July 26, 2013

Meet-and-Greets on Walks–and Why we Don’t do Them

Author: Gail Brasie

Safety First! Why A Professional Dog Walker May Avoid Meeting You or Your Dog On A Walk.

Dog Meet and GreetsMeet-and-Greets during dog walks have the potential to be positive experiences–but they can also turn negative quickly. For caution’s sake, Floofins and Company avoids meet-and-greets during scheduled dog walks.  
While on a walk with your dog, it may be tempting to say hello and greet the other dogs you see walking with their parents–and after all, why not?  You’re clearly a dog lover, so wouldn’t you want to say hello to other dog lovers and their dogs?  Maybe your dog and their dogs can become friends. Or maybe not. For your dog’s safety, Floofins and Company Dog Walkers do not engage in meet-and-greets during walks.  
Maybe that other dog is dog or people-reactive, which doesn’t mean they’re a bad dog, it just means perhaps you should keep your distance. Or maybe it’s your dog that has a hard time around other dogs, or even just some other dogs. One our walker’s Shiba Inus, for instance, has sworn enemies and friends, for no discernible reason.  
The overall point being, at Floofins and Company, when we walk your dogs, we do not do meet and greets. If we see another dog approaching, we cross the street or at least pull over onto the parkway until the other pooch passes. This is just to take any element of surprise out of the equation. The truth is we never know how a strange dog will react with the dog we’re walking, and we’re not going to take any chances of an aggressive encounter.
This actually applies to people as well. Your dog is adorable, and so when we’re on a walk, people who pass us often say, “oh, what a cute dog! Can I say hi?” And the answer is a very polite but unequivocal “No.” We simply tell other pedestrians that we’re not the dog’s owner and can’t have contact with other folks.  
Usually other pedestrians are very understanding of this. The reason the Floofins and Co. pet care specialists and dog walkers don’t let strange people pet your dog is to protect your pup–we don’t know the person, so they need to keep a respectful distance.  
It might all seem a touch antisocial, but the motive behind our behavior and our company policy is safety, not snobbery or even shyness. Your dog’s well-being is incredibly important to us, and we’ll do whatever we can to maintain that well-being. It’s all to keep our dog walks as safe and enjoyable as possible.   

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