Dog walkers = Paseadores de perros, Buenos Aires
You'll surely see this scene a couple of times when you're here. A guy walking about 10 dogs. People who live in aparments and work all day pay these guys around 100 pesos a month for them to walk their dogs twice a day.
What everybody wonders is: how come the dogs never fight?
Dog-walker are something really typical of Buenos Aires : people are paid to walk the dogs of other people and watch over them a part of the day. They often hold 5 tot 10 dogs at a time by a leash. They use also the park to let them play more or less freely.
I was really curious about this custom and found information about it on the Internet.
According to one dog-walker, Juan Roccatagliata, interviewed by the China Daily on the 12/11/2004 : "It's well-looked on to have someone walk your dog. It gives you social status, just like having a house in the country or golf club membership."
This profession has a lot of success because it brings quite a lot of money (between 80 and 150 pesos (US$ 27-50) a month for each animal). It is possible to earn more than a teacher!
It has so much success that is now regulated by the authorities of the city :
-obligation to have a licence for more than 3 dogs (only 700 people are registred as having a licence...there are much more!)
-limit of 8 dogs at a time
-pay a fee of 200 pesos (US$67) every six months for the utilization of public space
Bozo's daily walkies is a whole different ball game in Buenos Aires. Professional dog walkers - paseaperros - will take care not only of your pooch's daily exercise and socialising here, as well as walking him twice a day, they'll groom him , see to his health checks and generally take care of his daily needs. Your dog and several others that is - it's nothing to see eight or ten dogs (the days of 20 or more under one walker's care are over) on their leads out for a walk on their way to the railed-off areas in the local parks that are set aside for the city's mutts. It's a bit like the way nannies gather together in London's parks to see the minders gathered together gossiping in one corner in the enclosures whilst their charges play - or ignore each other.
The dogs all seem remarkably sanguine about it all, each keeping their place in the hierarchy of the pack - and the paseapaerro's definitely Top Dog.
In almost every area where there is a park near by you will find these talented dog walkers. How do they manage to walk more than 6 dogs at a time amazed me.
During a walk along the Botanical Gardens, we happen to see this dog walker with about 8 large dogs, all in unison, walking with no care in the world, and so well behaved! The dogs seemed to all get along and somehow manage to do their thing.
We turned the block, and again we see yet another walker with large dogs. Having a large dog in a small area (apartment) while the owner is working or away is probably the reason why you see so many dogs being walked. They do need to get their exercies :) and Portenos love their dogs!
I did not see any walkers with small dogs, but I did see owners walking one or two small dogs.
More than anything else, this is a status symbol. Those that can afford it pay a dog walker to take their dog out and exercise. The arrangement must vary because some of the dog walkers seem to spend most of the day with the dogs, dog sitting so to speak.
You will see them in almost any park in Buenos Aires, especially in the more affluent areas. A dog walker will be walking along with at least 5-10 dogs. Most are bigger dogs apparently, though I didn't see any walkers that seemed to have a specialty (ie. only smaller dogs, only german shepards etc.)
What is remarkable is that the dogs are all walking calmly, nobody is fighting they are not jumping on passersby etc. I had the opportunity to meet one of the dogwalkers when I was in one of the parks, he had just walked a large group of dogs, now he was sitting down to read the paper and relax. The dogs were sitting around, off leash, everyone just relaxing.
And the money people pay here for dog trainers!
Unless you're lucky enough or unlucky (depending on your POV) to travel with your pooch(es)....this won't really concern you, other than the fact that it is an interesting site.
In many places in the city, you see people watching five, six, ten dogs. They sit in the park with them. The groom them. They have them play with each other. These dogs do not sit at home all day waiting for their humans to come home....no, they are walked by a professional, and don't sit chewing up your sofa or shoes out of boredom.
Lucky dogs. Lucky owners.
If you see someone walking multiple dogs - no, it's not an animal hoarder or someone who has 5 dogs of their own! It's someone who is paid by several people/families to walk their dog. In Buenos Aires, some people either don't have time to walk their dog every day or don't want to, so they pay someone to do it for them. Though my personal opinion is that people shouldn't get a pet if they're not wiling to take on the full commitment, there are positive sides to this - the dogs get their daily exercise no matter how busy the owner is, the dogs are socialized with other dogs, and the walker gets paid for doing something easy.
Paseadores are the professional dog walkers and it's quite a popular job in BsAs. One man walks up to 12 dogs together and these are always large breeds like german shepherd, great dane or labrador . Also, it looks like the dogs got used to it cuz I've never seen them fighting.
You can have your dog walked by a professional for 100 peso a month.
Dog walking is a big business in Buenos Aires, particularly in affluent neighbourhoods such as Recoleta or Palermo, where the residents are either to lazy or too busy to look after their pets, and where you'll often see a dog walker controlling up a group of 10 or 15 dogs. Quite how he or she controls the group is a mystery to me, but it makes for a great specatacle.
You will most probably come across dog walkers while in Buenos Aires. These are people hired to take dogs for walks. You will see that these dog walkers have several dogs at a given time in their care.
In Buenos Aires you are going to see this kind of scenes always and everywhere, in my opinion, it is funny and cute.
En Buenos Aires van a ver este tipo de escenas siempre y por todas partes, en mi opinion es divertido y dulce!
In well-to-do neighborhoods like Palermo, we saw lots of professional dog walkers. Each walker held a bunch of leashes—they usually had 6-8 dogs with them.
Having someone else walk your dog is a status thing, and the neighbors would react if you did it yourself. (“Carla is walking her own dog? — Oh, No!”)
In many parts of the city, you will see people walking groups of up to 20 dogs! These are the infamous dogwalkers of Buenos Aires. Dogs are a popular pet here in the city, and as most people live in apartments, the dogs have to be taken out on a regular basis. Dog walkers have the job of doing this while people work. They have to walk the dogs twice each day, rain or shine, and of course keep the dogs under some kind of orderly control. It is amazing that the dogs form a hierarchy amongst themselves, and sometimes you will see the whole group sitting outisde together waiting for their dogwalker....
Salaries in Argentina can be rather low acording to western standards, but be assured that dog walkers make quite a good living!
normally you´ll see one guy with several dogs, normally more then ten of them, eesch one very pretty and photogenic, they pay them to take a walk with the dogs to make them exercice and not to be stressed, Nice to see, I still without understanding why they dont fight...
Es muy normal ver por las calles a los "paseadores" de perros , no tiene que ser nada fácil
It is very normal to see in the streets the dogs "walkers" , it can not be easy