Dog walking is not as easy as holding the other end of the leash and getting a walk around the neighborhood or to the park and back. Dog walking jobs may look simple, and can be done by anyone who loves dogs. However, there are hundreds of things that can go wrong in taking your beloved pet out of the house. Here are the important things to look for when hiring dog walker.
Before You Start Your Search, Conduct a Pre-Search
Before you start your search for companies and individuals that offer dog walking jobs and services, ask around your neighborhood or visit your local dog park. You can also check the bulletin boards at your vet’s office or pet supply store and ask for their recommendations. Don’t hire the first name that pops out from the conversation. Ask for references and talk to the real clients about their experience with the dog walker.
You may also consider bond and insurance. This will depend on how much risk you perceive and how willing you are to accept those risks. Aside from that, here are the most important things you need to look for.
Unless They Are Actually Trainers, Dog Walkers Are NOT Dog Trainers
Just because they’ve been walking dogs for years and know how to teach dogs a few commands doesn’t make them a dog trainer. There are so many things to learn about animal behavior, and training animals in particular. Dog training requires certification, so unless they’re actually certified, they are not dog trainers.
Your Dog Must Like His Dog Walker
The relationship between your beloved pet and his walker is crucial, as it can spell the difference between a nice walk and a disaster. Your dog doesn’t have to instantly love his walker, but anyone who is warm and inviting will catch the animal’s confidence and trust. Affection for your pet is very important, it is non-negotiable even. Your dog must love the idea of walking with his walker, and gets excited when his walker arrives at your house.
If your dog is usually shy or quite slow to warm up, then choose a walker who knows to push the right buttons and communicate your pet to cheer her up. Those with right dog walk training will have an easier time handling dogs with different personalities.
Choose a Walker that Takes and Follows Directions
Each dog requires special attention and unique care. Maybe your dog gets irritable and uncontrollable to certain situations and conditions, such as around other animals or other dogs. Maybe he has quite a tricky digestion and gets diarrhea easily each time he eats dried frozen liver treats. Whatever special instruction you give to the dog walker, they are only as good as their ability to listen and follow instructions. Your walker must never substitute your judgment for his own.
If there are important things you need to say to your dog’s walker, such as tips and insights of your dog’s behavior, make sure he listens to every word you say. Remember that their job is to walk your best friend and give your beloved pet a good time and keep your dog out of trouble. No need for behavior modification, etc.