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Marnie's avatar

What services and qualities would you want in a dog walking service?

Asked by Marnie (19points) April 24th, 2010

I am opening a dog walking service. I’m doing some research to see what qualities and services people that would use a dog walking want. All answers will be appreciated as they will help me to fine tune my business. Thanks!

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13 Answers

janbb's avatar

Reasonable price
Abiity to handle/get along with my dog
Must be a dog lover
Trustworthy in terms of coming into my house when I’m not home

Oh – and Welcome to Fluther!

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Hey,, as long as you bring me back the same dog and it’s alive, I’m cool !

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I would want my dorg back. (Most of the time I feel that way.)

I wouldn’t want her bloody, either with her own or any other dorg’s (or dog’s, or other animal’s… or your) blood on her.

I wouldn’t want her to have been fed anywhere else.

I wouldn’t want to have to fish for cash on the spot when you arrive at my door, either to take her for her walk or to return her; I’d prefer a weekly or monthly billing.

I’d want assurance that all of the dogs (or dorgs) are up to date on their rabies shots. (You’ll want that assurance, too, in case one of them ever nips you!) Many owners may not think of that, but if you’ve ever put a dog in a kennel overnight then you know that without the certificate, the dorg’s not staying. So you’d better think of it.

I’d want you to be dependable and on time and consistent.

I wouldn’t want you to be subcontracting the job to someone else because you were bored, had a headache, the weather was bad, your favorite show was on… yada yada.

I wouldn’t necessarily care (nor even know) whether you were a dog lover or not, but you’d have to be able to stay in control, and do that humanely, and be careful with all of the dorgs.

And I’d want you to do that for a very reasonable price.

zophu's avatar

Study up on how to interact with dogs. You’ll be dealing with dogs that haven’t been trained well, in fact, abused, and you’ll have to know how to deal with them. Especially if you’ll be walking more than one at a time.

This lecture by Ian Dunbar changed the way I thought about human-dog interaction:

syz's avatar

I would want someone who is reliable, who is bonded and insured (since they’ll be in my house) and someone with enough veterinary experiance to recognize health issues and emergencies.

zophu's avatar

@syz Do you hire doctors to babysit? haha

Oh, I can see by your profile why you have strict standards. By the way, could you take a quick look at this question:

I think your expertise could give valuable insight

marinelife's avatar

I would want to watch you interact with my dogs and believe that you liked them and would treat them well.

I would want you to do what you say you will and be reliable.

I would want you to listen carefully to what I have to tell you about my dogs. That Mackie is afraid of doors closing on him so he pulls back if the door is not opened wide enough, That Kobe tends to poop in multiple sessions so have enough bags for two. That kind of thing.

syz's avatar

@zophu Not a doctor, no, but I’ve seen a “professional” dog walker take a bulldog on a long, strenuous walk and then not recognize that she had induced heat stroke in the poor thing.

snowberry's avatar

You will need to be bonded and insured. If one of your charges bites someone, you’ll be in for a legal battle, and so might your client. Check out the yellow pages of a large city, and see what other dog walking services offer. Call them all up and act as if you are a potential client, and see what they offer.

How will you distinguish yourself from the rest of the dog walking services in your area? Will you offer to train the dogs too? Perhaps a higher price will be needed for training. How will you advertise? Yellow pages, word of mouth, flyers? Do you offer pet sitting and plant watering services as well?

GladysMensch's avatar

An economics teacher told our class about a dog walking service in a major city. The owner of the business started off by charging a low, reasonable price for the walks, and the business nearly failed. The owner realized that people don’t want to pay the lowest price for the care of something they loved. So the owner tripled his price and had more business than he could handle.

kheredia's avatar

I don’t think I would trust my dogs to just anybody because I know how strong they are and how difficult it can be to walk them both at the same time. I would probably want to make sure that he or she is experienced with large, powerful breeds. That would probably be my main concern. Aside from that I would want someone who is responsible, reliable, trustworthy, and that connects well with my dogs. My dogs need someone with a firm hand who takes the lead and is just as stubborn as they are. I know I have my hands full with them, so trusting them in someone else’s hands would be a big deal for me.

loser's avatar

Not too many dogs
Vaccination standards (For group walks)
Knowledge in dog CPR and emergency first aid
Cheaper than the other guys

OpryLeigh's avatar

I would want anyone that walked my dogs to be strict with the rules that I use when walking my dogs. I would be very irritated if I found out that someone let my dogs get away with something that I wouldn’t allow (ie: pulling on the leader to be in front, not walking by my side etc). I would recommend checking with every dog owner what they expect from their dogs when they are out walking and stick to their rules because with many dogs, if they can get away with breaking the rules with one person then they will start trying to break the rules with everyone. Dogs need consistency when it comes to training.

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