Lately, I have had a lot of people asking me about what they should be looking for in a dog walker so I thought I would outline some questions I would suggest asking anyone who you might be hiring.
Now, before you even interview a dog walker there are a few things you should be looking for. One, your potential new dog walker should have no problem meeting you, and your dog, face to face for an initial meeting where you all get to know each other. It is also probably a good idea to hire someone who is bonded and insured, and who can provide some references like testimonials on their website, or online reviews such as yelp or Facebook. It is also advisable to hire someone who can walk your dog on their own. Pack walks can be extremely dangerous.
When you finally do meet with your prospective dog walker here are some questions I would recommend asking.
1. What is your plan if my dog ever got loose from your walker? What precautions do you put in place to make sure it does not happen?
A: Ideally a walking company will have a plan in place for not losing your dog. Maybe they double clip the leash, maybe the walker has the leash on their waist, maybe they are clipped to an extra carabiner. And if your dog does get loose, ideally the walker should not chase after them, instead, calling your dog as they back up away, falling on the ground, or any other option that encourages the dog to come to them.
2. What sort of training do your walkers go through before walking client’s dogs?
A: Walking dogs is a profession. A dog walker should have some sort of training. Simply having dogs or being around dogs for a long time is not proper training. At a minimum, they should know about dog body language, and ideally, have taken some sort of CPR/ First aid course. Or even better a basic dog behavior course.
3. What do you do if my dog is misbehaving, for example [behavior your dog sometimes does outside]?
A: With this question, we just want to make sure that even if your dog is misbehaving or being “difficult” they are being treated with kindness and respect.
4. Who has access to my dog and apartment? Is it one walker or everyone in the company?
A: I think this one is a little self-explanatory but you should know who is coming into your space and who is spending time with your dog.
5. How will you let me know how the walk went?
A: Some walkers have apps, some write notes, and some text pictures. But some sort of follow up after each walk is pretty standard.
© Leash and Learn 2020