Why groups of four dogs or less?

Dogs are sociable pets, who love walking in the company of other dogs, however, in some circumstances, it’s better for the dog if they are walked on a one handler per dog or two dogs basis, rather than in a larger group.

Dog Dynamics

Just like humans, dogs don’t always get along with their counterparts. Temperaments can clash, some breeds are predatory, some are territorial while others breeds may be independent and adventurous. Some dogs may be quite fearful, other dogs can get over-excited quite easily.

Unforeseen Circumstances

There are many circumstances when dogs have been walked together in large groups, where dogs become “lost”, some disappearing for most of the day. Walkers don’t always inform their owners of this, as there is always hope that they will be found before the end of the day.

Recently, in Highgate Woods, a Keeper was spotted walking with a dog on a lead that had escaped from a  group walk. The Keeper had spoken to the dog’s owner, who was informed that she was on holiday, overseas, but the dog was supposed to be in the care of the dog walker. The Keeper was looking after the dog, waiting for the dog walker to contact him for a safe return of the dog.

On another occasion, I found a Chiwawa that had run away and who started to follow me up and down the High Road. The best option was to take the dog to the local vets.


One Client has recently changed her dog from large group walks to solo dog walks, as the dog had become very nervous and shy as a result of being bullied by other dogs in the walking group, which resulted in her dog to refuse to walk.

Another problem that arises is when dogs go missing from kennels, home boarders and dog day-carers, as a result of the handlers having just too many dogs to look after, per person to dog ratio. Some of these dogs have been known to be missing for days before eventually being returned to their owners.

Even worse situations have arisen with dog walkers collecting pets in their vehicles; not only is there the worry that dogs are kept in the heat of a van for a long while whilst other dogs are being picked up, but the added scenario when they have not been adequately restrained and have gone on to fight and in once situation killed another dog. Dogs hate travelling in large groups with other dogs. It is extremely stressful for them.

No matter if the dog is on or off the leash, each dog included in a group intensifies the potential for distraction, lost dogs, injury and conflict, not to mention that it is also virtually impossible to give individual attention to each dog. It’s crucial that a dog walker is able to deal with any emergency situation should one arise.

So when you are looking for a dog walker, and you compare fees, ask yourself – is your dog’s life worth the extra fee per walk or not? How much would you pay for your lost or deceased pet to be returned to you?

Throughout the summer, you will often see “new faces” setting up a casual dog walking businesses, charging very low fees around £7 to £10. It’s something to do on a sunny day, earning some cash walking dogs in the park, however, the majority of these new walkers have no previous experience working with dogs, and most importantly, are not insured.

Finchley Dog Walker are fully insured with Pet Business Insurance to cover Public Liability and Care, Custody and Control of all dogs that we look after during the course of each day.

So if you consider that our fees are slightly higher than that of other walkers, be reassured,  Finchley Dog Walker offer bespoke dog walking services, and generally on a one-to-one basis.

We also have the back-up and support from Tip Top Dog School and local behaviourist Penaran Higgs (www.petshrink.co.uk), which enables us to offer bespoke dog walking for the shy, nervous or reactive dog.

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