Today, something happened, that has both shocked & disgusted me, in equal measures,
Like so many of us, I'm battling a cough & cold, so decided to walk all 4 of my dogs together, instead of making 2 trips out to Burnham Beeches.
It all started off very well, I met up with a lady with her 3-year-old son & he'd seen the dogs last week (When Trix was showing off her trick repertoire ) He wanted to join us on our walk & his mum obliged. They don't have a dog but want him to learn to be confident & sensible around them - all good!!
We met lots of people, most of those who had dogs were passing comment on the DCO's & how confusing it all was, trying to figure out where dogs were allowed off lead etc. I don't like the new legislation, but understand how worrying out of control dogs can appear to those who are scared of dogs.
As we were walking along Halse Drive I heard excited barking ahead, so popped my youngest on lead ( she's excitable enough, without adding to it) & carried on my way. We then encountered 8 dogs & 2 walkers, I recognised one lady as a professional dog walker. The walker was throwing a ball (using one of those plastic ball throwers), which was why the dogs were all barking.
As we got nearer, 3 of the larger dogs approached, the walker made no attempt to call them away- the little lad I was walking with got a bit scared, so stood still with his Mum, whilst I carried on walking.
One of the dogs (a Boxer)began growling at my male German Shepherd (who was right by my side) dog walker took him by the collar, as I carried on walking - then for reasons only known to herself, let him go. At which point he flew at my boy, biting him twice, between the shoulder blades & on the neck. Pleased to say, my boy didn't retaliate - but my on lead dog was all for joining in, if she'd have been able !!
Quite shocking - but here comes the part that disgusts me.
The "professional" dog walker dragged the Boxer off, then hit it with the ball launcher, she then went on to twist its ears/cheeks til it cried & when I objected, said she didn't stand for that kind of thing !!!
She'd walked this dog for 3 weeks & it's never shown aggression. Anyone who works with dogs will tell you, you can never be sure of how they'll react.
No apology offered & the person she was walking with did nothing, so I'm guessing all 8 dogs were in her care (The limit due to the DCO's is 4 per responsible handler.)
Full report logged with the Rangers, who've suggested I also go to the Police.
I know lots of professional dog walkers who are very good & observant in all situations, I'd happily recommend their services. But this person really shouldn't be entrusted with others dogs - the poor Boxer didn't deserve what he got at her hands.
Mine isn't the 1st complaint about her - please if you're going to use a dog walker check out the number of dogs they walk, their views on punishment & you're at all concerned - walk away.