Dog Walking 101

Updated on September 15, 2016
Such good boys!
Such good boys! | Source

If you haven't heard, dog walking is the new hip profession. Getting paid to get exercise around beautiful cities and hang out with dogs? Um, yes! Sign me up. I mean — I already did sign up, which is why I'm here.

For four months I worked with dogs full time, and the things I learned were invaluable to me. Upon realizing how easy it was becoming for just anyone to get a job walking dogs, I became a bit worried about those that are uneducated in proper pup ways taking to the streets. If you're considering giving it a go (either working for an existing service or trying it out yourself), I strongly encourage you to make sure you are familiarized with the following information.

Are you thinking about becoming a dog-walker part or full time?

See results

Essential Things to Know when Becoming a Dog-Walker

1. How to greet a new dog
2. Dog aggression signs
3. Leashes & proper holding
4. The golden rule
Me and my buddy Flomar.
Me and my buddy Flomar. | Source

How to Greet a New Dog:

  1. On his terms: Be still and let the dog approach you -- let him interact with you on his terms.
  2. Kneel & turn: Don't bend over the dog -- kneel down and turn your body slightly to the side. This shows the dog respect that he will appreciate and he will likely warm up to you much more quickly.
  3. No reaching: Do not reach your hand out for him to smell. He has an amazing nose and can smell you just fine from where you are kneeling. Only offer your hand for licking if his comfortableness with you is clear -- otherwise it may look to him like you're reaching for his face.
  4. Treat him!: If you have access to owner-approved* treats, give him one to make him more friendly towards you. *It needs to be owner approved first because many dogs have allergies.
  5. The Under Chin Scratch: If he gives you clear signals that he's comfortable with you, feel free to scratch under his chin -- dogs largely prefer this over the top of the head, which can feel threatening to them.

The right puppy friend can be the light of your life!
The right puppy friend can be the light of your life! | Source

Dog aggression signs:

  • Raised hackles (erectile hairs along the back of the dog — they rise when it is angry or alarmed)
  • Stiffening of the body
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Bearing teeth
  • Snarl/growl/bark

If any of these signs occur, back off immediately. Remember that dog aggression is born from anxiety and fear. We may mean to be friendly, but when one enters the room, (especially large or male bodied people), make direct eye contact with them, and pat them on the head, it can come off as a clear sign of dominance, or even aggression to the dog. Let the dog become cool with you on its own terms and remember that it is a living breathing being with feelings and anxieties of its own.

Ooo!
Ooo! | Source

Leashes and Proper Holding:

  1. Avoid retractable leashes: While they do shout "convenience," countless animals and humans have gotten severely injured and have even died from these popular contraptions. The retraction is so strong and the wire is so thin that it can slice fingers, hands, and doggie limbs right off. Many states are trying to ban them — in the meantime, it is best to bring your own standard issue leash.
  2. No wrist action: Many people think that standard leashes were made to wrap around your wrist. This is incorrect, and unfortunately, can severely inhibit your range of motion and ability to quickly respond to situations. Standard loop leashes were made to insert the thumb through the loop, and hold the remainder of the leash material gripped in your palm —lengthening the loop to shorten the leash if necessary.
  3. Keep it at your core: This tip is especially important if you're walking more than one dog at a time — keeping the loop of the leash at your core will give you the strength of all of your body weight against the dog(s) instead of just your limited arm strength. Not even a pack of dogs can yank you around if the dogs are controlled by your core.

How to Properly Hold a Dog's Leash

The Golden Rule:

Or should I say — the brown rule.

Always pick up their poop!

If that means bringing your own extra doggie baggies to make sure that you'll have something to clean it up with, so be it. It's part of the job description to deal with their messes. Don't be one of those walkers that ignores the dog poop and leaves it for a public service worker or a home owner to deal with — it's just not fair!

Source

Good Luck!

If you remember these things, you will be well on your way to start your dog-walking journey.

It's a lovely one to emBARK upon.

Source

Are you ready to dog-walk?

view quiz statistics

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • ellyn-beale profile image
        Author

        Ellyn Beale 23 months ago from Oakland, CA

        Thanks Marina!

      • Marina Lazarevic profile image

        Marina 23 months ago from San Francisco, CA

        Fantastic Hub, Ellyn! Love the puppy photos in particular. Your list of tips will surely be useful to beginner and expert dog walkers alike!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)