The Importance of a Meet and Greet: An Interview with Dog Trainer Andrea Singer
Today we have a special interview with Andrea Singer of Doggy Decorum. We have worked with several of the same clients and Andrea's methods and results are both excellent. We have seen dogs go from wild and jumpy beasts to calm and relaxed very good boys from her training. You can visit her website for more information on her or to book training for your dog.
First I'd like to let our audience know a little bit about you. What is your background with animals? How long have you worked in the pet services industry? And what is your background as a dog trainer?
I started a dog walking/pet sitting service in Manhattan NY in 2005. So it’s been a long time taking care of others pets. Training came from a need of being able to handle my clients horrible leash walkers better or lose an arm. At the same time, I also adopted a face biting chihuahua in 2007. No joke, a day after spraining him from the shelter, he turned cujo on me as I’d tried to hold and kiss him. So off to training classes we went and decided to study it for my clients as well. It was also the obvious next step in my growing career.
How important is it that a pet owner uses a professional pet sitter vs the other options available?
Extremely!! Most times I’d be asked if I’m professional or taking on side money. Pet owners want professionals. People who are responsible, have insurance and stellar references.
What do you think about the latest trend of Wag! not offering a meet and greet?
Absolutely horrible. Who wants a stranger coming into their home, their temple! And to then care for their pets!! Pet owners have zero guarantee that handler and their pets will get along or that the handler is capable of handling your dog’s needs.
How about the trend of having the first sitter that responds at that time take care of a dog rather than having a primary and backup sitter for the pet?
Still a hard no. Unless it’s a dire emergency. Though, I’d still rather clean up my dogs potty accidents in the house when I get home. Unless I’m dead. Lol. Relationships with your dog’s handler is like having a nanny for your kids. You want one you’ve met and your pets met to have that connection.
Is it important that a dog have a relationship with their sitter?
As in my answer above, a hard yes. My dogs personally would let anybody walk them, but not all are like that. Animals have an innate sense about people. If they are not comfortable with all random handlers, there is a possibility for your dog to develop psychological problems. Especially if that pet has been neglected once. Dogs prefer routineness. Seeing the same people regularly relieves one less possible stress your pet has when not in their owners presence.
While some dogs with certain temperaments would be fine with a stranger they've never met entering their home what experience do you have with dog related incidents with dogs that had "never displayed that behavior before?"
I haven’t experienced this too much. The only thing that might be similar is when I first started training a puppy that lived with men. Never saw a female.. it took that puppy a while to remember me, the treat lady, before I could be greeted without barking her like a loon.
I'd like to once again than Andrea for her time and for enlightening us on the importance of a meet and greet and consistency in a dog's routine and to once again state that it has been our pleasure to work with many of the same clients as Andrea and the training she provides is top notch. If you're looking for a dog trainer give her a call.