Dogs are social animals and both need and want playtime with other pups. When dogs are introduced to others, it is normal to see them create a hierarchy and pack among the group. Much of this has to do with the individual dog’s temperament and personality as well as the breed itself. Dogs benefit greatly by being around other dogs, and when it comes to New York dog walking, it is no different. That said, when it comes to dog walking, studies have found that there is a “sweet spot” regarding the number of dogs walking together. The consensus among the researchers is that no more than three dogs together on a dog walk makes the dogs fall into a natural ease with each other, letting them concentrate more on play than on establishing group dynamics and pack behavior. NYC dog walking requires knowing how many pups to walk as well as how they are going to socialize.
Puptopia takes this research into consideration and places a limit of three dogs per NYC dog walking group, or as we like to call them “Pup Posses.” According to the ASPCA, a group of three dogs during a walk allows each dog to receive individual attention from the dog walker, interaction with the other two dogs, and ample time to stroll and exercise. The dog walker has better control and is able to assist the dogs with any anxiety or issues. Puptopia “Indie Pup” walks are just as the name suggest, just the NYC dog walker and the dog. This allows the dog to have as much custom time as needed, particularly important when walking the frantic, manic streets of the city.
During the time spent dog walking in Manhattan, Puptopia understands the need for personal attention and care for your beloved animal. Adhering to the research means the dogs walk in groups of no more than three pups. Puptopia watches the dog’s behavior carefully and strives to match up the dog with other like-personality dogs. Great examples include pairing up excitable dogs such as Jack Russells with other high-energy breeds like Rat Terriers, ensuring the dogs get the perfect amount of attention from both dog walker and other dogs.
One often-overlooked benefit of small groups is that the Manhattan dog walker has the ability to manage people as well as the dogs. For some dogs, constant human contact stresses them out or makes them uncomfortable. Because dog walking in Manhattan means being among lots of people, a smaller pup posse means the dog walker can direct people to not try and pet the dogs, or gently inform folks that the dogs need their space. This means a lot to those dogs that are shy or otherwise timid when confronted with well-meaning, but overbearing strangers on the street. Pup posse style walks also allows the Puptopia dog walker to see what the dogs like or don’t, allowing the group to modify the walk or park visit as necessary based on the small group’s preferences.
There is a time and place when dogs should be allowed to play and interact with larger groups of other dogs, but based on the current research, we feel it is not during walks. A small Pup Posse or Indie Pup walk with Puptopia ensures your four-legged family member gets the best and most effective walk during the time you are away. Any good New York City dog walking service, like Puptopia, knows how to best integrate the research and methods so your dog gets the absolute best New York dog walking experience possible.
San Francisco SPCA: Why Hire a Professional Dog Walker; http://www.sfspca.org/sites/default/files/pro-dog-walker.pdf
ASPCA: Dog Walking 101: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-walking-101.aspx
Ah, back to school. It always makes us think of new clothes and school supplies, crisp afternoons and new daily routines. If your family is one of the many all over Manhattan who are shifting back to the hectic school schedule, you’re probably bracing for life to be much busier, making it tricky to give your dog healthy exercise and bathroom breaks each day.
From Chelsea to the Upper East Side, several of our dog-walking clients have already arranged their fall schedules with us, for support around the school day plus after-school sports, music lessons and other super-busy activities.
This is a great time to enlist a professional NYC dog walker as part of your weekly schedule. Each year we get last-minute calls as families begin the school year and realize, “Oops! Who has time to walk Bentley today?”
Good thing we’ve got the Puptopia NYC dog walking team standing by, ready to help with personal attention and loving care. Just like teachers preparing for a fresh class of students, we’re preparing to meet new dogs eager to get outside and enjoy a fun walk each day.
Piggy, shown here, is just one of our school-season pups who gets a loving walk each afternoon during his family’s busy weekdays. Piggy is part of our Upper East Side dog walking community. He gets to walk Central Park and Carl Schurz Park everyday.
Piggy’s Mom told us, “With you guys walking Mako for me, we have one less thing to worry about. It’s wonderful to come home to his calm and happy greeting after a crazy day!”
