Is It Appropriate To Decline A Client Whose Dog Breed You Dislike?

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As a dog walker, a pet owner just asks you to walk their dog or watch it overnight. The only catch is that you're not used to caring for dogs of that breed.

Perhaps you previously had a negative encounter with animals of that breed. Perhaps you've heard rumors that this breed has a bad reputation for being aggressive. Or maybe you're worried that you can't handle the dog's weight. The awkwardness of the circumstance remains, regardless of the motivation for your reluctance. As a result, what can you do?

The good news is that you are under no obligation to accept a request from a pet parent if you don't feel qualified to care for their dog. Read on for helpful hints on how to break the news to them gently, as well as ways to improve your own self-assurance as a pet caregiver.

When to Say "No"

Since we know you have a soft spot for canines, we imagine that the prospect of spending time with a dog while earning some cash is too good to pass up. But, if you are not confident in your ability to care for a specific breed of dog, it is in the best interest of the dog to find a new home with someone who is.

You should not feel bad about saying no to a customer, since not only will you be acting in the dog's best interest, but also your own. Most pet owners would respect your honesty and appreciate that you didn't try to force yourself into a position you weren't comfortable with.

What is the best way to say no?

You can safely disregard any requests that appear in the app. But if a pet parent books an appointment with you and you're not comfortable caring for their pet, you should politely deny their request.

It takes finesse to politely decline a client. You shouldn't be disrespectful or cause them any distress, but dancing around the problem won't help either.

The best course of action is usually to be direct with the pet parent while still being courteous. A few instances of this could be:

  • Say, "I'm really sorry, but I've had a negative experience with [breed X] in the past and I just don't feel comfortable that I can provide the kind of care your dog deserves" if you don't want to walk your dog because you think it's violent and nasty.
  • You may say, "[Dog's name] sounds absolutely wonderful, but I just don't believe I'm strong enough to keep them under control on a leash," instead of "Your dog looks like a huge beast that would yank my arm out of its socket even by pushing lightly on their lead."
  • As a dog lover, you will undoubtedly understand how protective pet owners can be of their fur-babies. Thus, be kind and considerate, but also forthright. Help them out by answering their questions and suggesting ways they might find a pet sitter or dog walker who is a better fit.

How to decline a repeat customer

Sometimes you don't know if a dog is a good fit for you until you've spent time with them, whether it's on a walk or as your overnight pet sitter. If this is the case and the pet parent requests a further reservation, it can be especially difficult to refuse service.

You will be notified if a pet parent asks for an overnight stay, but as a preferred pet caregiver, you are under no obligation to fulfill the request. If a pet parent initiates a direct booking with you through email, however, you will have the option to deny the request and provide an explanation.

You'll hopefully have built up some trust with the pet parent by this point, which will make it easier to break the news to them. Again, honesty and openness are key; tell them why you can't take care of their dog.

Remind them that you can't do that since it would be dangerous for both you and your dog if you did. Tell them if their dog is too powerful for you to manage while on a leash. You should tell them if their dog's enthusiastic jumping on you scared you or wounded you. Though it may be uncomfortable at first, telling the truth is the surest way to make everyone happy in the end.

How to get used to handling different kinds of dog breed

Like humans, dogs can be found in a wide range of sizes. While they're all adorable, not all puppies are created equal. Some are more kind than others, while others are more stubborn.

In your role as a pet caregiver or dog walker, you are likely to come across dogs from a wide range of these groups. A dog that doesn't suit your mental image of the "ideal" canine customer (in terms of appearance, size, behavior, or breed) may eventually need your care. So, how do you improve as a pet caregiver for all dog breeds? A few easy things to remember are as follows:

Get familiar with different breeds

Some types of dogs have a terrible reputation for being overly stubborn, unruly, or even dangerous. When you meet a Pit Bull, Doberman, or Rottweiler in person, you might be surprised to learn that these dogs don't always live up to their reputation as dangerous guard dogs. The truth is that some of them are huge saps who enjoy nothing more than chatting with other people.

Instead of forming assumptions about a dog only because of its breed, try to see it for what it is.

Discover dog body language

Do you have difficulty determining how a dog really feels sometimes? By brushing up on your knowledge of dog body language, you can learn how to tell when a dog is happy, anxious, scared, or angry. It can simplify the process of caring for any dog.

Enhance your training skills

Second, hone your training abilities to give you more assurance around dogs of all shapes and sizes. One's confidence in dealing with a strong, unruly, or dangerous dog goes up in proportion to how well they know how to build relationships with dogs and control their behavior.

Recognize problematic behavior's causes

You shouldn't automatically label a dog as "bad" or "trying to show you who's boss" if it acts out while in your care. Instead, we need to realize that fear is only one of many things that affect how dogs act.

Set the tone

It's crucial to get off to a good start whenever a new dog client arrives for a walk, sit, or boarding appointment requested by a pet parent. Your dog has to learn that excellent behavior will be rewarded with treats and playtime in order to succeed in this effort.

Please understand that this in no way entails seeking a position of authority like that of an alpha dog or pack leader. The goal now is to build a positive connection with the dog from the get-go.

Learn what the dog's favorite treat is by talking to the pet parents. This might be anything from a belly rub to a game of fetch with a favorite toy. But, for many canines, the answer is as simple as a meal. The dog can be rewarded for good behavior during the first part of your visit, such as sitting when asked or settling down after an overly enthusiastic greeting.

It's a minor adjustment that might go a long way in establishing mutual trust between you and your dog.

As the saying goes, "practice makes perfect."

Last but not least, spending more time with dogs is possibly the simplest approach to increasing your comfort level with them. You'll be better prepared to deal with difficult four-legged customers if you take the time to get to know each dog, including learning about their quirks and what makes them tick.

Expand your horizons by meeting dogs of all breeds, ages, sizes, and training levels after you've gained experience with dogs with whom you're completely at ease. If you already have a soft spot in your heart for canines, you don't need much of a reason to increase your contact with these wonderful creatures; in fact, doing so will improve your pet caregiving abilities.

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