I have my own business walking dogs and petsitting. I am very curiously following this thread because some of the dog clients I have were "dog walker rejects". I specifically have on my business cards "no temperament refused" because I have well over 20 years of experience "rehabilitating" or helping rescue dogs, thus I have gads of handling experience of all personalities and issues.
I am not saying anything in particular about your dog walkers at all, but most dog walkers love dogs and that's it. 10 years of dog walking and loving dogs does not an expert make, but it does make them probably safe and reliable walkers!
Please keep this updated; I am very curious!
Suka, we have realized that our dog walkers likely fall into the category of loving dogs and not having a lot of experience handling different temperments.
When we met in person to discuss the incident she was not helpful at all. I kept pressing for details about what she was doing at the time, were there other dogs in her vehicle, was there anyone walking by, was there any unusual noises? She made me feel crazy for asking all those questions so I gather she just didn't know how to read the situation or how to handle it.
We have ended our relationship with this dog walker. After talking to several behaviourists over the past few days I understand now that there had to have been some kind of trigger and Jake's bite was likely preceded with other warnings that they just didn't pick up on.
They were supposed to board Jake next weekend, but I simply don't trust them anymore. If they are tense with Jake around I'm afraid we'd just be asking for more trouble.
As a side note, we got the results to Jake's blood test results back and nothing was out of the ordinary. No medical indication that could explain the sudden aggression. I know we could go further with additional testing, but we've made the decision to consult with a behaviorist to resolve some of the other issues like counter surfing, inconsistent recalls, digging in the front yard, etc.