Common Questions About Dog Walking

Billings Dog WalkerTracie Morgan is a Certified Dog Walker, has dog first aid certification, and her B.S. degree in Social Science from Rocky Mountain College in Billings MT.  Tracie operates a dog walking service in Billings, Montana called Dogs ‘N Sync, LLC where she takes up to six dogs in a pack on daily 3 mile off-leash dog hikes to local public access area trails and parks.

1. Why should I have someone walk my dog?

Because a tired dog is a good dog and many behavior issues can be resolved when your dog gets enough daily exercise. Today’s dogs spend long lonely hours at home bored, sleeping, and even overeating. Dogs have a core need for daily activity and a yard where your dog has a place to play is not enough. Dogs do not have the same opinion of our backyards as we do, to a dog a backyard is a large kennel. The truth is that dogs do not self exercise and play when they are left alone. Instead, dogs tend to shut down when they are by themselves because dogs are social animals. A dog’s instincts tell them it is not good to be left alone or isolated from their pack. Dogs are entirely dependent on their humans for proper exercise and it is up to humans to provide adequate amounts of exercise for their beloved canine companions. For humans a well exercised dog means coming home to a calm dog and a nicer dog to be around.

2. Why isn’t my dog fine in the backyard?

One of the greatest misconceptions about dogs is the belief they will be healthy and happy living in the backyard. There is a strong connection between lack of exercise and socialization and behavior problems in dogs. Dogs were bred to perform specific jobs. Because they are not required to do these specific jobs now they need an outlet for their energy, relief from boredom, and time to display the particular characteristics of their breed. Dog’s genetics have prepared them to work, but many dogs are spending their lives confined to monotonous backyards. What are they doing to burn up all that energy? Many are barking, chewing, digging, whining, escaping, howling, and displaying hyperactive behavior. Your neighbors maybe complaining about the barking, escaping, whining, howling, and property destruction.

3. What is a Certified Dog Walker?

A certified dog walker is someone who has trained at a dog walking academy and learned pack management, dog communication and body language, aggression in all its forms: what it means, how to prevent it, and what to do about it, safely and fight protocols, basic training: build reliable recalls, sits, and polite leash behavior. A person who holds this title has learned from lectures, video analysis, demonstrations, hands-on exercises, and fieldtrips. Additionally, to achieve certification they must pass an extensive written test and a thorough field evaluation. A Certified Dog Walker is a trained professional.

4. Why is socialization important for my dog?

Dogs that have not been socialized or had enough experience around other dogs, people, and environments can be problematic. It is important for people to remember domestic dogs are not fully domesticated until they have been adequately trained and socialized. If a dog has only been partially socialized, it is much more dangerous than a wild animal, because wild animals keep their distance from people. Partially socialized dogs live with people and have greater opportunity to act inappropriately with a bite when spooked, frightened, or hurt. The lack of socialization is the major reason dogs become fearful of people, other dogs, other animals, and the environment. Unfortunately, for pet dogs, socialization is often the exception rather than the rule. It is reported that 60% of dog owner’s do not walk their dogs, which means the majority of domestic dogs are isolated in backyards and houses. As a result many of these dogs are unsocialized and are at greater risk of behaving inappropriately.

5. What if my dog is aggressive?

Dog owners often mistake their dogs as not liking other dogs or as aggressive. More often the reality is that the dog is unsocialized with other dogs and is therefore fearful and nervous around other dogs. Additionally, most owners are unwilling to let anxious or aggressive dogs play with other dogs. The dog is poorly equipped to meet the demands of domestic life. Of course, as an adult it will encounter many strange dogs, people, and environments and invariably will react in an antisocial manner. Aggression comes into the picture when the dog encounters something it is not socialized to. Socialization exercises can be conducted to overcome such anxieties towards other dogs, people, and environments. The dog can develop sufficient confidence to readily accept and be comfortable with new dogs, people, and places.

6. What are socialization exercises?

Daily dog walks where your dog experiences the opportunity to regularly interact with other people and dogs is a great socialization exercise. Your dog gets needed social interaction, mental stimulation, positive attention, and exercise. Another socialization exercise is regular dog play, which not only helps prevent aggressive behavior, it also builds confidence, burns off pent up energy, and provides a positive outlet for your dog’s natural instinct to socialize with other dogs. But one of the best ways to socialize your dog is in a walking group such as in a dog socialization and walking pack like those offered by Dogs ‘N Sync, LLC of Billings, Montana; http://www.dogsnsync.com.