What’s your doggie routine during the school year? We’d love to hear about it.
Ninja & Mako seeking squirrels in Central Park. Photo courtesy of Puptopia dog walker Liz Dean
Living in the UES – Upper East Side to non-Manhattanites – is a gift, especially for dog owners in the city. The UES is dotted with wonderful parks to stroll and play with the pups. Places like Carl Schurz Park’ river promenade give pets the chance to flex their muscles in an interesting mix of urban delights and green park like settings. Add in the Central Park abutments and it is obvious that dogs and their owners are lucky to walk in the UES.
Pet owners that have busy lives understand the importance of a professional and caring dog walker. Manhattan dog walkers typically try to walk with five, six or even seven dogs at a time. While this is an interesting sight, having a professional dog walker that specializes in small groups (no more than three) means the pet owner’s dog gets a more personal experience each day.
When the dog walker is added to places like Carl Schurz Park, the Upper East Side becomes a premier place for dog walking. Carl Schurz Park is a very dog-friendly park, one of the most dog friendly in the city let alone the UES. With the two dedicated dog runs (leash free enclosure areas) dogs get to play, romp, stomp and socialize with other four-legged urbanites. The Manhattan dog parks include the Carl Schurz Park as well as parts of Central Park – very accessible for the UES dwellers. Upper East Side dog walkers frequently use the park for walks and playtime.
Other dog friendly UES parks include the East 60th Street Heliport Dog Park, a dog run that allows leash free romping. This is a smaller park within the UES but is a great place to bring the dogs to socialize and play with others of their ilk.
When the dog walker’s duties are done and it is time for pet owner and pet to have some fun in the UES they can enjoy “pet friendly” bars and cafes. Enjoy a “cup with your pup” at places like the Barking Dog Luncheonette. The Barking Dog Luncheonette keeps human and canine guests well attended to, and owners and pets alike get to mingle and socialize at the pet fiendly establishment. Plan a stop to the Barking Dog when heading out for dog walking upper east side sidewalks and thoroughfares.
The aptly named “Fetch Bar & Grill” is another of the pet friendly establishments found in the trendy UES. Pet owners are encouraged to bring a picture of their pup to hang on the walls of the bar and grill as it is plastered with photos of their former four-legged pals and patrons. For a dog walker, the Upper East Side provides many chances to keep the pets tended to.
The UES is also lucky to have several pet-friendly rental buildings and co-ops. Because the UES residents love their dogs it is possible to find great rentals to accommodate all the members of the family.
The Upper East Side is a great neighborhood in a great city that loves its dogs. There is no lack of space or pet-friendly fun found in this Manhattan region.
Separation anxiety in dogs has been described by many canine behaviorists as a mentally stressful period. In fact, the problem has been pinpointed as the second most common reason why dog owners choose to give up their dogs or have them euthanized.
Dogs are Pack Animals
By nature, dogs are pack animals. Thus, they thrive on having company. In the wild, a dog is an important component of the pack. Whether seeking for food or playing, members of the pack rely on each other. With domestication, a dog now treats his human family as the pack. Thus, he looks up to an “alpha” person who is the leader of the pack.
A dog develops separation anxiety when he feels that he is isolated from his pack. Whether he is left alone for long periods of time or when he lacks physical or mental stimuli, a dog develops negative behavior such as barking persistently, becoming destructive, and even eliminating inside the house. Dogs may differ in the degree of manifestation of undesirable behavior but each of these behaviors reflects mental distress.
Understanding Separation Anxiety
In order to better address separation anxiety in dogs, there is a need to understand the process by which the phenomenon develops.
There are many theories which have been forwarded to try to explain why some dogs are more prone to suffer from separation anxiety than others. Experts have identified two forms of separation anxiety in dogs. One is considered as the “true form” of separation anxiety while the other is a “simulated” or “learned” behavior.
Simulated or Learned Separation Anxiety
Dogs that suffer from this type often lack the leadership of an “Alpha dog” in the pack. The lack of human leadership can pave the way for dogs to learn and cultivate negative behavior in an effort to seek attention. Contrary to the common notion of dog owners, this acquired form of separation anxiety in dogs is a part of a panic response. It is not a way to punish their owners for leaving them alone.
