Do the Walk

I have been a professional pet sitter/dog walker for 10 years. In that time I have been told some of the biggest lies or have had the biggest omissions given me by dog owners.

 

Typically for a pet sit, meaning owners are away, I prefer to take the dogs for a walk rather than leave them in a yard. Why?  First off it gives the dog something they love to do every time I come over. Second, I know they potty, third it releases a lot of their energy. Even if it is only around the block it can be amazing what it does for their well being. 

 

The greatest lie ever told,  my dog doesn’t like to go for walks. While in the rarest of situations this has been true overall I rate this claim false. When I walk the dogs from these homes these dogs are typically over the top, they are so happy to get out and see the world, or the block.  My guess, the owners don’t like to walk. 

 

He pulls a little. A suppose that is relative. Pulls a little to me is a ten 10 lb dog darting at a squirrel, not a 100 lb bull dog dragging me down the street. Hello, that dog weighs more than me. 

 

While walking said bull dog he lungs at a bicycle, skate board, delivery man.  Owner, Oh, I thought that might happen, omission. 

 

I am pretty much on guard when walking new dogs. But please make our job easier, tell us about things and for goodness sake, walk your dog. It’s good for him and you.

Calling All DogsImage

Do Walking

I have been a professional pet sitter/dog walker for 10 years. In that time I have been told some of the biggest lies or have had the biggest omissions given me by dog owners.

Typically for a pet sit, meaning owners are away, I prefer to take the dogs for a walk rather than leave them in a yard. Why?  First off it gives the dog something they love to do every time I come over. Second, I know they potty, third it releases a lot of their energy. Even if it is only around the block it can be amazing what it does for their well being. 
The greatest lie ever told,  my dog doesn’t like to go for walks. While in the rarest of situations this has been true overall I rate this claim false. When I walk the dogs from these homes these dogs are typically over the top, they are so happy to get out and see the world, or the block.  My guess, the owners don’t like to walk. 
He pulls a little. A suppose that is relative. Pulls a little to me is a ten 10 lb dog darting at a squirrel, not a 100 lb bull dog dragging me down the street. Hello, that dog weighs more than me. 
While walking said bull dog he lungs at a bicycle, skate board, delivery man.  Owner, Oh, I thought that might happen, omission. 
I am pretty much on guard when walking new dogs. But please make our job easier, tell us about things and for goodness sake, walk your dog. It’s good for him and you.

The Socialized Dog

Socializing a dog begins with the puppy.  A well socialized dog will walk well on a leash, not jump up, not bark at every living thing, not eat your house.  A well socialized dog starts as a well socialized and trained puppy.  

You get your puppy home and it is ooh so cute.  You let him jump in your lap and you want to carry him around.  If it is a large breed this will of course become a problem in a short amount of time.  Your 10 lb puppy is now a 60 lb dog.  Unfortunately, if you have not taken the time to teach him good manners you now have a dog that is jumping up on people and knocking them down.  So now you are yelling and pulling, kneeing him and making a general fool of yourself and him.  And it is all your fault, because when he was so cute and little you praised and encouraged this behavior.  Now try and fix it.

OK, so maybe you have a small dog and you like to carry them around all the time. Oh, but it’s just a baby you wouldn’t want them to get hurt?  People, it is still a dog, and carrying a dog around and treating it like a baby will only create a little monster.

I recently met a new client with a 12 week old cockapoo.  They had only had the dog for 2 weeks and when I came in the house she immediately picked up the puppy.  He started growling at me, 12 weeks old, really?  I think we have a potential problem.  I tried to give a little friendly advise, of course since it wasn’t solicited it wasn’t taken to heart.   When I returned a few days later to walk the puppy he was hiding from me and growling.  When we finally got outside he was so afraid of being with someone new that it took forever to him to relax enough to pee.    We don’t see him often and he is a frightened dog.

So what could she maybe have done differently.  First off I would say don’t pick the puppy up, let him take his time and explore the new thing or person.  Encourage people to handle the puppy and touch him all over.  Let your new puppy experience new things.

Getting a new puppy check out our puppy social hour for puppies under 16 weeksImage.  

Cancer in Dogs

Well, it may not be cancer and we may not  find out.  Because is it really worth the suffering and discomfort?
Yesterday I took Walter to the vet for nausea and diarrhea issues.  She kept him for the afternoon, gave fluids and meds to calm the little mans tummy.  That all seemed fine.  And then…. she dropped the other shoe.  He has a UTI infection. And…. he has a mass on his prostate.  What does that mean?
Well of course first we treat the infection.  Then we can do a biopsy and an ultra sound and blah blah blah.  So what if its is cancer?  First off that area in practically inoperable.  Surgery is not an option.  Chemo.  I am not big on that idea.  Most dogs that I know who have gone through chemo have not added much if any time onto their lives.  They suffer through the chemo only to die a few weeks or months later.  Is it worth it to let them suffer through the treatment?
Prostate cancer or tumors on the prostate is suppose to be rare in dogs but can occur in neutered and un-neutered dogs.  The treatments are limited to radiation and chemo with most dogs passing within 7 days of diagnosis.
So what choice do you make?  My choice is to keep my boy as comfortable as I can and let him go peacefully.
Please let me know if you have had to make tough choices for your best friend.

Crazy Dang Dog

So how did that dog get so crazy?  Sometimes people just don’t get what it takes to get a good dog.  Puppies do not come to you house trained, socialized, knowing what it can chew, how biting is bad.  And to have a good dog you need a well socialized puppy.

