Introducing your dog to a new person – especially when they’re going to be as important and present in your pup’s life as a walker – can be a stressful experience for both you and your furry friend. However, with the right approach, you can ensure a successful meet and greet that sets the stage for a positive relationship between your dog and their new caregiver.

1. Choose the walker that’s right for you and your dog

First and foremost, it’s important to choose a walker who is experienced and knowledgeable about dogs and understands how to treat each dog as an individual. This will help ensure that they are able to handle any challenges that may arise during the introduction process and beyond! Make sure that the service they offer fits you and your dog’s needs.

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2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Ask about their experience and background with dogs. How long have they been walking dogs? Do they have any certifications or training in animal care? Beyond that though, watch how they interact with your dog – are they compatible? When hiring a dog walker, not only do you need someone trustworthy and reliable, but you also want your dog to enjoy spending time with them. It’s also important to find out about any of the other dogs they will be walking with yours – if it’s a group walk or countryside daycare – so ask away!

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3. Don’t be afraid to answer questions!

Provide the walker with all necessary information about your dog’s routine, preferences, and any special needs they may have, but also be prepared for questions from the walker. They will want to know about any medical conditions or allergies that the dog may have. This information will help the walker avoid any potential health risks during the walk. Additionally, they will ask about your pooch’s behaviour around other animals and people in order to help prevent any potential conflicts or accidents. Knowing if the dog has any specific triggers or fears will also help the walker provide a comfortable and stress-free experience for your dog. 

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4. Let your dog take the lead (figuratively, not literally!)

Allow your dog to take the lead during the meet and greet. It is important to pay attention to your dog’s behaviour in order to determine if they are comfortable in the situation. One of the first signs that a dog is at ease during a meet and greet is a relaxed body posture. A dog that is comfortable will have their ears up and tail wagging in a friendly manner. Your pup may also approach the walker with a relaxed gait and make eye contact. Additionally, dogs that are comfortable will often show signs of affection towards the walker, such as licking their hand or leaning into them for pets. On the other hand, if a dog seems tense or fearful during the meet and greet, it is important to give them space and time to acclimate to the new person.

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5. Remember that building a good relationship takes time

Finally, be patient and give both your dog and their new walker time to adjust to each other. Building trust takes time, so don’t rush the process. The first step in establishing trust is to be patient and consistent in interactions with your dog, so allow them to build that relationship. Dogs are highly intuitive animals and can sense when someone is genuine and trustworthy – they’ll be besties in no time!

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