5 hours travel, 1 hour walk - is this reasonable every week?

(7 Posts)
wingardiumoffthesofa Wed 04-Sep-13 20:34:57

Could really use some perspective here.

We've had our dog a year and had a UK holiday this summer, but I really want the option to go abroad next year. He's a rescue and I'd never put him back in kennels, so I thought home boarding could be ideal. I decided to start a weekly walk with a dog walker who could become the home boarder next year if all goes well/dog bonds etc. I also thought that walking with a group of dogs with an experienced handler would do my dog's limited socialisation huge amounts of good and provide something i couldn't myself.

Chose a guy who came highly recommended, website is great with lots of testimonials, been in business over 10 years, came and met us. He described his regular pack as calm (which my dog would need). He does all his walks with his partner. They pick up in a van with crates, I inspected the van. All good. Wingdog's first walk was today.

All very professional. The walker knew I was quite anxious, he called me on the way there, on the way back and posted a photo mid-walk. Wingdog was calm on his return and has not seemed hyper or stressed all evening. He was reported as absolutely fine with the other dogs and would be 'exhausted'!

BUT, my dog was picked up at 12 and returned at 6. I was very surprised when I first heard these hours but assumed a long walk! No, the walk is around an hour. The rest of the time is pick ups and drop offs from a wide area. We live in London, so lots of traffic, but even so, it really must be quite a wide area.

Despite all the good stuff and despite the fact that others are doing this (including testimonials on the website and the walkers own 2 dogs) I can't get my head round this. Is it reasonable for my dog to sit in a crate for 2.5 hours there plus back for an hour's walk? All my instincts say no, it's not. To be honest I can't get my head around the business model either what with petrol costs what they are, but that's nothing to do with me. I can't imagine this is what every dog walker does, but maybe many do- happy to be educated!

On the plus side, all the pro-crate threads on here say how valuable it is for a dog to be used to a crate so I guess I would have that upside. Plus my dog is AWFUL in my car (barky, hyper, really awful, we avoid wherever possible) yet apparently he was absolutely fine and calm. So maybe another upside. Still can't ignore my gut feel though, and it's saying no.

What do you reckon wise doghousers?

PS, no particular evidence of exhaustion!

LEMisdisappointed Wed 04-Sep-13 20:43:33

No, definately not ok how boring for him

wingardiumoffthesofa Wed 04-Sep-13 20:47:42

I'd agree LEM, but then I argued with myself that all he'd be doing otherwise was snoozing on the sofa so maybe snoozing in a crate wasn't so different?

Floralnomad Wed 04-Sep-13 21:02:50

Well it obviously suits some people or they wouldn't be in business still . How many dogs do they walk at a time ? Personally I wouldn't do it but then my dog likes to sit on a seat in the car ,doesn't like crates and doesn't like other dogs .

mrslaughan Thu 05-Sep-13 16:42:19

I don't think so.....that is along time in the car....plus if he is a stressy dog, being in close confines with other dogs he doesn't know may stress him out further.

Why does there need to be so much time in the car?

StephenFrySaidSo Thu 05-Sep-13 16:56:43

I think that's awful tbh! Thjnk how hoy and stuffy it must get in that van over 5 hours with other dogs! Do they let them out for a wee/leg stretch at every pick up? The dog walkers around here are all local and walk from one pick up to the other doing a circuit.

StephenFrySaidSo Thu 05-Sep-13 16:58:05

And i couldnt think of a worse way to introduce a crate if you expect him to like it, let alone choose to go in one for a bit of quiet space.

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