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Advice please on accepting new dogwalker

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Lulu's owner, Aug 3, 2009.


  1. Lulu's owner

    Lulu's owner PetForums VIP

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    I wonder if anyone can help. I've just found a lovely professional dogwalker to walk my mum's ten year old yorkie a couple of times a week and introduced them today. Unfortunately Polly was a bit hostile, sulking and acting nervous in the house and very anxious for my reassurance when I took her for a stroll with the lady. She's coming on Friday and she'll bring a food treat plus we won't walk Polly for a couple of days beforehand so she'll be keener to go out. I really want this dogwalking arrangement to work out as my mum is disabled and can't walk the dog at all and I can do it three or four times a week so Polly would get an outing most days if she can be persuaded to go out with the dogwalker. The dogwalker says that unfortunately older dogs belonging to elderly people sometimes refuse point blank to go out with a dogwalker. Any advice on making things go smoothly would be greatly appreciated as I am so worried it will all go wrong and it's taken me a couple of years to persuade my mother to give this a try so it would be such a shame if Polly won't co-operate.
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Hi, if you mums dogs likes going for walks she might come round as soon as she realises this new person brings pleasure with her?

    Also what about introducing a clicker and encouraging her to walk with the dog walker, and treating for following?

    x
     
  3. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Near me there's quite a few elderly and disabled people who exercise their dogs using a mobility scooter, could your mum try this? The dog walker sounds like she knows what she's doing, and it could help if you could go with her the first few times.
     
  4. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    I agree with burrowzig, go out with the dog walker at least once, this way your mum's yorkie will feel safer and soon associate the new lady as a source of fun not fear. If Polly is displaying nervousness in the house, perhaps you could arrange to meet the walker at the end of the street and conveniently 'bump into each other' and then walk together. If you hold the lead initially and then discretely pass it to the lady part way through the walk, this might help the message to sink in. When you enter the house at the end of the walk Polly should feel more relaxed with her new friend :)
     
  5. Lulu's owner

    Lulu's owner PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for all the advice. Re clickers, I wonder if such an old dog can be trained to use it? Also, my mum is not hot on doggy discipline, to put it mildly. I would love her to get a mobility scooter but unfortunately she will not contemplate it, she thinks that you need to be able to drive a car to control one which I know is not true but it's hard to argue with a determined 80 year old! I did actually go a short walk with the dogwalking lady yesterday and Polly was quite clingy with me even when the lady had the lead. Maybe the idea of bumping into her accidentally on purpose a few times is a good idea. I was also wondering about just getting the dogwalker to visit half a dozen times, with no pressure to go out on the lead, and she could let Polly out for a wee and maybe just a tiny walk up the cul de sac with my mum watching from the garden, as my mum could just about manage to stand in the garden for a couple of minutes. What's worrying me is precisely because the dogwalker is so experienced and she says some dogs in this situation are so clingy with their owners that they will never, ever accept a new dogwalker. I was also thinking about it all last night and wondered about getting an elderly gentleman who has a labrador Polly is friendly with to go and knock on the door with his dog and see if Polly will go out as a little pack, the four of them.
     
  6. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Yes, older dogs can be clicker trained just as quickly as a younger one. Make sure that you have some high value treats and she'll be putty in your hands in no time. Clicker training is great for confidence building too, so definately worth exploring.

    Sounds like a good idea to ask your Mum's neighbour to join in the walks, if the lab is confident, it may rub off on Polly
     
  7. Lulu's owner

    Lulu's owner PetForums VIP

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    What's the best place to learn about clicker training? Do you just buy them in ordinary pet shops? And are all clickers basically the same?
     
  8. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Have a look at Karen Pryor's website Karen Pryor Clickertraining| dog training and cat training info, books, videos, events she pioneered clicker training so this is probably the best place to start. Have a good look through the site before starting because getting Poppy conditioned to the clicker is probably the most important part, so you need to walk before you run, so to speak!

    You tube is great for clicker clips too

    You can buy clickers in virtually all pet shops for around £2/£3. There are slight differences between brands but nothing to fuss about, just buy whichever is available.
     
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