Since I've caught myself saying the same thing to a few of my clients this week, I thought I would just put it in writing for the world to "hear".
Why do my clients (aka dogs) often behave better for me than for their owners? Simply because I do not take it personally if they misbehave - I don't have to worry about admitting ownership for a crazy dog. If one of my dog clients barks at something or someone, I can simply say, "Sorry, it's not my dog. I'm working on it with him though." If one of my dog clients growls at another dog, I can reply by saying, "Oops. Guess he doesn't like your dog. Maybe she should have brushed her teeth today."
My point is this: when your dog misbehaves you should definitely reprimand him for it, but you do not need to go overboard to prove to everyone that you do not condone his behavior, and you do not need to apologize excessively. When you apologize you use a weak tone that reinforces for your dog that he was correct to be on guard because you felt weak. If you respond in a relaxed way you exude a confidence that will help properly reassure an axious dog or remind your dominant dog that you are always in control - keep it fun...it's okay to make jokes like "Guess I should take their second date off our calendar?". If you can get everyone laughing, the tension will quickly subside and all dogs and owners will immediately feel more at ease.
If your dog's behavior is so bad that you're embarrassed to walk down the street, then let me take your dog for a walk. I guarantee that after consistent walks with me, your dog will modify his behavior and you will gain more confidence to walk your own dog. Don't take my word for it though, click here to check out what one of my clients wrote on Yelp :-)
Growing up in the country in Pennsylvania gave me tons of experience with animals from a very early age. I later pursued a career in horseback riding and also have experience as a veterinary technician. I have a strong passion for animals and have an uncanny ability to connect with all sorts of furry friends.