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If you could design the perfect dog walking service...


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#21 Karynne

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:10 PM

Okay, I have a little time before I have to drive up to my mother's house to help her paint her bathroom, so I'll try and respond to as many as I can before then. Seriously, this input is amazing, thank you so much!

@Donald: Thanks for the great feedback! I agree that most things will shake out once I get going, I'm just trying to be as prepared as possible before I offer my services professionally. In the mean time I've been offering pro bono walks for some friends with dogs to gain more hands on experience, and more insight into the day to day realities of the job. So far the experience has been very helpful, and I've gotten to work with a variety of dogs. For example, Emma is very reactive towards other dogs she encounters on our walks, so I'm constantly scanning the environment to avoid any. When I do spot one, I either change course or distract her with an impromptu game until the dog passes. So far it's working like a charm and she hasn't had any negative encounters to date.

@Rave: LOL, I almost died laughing when I read "go all Cesar Milan on them". I've never heard it put that way, but there's certainly no danger of that, I'm more of a Patricia McConnell girl myself :P . While a good working knowledge of dog behavior is necessary to do my job well, and safely, at the end of the day, I am not a trainer. My job is to ultimately show their dog a good time, give him some exercise, and follow the owner's instructions so I don't inadvertently undo any training they've worked hard on instilling in their dog.

@2 Devils: The clicker training is more about working on cute tricks, and other fun non-essential behaviors. But I agree, there will have to be some extra meetings with the owners to show them what we've worked on and what commands I'm using, so the dog doesn't get confused. If their schedule is too hectic to fit in those additional meetings, I also have a decent video camera, so I'd be happy to make a video that summarizes that info and email it to them.

@Tommy Coyote: I was hoping there would be some other dog walkers that could chime in with their experiences! As for knowing the dogs, that's why I opted for dog walking versus pet sitting, as I really enjoy the relationship you develop with the dog over time.

As for pinch and choke collars, I'm not really a fan of either, instead I opt for the no-pull harnesses and have had really good results with them. If the owners still prefer them, that's fine, but for me it's worth it to cover the cost of the harness and use that when walking those dogs (I would discuss that with the owner during the meet and greet).

I'm fortunate that I haven't encountered any loose dogs yet, but it sounds like it will be worth my time to research some repellant methods in the event I had to prevent a fight.

@waffles: That's certainly good advice. Tacoma has so many busy roads that a loose dog generally equals a dead dog, so preventing escapes is very important.

@Beachdogz: LOL, very true! Tacoma has lots of ritzy high rise apartments, with no breed or size restrictions. So for those people with active dogs, no yard, and a busy work schedule, they really consider investing in a dog walker or daycare a necessity.
Report cards and brochures are definitely a must. As well as harnesses, but if they don't have one I'm happy to pay for it. They'll already be shelling out quite a bit of money for my services, so I'm happy to help them with the cost of equipment.

@urge to herd: Excellent points! I'll try and address them in order:
* Yep, already done. In Washington state, it's automatically done when you file for your business license.
* Really, I am the business, hubby has very little to do with it and he has his own full time job, so he would only be an option for absolute emergencies (crippling/life threatening injuries or illnesses). My plan though is to go over those details with the owner during the meet and greet, and give them the option of what they'd like done in the event of an emergency. If they would like him to be the emergency backup (rather than just not having service on the days I'm unable to be there), then we'd go ahead and arrange a time for him to meet them and their dog, and he would accompany me on some walks so he knows what's involved in caring for that dog, and the dog gets used to his presence.
* Yes, there is already a section in the care profile for that info, as well as if they have a brand preference. Because it's a higher priced service, I don't expect them to cover the cost of anything extra (treats, and harness if necessary). I've already factored in the monthly cost of treats into my business budget, so I'm happy to buy them.
* Great idea! I'm not a certified massage practitioner, but I have learned some basic techniques that I'd be happy to show them.
* Unfortunately, there isn't. I wish there were though!
* Also an excellent piece of advice. I've had a couple different people review it, and I have some friends that have volunteered to be practice clients, so I can run through the meet and greet process with them a few times and get comfortable with it.
* Yes, "you snooze you lose" really applies here. My business number is my cell, so I always have it with me, and because it's a smart phone I can answer emails on the go as well. Really, there's no reason I wouldn't be able to get back to them the same day.
* Yep, I got both! For marketing, I'm focusing on a networking/community marketing approach versus advertising (although I am listed in all the local online directories, and have a website). So building relationships with local rescues/shelters and trainers is my main objective to gain exposure and referrals. I'll be donating five percent of all my profits to the Tacoma Humane Society (where I volunteer), and hosting quarterly fundraising campaigns for other rescues in the area.