True Separation Anxiety
A dog suffering from “true” separation anxiety experiences real stress when his owner leaves. Unknown to many dog owners, separation anxiety has often been an encouraged behavior. When we leave or arrive home, we make a big fuss about leaving our dogs. As puppies, we take them everywhere with us. In our effort to socialize our pets, we inadvertently develop feelings of total dependence. During the time that we have to leave them alone for considerably long periods of time, they switch into panic mode because they are not used to being away from the pack.
In some dogs, separation anxiety can be triggered by an abrupt change in their routines. Spending time in boarding kennels or moving houses can often bring on symptoms of separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can also be triggered by lack of exercise, boredom, or it can even be a breed characteristic.
Solutions for Separation Anxiety in Dogs
In severe cases, vets may prescribe medications that can calm a dog’s senses however this is only a temporary solution. It is not a fool-proof way to eliminate the separation anxiety. There is a need to identify the root cause in order to properly address the problem.
Since most cases of separation anxiety are often forms of misbehavior, adequate and proper training are the best ways to combat the problem. Strong pack leadership coupled with obedience and crate training can eventually help overcome the problem.
Dogs that lack exercise have pent-up energy that needs to be released or else it will fuel the development of multiple behavioral issues. Exercise is an important part of your dog’s life. As a dog owner, you are responsible in providing your dog with mental and physical stimulation. Daily exercise such as running, walking, playing, or swimming can do wonders in preventing and/or eliminating symptoms of separation anxiety. Remember that dogs are also social beings thus daily exercise and playtime is an important avenue to channel their physical energies as well as stimulate their minds and meet the need for human companionship.
If you don’t have the luxury of time to devote to your dog’s mental and physical needs, you can always look for a reputable Manhattan dog walker who can address your dog’s needs regularly. Aside from getting the much-needed exercise, an NYC dog walker also provides the human company that your dog needs while you are out. Manhattan dog walkers from reputable companies such as Puptopia also possess the training and experience in dealing with behavioral issues in dogs thus, they are better equipped to deal with stressed, misbehaving, or frightened dogs.
The remission rate for separation anxiety in dogs is quite high. One thing is clear though—separation anxiety in dogs can be overcome. With the right intervention coupled with time and tons of patience, you’ll have a happier, well-balanced, and stress-free pet.
Dogs are pack animals, gregarious by nature and social beings. That said, dogs have evolved to bond with their human friends and buddies as if these humans were members of the pack. In short, you become your dog’s alpha. This is why some dogs simply do not like going off to “doggy daycare” centers. While dog daycare for the furry and four-legged set serves a great purpose, the facts are not all dogs like Manhattan dog day care. Dog walking makes for a wonderful alternative to away-from-home care and allows the dogs time to exercise and interact throughout the day.
A dog bonds not just with a person but also with its surroundings. When a dog becomes part of a family the home itself becomes the dog’s personal sanctum. The home or dwelling that is shared with the humans is the place a dog feels most comfortable. This is particularly so for Manhattan dogs. The city is stressful as it is, so when the pup is taken out of the familiar environment of his/her home and thrown into a Manhattan dog daycare center with many other dogs it can be a jolt to the dog’s nerves. The balance here comes in making sure the dog is not left alone too long and assuring the dog gets their needed exercise and social activities during the time their humans are gone from the house.
Dog walkers such at Puptopia know the dog feels most at home at home. The professional NYC dog walkers at Puptopia get to know each and every animal it is asked to care for and walk. Every dog has its own unique personality and needs, and a dog walker from Puptopia builds long term relationships with the dogs (and their owners) to ensure the dogs feel loved, cherished and “part of a pack” when their alphas are out working. Manhattan dog walkers take advantage of leash-free NYC dog parks, sidewalks and greenbelts allowing the dog to get out and exercise with the social aspect they need without being “thrown into a new pack” the doggie daycare centers provide. Luckily there are several good Manhattan dog parks to take advantage of.
