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What should I look for in a reputable dog walker?

(15 Posts)
MagratGarlik Wed 31-Oct-12 14:38:58

Hi All

Due to a temporary increase in my working hours, I am going to need to look for a dog walker for the near future. However, I've never needed to use one before and I'm totally clueless as to what I should be looking for.

I know I'd prefer one with breed experience (as I have sight hounds) and someone who won't let the dogs off the lead, but what else should I look for and what should ring alarm bells?


Scuttlebutter Wed 31-Oct-12 17:19:39

If you're going for the Rolls Royce approach, then Public Liability Insurance, a CRB check, First Aid Certificates (human) animal care qualifications are "nice to have". If they transport your hounds, ask how and in what vehicle they do this, and check if hounds secured.

Ask if they can provide you with a short text to let you know they've had their walk, and an offer of some pics etc to email/text you from the walk occasionally is a nice touch too.

Personally, I'd like electronic payments too. smile

MagratGarlik Wed 31-Oct-12 17:31:24

Thanks - I would just ask family to call in and give them a walk, but I think people are more reluctant when there are two dogs!

I found details for on locally who says she owns (multiple) lurchers - which seems a good start to me, so might give her call and see. I am just terrified of someone loosing the dogs!

SpicyPear Wed 31-Oct-12 17:52:05

Also check how many dogs they walk at once. Not sure where you live but around my way I see a few who have more than they can, in my opinion, sensibly manage. And everything scuttle said.

7to25 Wed 31-Oct-12 17:55:03

My niece is a dog walker and tracks her walks via a phone app. She also posts pics of every walk with comments on her doggy Facebook page so that the owners can check

CalamityKate Wed 31-Oct-12 18:01:55

My friend often sees a dog walker arrive at the park near her, unload about 5 dogs, stand on the grass chatting to her friends for an hour with all the dogs still onlead, reload the dogs and drive away.

I'd imagine their owners think they're getting exercised.

Don't use her <hmm>

Scuttlebutter Wed 31-Oct-12 18:05:40

Tracking app is a great idea smile

MagratGarlik Wed 31-Oct-12 18:20:44

Ah, yes, the number of dogs. I have seen a couple with far more dogs than they could possibly control, so I'll check that. I was hoping to pay for them to be walked without others - is that unrealistic?

Thanks for your replies.

Inthepotty Wed 31-Oct-12 20:26:04

My dog walker is fab fab fab. She walks him locally so doesn't spend the walking time driving around, drys wet paws on return, spends ages cuddling my dog and sends me a text when he's back safely. Cost 8ph North east ish.

Floralnomad Wed 31-Oct-12 20:28:23

I've never used a dog walker , do you just give them a key to your house?

YourHandInMyHand Wed 31-Oct-12 20:33:55

I interviewed a pet sitter / dog walker. He was okay, I mentioned in conversation my son had autism, he then a few minutes later was telling me how he used to scare a lad at school who had learning difficulties and was laughing! shock angry

Obviously he did not get the job.

MothershipG Wed 31-Oct-12 20:37:45

I would want to go out on a walk with them.

Many dog wakers I see seem to expect the dogs to keep track of them rather than vice versa and a couple have such a high opinion of themselves that they think that they know better than the owners. hmm

MagratGarlik Wed 31-Oct-12 21:31:36

Yourhand, that is shocking! What a vile person.

MothershipG, good idea. I wouldn't have thought to walk with them.

Many thanks for all your comments. It is a lot of help.

isw Thu 01-Nov-12 12:01:03

I have always used walkers I have seen around. Maybe ask where she walks usually and go and stalk her ;)

suburbandream Thu 01-Nov-12 17:27:52

I found ours from a flyer in the local pet shop. She is NARPS registered - to be honest I'm not really sure how "official" that is IYSWIM, but I took it to mean that she was taking here responsibilities seriously. You can check in your area here here. Ours came round to meet the dog etc and it was just a gut feeling that she really liked animals and would be kind to him - he was just a tiny pup but I had a regular docs appt for DS so needed her once a week. Also she only walks one at a time which I prefer.

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