August 20, 2018
Rover-Time is delighted and proud to employ a team of dog walkers based locally in Chicago that are passionate about providing amazing care for their clients. The past few years has seen the rise of Rover and Wag on-demand dog walking apps, determined to provide immediate service that questions the level of professionalism, training, and safety not to mention a lack of personalization for the paying customer. Rover-Time loves providing its clients with a consistent dog walker so everyone can build a routine and trust with animals. Our team is defined by a company culture and values, which our most important differentiator from local and online competition.
I thought it would be fun to ask my dog walking team to share their professional knowledge on providing the best possible dog walk and as their Team Manager, I was impressed with their responses!
How do you define a good walk with a dog?
Vicky, who oversees customers living in the Old Irving to Mayfair area said, “I think a good dog walk lets the dog sniff and explore. They exercised (physically and mentally!) and went to the bathroom. They had a new experience or seemed to handle previously difficult experiences with greater ease. Their strut seems happy and wiggly and they look at me and seem happy. Sometimes, for certain dogs, it is a workout for physical exercise and I want to increase their endurance like an athlete. For older dogs it is increasing mobility and continuing to keep them active and moving, For nervous dogs it is instilling confidence and watching them grow calmer and more assured in differing situations. I also like to enjoy company and companionship of the dog, so we are both happy.”
How do you keep a dog focused on the trail?
Aaron, who manages our Avondale to Belmont Gardens customers says, “Keeping a dog focused can be tricky, and depends so much on the specific pooch! With my younger, less experienced pups, I like to keep treats in my back left pocket. I use these treats to reinforce and teach good behaviors and responses. Plus, when I reach for that pocket they know to pay attention! With some dogs all it takes is getting down on their level and calling them over for some love! This is great for snapping them out of their tunnel vision!”
What are some your key best practices while walking a dog?
Here’s my favorite thing to teach others: As a general rule, remember that dogs live much more in the moment we do. Considering a dog’s quirks that creates their unique personality is a really simple way to have a successful walk. Get to know what distracts them. Figure out what scares them. Have a deep understanding of what makes them reactive? I make a point to always scan my surroundings, noting anything that will pull a dog’s focus from me so we can avoid it, or work through the distraction together. Keeping a dog close to you and/or using treats can be helpful to reinforce ideal reactions to stimuli on walks.
The purpose of Rover-Time’s dog walking service and Collar Club is to create a shared space to exercise and socialize our dogs. We all know how important it is to be a responsible dog owner to raise confident, stable animals. We welcome all types of pups, and encourage pet parents who are working on reactivity and socialization issues to join us! Our dogs are always in training, and Collar Club will strive to be a constructive experience for everyone, regardless of what issues you’re working through.
If you have a reactive dog and you’ve laid down the foundation for your leash work in a group class, a great way to continue working on your skills and exposing your dog to others, is to join a group like Collar Club. It’s a terrific opportunity for any dog, reactive or not, to socialize with canine pals. Off-leash play isn’t the only game in town when it comes to socialization. Side by side walks, on leash, and training classes are fantastic social activities for your dog too!
JOIN US FOR COLLAR CLUB! At the walks we’ll have pet professionals, like Vicky, Aaron, and myself, on hand to help you problem solve your dog walking headaches. You’ll also meet new friends and dog-loving neighbors!
Katie Sullivan is the Team Manager at Rover-Time and has been with the company since 2015. She lives in Ravenswood with her two roommates (one of them being Rover-Time’s Operations Director, Becky Trombley) and a pittie named Gretchen. A Michigan transplant, she has been in Chicago for 4 years and is so happy to be here. She enjoys being involved in occasional theatrical productions and drinking oaky chardonnays.