The 2 dogs that I currently live with are rescues.  I got Louie G when she was 18 months old and a breeder from a puppy mill.  Walter came to me from the SPCA at the age of 4.  I have no real idea of what their puppyhood was like.  I can make a guess to Louie G, she probably lived in an over crowded, filthy kennel with little or no interaction with people.  I am only grateful that she has come as far as she has but by no means is she a well socialized dog.  Walter got turned in to the SPCA by an owner that said she had too many dogs, so why did she pick him?

Louie G was afraid of everything when I got her; people, dogs, you name it.  Currently she has issue with bigger dogs, dogs that are running and small children.  Walter, he pretty much doesn’t like most other dogs.  Walking them on a leash can be a real treat some days as I try to avoid other dogs.  And, being that I live in an urban area there are always other dogs.  Guess what?  I don’t have well socialized dogs.

When you get your new puppy be sure to socialize them.  Of course you want to keep them safe from illness when they are small, so no dog parks, keep them out of areas that a lot of dogs are using as a toilet.  Get those first shots and be sure they are done correctly.  Then you could find a safe play group in a clean environment and have all your friends come over and handle them.  Expose them to different smells and sights.  Like wear a hat or sunglasses.   Your puppy wont’ even recognize you if you wear a big hat but be sure not to scare them.  Let them know it’s you right away and make it fun, give them a treat, let them smell and see the hat on and off you.  Make it all a game.

My next dog will be a puppy and I will be sure that it gets all kinds of socialization.

sleeping puppy
Sweet pup

https://callingalldogsblog.com/2013/12/06/your-new-puppy/

Your New Dog

Image

My last post we talked about how to get a new puppy.  This post we will talk about shelters and rescue groups.  These are the places where I have gotten all my dogs in my adult life.  I also typically will get dogs with issues. On purpose.  I would not recommend getting a dog with issues unless you have a lot of time and patience.  After saying that, I highly recommend using shelters and rescue groups to find your new pet.

There are many reasons that dogs end up without a home.  Owner dies, owner moves, owner has a baby and can’t possibly take care of a pet and a baby.  The dog didn’t come with a certain skill set in place, the list goes on.

Shelter and local rescue groups can offer totally different experiences.  Every group is different, so this is where you need to be doing your homework.  Look at the different options, see what their policies are regarding; taking the pet home, returning the pet if it doesn’t work out, support after you get the pet home.

The shelter will be more like a kennel and potentially more stressful for the dog, especially if they have come from a home environment.   Pick a dog that is friendly, tries to keep contact and is happy to see you. If they have an intake form, check out what the previous owner said.     My Walter is a shelter dog, he’s a great guy, a little needy, a little bossy, but hey, we deal with it.  Another thing about shelters is that they are typically less expensive.

Rescue groups are a great!  I have gotten several of my dogs from these groups.  Keep in mind this will be a more expensive option.  Being non-profit they need to raise the money for medical care, behavior modification and everything else.  Some rescues have kennel type set ups but many also keep the dogs with foster families.  And I love that!  By living with a family the dog will already be trained and accustomed to living in a house,  the foster family will pretty much know any quirks about the dog and also have insight as to what sort of home would suit that dog the best.  Kids, no kids, dogs, no dogs,  cats, no cats.  You get it?

Rescue groups should also be prepared to and demand that you return the dog to them if it doesn’t work out.  My 2 Standard Poodles came from Florida Poodle Rescue, they were a great resource and committed to helping me make my adoptions a wonderful experience.  They were also ready to take my charges back if it didn’t work out.  Happily for me it did.

You can find a rescue group for any breed of dog and many times they have puppies.  But do your research and find you best friend forever.

If you live in the St Peterburg Fl area please be sure to contact us.  We are happy to help find a group or shelter that fits your needs.

Calling All Dogs

Your New Puppy

Are you getting a new pet over the holidays?  Will you be getting them from a rescue or a breeder?  Will you be getting a puppy or an older dog?

A lot of thought goes into getting a new dog or puppy.  Some people just love a certain breed and cannot imagine not getting a puppy, while others are happy with an older mixed breed.  So, let’s start by talking about getting a puppy from the breeder.

Before you get your new puppy be sure to check out your breeder.  The best case would be to get your puppy from a small breeder who keeps the dogs in their home as pets.  Why is this important?   Your opportunity to social your puppies is all but over when they reach 4 months old.  While kennels may keep the dogs living areas clean and the animals well cared for and fed, they may not spend much time handling the dogs.  Puppies like babies need to handled and touched while they are very young to ensure good socialization.

If you live near the breeder see if you can come over and visit with the puppy before bringing them home.  This will give the puppy and you a chance to get to know each other and start bonding.  Most good breeders will encourage you to visit.

Typically your puppy will come home at 8 weeks.  A home raised puppy should already have a head start on house training and a few tricks.  Puppies are able to start learning these things by 4 weeks.  Crazy but true.

 

Daisy & Bailey
Daisy & Bailey

 

Once home be sure to keep socializing your puppy.  Have lot’s of people come over and handle them, give them lot’s of treats and positive reinforcement so they know this is good.  Remember no dog parks at this age.  Look for a group that offers a puppy pre k or a puppy social hour like Calling All Dogs “Puppy Social Hour”.  This can be a great way to socialize your pup with other puppies and people and have a fun time.

If you would like more information about our Puppy Social Hour please contact Calling All Dogs