Walking dogs, safety and communication
Walkers & handlers will need to complete a minimum of 2 shifts with an experienced volunteer prior to working unsupervised.
- Sign in, read all notes on large white board, grab baggies for poop collection, and a leash.
- Take martingale collar from each pups muzzle and attach leash. Enter the kennel calmly.
- Use the command “back up” when entering. Maintain positive control of the dog at all times.
- Latch the kennel door behind you from the inside and use command “back-up” and move to the back of the kennel.
- Keep the dog from jumping on you by holding collar and using command “down”
- Calm the dog before putting the collar/leash on.
- Praise and pet the dog – reinforce dog looking at you, paying attention, being calm
- If it’s a dog that needs extra “control”, or if the walker wants more physical control, create a harness by “wrapping” the dog. Experienced dog handlers can show you how.
- Help the dog exit the kennel quietly, under your control.
- Command “wait” with hand command to reinforce
- Give dog time to be calmer and back out of doorway in front of hound
- Command “come” – exit kennel with dog at your left side.
- Use the “wait” command to control the space when going through each gate.
- Reinforce calm behavior and paying attention to you, looking at you.
- Go slowly out of each gate or door, and only move forward when you give the “come” command that it’s okay to move forward.
- Wrap right hand through and around leash loop and guide dog by holding leash closer to pup with your left hand. Use both hands until hound is out and walking well.
- Never get ahead of your hound. They should be at your side or ahead of you or they can slip collar.
- Have the dog walk on your left side after getting through each gate.
Loop of leash in right hand, left hand nearer the dog for control if needed
Then calm before being let off the leash to run in the playground. No playground if it is over 88 degrees.
Use the commands “stop” and “ok” while walking often to teach the grey how to walk well.
Stop and wait a moment OR get dog’s attention by walking in a circle
Firm grip on a short leash will prevent jumping up on anyone
- Take the dog through each gate and return to their kennel in the same manner.
- Give one biscuit and before you leave the kennel, check to make sure kennel is safe.
- Latch kennel door on the outside when you leave the dog’s kennel
- Check off which dog you walked on the white board
It may take a bit longer to get them out of their kennel, but they will benefit by becoming more adoptable. The more energetic dogs will need more time & more practice. You are using the same commands that you use with your own dog, back-up, wait, come, stop, ok to develop patience and increase their vocabulary.
Other things you should know:
If it’s last minute, please text 727-359-9980 before you head out.
Password & user name all lower case
Please schedule your visit after 8″30 AM, and please finish before dusk.
Lori and Mark keep an eye out for the dogs for safety. Please use the online calendar or give a text/phone message prior to coming out at 727-359-9980
- Sign in on the volunteer sign in sheet. Sign out and total time before you leave. (Total volunteer hours are reported to board and used for matching grants).
- Check the white board and volunteer desk for any information on the dogs. Staff may also post information on a dog on its kennel.
- Leave a note (on the pad on the volunteer sign in desk) for Lori and Mark regarding any concerns (limps, wounds, fleas, ticks, runny eyes, depression, ticks, blood or worms in stool); you don’t need to report loose stool. Date and write your name on any notes left.
- Use the purple and white binder to record your information about each dogs personality, quirks, or issues.
Dog walkers walking dogs outside of the pens must walk in pairs or more. This is due to safety concerns for the walkers and the dogs, should something unanticipated occur. Exemptions can be made with approval of the board. You may walk hounds without a partner in the fenced areas while the caregivers are in house (9am-11:30am) and (4:45pm-7:30pm)
- Walk the dogs around the barn, to the playgrounds, but not up by the gate or the house
- At the end of the day, make sure the clips on all of the gates have been secured
- In high heat or humidity, limit exercise, walks not playing in the pens, and keep dog cool
- Do not let the dog chew on plants, as some plants could be hazardous
- It’s a good idea to wash hands after working with each dog.
- Prevent dog fights. Keep at least 6 feet away from other dogs
- Be careful when others are walking dogs around.
- But be extra careful when they are around each other.
- Fights can escalate quickly.
- Keep males away from females. Walk all hounds of the same gender at a time, then walk the other gender.
- Most of the dogs are not neutered yet.
- Be especially careful when a female is in heat.
- When the dog is new at the AC, before letting the dog run in a playground or their backyard, walk it all around the inside of the perimeter. Otherwise, the dog may run full speed right into the fencing.
- Do NOT let the hounds RUN in the pens if it is hot out.