The canine species did not, of course, evolve in a city. As wolves, their thousands of years of evolution were not influenced by freeways, cars with thousand-watt stereos, joggers, domesticated cats and the need to walk among humans on concrete and asphalt. They hunted in packs, usually at night, and relied heavily on the firm & confident leadership skills of the pack's alpha.
So it's important to introduce a dog - especially a young dog - to all the wonders, chaos, sights, sounds & smells of our world. But it's absolutely essential that those introductions be made properly.
In the city, there are so many stimuli all around us. Buses, cars, trucks, kids on skateboards, bicycles, people in wheelchairs, and on and on. If the person holding the leash reacts to any of these inappropriately, so will the dog.
The opposite is also true: When the leash holder is a strong, confident leader (appropriate alpha behavior) then that's what he learns. Walking the dog is not just about exercise, every outing is a wonderful opportunity to learn & grow. You’re the alpha of the pack and he’s counting on you for strong, confident, appropriate leadership.
The best gift a dog can receive is a proper introduction to the sights, smells, sounds, other animals, people, streets, traffic, diverse weather
conditions and all the curiosities of the world around him. When he learns the right way to respond to this human environment, he'll be the happiest & healthiest he can be.
Dogs have many needs that the average owner simply doesn't see. As a dog owner, do you really know what he's trying to tell you with all the different sounds he makes? Do you know what he's asking for with the different motions he makes? Do you know what it means when he appears to be yawning? Do you know that well-exercised dogs are much less prone to destructive and disruptive behavior, barking and separation anxiety?
Also… do you think you can recognize the symptoms of common ailments & conditions? There are many, especially among pure-bred species. Would you recognize glaucoma symptoms? Distemper? Kennel cough? What to do when he has diarrhea or vomiting?
I have the answers to these questions and many more. This is my life's work. I've been on thousands of walks with hundreds of dogs. I have the experience and the expertise to recognize your dog's individual needs according to his temperament, age and physical condition.
Call me. Your dog will thank you for it. -Harriette
"To me, it's not just dog walking. It's canine socialization in a real-world environment."
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