dog walkers...

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  • 1 Post By claudine19
  • 4 Post By Knotty_Maddy
  • 1 Post By curlyarca
  • 2 Post By mrspoppers

this summer i started walking my boys as a way to get myles some exercise so he wouldn't be so aggressive and mean towards trucker. magically it worked. we would walk a few different routes for anywhere from 15 to 30 mins. they loved it. truth be told, i did too. even before the time change last weekend it was getting darker earlier so it was hard to get in the walk when the sun started going down by 7-ish. now it's dark by 5-ish. i don't get home from work until 6:30 or 7 most days. i take what my neighbor calls my "beat down stick" in case any dogs run up on us and i pay attention to my surroundings, no ipod or talking on the phone or anything. yet i still feel uncomfortable with night walks.

what do the folks that are regular dog walkers here do especially when it gets dark so early? the obvious answer is to do it in the morning except i'm not a big morning person but i feel guilty not walking my boys now that they love it so much and it gives me a boost and an extra 100-200 calorie burn too (yes i wear my heart rate monitor to track it).

i have two cairn terriers and the area i walk in is generally safe and there are cars around. one path takes me to a strip center near my house where there are no cars but constant traffic, the other path is up and down every street in my smallish 39 home neighborhood.

thoughts, suggestions, opinions?
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Last edited by luvmylocs; 11-08-2012 at 02:42 PM.
Both of your paths sound safe, and you do have two ankle-biters who will defend you, plus your big stick

Is there a friend around who would enjoy walking with you? Or, maybe you can use a flashlight...? I use one of those head-bands that has a flashlight on it, it's called a head-lamp, camping and hiking type stores sell them - and I put flashing collars on my dogs. (I live out in the countryside, so my concerns are off-leash dogs and coyotes, cause I have two German Shepherds... ;p)
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I live in an apartment, so I have to walk my boy. I'd suggest mornings if you can, but I usually walk him at 430 am - it's dark then, too. BUT, I stay inside the apt complex and walk him when it is dark and plan my route so I'm inside courtyards, walking outside windows more than I'm in the actual parking lot.

When I take him outside of the apts, I do it when it's light only.

Is there a way you could incorporate longer walks on the weekend during the day?
also, invest in a heavy duty flashlight, to light your way but also so you can whack someone if need be (although between that and your stick you may have too much to carry)
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We walk in the dark all the time, but it's safe and I have the route memorized. In your case I think I'd wear the headband/headlight and maybe keep some mace or pepper spray in a pocket. There are very small cans you can buy, and it will work on bad people, too.

Or go the flashlight/club route.
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thanks all!!

i do have some mace and i'll get a lighted vest for me and the boys, well collars for them. maybe i'll just stay in the neighborhood if/when i walk at night and still not go to late. plus maybe i'll try to do some morning walks. they don't need very long, it's just the bed feels so good in the morning, and i'm convinced myles isn't a morning dog either
a dreamy pisces
please recycle, it matters...
i change lives...through fitness
i'm more relaxed being natural

Last edited by luvmylocs; 11-08-2012 at 04:17 PM.
the reason I suggested the headlamp thang is because if you are lit up, and your dog's collars are flashing, you'd be a poor target for a trouble-maker - light attracts attention, so people who wouldn't normally notice you will look towards you...so you'll be in view of many witnesses...and *that* will keep "coyote" predator type people away from you

You might also change the time of your walk slightly from day to day, so that you are not predictably in one place every day at the same time...
Finer, mixed with coarser strands, low-porosity, wavy curly whirly hair...3A, 2C hair. Medium thickness, medium elasticity.
S-shaped hair with corkscrew ends. My hair is even more confused than me ;p
My hair officially hates protein Once a month is enough!
Currently a fan of TiGi products, (rock on, TiGi Curlesque styling creme!) but that will soon change - I am a self-avowed product junkie! Yay!
BIG fan of supersoaker method - thanks Rudeechick!
^^^ good advice!!
a dreamy pisces
please recycle, it matters...
i change lives...through fitness
i'm more relaxed being natural
I've only had my dog since this summer, but we were doing night walks before it started getting dark earlier. I didn't think of the headlamp, but that's a good idea. I take

a heavy but slim flashlight
poop bags
phone
house keys

We walk within the apartment community for the most part. We just moved here, so once I feel the place out we may walk down to Walgreens or the P.O.

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I actually loved going on my jogs with Sophie early morning (dark getting light) or late in the even (dusk turning dark.)The reason why?? She is a larger dog so people tend to stay away, she is a black dog so people stay away , and last but not least she has a head collar that people think its a muzzle and stay the hell away. As a result i was able to be more flexible with my jogs. So if you have larger dogs and have a safe route, you should be ok. However still remain aware. Unlike me with my iPhone on.
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I just stick to a well-lit route around the houses and never venture "off-road" and I do live in a quiet suburb which makes me not worry too much. I think KnottyMaddy made good suggestions.
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We walk around the campus at night. It's well lit and lots of people between 5 - 6.
The advice about wearing a head lamp and/or staying in well-populated, well-lit areas is good.

I also wanted to mention, if you can't fit in walks, you could hire a dog-walker to come during the day while you're at work. You wouldn't be getting the exercise then, but the doggies would at least.
I have a dog walker for midday. Great service.
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My Yorkie and I walk or hike daily unless there is monsoon rain. Because of the day light savings change, we have recently switched to a lunch time hike up one of the local buttes since I have more energy than I would usually have in the evening. So far, it has worked great. On my tired days or if I feel like I'm over training we walk this local bird refuge. I don't love to walk or hike on or right next to a road if I can help it. Unless I am walking with my hubs I bring my hiking stick which has a carbide tip if I need some protection.
My running group posted an article on Facebook about running in the dark. Some of the suggestions have already been mentioned.
  • Walk on a well lit sidewalk. Only walk on a walking path on in a park if it's not woodsy, is well-lit, and there are always lots of people around.
  • Stay away from areas with lots of trees.
  • Vary your walking time. If you leave your house at the same time every day, you could come home to an unwanted visitor.
  • Likewise, vary your route.
  • No headphones
  • Carry a whistle and pepper spray
  • Carry a phone.

Your bat can help keep other dogs away but I don't think it would be particularly effective to ward of a person if they came up behind you. JMHO.

Also, if you live alone, tell someone where you walk or leave a note behind.
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