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AMA

I'm a dog walker - AMA!

81 replies

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:06

That's it, really!

I left a career in retail and set up my own dog walking business before lockdown Smile

OP posts:
StripeyandConfused · 19/11/2020 21:07

Favourite breed?
Most common breed you walk?

ThereIsTooMuchConfusion · 19/11/2020 21:08

Would you consider taking on a dog that is reactive (needs muzzling) to other dogs?

WoodYewBee · 19/11/2020 21:09

how many do you walk at the same time?

is the business lucrative?

RealLifeHotWaterBottle · 19/11/2020 21:10

Anything clients do that annoy or frustrate you?

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:11

@StripeyandConfused

Favourite breed?
Most common breed you walk?

My favourite breed is a beagle, but most of the dogs I walk are cocker spaniels and collies!
OP posts:
vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:12

@ThereIsTooMuchConfusion

Would you consider taking on a dog that is reactive (needs muzzling) to other dogs?

Yes - I walk a few reactive dogs. I would only walk them solo though Smile
OP posts:
Smallsteps88 · 19/11/2020 21:13

How much do you earn and what sort of hours are you working for that? (I’m considering doing the same)

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:13

@WoodYewBee

how many do you walk at the same time?

is the business lucrative?

My maximum is four as I need to be able to manage all of them on leads at once, plus I don't feel like I can be responsible for more than that. My insurance does cover me for six dogs though!

Yes, it's fairly lucrative though with lockdown it's tough with people working from home. I have a fairly solid client base though!
OP posts:
vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:14

@RealLifeHotWaterBottle

Anything clients do that annoy or frustrate you?

Not being honest about their dogs issues or quirks beforehand. I'm happy to take dogs that are reactive or barky or that pull on the lead but I'd rather be told first!
OP posts:
vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:15

@Smallsteps88

How much do you earn and what sort of hours are you working for that? (I’m considering doing the same)

I charge £8 for pop-in visits (I do small animal feeding too) and anything up to thirty minutes.

Solo walks are £12 an hour and groups are £10 per dog, and £7 for additional dogs from the same household.

I normally work around 22 hours a week and make about 1k, though at the moment it's less due to lockdown.
OP posts:
Smallsteps88 · 19/11/2020 21:23

Thanks OP!

WoodYewBee · 19/11/2020 21:27

blimey i bet you are fit! all those steps

dogs that pull....how do you manage those? do you train them as you go?

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 21:34

@WoodYewBee

blimey i bet you are fit! all those steps

dogs that pull....how do you manage those? do you train them as you go?

I average around 10-15km a day - I spend the rest of my time on the sofa 🤣

I do my best to train but it's difficult if the owners don't keep it up or if I only walk the dog occasionally. I do make it clear that I'm not a trainer and although I'm qualified in first aid etc. I'm not a replacement for a professional in that respect 😊
OP posts:
FeminismIsForALLWomen · 19/11/2020 21:51

Are you qualified in anything animal related? And apart from insurance what else did you need to start up?

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 22:03

@FeminismIsForALLWomen

Are you qualified in anything animal related? And apart from insurance what else did you need to start up?

In England you technically don't need anything - not even insurance - it's totally unregulated 🙈

However I have insurance and I'm also canine first aid trained. I'm also using the quiet times to do a course in canine body language 😊

They've just started to regulate the doggy daycare industry so I suspect dog walkers will be next!
OP posts:
FeminismIsForALLWomen · 19/11/2020 22:16

However I have insurance and I'm also canine first aid trained. I'm also using the quiet times to do a course in canine body language

Sounds interesting, this is pretty much my dream job! Smile

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 22:22

@FeminismIsForALLWomen

However I have insurance and I'm also canine first aid trained. I'm also using the quiet times to do a course in canine body language

Sounds interesting, this is pretty much my dream job! Smile

I love it but it does have downsides too - walking for hours in the pissing down rain being the main one this week 🤣🤣

But it's been amazing for my mental health and overall fitness. I especially love when I get new puppies - the bond you develop with your dogs is really something else and I love seeing them grow.

I have a rescue on my books and it took me 20 minutes to get his harness on him the first time I walked him - now when I pull up he's waiting for me at the door and leaps on me for cuddles! 🥰
OP posts:
ChickensMightFly · 19/11/2020 22:22

Do you ever get bored?

vanillandhoney · 19/11/2020 22:25

@ChickensMightFly

Do you ever get bored?

Nope, I honestly don't.

But I'm very lucky and live somewhere with loads of choice of where to go, so we never do the same route twice in a week. We go to the beach, up the fells, through the woods and across fields - I've done so much exploring!

Going out for the fourth walk in a day in the howling wind and rain is a bit miserable but it's not boring - you just have to dress for the weather and remember to being a towel!
OP posts:
Smallsteps88 · 19/11/2020 22:34

I was about to ask about the weather. I looked outside yesterday and thought “would I really love to have to be out in that for hours every day during the winter?”

Gottalovesummer · 19/11/2020 22:35

It sounds like a wonderful job.

Mine is kind of similar, in that I go out for walks and a good run out each day, but I take out small children. ( I'm a childminder!)

Your hourly rate is far higher than mine too!

ChickensMightFly · 19/11/2020 22:36

Ooooo is it West Cumbria? [Grin]

ChickensMightFly · 19/11/2020 22:37

I would be really nervous of letting someone else's dog off the lead, but wouldn't fancy hanging on to 4 dogs for hours every day. How do you go about that?

Gifgif · 19/11/2020 22:43

That works out over three hours a day, so how do you manage to squeeze that into your clients' working days? Surely most people want a walk at lunchtime?

Papergirl1968 · 19/11/2020 23:02

Is that £1K a month?

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