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Dog walking as a part time job

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Skarlet

1231853
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 3:22pm PST 
I was thinking about walking dogs as a part time job. I would not walk any dogs with any history of aggression whatsoever and use careful judgment before I accepted any job.

I am very good at reading dog language, calming signals, and seeing and avoiding potential problems or being proactive in how I handle them as I have worked with dogs that were reactive in the past (although again, I would not accept a known aggressive/reactive dog).

I am a college student, and I miss my dog back home terribly. I was hoping this would be a way to spend time with dogs, get some exercise, and earn a few bucks rolled into one. Good idea? Bad idea?

Are there any dog walkers out there? Or anyone with tips? Suggestions? Warnings?
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 8:04pm PST 
Don't do it without insurance. If you can't afford the insurance, just skip the whole idea. It is never ok to be working with dogs without insurance. Accidents happen all the time. Off hand, random, horrible things I have seen include a dog run into a door frame and break her leg, several dogs get loose when the spring in their leash/tether clip broke, lots of seizures, fights with wild animals no human could have detected, a dog jump through a screen window, an owner who didn't latch her gate properly and all her dogs got loose when one jumped on it, a dog somehow slice his thigh open running in his own yard...

Otherwise, if you have the experience and you're in a good area with a good schedule, go for it. If you don't -need- the work, it's a good time to get started growing a business... Otherwise you may end up strapped for cash. But you do have to be in a town people are willing to hire a dog walker, and you'll need to be able to get away to do the walking between classes.

Do expect people to have no idea their dog is aggressive/reactive, or outright lie about it. Setting up meetings and trial runs prior to accepting a client will help. Make the trial run after the initial meeting, where you come to the house while the owner is away, but won't be away so long the dog will suffer for not being walked... This way you make sure you will be able to get in the house. Many dogs are fine with anyone coming in when their owner is present to "clear" you, but will take you down for coming in when no one is home.
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Noah

Herpaderp-apotam- us
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 19, '12 8:15am PST 
I worked as a dog walker for about 5 years and I loved it, but I did it as an employee for a bigger company. They brought clients to me, dealt with all the insurance, set up meetings, etc. For me, only getting paid half of what they charged was worth it for not having to deal with all that hassle.
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