As a North London dog walker I’m always aware of my personal safety and the safety of the dogs I’m with. It’s wise for every dog walker wherever you’re walking to follow some general rules and precautions in order to stay safe.
- Consider meeting up with others – there’s safety in numbers.
- If you walk alone plan your route carefully. Let someone know where you’re going and what time you’ll be back. Try to vary the route and times of your walk.
- Stick to safe, busier areas.
- On busy streets walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Stay alert – avoid wearing headphones or chatting on your mobile. When you are alert to danger you can more easily avoid it.
- Consider carrying a personal alarm which can buy you valuable escape time if you are attacked.
- Always trust your instincts, or gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right get away from the situation immediately. Trust your dog’s instincts too. If he senses danger he may start growling or raise the hackles on the back of his neck.
- Understand that your dog may frighten other people, especially children and they may react aggressively to you or your dog. Always keep your dog under strict control and train him not to jump up at people.
Like us at Finchley dog walker, if you act confidently and take common sense precautions you will enjoy a safe and happy walk.
One last thing though – don’t rely on your dog to protect you!
As a dog walker in North London I usually work alone and have mostly to visit clients’ homes so I feel fairly qualified to offer advice to other lone workers.
- Conduct a doorstep risk assessment before entering someone’s home. Trust your instincts and if something doesn’t feel right – leave.
- Be careful when entering someone’s territory. Your presence may pose a threat so avoid any appearance of aggression, judgmentalism or invasion of space or privacy.
- Formulate an exit strategy for if you have to leave quickly.
- Whether you go to a client’s home or they come to yours, always maintain an appearance of professionalism and efficiency. Stick to arranged times.
- Make sure others know of your daily plans and consider using a communications strategy with a colleague if you feel threatened.
- Use your common sense and stay safe at work.