Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
How to choose a dog walker(9 Posts)
Just that really, what should I be looking for?
I have a lovely gentle puppy, he’s just started going for walks (not v good on the lead yet but we are working on it - he is slightly nervous when out so I’m doing lots of little walks with high value rewards). He has socialised a little with other dogs and is respectful if excitable, and I’m not keen on him being allowed to go crazy running around with other dogs yet as I’d prefer him to be people not dog focussed.
Any tips on what I should be looking for with a dog walker would be great. TIA
Hi OP - I'm a dog walker 😊
At an absolute minimum they need to be insured and ideally DBS checked if they're going into your home.
The dog walking industry is totally unregulated though, so neither of those things are necessary. You may also want to see if they have any canine first aid training or knowledge about dog behaviour.
I'd then see how much they know about walking puppies - eg. that they should only have short walks at first. Would they happily do solo walks, for example? Not all walkers do as it's not particularly profitable but some will for an extra fee. Would they be able to socialise your pup? What about training and where would they take it?
Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and ask to see proof of their insurance and any qualifications they have. Also it might be worth looking on their social media or websites to see what other people have to say as well. Not just in reviews but in comments on posts etc - do people recommend them? Do the dogs look happy?
A professional walker won't be offended if you ask lots of questions - good luck 😊
Many thanks @vanillandhoney. That’s a really useful list to start with.
As above but personally I also look for one with some basic behavioural qualifications. I like to know that the walker understands some of the basic science behind dog behaviour so that they can then understand the whys behind what dogs do and how to react.
You'd need solo walks or puppy visits. Throwing a puppy in a van with a load of adult dogs is a recipe for disaster and could create massive fear issues.
They should be insured - ask to see the policy
They need qualifications - if they have none I would walk away
They need to have a first aid ceritificate
Ask to get references from existing clients
Check out vehicle they will be using -check crates for safety and ask how many dogs they will have in the vehicel at one time
Ask how long the walk will be? Puppies obviously needs are different to adult dogs.
Ask how long your dog will be out of your house - some walkers have the dogs in the van for over an hour for an hours walk for example
How many dogs will they walk in one group?
How do they work out the groups?
Always go for a walk with a prospective walker to see interation with your dog and other dogs.
Be prepared to shop around and compare
Thank you all, much appreciated. I’m not in a rush to find someone so can spend some energy finding the right person.
I've recently started my girl with a dog walker.. not even because I need one right now but because she is glued to me and I need to be able to go out now and again!
I asked my friends and local FB group for reccommendations and then checked those for insurance, first aid etc. Then met up with and went on a few dogs walks. My dog isn't fussed with strangers so wanted someone who would take it at her pace and was confident with a dog who wasn't a 'hi I love you stranger!' type.
Chose the one who I felt was right for my Orla and did a couple of walks with her before being brave and handing her over.
So far so good : ) She goes without looking worried, plays with the other dogs (she only takes out a few at a time) and it's going well.
Mine has been in season this month and the walker was happy to take her with selected (neutered) dogs that she judges would be a good fit with mine.
Personally I would check everything thoroughly. There are no specific qualifications required to become a dog walker so check qualifications and experience in areas such as animal first aid, animal behaviour and animal care. Make sure they have insurance. Also check reviews. Also depending on the breed of your dog do they have breed experience. Not all dogs are the same. I would be very careful who I let walk my dogs after some of the things I've witnessed and reported with dog walkers.