26 Apr Your questions answered honestly!
Honesty blog from a dog walker
As much as my job can be quite solitary I do occasionally, bump into other humans.
I guess my job is rather interesting to some and they want to learn more, so I have questions and/or comments fired at me.
As this is going to be honest answers I would just like you to know in advance that I love answering them. Well, most of them anyway. I do enjoy talking about what I do as it’s something I’m incredibly passionate and proud of.
Are they (dogs) all yours?
“I wish” is my first response but then I explain I’m their dog walker.
What’s your favourite breed?
“Haven’t got a clue”.
I wish I could choose but I honestly love them all. Every breed has a lovely quality. I do think if it wasn’t for Darrell my house would be full of dogs and I would be diagnosed as an animal hoarder.
I have been known to wander through Crufts and every few steps I’d say “I must own (insert any breed) before I die”.
Do you have a favourite dog? (Customer dog/s)
“They’re all my favourites”.
It’s impossible to pick just 1 and unfair for me to answer. I love them all equally.
How do you manage all of them?
I’ve been doing this for almost 4 years, so I can say I’m experienced for any eventuality. I also like to think I’m rather strong. Even though I am only 5ft. I’m quite a pessimistic person, which is known as a negative trait to have but being this way seems to work well for me. In every situation I will see what could go wrong and then I will think about steps to take to avoid a problem.
How do you know they’ll (dogs) all be friends?
“We don’t just bundle them all into my van. It takes a while for us to work out who should be in what pack”.
I feel confident in my pack choices but I will never walk dogs together if I think it won’t be a fun and/or stress – free experience.
When I take on a new customer I like to introduce them to my dogs first. This is just to gage their character. Being in a pack can sometimes be rather daunting to a dog so we take it slow initially. From that first walk I then take a note on what dogs he/she would get along with. This is the most rewarding part of my job. Watching a pack playing confidently fills me full of joy.
I’m not about to have a difficult walk just to save time and money. I started this job because walking dogs puts me in my happy place.
How do you know you’ve picked up all the poo?
“I make sure I’m paying attention to them at all times”.
As strange as this sounds I know all of my dog’s toilet routine and when they like to go on our walk.
When my assistant (Nala) is with us we have an extra pair of eyes.
I have been TOLD that there’s no way I could certainly pick up all the poo, but you’ll just have to take my word on it. I have done and always will clear up after all my dogs.
What do you do if a dog suffers an injury?
“I’m a qualified canine 1st aider and carry a kit in every walk”.
I’ve attended a 1st aid course every year since I started my business. I like to keep it all fresh in my mind to ensure all my dogs are as safe as they can be in my care.
My customers don’t just have me to walk their dogs, they also receive my knowledge if they have any concerns. I’m more than happy to share what I know if it helps a family.
What do you do if it rains?
“Put my coat and wellies on”.
Seriously though, I’d much prefer it to not rain but that’s not how it works.
When the weather is rubbish there’s less people out walking their dogs, and this means there’s less likelihood for us to encounter any problems. The only thing I really hate about the rain is when the turns our walks into thick horrid mud.
Walking a pack of 6 or more happy dogs is amazing but sometimes it takes just 1 dog we don’t know to tip the balance. It’s generally why I like to walk where we’re unlikely to bump into any members of the public.
It’s nothing against anyone but it just makes our walks easier to manage if we’re on our own.
What do you love most about your job?
“DOGS! DOGS! DOGS! DOGS! DOGS!”
I get paid to spend time with dogs! There’s no need for me to explain further.
What do you hate most about your job?
“The driving and talking money”.
I initially didn’t think I had an answer for this but driving takes up so much of my time and it’s so incredibly boring. I also dislike talking money. I much prefer calling/texting my customers to tell them how wonderful their dog/s are.
Have you ever been bitten?
“Yes, and only by jack russell’s”.
Only on 1 occasion has a bite been a puncture wound though and it was a member of the publics. Rather than a customer’s dog. I just needed a tetanus injection, it was dressed and kept clean while I healed. Didn’t stop me loving all dogs though.
How lovely to just walk for a living. It must be such a relaxing job.
This comment often makes me giggle. I also never know how to respond to it and it makes me feel uncomfortable.
Walking a pack isn’t the easiest task to do but the reward is far greater than not doing it at all.
Walking my own dog’s is “relaxing” but when I walk my customers I’m very vigilant and don’t shut down until we’ve completed our walk.
Going to a spa or having a massage is relaxing, not walking 6+ dogs…
… but I can’t bring myself to say the above when a comment like the above is made.
How much money do you make?
“I can pay my bills”.
This is possibly the worst question I’ve been asked and believe it or not it’s been asked many times. I don’t like talking “money” with my customers let alone strangers who have no intention of using my services or becoming a dog walker themselves.
I just don’t answer this question, but someone once asked me what I charge and then added the cost up while counting the dogs on my walk. Then said “So you’ve just made £xxx in 1 hour?! No wonder there’s loads of dog walkers about”.
Again, still feeling uncomfortable I just tried to change the subject.
There’s so much more to the amount the person came to. Some people assume my outgoings are minimal.
- Vehicle up keep
- Insurance (Van/public liability/pet)
- Accessories (leads/treats/training products)
As I said before, the amount of driving I do every day is ridiculous. Although a pack will be walked for an hour I don’t include the driving time (obviously). On average it takes us 45 mins to collect and then another 45 mins to drop off. So really the amount she came to is actually spread over 2.5 hours.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. I’m always trying to think of me topics to blog about so if you’d like me to cover anything please do drop me a message.