Okay, you’ve decided you’d like to hire a dog walker…now what? I’ve been a Dog Walker for twelve years now, and I’ve seen a lot of things—good and bad. But one of the biggest mistakes owners make in the process of hiring a walker is: hiring the wrong walker. I don’t mean a bad walker, I mean the wrong walker or company for their needs. There are so many dog walking companies in the city now, that you, as a client, have LOTS of choices. But how do you know ‘how to choose?’ It can be overwhelming with so many options. That’s what this guide is about: How to find the right walker for you and your dog. And what do I mean by ‘right?’ I mean someone who offers the exact right type of service to meet the needs of you and your dog.
Questions: ask open ended questions. Not ones that can be answered with a yes or a no. And remember, the questions they ask you, are the questions they ask the owners of other dogs. Are they learning enough about your dog to make you feel comfortable?
Why insurance and licensing? For me, this is an indication of the walker’s seriousness about the service they provide. I feel if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. And I feel like this mindset extends to all aspects of their business. If they can do the easy stuff right like insurance, it’s more likely that they’ll do the hard stuff right, too. And insurance helps to protect you, too.
Training philosophy: While walkers are not trainers, there is an aspect of training involved in walking, whether it’s just general management, recall or working with puppies. Whatever your training style, it’s important to have a walker who shares it.
Senior dogs: I don’t always recommend senior dogs go on private walks. As long as they are allowed to go at their own pace, trips to the off leash park can be great for them. It helps keep them active and social, which, like with people, is very important.
Knowing what I know about the dog walking industry, this is the process I would follow if I was looking for a walker for my dog. I’ve seen young, social dogs on privates who are bored and under stimulated. And I’ve seen reactive dogs come out each day to terrorize the occupants of the off leash parks. But I’ve also seen timid dogs join groups and become vibrant and playful. And I’ve seen other dogs learn how to become comfortable with strangers while on private walks. Dog walks can be a tremendous life changing experience for your dog, and a stress relieving service for you, but only if you have the right walker.
Category: Citizen Canine, Dog Training, Dog Walking, Physical Activity, Safety, SocializationTags: annexdogwalker, bickforddogwalker, cedarvaledogwalker, citizencaninedogwalking, citizencaninetoronto, dogwalker, foresthilldogwalker, howtohireadogwalker, howtohiretherightdogwalker, littleitalydogwalker, seatonvillagedogwalker, torontodogwalker