How to manage dogs during a service call

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July 2, 2024

Photo: pederk / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Photo: pederk / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Managing interactions with dogs at customers’ houses is crucial for both safety and performing pest control services effectively.

Despite the prevalence of dogs in households, many technicians lack formal training on how to handle these interactions. On a recent episode of Pest Posse TV, Pepe Peruyero, owner of PepeDogs: J&K Canine Academy and a seasoned dog trainer and behaviorist, helped shed light on the intricacies of dog behavior.

Peruyero’s journey with dogs began in 1992 when he served as a police officer in a canine unit. His extensive experience spans training dogs for pest control, behavior modification, and working with institutions such as the University of Florida and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). His expertise in dog aggression and behavior provides valuable insights into managing dogs in various environments.

Understanding canine behavior

Dog bites are a significant concern, with approximately 4.5 million bites reported annually in the U.S. — of which 800,000 require medical attention. This statistic underscores the importance of understanding dog behavior, especially for pest control technicians because they frequently encounter dogs while performing services at a customer’s property.

Peruyero emphasizes the importance of consistency for dogs. Any alteration in their environment, such as a technician’s visit, can induce stress and anxiety. This can lead to aggressive behavior.

Ensuring safety

Effective communication between pest control companies and dog-owning customers is vital. Consider taking the following actions:
Establish a clear, company-wide protocol for handling accounts with dogs to help mitigate risk.

Ask customers about their dogs during initial interactions, verifying if there’s an issue with the dog and ensuring the dog can be secured during the visit.
Define “secured dog” as being behind a barrier that the dog cannot escape from, such as a door or fence. It does not mean, as Peruyero points out, having a dog chained to a pole in a yard. If the restraint breaks, the dog’s attack can be more severe.

The relationship between dogs and humans has evolved over thousands of years, and understanding this dynamic is crucial for service professionals. In many parts of Europe, strict regulations ensure dogs are well-trained and handled, but the U.S. lacks such uniform regulations. This leads to diverse interactions between dogs and service providers.

Implementing protocols

Peruyero’s insights stress the importance of recognizing and mitigating stress and anxiety in dogs. For pest control technicians, understanding dog behavior and implementing effective communication and safety protocols can significantly reduce the risk of bites and ensure a safer working environment.

Managing dogs at customers’ houses requires a blend of understanding canine behavior, effective communication with customers, and proper safety protocols. As Peruyero’s experiences illustrate, these practices are essential for minimizing risks and ensuring both the safety of technicians and the well-being of the dogs they encounter.

Watch the full Pest Posse TV livestream discussing the topic of dogs at customer’s homes now at PestPosseTV.com.


PHOTO: THE PEST POSSE

PHOTO: THE PEST POSSE

Tune into Pest Posse TV

August topics include:

  • 8/5: From Pest Control to Retirement: A Guide to a Smooth Transition Livestream with Stuart and Chris Aust
  • 8/12: Benefits of Outsourcing
  • 8/19: Space Treatments Using Shockwave 1
  • 8/26: Updates from Birchmeier

Watch all this and more at PestPosseTV.com

About the Author

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Brusca is co-owner of The Pest Posse. He can be reached online at info@thepestposse.net.

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