With dog walkers popping up more and more frequently, it’s not hard to see why people could be drawn to this particular career. I mean, just look at what my job entails…
But if, like me, your dogs are your family then it’s important that you choose a walker who is a good fit for not just your dog but also you and your lifestyle.
Here are 6 things to ask a potential dog walker.
Number 1 – What is your approach to training?
I focus solely on positive reinforcement when it comes to training because of the stress free impact it has to a dog whilst also being a lot of fun and cruelty free. I do not believe in electric collars however I know that other trainers and walkers do. Before letting your dog out of your sight you need to be sure it is going to be disciplined in a manner that you agree with and that your values align with the walker.
Number 2 – What is your experience?
Because there is no governing body when it comes to dog walking, technically anyone can decide to become one. Whilst it’s not legal to have a qualification, you need to decide whether you’d feel more comfortable with someone who has a an educational background in dog care or you’re perfectly happy with someone who does it because they miss having their own dog. Each have their own merits.
Number 3 – Why this job?
Look we all need to make a living but there’s a difference when it comes to someone who’s in it purely for the money or in it for the love as well. On the days when it rains or dogs are jumping all over you or heck you put your finger in dog poo for the 7th time that week, the walker who does it for love as well is going to remain consistent when it comes to shelling out the affection to your Pal. And that’s going to make a world of difference to the quality of attention your dog receives.
Number 4 – Where can I find your reviews?
This is a big one! Have they been recommended to you by someone you trust? The beauty of this is it takes any of the guess work out of it for you PLUS you can ask your friend or family member any question and get an honest answer in return. Another great giveaway are the ratings or reviews they have on social media. And if they have none, this could be a red flag worth considering.
Number 5 – Can you come and meet my dog?
In my opinion an initial meet and greet is an absolute must before taking on any new dogs. It not only gives the dog walker a chance to ask any important questions such as medical history and interaction with other dogs but it gives you, the owner, the opportunity to ask any questions and get a really good feel for the person. And this is where listening to your gut comes into play – if you don’t get a good vibe on the first meet, you’re not going to feel comfortable sending your Pal away and they’re not the walker for you.
Number 6 – How do you group dogs together?
Another important one, I’ve had dogs come to me who’ve been with other walkers previously and lost confidence as a result. It’s an old school way of thinking to believe that all dogs will “sort it out between them” or that you can throw any breed or sex into a group without any backlash. Be sure to ask how the walker chooses which dogs go with which if they carry out group walks and how they integrate them. I walk a male poodle and a male whippet and there is no way I’d put these two dominant Pals on a walk together. You need a savvy walker if your dog is to remain safe and happy.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!
If you have any questions please do feel free to get in contact – I’d love to help!