Some people feel the family isn’t complete without a four-legged friend. Some people feel that pets are too much of an added commitment to take on while raising a family. Many are undecided and put up the good fight as their kids beg and plead for a dog, promising to do everything – while we know better. Urban Suburban Mommy caught up with Koryn Greenspan, CEO, handler and Walker of Urban Dog Walks to ask the questions you know you want to know about getting a dog.
1. At what age do you feel kids are ready for a dog in the home?
I love seeing families with dogs as well as kids with dogs. When properly managed, raising children with dogs provides a deeper level of caring, instills earlier responsibility – and a whole other element of fun is mixed into daily life for the little ones, the dogs and for the parent. What parents need to remember is, children are still children. Just as they are not yet ready to care for themselves, they too are not yet ready for the responsibility of caring for a whole other being – like a dog. As long as responsibility and expectations are managed from the start, I’d say any age is really the best age to bring a dog into the home. Just keep in mind that, for the most part, you will be the dog’s caregiver, not your child.
2. Is a smaller dog easier to handle than a bigger dog?
Given the right environment and proper provision of any dog’s needs, all dogs are relatively easy to handle. The key is to finding the right dog for the right home and the right handler/family life. Small dogs have different needs from that of their larger contemporaries, however, that does not necessarily mean they are easier to handle. All dogs have different needs – I’ve met some very little dogs who have given their humans quite a run for their money 😉
3. How many walks per day does a dog need?
One of the greatest gifts you can give your dog is consistency; once you have a schedule for them I would suggest trying to stick to it as best you can. There are two basic types of walks that every dog requires in a day. ‘Business transactions’ so to speak, and leisure/exercise walks. Both are completely necessary every day. I’d say at a minimum 4 ‘Business Transactions’ and 2 others for an exercise, mind engaging walk or run. Both of these walks should be 45 mins to an hour minimum.
4. Is it different for puppies from older or senior dogs – or is this best for all dogs When house training?
5. Every dog is different, every dog has different needs and every dog is at a different stage in their overall health and physical needs. With that being said, as a general rule of thumb:
Senior Dogs do have an advantage as, for the most part, they are house trained and can go 6+ hours without needing to be let out.
When effectively executed, house training for puppies can be accomplished in 3 – 7 days.
However, before 3 months, puppies do need regular supervision as well as as many opportunities to go outside as possible. Training starts the minute you bring them into their new home and the responsibility to provide consistency in scheduling, as well as house training expectations is for you to set and for them to follow. Set them up for success in all areas of their new life, especially in the area of house training. Remember, they WANT to go outside. Dogs are clean animals and respect the place where they sleep the most.
Ultimately, you know your dog best and will know what your dog’s needs are in order to ensure their happiness and wellbeing. As a general rule of thumb, at a minimum, 4 outs for ‘business transactions.’ Remember, 95% of “bad” dog behavior occurs when their needs are not being met.
6. Are there breeds that are better for families – more specifically young kids?
Labs, Golden Retrievers and Doodles are always a fam fave.
Each are incredibly loving, loyal & fun
7. Crating – yes or no?
New puppy – Yes Crate!
Middle Aged Dog – Depends On How You Feel.
Senior Bear – Likely Not
The greatest gift you can give a puppy is a crate. Remember, dogs are innately pack animals that ‘den’. By giving your puppy a crate, you are giving it a home, a place, a spot and a den to call its own. If effectively managed, this will become one of their favorite places to be and can be an incredibly valuable tool while house training.
As your dog matures, you will fall into a groove. When this happens some people choose to use the crate some of the time (when they go out), most of the time (for sleeping purposes as well) and rarely if ever (the crate is left in the home just in case and for the comfort of the dog).
Then we have the Senior Dogs AKA ‘Beloved Beauties’. Rarely-to-n,ever is the crate used and by all means this is most definitely ok (unless the crate is still used on the daily which is a perfectly acceptable option).
8. How many dogs can you walk at one time – sometimes it looks like dog-walkers are about to get dragged away?
Oh, that’s hilarious!
Personally I can easily manage 10 dogs at one time, however, there are laws in place for professional Dog Walking Companies. Dog Walkers are legally aloud to walk a max of 6 dogs at a one time, a rule that I personally believe in. Myself and all Urban Dog Walks employees abide by this guideline.
As for being dragged away, nope, not on our watch!
I have created a unique walking technique that all of us at Urban Dog Walks employ when out on our walks. Basically all of our paws are attached to one harness and each has a different length of leash to walk with. UDW’s focus is structured, on leash walks with an emphasis on socialization, safety, exercise and fun. It is a true pack mentality that is created by walking in this way, and the dogs just love it.
9. Do you ever find incompatible dogs?
Just like people, not all dogs get along … and that’s ok!
Urban Dog Walks conducts meet and greets prior to all walks, and upon joining the UDW family. I like to get a sense of each of our clients personalities & what their needs are. The integrity & safety of each existing pack is always top of mind and if a personality conflict were to arise they are simply placed in a different group or transitioned into a different walking structure. Thankfully, there has never been an instance where a true conflict has occurred.
UDW does offer a Solo Walk option. Some dogs just prefer to be on their own.
10. Allergies being what they are – are there any really ‘hypoallergenic’ dogs?
Good news, hypoallergenic dogs do exist and are not unicorns!! Ready, Set, Doodle!
With regard to hypoallergenic dogs they are literally heaven sent. I know many an allergic human who snuggles up on the daily with their doodle and they could not be happier about it. Word to the wise, this breed does require regular grooming as their fur tends to matt extremely easily. I work with a dozen or so doodles and they are divine. Being hypoallergenic is the extra bonus – they are all just too sweet all of the time.
Koryn Greenspan is the CEO of Urban Dog Walks. Urban Dog Walks is an upscale, professional dog walking & dog care company she started as a passion project, and has boomed into a full dog care service providing business. Koryn is a forever pet lover, a previous professional dog walker as well as handler.