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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am meeting with a dog walker on Monday to discuss walking my three year old Beagle three times a week. Here is what I know, he is insured, I think the business is fairly new, and he does have at least one customer in my complex, who I will check with. What other questions do I need to ask, what should I be looking for when he meets my dog?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
 

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I would see how he gets along with your dog. Dogs can tell things about people! Also, I would ask:

-how long they keep the dogs out
-if your dog will be walked with other dogs (and if so, how many!)
-where they go (just in the neighborhood or somewhere else? dog park or on the street?) and how they get there
-what time range they'll come in (i.e. could it be anytime during the day, or in between 10 and 3, or what?)
-if they leave a note about how your dog is and whether or not he/she went to the bathroom
-what happens if they are sick or can't come for whatever reason
 

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Good answers.
Also: what sort of management and training philosophy do they have (dogwalkers should ONLY be using negative punishment ie: loss of fun priveleges for the dog when the dog acts out). I am a pro dogwalker..and I have seen walkers alpha roll, hit and scream at dogs that are in their care. I have also seen them slap an electronic collar on a dog without permission from the owner....
If the dogs are going off leash, is it only in fenced in areas?
What is the plan and responsibility of dog owner AND dogwalker if the dog is injured or lost.

Trust is important..blind trust is not wise.

As a potential client:
Leave a leash and regular collar WITH ID for him/her to use..and not a flexi lead.
Make sure they have your veterinary information AND a cellphone number for you in case of emergency.
If your dog has ANY quirks (doesn't like black dogs, resource guards toys/sticks, jumps on people in certain situations etc)..let them know, so they can manage the environs best they can to provide good behaviour and safety with your dog.
Pay the walker on time (ie don't forget to pay on the "payday")
Provide a towel, brush and extra bags and a notebook for notes near the door where the dog is picked up/dropped off.
Show them where your cleaning supplies are kept incase they walk in to get the dog and the dog has had an accident or made a mess.
Give lots of notice if cancelling if possible.
Tip them at Christmas.

A good walker is worth their weight in gold.
 

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And I would add...once your dog is used to the walking routine, I would check in one day and see how your dog is with the walker. Is he excited? Does he hide in his crate and not want to come out? That would tell me a lot. My dog goes NUTS for her dog walker, absolutely loves him, and I feel much better leaving my pup knowing that.

Also...not to be paranoid...but you can also check the court records for your city and see if this person/business has had any lawsuits (or criminal cases) against them. The public records are usually available online.

Actually, that reminds me of something else...you should ask if the person you're meeting with is the person who will be actually walking your dog, or if it could be someone else. If it's a business with many people, you should try to meet with the actual person.

And also, I would ask how they protect your house keys. You don't want someone who leaves that stuff laying around in their car or whatever.

And ask if they have their own dogs. The answer might be illuminating.

Also: are they members of any professional associations? Believe it or not, professional associations for dog walkers exist. And ask how much notice they need for cancellation or for an extra walk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the great tips! I would have never thought to have asked some of them!!

I do have a follow up question, he did say he was insured, but how do you verify that? Also, just to be well informed, if I have to cancel a walk, what is the standard procedure, do you still pay? Also regarding tipping, Christmas is the only special tipping time right?

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure this is a much better experience then the doggie daycare was.
Thanks
 

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Thanks all for the great tips! I would have never thought to have asked some of them!!

I do have a follow up question, he did say he was insured, but how do you verify that? Also, just to be well informed, if I have to cancel a walk, what is the standard procedure, do you still pay? Also regarding tipping, Christmas is the only special tipping time right?

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure this is a much better experience then the doggie daycare was.
Thanks
We use to tip at Christmas always. But if our dogs were walked on a holiday such as: New Years Eve, New Years Day, 4th of July, Easter, or Halloween we would pay time and a half. Meaning if they usually got $20 an hour we would pay them $30 an hour. If I was going to cancel a walk I would do it at least 24 hours before hand and I would not pay for that walk. If it was less then 24 hours notice then I would pay them still.
 

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For insurance, I would ask what company provides the insurance. If you really wanted to, you could call to verify.

We don't pay for walks if we cancel the night before, otherwise I assume the walker would still charge us (but I've never tried it).

We only tip at Christmas. We did a week's "salary" plus fancy dog treats for our walker's own dogs.
 
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