Day in The Life of a Dog Walker

Have you ever thought about becoming a professional dog walker or starting your own dog walking service? This YouTube video entitled a “Day in the Life of a Dog Walker” will give you some insight into what it’s like to be a dog walker. See everything from picking up dogs, taking dogs on group walks, and how people hire local dog walkers for their favorite four legged friends.

This video is narrated by Amanda Briggs of Downtown Doggie Walking Service, a dog walker in Indianapolis. You can see what a typical day is like for Amanda and see if dog walking is a career you’d like to pursue. Of course, every dog walker has different duties and responsibilities, but this will give you a good idea of what a dog walker does during the day.

If the video below is interesting to you, please see the guide to becoming a dog walker. You can also look at the job board to find dog walking jobs in your area.

How To Get Your Dog Use to Wearing a Collar & Leash

Dog CollarWith over 12 years of dog training experience Tony Collazo and Cherie Marquez owners of Dog Training-Miami have had the ability to train all sorts of different breeds of dogs, Tony Collazo started training dogs and learned through South Eastern Guide Dogs. Due to their experience as school teachers they have been able to bring forth a curriculum that involves learning without the use of treats and or any special tools.

When you first get a new puppy, you can not expect the dog to be used to walking on a leash or even having a collar on. It should be done in a step by step process. If you force the dog to try and walk then they will fear the collar and that can cause problems for the future.

First thing you need to do is put the collar on the dog. Even if they are scratching at their neck, it is totally normal because they are not used to having something around their neck. Once they are used to the collar then you can get them used to the leash.

Do not put the leash on the dog and always expect the dog to be excited to walk with you. Most puppies will just lay down and refuse to walk. The best thing to do is to put the leash on the dog inside the house and let the dog walk around with it while you are home, so they get used to having the leash dragging behind them. After about 2 days, then you can try taking the dog for a walk.

Once you try taking the dog for a walk, grab a squeaky toy to get the dog excited. Start walking with the dog on the leash while squeaking the toy and telling the dog to come. As soon as the dog starts walking with you, give the dog plenty of praise, “good girl or boy come on.” Do it for a short amount of time the first time and progressively get longer each additional time. Once your dog starts walking you will be able to enjoy a long walk with your dog. Just Be Patient!!!!

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walking Tip: Follow Your Dog Walker

Is your dog walker taking you for a ride? You trust this person with your best friend, but do you really know what’s going on when you’re not around? Would you be shocked to find out that instead of that brisk stroll in the park your pooch was promised, you’re paying for nothing more than a quick pit stop and then an afternoon spent eating bonbons on your couch?

Don’t scoff. You might think it’s outrageous, but these things happen. While hiring a private investigator to get to the bottom of things might be pushing it just a bit, consider doing a little sleuthing on your own!

Advice is often given to parents of children in daycare to follow up and check up on the child periodically, at random moments, without calling. This is the best way to make sure that the daycare is up to snuff and not just plopping the kids in front of a movie while the staff gives each other manicures. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your precious pup?

If you can’t keep tabs on your walker personally, enlist the help of a trusted friend. Watch carefully for the arrival of the dog walker. Is punctuality a priority? The dog walker should arrive on time, as scheduled. There is no excuse for lateness.

Did you agree on an appropriate dog walking route? Make sure that route is being followed. Corners should not be cut: You are paying for a set amount of time, so make sure you are getting your money’s worth, and your dog is getting the exercised required!

How many dogs does the walker have? Is this a number that you agreed upon? If you are expecting your Fido to be the walker’s only charge, there is no excuse for showing up with extra dogs.

Most importantly, is the walker good with your dog? There should be no tugging along by the leash or rough treatment. You know bad behavior when you see it. If your requests aren’t being followed, plenty of other quality dog walkers are begging to take your dog for a stroll!

Why a Dog Walker Might Be Late for Work

DelaysA few days ago, I posted an article recommending that dog owners may want to “spy” on their dog walker to ensure that their dog is treated well, is given high quality care, and that the dog walker is spending the stated amount of time with the dog. The article received some positive feedback, but I may have overstated the importance of being precisely on time.

Yes, I do think a dog walker should be as prompt as possible. It’s really bad when a dog owner returns home expecting to find a happy dog but finds a pile of poo or a puddle of pee on the ground because the hired dog walker didn’t make it on time. However, there are times when it’s impossible for a dog walker to be precisely on schedule, and like everyone else, they face the same delays we all may have.

In fact, on second thought, I do think the comment that “there is no excuse for lateness” is a bit extreme, as there are many reasons a dog walker could be late, and they are out of the dog walker’s control.  Here are the top four reasons why a dog walker may show up tardy for work:

  • Traffic – a dog walker can’t control the school buses, car accidents, road construction, and other obstacles they may encounter driving from one job to the next.
  • Messes – No dog owner wants to return home to find a spilled bowl of food, dog vomit on the kitchen floor, or the couch pillows tossed on the floor. Even though a dog walker may not be responsible for cleaning up after a dog, most will want to tidy up and that can take extra time from the next job.
  • Dogs are dogs – Dogs just don’t always want to go for a walk when the dog walker shows up. Other times, dogs won’t go to the bathroom quickly or will have fun running around the dog run while not paying attention to the dog walker. Some of these things are out of the control of the dog walker and cause a delay in getting to the next dog.
  • Dog owners – Sometimes the dog owners are home and want to chat about their dog. It might be rude if the dog walker rushes the dog owner or isn’t engaging when the dog owner wants to discuss his dog.

These are just a few of the reasons why a dog walker may occasionally be late to jobs.  As hard as they may try to be punctual, there are times when dog walkers need some flexibility.  If you want someone who is compassionate and caring to take care of your dog, then give them the same treatment that you would want for your dog.

Thanks to Amy of Lucky Pup Pet Sitting and Dog Walking for some of the suggestions!

Photo: Flickr