get wonderful feedback.....including what a delight she is. Now I know she pulls, and can be a frustrated greeter of other dogs on the lead, and pretty sure she jumps all over her when she arrives . We joked about maybe their g8ving us feedback about the wrong dog but actually I was worried that they just were trying hard not to be negative and not giving the full picture.... so I would actually welcome the detailed feedback, even if it was hard for me to hear!
Sounds like you did well to ask her outright....hopefully you can discuss a good way forward for all of you
I used to get similar from the doggy daycare I tried with my DDog at first. He is a
pain in the arse rescue and I stupidly thought socialising him in group walks would be best for him at first.
The messages I got would send my anxiety through the roof. It didn't help that the walkers (there were two) were very fond of exclamation marks so I'd come home to things like:
(DDog) was unfortunately not very nice to our other pups today!!!! He growled at one of our other fur babies when they were just playing nicely with a ball!!! And then he really wouldn't calm down for ages!!! He played nicely for a bit but then got upset again!!!And we had to bring him home early!!!!
I used to call and apologise and worry about it endlessly. It was only for two weeks but it was awful. They pretended to be absolutely devastated when I stopped using them; I bet they had a party.
Anyway it was clearly a terrible fit for my dog to be walked in a group; absolutely my fault I just got it wrong. He's now very happy doing solo walks with a walker who specialises in "special needs" dogs (and who would meet any talk of "fur babies" with a very stern look indeed.) Try him with solo walks and see what feedback you get. Some dogs just suit that best. Good luck!