22 September, 2016

Walking into trouble

I've friends who are professional dog walkers.
They are an absolute godsend to many owners who have to work, are ill, or for a number of reasons might need a reliable person to walk their dogs from time to time.
They are trusted not only with people precious dogs but also, in many cases hold the keys to their homes too.
Different dogs have different needs, some just need to be let out into the garden, some need a quick walk around the block, some need a longer walk and some off lead time.
A good dog walker will cater to your dog's needs, keep them safe from harm and not let them be a nuisance in public, won't they?
We seem to be seeing a rise in so-called pack walks. Large groups of dogs, with different needs and temperaments walking together. Some dogs, of course, love to be in a large group. but can a dog walker be in control of so many? Would your dog be safe amongst so many? How would members of the public perceive a large group of dogs running free?

Today whilst walking with a friend and our collective six dogs, I encountered such a walk.
At first, we just spotted one small terrier in the distance, then more dogs appeared.
We recalled out dogs and put 5 on lead (Both my friend and I have a reactive dog each) My steady GSD was left loose as he is friendly respectful and social with all dogs.
We were quickly surrounded by at least 10 dogs, 2 of them barking at our dogs. There were more than 10 altogether (20 or more I think), they had several on lead & many were walking some distance from the others.
No attempt was made by the walkers to recall them.
I politely asked for one walker to recall the dogs, pointing out we have enough dog related incidents reported without the need for more & was ignored.
I asked the second walker if he was a professional, walking other people's dogs & he confirmed he was, but wouldn't give me his card ( I offered mine)
On asking the 3rd (female) walker to please recall the dogs (which were now in my friend's dogs face) to get the dogs under control, she replied , "Your f%*cking dog's off lead" !!! Sure enough, he was and was happily sniffing in the bushes.

I'm sure the owners would be horrified if they knew the lack of control their dogs are under whilst in the care of these walkers.
Do you know what happens when your dog is out with one?
Could 3 people have off lead control over that many dogs?

This incident has been reported to the local authority and is backed by photographic and video evidence.
Maybe I should post a photo and we could see who recognises their dogs!!