Thanks for the well wishes! :D

@geonni banner: I agree most people don't have properly fitted collars, so I'll be using harnesses to prevent panicked escapes.

@Gloria: Thank you! I'm sorry to hear about your fender bender. A couple weeks ago we found a very scared little Pit Bull puppy wandering around our neighborhood. She was obviously lost, so we took her in for the night until we could locate her owners in the morning. Thanks to her microchip we were able to find him, and return her. Turns out he had just adopted her from the shelter a few days prior, and they had been in a car accident the night we found her. She was leashed in the car, but not buckled in, and escaped through the broken window. Thankfully she wasn't hurt, just shaken up.

@Sue: Even more excellent points!
- Yes, multiple dog households are certainly okay.
- My service area is pretty small (city limits of Tacoma) so I'm factoring in 15 minutes of driving time for each appointment. It makes for easy one hour time blocks. And even if I'm zig zagging around town for each client, 15 minutes is really all it takes to drive from one side of my service area to the other.
- Yes, my number of clients per day will pretty much max out at 4 or 5 (an hour each). Early and late appointments each have their different advantages though. For example if their dog becomes destructive when bored, then giving them a good workout from 10-10:45 can make the rest of the day go a lot smoother. Or if there's an owner that frequently works late, or goes out after work, a 3-3:45 appointment might work well for them. Pretty much my ideal schedule is 4 clients a day between 11-3, or 10-2.
- Thank you for the well wishes!

@SS Cressa: I think a lot of people share your opinion about choke chains, myself included. No pull harnesses are definitely what I'll be using for my clients.

I'm still torn on the spay/neuter issue. On one hand, I'm super pro-rescue and therefor pro-spay/neuter, but because I'm not going to be working with groups of dogs (short of multiple dog households, in which case it will be required for them to be walked together), I'm not sure it's fair of me to require that. On the issue of vaccinations I have it written into my contract that it's the owner's responsibility to vaccinate their dog as they see fit, but that I'm not to be held liable for the results of their choices. So I'm inclined to leave it up to them, on both issues. What do you think?
~ Karynne

#22 simba

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

I'm still torn on the spay/neuter issue. On one hand, I'm super pro-rescue and therefor pro-spay/neuter, but because I'm not going to be working with groups of dogs (short of multiple dog households, in which case it will be required for them to be walked together), I'm not sure it's fair of me to require that. On the issue of vaccinations I have it written into my contract that it's the owner's responsibility to vaccinate their dog as they see fit, but that I'm not to be held liable for the results of their choices. So I'm inclined to leave it up to them, on both issues. What do you think?

#

Spay/neuter- I'd say ask the owners to tell you when a bitch goes into heat, if it's intact. I wouldn't walk a bitch in heat, selfish as that sounds, because of the extra responsibility and potential for acccidents. I'm super pro-rescue but I'm iffy on spay/neuter, I think it's advisable but there are circumstances under which I wouldn't do it (plus irrational emotional reasons of course).

#23 Maralynn

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:36 AM

@donald, pack leader? really? It's up to the owner to convey any issues with their dogs, not expect a dogwalker to go all Cesar Milan on them. I would NOT want that. I have one with issues and I tell my petsitter exactly what to watch for and how to handle any situations, but more importantly, I prevent any situations from occuring by proactively managing the situation.


The idea isn't invalid just because CM uses it. Dogs still need a confident leader. I too would want to know how someone would take on the leadership position while interacting with my dogs. How would they handle my dogs, how would they gain the confidence and respect of my dogs? I've had two dogs now that would need someone who capable of being a confident, benevolent leader or forget trying to do something with them.

Of course if they started to talk about going all alpha on my dog and started going "phsst, phsst, phsst" then I'd go elsewhere....

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#24 MrSnappy

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:54 AM

If a dog walker put a choke chain on any of my dogs, that'd be the last time they'd get hired by me, that's for sure.

I don't have much to add except 1) can you come and walk my dogs please? And 2) a niche market is a nice touch. A friend of mine is a "walker" for an eccentric old rich lady with a very badly behaved, very neurotic and incredibly irritating border collie. She even brings him to agility class once a week and while I wish the super novice, totally untrained, dog-reactive border collie was not in my Masters Level class, my friend is making a boatload of coin "entertaining" this dog for its owner, so I can't begrudge im too much. The dog is obviously well loved, but by someone who probably shouldn't own a dog like him. I suspect there a lot of people like his owner (though maybe not to that extreme) who would welcome a thoughtful exercise / walking service who caters to their kind of dog.

