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Honestly, I get it. The last thing you need in these troubled times is to read another juiced-up dog training article hyping the virtues of the latest fad in dog training. So I hope you can just patiently relax while pondering this important question: “Are dog walkers essential?”
This is an important question that does not have a “one size fits all” answer. But, it is a question that all responsible dog owners should ask themselves. (Notice that I said “responsible dog owners”. There are plenty of “not so responsible” dog owners among us. They are the ones not reading this post!).
Of course, the answer to the above question is an emphatic YES! Good dog walkers are golden, and they are definitely needed. Why? Because without regular potty breaks and exercise, your dog will suffer greatly and will not likely live long and happy.
Think about it. We are all super busy these days and a good dog walker is surely a much needed and handy helper…right?
Are Dog Walkers Essential?
As good as your dog walker may be, that person doesn’t walk in your shoes. Your dog walker is not your stand-in. Don’t expect them to be the same alpha pack leader as you. And, while the dog walker has no ownership of your dog, they do assume much of the responsibility for the dog while it’s in their care. So, treat your dog walker with respect, be up front and honest with them, tell them from the get-go what your expectations are, and always pay them well and on time.
To be sure, dog walkers are unique in their levels of training, patience, and skills. Also, you should be aware that the dog walker you contract should never have to work with your dog’s poor training or bad behavior. Make no mistake, the responsibility is yours if your dog hurts another dog, hurts the walker, hurts any other person or animal, or hurts itself. As a dog owner, know your rights and your liabilities in the state or country where you live.
Dog owners should never ask a dog walker for advice about dog training. That is beyond the scope of what dog walkers are paid to do. An exception may exist if the walker is a certified, properly trained, and experienced dog trainer. Get references! Do your Due Diligence!
Remember that the dog walker’s job is not easy but it should be fairly simple. That is, the walker should only manage, exercise, control, and socialize your dog. This includes providing water, treats, good leashes, and poop bags. Dog walkers are not usually professional dog trainers, and they are not responsible for your dog’s behavior or training. Those things are up to you, the dog owner. That said, you should always consider your own situation, including your physical limitations, patience, and dog handling abilities. You can then decide whether a dog walker is right for you and your dog.
Are dog walkers essential? Yes, we believe that if you are not able to walk your pup daily, maybe more than once daily depending on the dog’s breed and needs, then you will definitely need support. Only you can know when you weigh up the pros and cons what’s the best course of action for your lifestyle and dog.