One thing that is often overlooked in regards to a dog’s comfort is the dog’s sense of smell. A dog’s olfactory system is the trigger for memories and good feelings. Their own home is full of scents and aromas of their human friends, favorite toys, water dish and food etc. Going for a walk with a friend from Puptopia keeps the dog surrounded with the familiar. Because the Puptopia Manhattan dog walker knows the dog and picks them up at their own home, the experience is extremely positive and even looked forward to by the pooch.
One, two or more walks a day are possible from the Puptopia dog pros. If you have a young and active dog, walks may include a trip to a leash free NYC dog run like Madison Square Park Dog Run for fetch and games. Or, a brisk walk along the river in Chelsea Hudson River Park or an adventure in Central Park. If the dog is older and mellow, the Puptopia walk may be a casual stroll down the street with extra ear scratches and love, or some pampering in the park. The service is built around the individual dog, instead of an nyc doggie daycare system where the dog gets released into a wild and unfamiliar pack.
There is no substitute for the dog’s owners but when the time comes to go to work the Puptopia Manhattan dog walking service is the way to go. Long-term friendships with the furry pups are the goal. Customer service includes the humans and the dogs.
People often ask us, what are the best dogs for New York City? Or, what are the best dog breeds for NYC? We honestly feel that if trained right, any dog can live a happy life in Manhattan. There are things to consider, for example, some dog breeds definitely need more exercise, while others may be more fragile. However, when picking a dog breed we believe it’s more important to pick based on the type of lifestyle you live. Are you looking for a lap dog, or are you looking for a dog that you can go jogging with everyday? Do you have children that could potentially hurt a smaller more fragile dog? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a dog. According to the AKC, here is a list of the most popular dog breeds in New York City.
It’s interesting to see on the AKC list what people consider the best NYC dogs, and how some breeds jump up the list drastically from one year to another. These breed popularity increases are often influenced by someone like President Obama getting a Portuguese Water Dog, or believe it or not, due to movies or books. After the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians and the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians were released there was a massive surge in the popularity of the Dalmatian. Unfortunately, that also created a rise in irresponsible breeding and people purchasing Dalmatians without knowing they were high-energy breeds. As a result, many animal shelters were bombarded with abandoned Dalmatians because there were many dog owners that didn’t learn about the breed’s characteristics before purchasing and weren’t ready for the responsibility.
Again, we at Puptopia don’t think you should base your purchase on lists featuring the most popular dogs in NYC. Ultimately, we believe that if you pick a dog breed that matches your lifestyle, and take the time to raise it properly, you’ll have a happy dog and forge a special, wonderful new friendship.
One of our Chelsea dog walkers cares for an adorable Teacup Pomeranian named Hugo. Hugo is quite the character and super cute. He loves posing for the camera almost as much as he used to like laying around. His owners had told us when we first met him that he was pretty lazy and they were working on getting him to walk more on the streets of Manhattan. We must admit, when we began dog walking in New York City with Hugo he didn’t show much interest. We believe this was mostly caused by anxiety that he had while out on the street due to all the noise and activity. However, after about 2 weeks he started walking better because we were very patient and gave him lots of positive reinforcement. Through a combination of extra socialization with dogs on the street, positive reinforcement and encouragement, and lots of love and affection from his Puptopia Chelsea dog walker Hugo improved drastically. Hugo now looks forward to when we arrive and is quite happy on his daily NYC dog walking adventures. Some of these pictures were taken by Hugo’s Chelsea dog walker and a few are from the owner. We may be biased, but we think Hugo is one of the cutest Teacup Poms in New York City
Here is a video of one of our Puptopia Manhattan dog walkers walking English Bulldog, Buster aka “The Bulldozer,” in Central Park. Dog walking in Central Park is definitely one of the most pleasant experiences in NYC and it’s one of our favorite places to walk dogs in New York City.
Buster is quite a character. We call him the “bulldozer” because he’s a bit of a juggernaut. He loves barreling through things. The concept of walking around obstacles is definitely not a concept Buster is familiar with. He prefers to walk through things and not around them. In this video he is scratching his back and side along the fence and rumbling through weeds. If you see an English Bulldog in Central Park blasting through things it’s probably Buster