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A Dog's Journey with their Dog Walker

Arch​ie (pictured above)

Onyx (pictured above)

16/11/2020

Over the 11 and a half years of being a dog walker I have seen many dogs blossom in confidence and really come out of their shell, just by being with me and other dogs. 


 I do group walks 3 times a day. Many clients don’t mind which walk they are on so more often than not; each dog has met most of the other dogs I walk. This gives me a perfect opportunity to create perfect walking groups, by matching dogs with friends they like to play with or friends they like to just simply sniff around with.


Adding a new dog into the groups is often exciting and sometimes a little nerve wracking as you’re never always 100% sure how well they will fit in. I love to learn about their personalities and who they will make friends with first. Their first walk is usually the start of every dog's journey with Coastal Canine Pet Services. 


 Here I’m going to take you on a couple of journeys of the dogs who have started with me and still walk with me regularly. 


Onyx

When I first met Onyx, he was very nervous of meeting new people, especially in his own home. Our first meeting was our meet and greet consultation in which Onyx spent most of the time hiding behind his mum. Whenever he tried to pluck up the courage he backed away and barked. As the consultation came to a close, he very wearily took a small tit bit from me, but very quickly retreated behind his mum again.  


His first day with me, came with a bit of a challenge. I entered the house on my own, with mum and dad at work and called out to him so he knew I was there and I didn’t startle him. I went into the kitchen, and he started barking at me straight away, backing away. I bent down to him so I was on his level and held out my hand of treats to try and gain trust. Talking calmly and allowing him to come over to me. I managed to gain enough trust to slip on his harness and walk calmly to the van. We hit another challenge. The van. Onyx was too nervous to get in the van with who to him was a stranger. I took him back in the house and sat with him for a little bit.


I returned after work and spent some extra time with Onyx. Success! I entered the house and called out, and he only barked a little. He allowed me to put on his harness quicker and walk to the van. I used tasty treats to gain his trust to lure him into the van with no other dogs in there. This made it less overwhelming. I got in the back of the van with him to boost his confidence and show him nothing bad will happen, and let him check out his surroundings. He got back out the van and jumped back in himself! I was so proud, and so pleased for him!  


The next time I returned, he was pleased to see me and jumped in the van with no trouble, and was really pleased to see his new friends. Success!


To this present-day Onyx is coming out regularly with me, he doesn’t bark at me and pulls me down the drive to the van to come and see his friends. On the walks he regularly comes in for a cuddle with me and tasty treat. He plays with his new friends, and is a confident, bouncy happy boy when out with me. He will say hello to the occasional person on a walk, still with some caution but stays calm, in the knowledge his canine friends are nearby. Its been amazing to be part of his journey to grow his confidence and trust in new people.  


Archie

Archie's past is a little vague. He’s a Romanian rescue bought to England, and spent a few weeks in a Foster home with other dogs, before landing on his paws with his new mum.


When I first took Archie out, he didn’t want to leave the house, and hid behind his mum. Completely understandable. His thoughts may have been I am being taken away again.


Although Archie was social with other dogs, he was still very unsure about walking in an unknown group. It appeared he preferred the girls to boys, but was more unsure about the larger males, so there may of been a bad experience with another large male dog in the past.  


Luckily in my group walks I have a good mixture of both males and females. He started off walking in a group of mainly females and just one male dog. Archie seemed to approve of him in the group and was happy to have him around, because he kept himself to himself.


He didn’t like water and mud at all either so when it first rained in summer and left a few puddles, he did everything in his power to make sure he walked around them.


As time has passed, Archie has walked every day. And still is walking with me everyday. He has met lots of new dogs, small and large, males and females of all breeds and sizes and is learning how to relax around them. Being in a sociable group has taught Archie, that not all dogs are scary. He has started to play with others too, so has learnt how play and when to stop. He also wades through the puddles happily and also tries to chase others out to play. I have also been told by his mum, that he sits by the front door waiting for me everyday, and if I haven’t got to him by a certain time he starts barking!  


Being with a dog walker can have many benefits for different dogs. At Coastal Canine Pet Services, I understand that for some dogs it can be daunting, and this takes time and patience, but the success of overcoming hurdles is so rewarding for both me as the dog walker and the dog. Different dogs come from different backgrounds, so their needs can be very different.


In the journeys of these 2 dogs, one has learnt to trust some new people. I believe being around other canine companions has given them confidence and reassurance of other people. When their friends say hello to others, they can see not everyone is frightening. The other dog has learnt how to play with other dogs and see not all dogs are scary. He’s learnt to love life out in the woods with me and his new friends. His fear of water is much better, after seeing his friends jumping and wading through them. He now doesn’t avoid the puddles and walks through them instead.


They certainly have fallen on their paws coming out with Coastal Canine Pet Services.  

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