August has been a busy month for us here at Green Dog Walking, with many new dogs joining our different packs in all our different locations in Hampstead, Day Care and Regents Park.
When a new dog is brought onto a walk, we always take certain precautions until we are certain the dog has bonded with the other dogs in their pack and our walkers. We have much experience making sure that new dogs and puppies are introduced as comfortably and carefully as possible. Every new dog will react differently to this experience and this applies to the pack as well, so of course, every time can go slightly differently but we use the same precautions throughout so they ease their way into the group.
First things first are making sure the dog is as calm as they can be at the beginning of the walk, we encourage them in the friendliest manner to get in and out of the van that picks them up. Our walks start with getting the group out of the van. We have learnt its best to get the new dog out of the van last. This means the walkers are in control of the pack and the new dog can be introduced on lead when the others are too. This creates an even meeting ground and can be introduced to everyone individually. At this point, no dog is better than the other so less chance of any slightly boisterous dogs bullying newbie in anyway.
Throughout the first walk, we keep this new cutie on the lead. We then let everyone else off as by this time they’re too excited to start their walk and have already had the chance on lead to say hello. More times than not, they go and play and have a run around with their friends, let’s call him Freddie instead of newbie, it’s easier that way. Some maybe more curious and want to keep saying hello and we as walkers keep a close eye on the pack.
Depending on Freddie and how the pack reacts, we try and let Freddie off the lead as soon as we feel confident everyone from the dogs to our walkers are happy, as a precaution, we make sure there is a tracker attached and watch Freddie like a hawk! But overall, our mantra is for all the dogs to be able to have as much fun and exercise as possible so this is best done when the dogs have a good run.
On the first few walks, the new dog will be finding their own role within the pack and although there may not have been any problems before hand when the dog was on the lead, now will be the time they will start to really integrate. Obviously, we want the dog to know their walkers well and bond as much as possible with them. At the end of the day they are in charge and we do a lot of work and training to make sure the whole packs listens. Our main priorities as dog walkers are for all our canine friends to gain our trust, for them to know they always need to come back when called and respect we are the alphas. One of the best ways of doing this is by using treats, paying each individual as much attention as possible and learn what makes them happy. They also get lots of cuddles which is massive perk of the job for us!
In some of our groups, it can take longer for Freddie to integrate, some it takes a matter of seconds and they already have a best friend. But either way, we have it covered and under control and Freddie can enjoy his group walks with his new friends!