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Advice re dog walker

(11 Posts)
newme175 Tue 05-Feb-19 10:30:20

I actually did a bit of dog sitting myself last year but really need advice re dog walker for my own dog.

I'm now out of home 8.40 until 3.40 and he is a small/ medium size so definitely needs a toilet break midday plus he loves other dogs for socialisation. I also walk him myself for 20 mins in the morning and 30mins after work (much longer off lead walks on weekends and we will go to our local park when it'll gets lighter in the evenings).

I started work and sorted a dog walker at the same time and have since experienced the following issues (not sure if its to do with me starting work or the dog walker or the dog!)

1. He runs upstairs trying to get away from having his harness on, dog walker literally has to chase him round the house. He started doing it with me as well, especially for his early morning walk.

2. Dog walker reported he is growling and baring teeth when she cleans his feet. This freaked me out as even though he doesn't like his feet cleaned he gently nibbles the towel but never growls or tries to bite me!
What would happen if he actually bites her, would he be reported as @ dangerous dog!? He is obviously warning her...

3. He doesn't listen to her on walks and she couldn't get him back on lead so now only has on lead walks sad He is generally great with me, but he is 1 years old so could be testing boundaries. There's been a couple of times he didnt want to go back on lead with me but this was after dog walker complained.

4. When he gets overexcited/ nervous he has messy poop, which he does on dog walker walks but not on our morning/ evening walks. However if he has been playing off lead with other dogs at the weekend he does get messy poop.

My question is- Maybe he just doesnt like the current dog walker? Should I try a different one? Or maybe it's just how he is as he does display some of this behaviour with me as well sad

I'm mostly concerned about his growling and if he actually bites a person. At the moment I have cancelled the walker for now and managing with my mum popping in but want to get things sorted ideally.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 05-Feb-19 10:41:05

1. Can't help with that as mine always runs about when trying to get collar and harness on.

2. You might need to do some desensitisation if he doesn't like his feet being touched. Mine doesn't but he will now tolerate it for grooming and general inspection. Does he need them wiping. Could you leave a towel down and he just walks on it or is this when he is about to go back in her car?

3. 1 year old will definitely be pushing boundaries and recall. How have you taught recall? I found that because mine comes back to a whistle he is ok for other people as he associates a whistle rather than just my voice.

4. Sloppy poos aren't uncommon when running about or excited. We call them in our house excitement poos.

newme175 Tue 05-Feb-19 10:57:56

Thank you biteyshark smile

With me I can touch his feet anytime and he does not growl (never growled at me) and his recall is fine with me so that's the main issue that he is not behaving very well for the dog walker.

Would you try a different one? Or stick with this one? I honestly don't think she's done anything wrong, just that he doesnt seem to like/ listen to her

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 05-Feb-19 11:05:04

I don't think there is any harm trying a different one in case he gels with them better.

fivedogstofeed Tue 05-Feb-19 11:57:12

If he was happy to get his harness on before the dog walker started I would worry that something has happened to change his behaviour.
Have you seen her interact with him and does he seem to like her?

fivedogstofeed Tue 05-Feb-19 11:58:59

I would, however, expect an experienced dog walker to have strategies to deal with this and his apparent sudden lack of recall.

newme175 Tue 05-Feb-19 12:07:41

I saw her with him twice but I had put his harness on then. My husband was at home couple of times and said he was running away from her and he had to get him. And she did say he normally runs upstairs. I know when it's written down like that is sounds quite concerning...

But I don't want to imply anything as he is a bit of a sensitive soul to be honest. Just wondering if dog walker is not for him..

I have been giving him a lot of extra cuddles when putting on his harness to see if he improves. He still does try to run upstairs when it's time to put it on, but I pretend to leave and he then comes downstairs.

So hard isn't it... I have found another walker but not sure whether to try her, and still wondering if I did the right thing cancelling this one. When I did dog sitting the dogs would run to me and couldn't wait to get their leads on etc.... But then again it could just literally be my dog being worried about stranger in his house and taking him somewhere (in his mind) etc...

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 05-Feb-19 12:16:28

Is it a group walk or an individual one? Is he bothered by the other dogs?
Does she put him in a van and if so is he crated in there? That could upset him.

BiteyShark Tue 05-Feb-19 12:20:00

The harness might be something as simple as his fur/skin got pinched accidentally when putting it on asks BiteyDog to forgive me as I did that accidentally once

missbattenburg Tue 05-Feb-19 12:34:23

Re the harness, Battendog can be like this. I have found the following things really helped:

Repetition: I now use his harness for all walks, regardless of whether or not we need it (sometimes clip lead to collar). This has strengthened the link between harness and walks.

Routine: I always put it on the same way, in the same place in the house, with the same command.

Choice: I do not chase him. I just wait, however long it takes. He has the choice of coming to me, having the harness and going for a walk. Or not. He loves his walks so always comes.

I have accompanied my walker on a walk a couple of times - more in the spirit of seeing Battendog's behaviour than checking up on her. It does mean I can be sure he enjoys his walks because I see it first hand. We chatted about how he behaves, how each of us respond etc. It allowed us to agree a single approach. Might that be an option?

adaline Tue 05-Feb-19 13:02:46

1. You need lots of positive reinforcement. Don't get pulled into a game of chase - they'll just think that's what happens when the harness comes out! Get it out, lots of praise and a treat when they put it on, then straight out for a walk. They need to link the harness with good things (food and walkies!). Mine still runs off sometimes but I just wait until he comes over to me. He loves walks so he always does!

2. Desensitisation! Mine used to hate his paws being touched, but then he cut his paw and we needed to wash them and put cream on. Again, positive reinforcement and lots of treats. This needs to be done by the walker - just because he's happy with you doing it, doesn't mean he's happy with everyone touching his paws. Also lots of training - does he know commands like paw or shake hands or high five? We found teaching those tricks meant he was happier to have his paws touched at other times too.

3. Mine goes off-lead for DH and I but not for the dog-walker. I don't think it's fair to put someone else in that position when his recall isn't perfect. Can he go on a longline so he can still run off and explore but doesn't have the opportunity to run off?

4. I really wouldn't worry about it. It happens with mine too!

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