DOG WALKING: GROUP DOG OR SOLO?




So if at this moment you're thinking "Is this what I'm signing up for?" when it comes to group walks -- this is definitely not the Funk + Waggers way. You may have seen them on the city streets, for sure you’ve seen pictures online -- folks with a multitude of dogs, excitedly, tethered to a dog walker in a tangle of leashes and carabiners clipped to a belt.

So at this moment I’m thinking... you’re thinking… “Holy, is this how it goes?” “Is this what I’m signing up for with Funk + Waggers?” “Will my guy be one of those dogs lost in the pack?” “Maybe I should do a solo walk?”

We are here to share with you; 1) we never ever do giant pack walks of 5+ dogs, and 2) Group or Solo walks or a combination of both is completely and totally up to you.

With a great crew of pups in our service areas, there is no shortage of canine companionship for your fur-buddy to enjoy, if you're looking for a group walk. Please know that we never take more than 4 dogs on a single group walk. This a good size group for dogs to socialize with, and manageable for the walker. Each dog is on their own lead and for safety we never use leash splitters or retractable leashes.

Group Walk Benefits 1. Socialization and Behaviour Much depends on the personality of your dog and what your needs are, but if you have an easy-going, friendly pup, finding a compatible group to walk the ‘hood with would be pretty easy. Instead of dog parks, we prefer the fun and socialization that comes with a compatible crew on a group walk. However, if your pooch requires one-on-one time due to age, medical or behavioural needs we are happy to provide an engaging solo walk. Some folks like to mix it up and schedule a bit of both - one day a fun group walk with some friends, the next walk solo for a little extra attention from us and a refresher on basic commands and manners. When booking your dog’s walk(s) simply book the type of walk, and we’ll be sure to schedule accordingly.

2. Routine and FitnessWhen coordinating our walk schedule we definitely take into consideration the size, demeanour and energy level of the dog along with the duration of the walk requested. With walks ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour and up to 2 hours, and a bi-weekly Adventure Hike we have plenty of options to suit your dog’s fitness level and your need. Some dogs like a brisk stroll, others like to sniff the daisies, as they meander along. We make sure your pet is matched up with the appropriate posse, to maximize their enjoyment no matter if they are going around the block or on an extended trek. The best part, group walks frequently last longer than the time booked, which client’s are never billed for. We have a great time with your pet’s and want to ensure they each have an awesome time too!

Does my dog always walk with the same group?We work to coordinate your pup into a relatively consistent “pack”, but with vacation days, shift changes, and other actions that can impact our client’s and their schedules, we can’t guarantee your pooch will always be with the same crew. We alway consider each dog on the schedule and who their walk-mates will be, to ensure camaraderie and an engaging experience.

Solo Dog WalksFor as many reasons as there are for group walks, there are just as many considerations for solo walks. Maybe you want your dog to receive their own personalized time one-on-one time. Maybe they are “pullers” and need a little focus on leash-work before moving into group walks. They could be a little older and would prefer to mosey, and we are happy to let them patrol their neighbourhood how they choose. Or maybe you have a reactive dog that needs some focused attention to build their confidence and provide positive one-on-one experience.

Adventure Hike ExperienceFor city dogs that would love the adventure of a country outing, we offer a special Adventure Hike bi-weekly (second and last Friday of each month). Dogs are on long training leads and are able to bound up hills, splash through rivers, trot across suspension bridges and navigate through the tall grass. So many new sights and new smells -- it is a completely invigorating adventure.

Which option is best for your dog? Whether group or solo, there is no right or wrong -- Funk + Waggers is here for you and happy to coordinate a walking routine that provides your dog with the best walking experience. So while Harry Potter a.k.a. Daniel Radcliffe (pic above) won't be walking your pooch, what is the most important -- your dog gets out for a happy break, exercise, bio-break and a brain-break.

Contact us today! Please don’t hesitate to contact us -- we would love to hear from you! To schedule a call time/day that works for you: Funk + Waggers Consult Call Email: info@funkandwaggers.com Or connect with us by using the contact form on our website www.funkandwaggers.com.

Happy Tails!

About the author: Tori is a lifetime pet lover who spends her days joyously caring for and engaging with her clients and their dogs and cats. She is the owner of Funk + Waggers, a south west Toronto, south Etobicoke and south Mississauga area based dog walking, puppy support, dog and cat sitting company. Her objective is to share with pet owners everywhere the importance of exercise, engagement, and leadership for raising happy, thriving, well adjusted pets.

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