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What progress can you expect with one walk per week?

dog socialisation dog walksI  Remember back to a client who had recently had issues with their dog acting up (ie launching to bite another dog ) when they went to a cafe.

They were wondering why this was happening, after all the dog has been walked for three years.

Dog walking is not dog training. In many ways it is superior. Both have to be performed regularly depending on what issues you are trying to overcome.

This is the scenario for a not walked small dog

A few years ago I was asked to walk this little dog who looked like it had never been outside of the house. It was 'manageable' in the owner's house - but considered 'naughty'. The truth was it was dominating most of the owners (at least in covert ways) and it was being punished for the wrong things.   When I went to get this dog for walks it would run around the other side of the house and try and bite me when I would pick it up. It was an anxious anti social dog.

After a few months of on lead walks, it was finally allowed off lead. It took longer than usual because I was only walking this dog for the client twice per week and they weren't walking it at all.

Then when their budget changed they could only afford one walk per week.

If a dog isn't socialised from birth to six months, it will always have social issues. This kind of dog can be taught to be social (as long as it is not red zone or has phobias) but it will never be 100% social. It really needs a minimum of 3 BIG walks per week with a dog walker to reduce the time taken for success. And preferably TWO walks by the owner for the rest of the week.

When you have an anti social dog able to be walked off lead and be 80% social, its an amazing achievement. BUT if you then reduce its walks to once per week, it will slowly reduce in its social ability and revert to the fear ridden dog it was before. Not completely, but it definitely wont progress to being at ease in public or with other dogs - particularly if the other dogs are not fully social.

THER IS NO MAGIC BULLET - dogs need off lead walks, as many as you can per week

My dog still has recall issues if there is a rabbit, cat, tram. postman or other numerous distractions).  He is brilliant in the dog park, the most social dog I have ever seen, but he gets 1-2 walks per day, and at least one of them is a long off lead dog walk with other dogs.  He doesn't have to know the other dogs to have fun.

He can understand which ones are social or not from body language far better than I can.

He is a dominant dog, but not aggressive. He is perfect to take out (as long as we don't see a postman).

People who have never had their dog out or take it out once per week can't understand the difference walks do for a dog's confidence and how much better and more relaxed they are around home. How a social dog should show no aggression except as a last resort for survival. How much healthier mentally and physically they soon become.

This should not be a hobby for the dedicated few who own dogs, but mandatory for anyone who does. It is easy to tell the difference for most dogs and most breeds between those walked once a month (very poor social skills), once a week, and 3 times minimum off lead a week.  I personally believe a big off lead dog walk every day is optimum for any dog, but understand the many reasons why people say they can't do this.

Even the most resiliently happy dog not walked regularly will have social issues, just like a human kept in a cell.  Your dog is made up of how often it is walked off lead and what it is fed. They are the two main things in its life, and everything else is just trimmings.

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Dog Walkers Melbourne

Dog Walkers Melbourne exists to provide Professional Dog walking and dog/ cat sitting servicesin Melbourne. This now includes 24 hour inhouse care - see our Pet Services page for full details

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