Walking dogs, safety and communication
- Sign in, grab baggies for poop collection, a leash and martingale collar.
- Enter the kennel calmly. Maintain positive control of the dog at all times.
- Latch the kennel door behind you from the inside
- Keep the dog from jumping on you – walk toward the dog
- Calm the dog before putting the 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.
- “wait” with hand command to reinforce
- Give dog time to be calm, let leash go slack when dog is calm
- “come” – exit kennel with dog following you.
- 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.
- Have the dog walk quietly on your left side after getting through each gate.
The dog should move calmly enough so the leash can be slack.
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.
Re-direct dog if it tries to pull or led you. “Look” to get dog’s attention.
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 the pup has a toy. When in doubt, give a tire toy, which should be safe for all the dogs, unless there is a sign on their kennel indicating otherwise.
- Latch kennel door on the outside when you leave the dog’s kennel
It may take a bit longer to get them out of their kennel, they will be 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, wait, look, come, to develop patience.
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
Lori and Mark keep an eye out for the dogs for safety. Please use the online calendar when possible 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.
- Record information.
Check off which dog you walked on the white board.
Write down anything positive you want to communicate about the dog.
We have a binder on volunteer desk with an information sheet (observations of dogs behavior, personality). We keep this information up to date for the adoption team.
Dog walkers can not come alone, 2 or more walkers are required. 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.
- 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.
- You do not need to muzzle them when you walk them,
- But be extra careful when they are around each other without a muzzle.
- Fights can escalate quickly.
- Keep males away from females.
- 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 back yard, walk it all around the inside of the perimeter. Otherwise the dog may run full speed right into the fencing.