General

Positively Dog Walking

Why hire a professional dog walker when I could hire a neighbour/kid/friend/etc.? Is a question I’m sure quite a few people have. Yes, I’m quite sure that you can hire all of the above. Although I think there are much better reasons to hire a professional dog walker.

What makes us different?

  • Our business is insured and bonded
  • We have been serving the Okotoks area for 4 years
  • We have current Pet First Aid
  • We have current criminal record checks
  • Our Lead Walker is currently attending a dog training apprenticeship program
  • We attend various courses and seminars on animal training, care and well being. Continued education is very important to us.
  • We are current members of Pet Sitters International

Our Walking Tools

  • On our walks we use flat buckle collars, martingale collars (for dogs that can slip their collar easily), head collars or harnesses.
  • Most dogs are clipped to our hands free walking belt on walks. The length of the leashes can extend from 1 foot to 6 feet to allow more space as needed (this is done by clips and “O” rings). The hands free belt is used as a safety tool and is like our safety belt to your dog. We use this as we found not all leashes are easy to use with thick winter gloves on, the buttons on retractable leashes can be faulty, and also the leash is impossible to drop or let go of.
  • Poop bags are attached to our belt and all waste is deposited in the garbages where appropriate.
  • Tasty low calorie treats (Freeze dried beef liver, 3-5 calorie small training treats) are used as rewards. For dogs with sensitivities, their own kibble may be used.

We don’t use

  • Prong Collars, choke chains, slip leads, shock collars, citronella collars or other aversive walking tools.
  • Aggressive Positive Punishment (adding something to stop or alter behaviour I.e. kicking, hitting, yanking on the leash etc.)

What are some things we do to help dogs walk better? I.e. pulling, barking

  • Usually we’ll prime the relationship we have with the dog by simply “Yes” and giving a treat. This is repeated a few times so they understand that the word “Yes” gets them a reward.
  • “Yes” May also be used to help improve behaviour, if a dog is walking better or nicely we will use the “Yes”/treat cue to encourage the better behaviour
  • We use a treat as a lure in our hand to help coax the dog away from something they may be pulling towards, or barking at.
  • Make interesting sounds to get the dogs attention back to us.
  • Stop & Go: if a dog is pulling we stop walking and wait for the dogs attention to come back to us, then we continue the walk
  • While this list is certainly not exhaustive, our aim is to provide force free/positive reinforcement methods to encourage the best behaviour from our dogs.

Disclaimer: please note our blog is not a substitute for the advise from a professional behaviourist or trainer. We recommend contacting a professional trainer or veterinarian for any questions regarding your pets behaviour. Please use caution when working with any animal. We are not responsible for the use of misuse of any information on our blog.

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Happy Thanksgiving for you and your pet!

thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it often brings to mind cherished time with family and loved ones. With a table filled with such dishes as turkey, ham, potatoes, gravy and the like. Wonderful conversation and great togetherness to celebrate what we are thankful for.

For the busyness of the occasion it is better to be prepared as there can be dangers in sight of your pets. If you’re worried about how your animals will react around people or if you have just introduced a new pet-family member to your household, there are a few good things to implement as prevention to pet emergencies and the like.

A few things you can do in preparation are:

  • making sure your pets are well exercised before company arrives (walk your dog or play with your cat for at least 30 minutes) as any pent up energy could be released on un-expecting house guests.
  • Be sure not to allow any access to cooked bones to your pets, for example turkey bones and ham bones, as these are frail and may splinter easily.
  • Give your dog something to do while you sit down for dinner, mine enjoy getting a beef knuckle as they have to chew around all the crevices in order to get at the meat and marrow.
  • Feed the animals before dinner so they have full stomachs and may be less likely to beg at the table.

Great Thanksgiving Treats for your pets

  • Pureed sweet potato or pumpkin
  • Raw ham bone
  • Raw turkey neck and giblets
  • Thanksgiving themed canned food

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!