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Can I be a dog walker without experience?

It depends.

Many walkers, especially novice walkers, are inexperienced in running from a dog. In most cases, dogs are not trained to bite when startled and may not react if approached from the back.

The best way to increase your likelihood of successfully getting a dog to stop barking is to be calm. Dogs are very good at figuring out your body language and will interpret your body language to the point where they may start to ignore the noise.

Barking is not a signal of danger and is easily ignored if you’re calm.

Most people assume dogs have this ability to hear humans if they can hear them at all. Dogs do not and will only bark when you are in obvious danger or when a person comes into the room.

Many dogs will also ignore an approaching person while barking. It does not happen a lot but if you start to approach the dog then the fear can be escalated.

If your dog does respond to a person approaching then you’ll know you’ve got a problem. This can be a dangerous situation especially if you’re approaching a dog that is more assertive than your average dog. The dog may snap at you or attack.

You can always get the dog to stop barking by placing it in front of you. You could put your hand on its collar and walk away to the side of the park/trail, or you could take the leash off and walk away to the side of the road with the dog still in front of you.

If you can, always let your dog run ahead of you. A dog does not like being in a hurry. You should give it room to run, but if you can, it can easily walk in the opposite direction. Dogs may become agitated at a busy corner of a trail or road.

If you cannot wait and the dog is stubborn, use your voice and take the risk. If the dog turns around and barks at you, your only option is to continue running or to leave, but if you take a chance you may not want to be running on the very next day.

If you choose to leave, get the dog into a safe situation where it has space to walk its own way. This is best done by giving it a lead. You may have to take the dog for a walk to the other side of the road or road, or you might have to walk along the side of your walk or trail.

Don’t wait to see if the barking stops.