If I could afford it I would totally have someone come in and walk my dogs on my property whilst I am at work during the day. I would feel bad, however, about subjecting any unsuspecting person to the antics of the WooTWoo. I'd totally have to pay extra for emotional trauma ;-)

Good luck!

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#25 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:53 PM

Oh, I'm so glad you found the little pittie's owner! Poor baby, thank heavens you took her in and kept her safe.

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

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#26 Jack & Co.

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

If I could afford it I would totally have someone come in and walk my dogs on my property whilst I am at work during the day. I would feel bad, however, about subjecting any unsuspecting person to the antics of the WooTWoo. I'd totally have to pay extra for emotional trauma ;-)

Good luck!

RDM



I would come up there and brush and smooch your orange dog for free! B) It would be an honor to experience his awesomeness! (His Awesomeness, as well!)
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#27 Karynne

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:35 AM

Simba: I don't think it's selfish at all, I think it's smart. I've heard some pretty crazy stories about the lengths that males will go to get at a female in heat, so it doesn't seem worth it to risk a potential pregnancy. Since my marketing plan focuses primarily on networking with local rescues, I'm hoping most of my clients will already be fixed. As you mentioned, some people have reasons for not getting their dogs fixed, so regardless if I agree with them or not (depends on their reason) as long as they're responsible about it I don't think it's my place to impose a restriction like that.

Marlynn: I agree. There's definitely a difference between being a leader and being an alpha. Emma is so shy that she'd be completely lost if she didn't have a confident leader to show her the way. It has nothing to do with dominating her, it's just being strong for her and showing her that the world isn't so scary after all. If I was nervous or left the decisions of where we go, what we do, etc. up to her she'd just freeze in fear. Then on the flip side, Rocco (a pit bull that I walked while my friends were dog sitting for his owner) was extremely pushy and a very smart opportunist, so I had to make sure to be consistent and strong otherwise he'd walk all over me. That never meant getting physical with him or anything like that, just making sure he understood that good behavior resulted in fun/tasty payoffs, and rude behavior meant confiscated toys, getting ignored, or stopping the walk (whatever was relevant to the situation). He caught on quick, and by the end of the week he was a star pupil with clicker training and had much better manners to show for it.

MrSnappy: To answer your first question: Heck yeah! But only if you pay for my gas, LOL. I see a lot of people here with high energy dogs (much like the one your friend works for) that appear to be in way over their heads, and could use the help. For people who have more money than they do time, it's definitely a good option. On a different tangent, I'm sorry to hear about all the bad dog luck you've been having lately! In my experience (albeit limited) bad things really do happen in threes, so hopefully that's the end of it. Oh, and did those piggies ever get adopted? If I didn't have six of my own already (currently singing VERY loudly for their nightly salad), I'd snatch those two up in a heartbeat.

Gloria: It was definitely a happy ending, that's for sure!

Jack and Co: I second that!
~ Karynne

#28 Donald McCaig

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:01 AM

Dear Doggers,

Someone criticized my belief that anyone who takes my dog must be a pack leader and others have made choke chains a disqualification.

Which forced a realization: Those who hire dog walkers, for the most part, aren't us. (I'll leave whether that's a good thing for another time.)

For example: At the vet, my dogs are almost always off lead. The receptionist pages, a vet tech comes out and meets Donald with one or six off lead sheepdogs. If they're new to the practice this can be disconcerting. A couple weeks ago, I brought my newest, Fly, who is a piece of work. (I have her muzzled on the table. ) Anyway, as we're going back the new vet tech is chattering, "Good dog, oh what a good girl! in a high, happy voice."

I said, "If you keep doing that she's going to bite you. It makes dogs nervous."

So, if I were hiring a dog walker would I hire Ms. Chirppy? Probably not. Mr. Positive? Probably not. Ms. Shock collar? Probably not. Ms. Gentle Leader? Probably Not.

Like me you have strong preferences. But, friends, we are dog people and the average consumer of dog walking services has a dog, loves his/her dog. cares intensely about the dog and, in a tough economy, will spend money on the dog but . . .

They aren't dog people.

And our quarrels mean absolutely nothing to them. The professional dog walker ought to leave them in their happy ignorance. If they enjoy Cesar Milan, fine. If they think ecollars are portable electric chairs, fine. If they think Gentle Leaders are gentle, fine.

They hire you so Spot gets some exercise and doggy fun. They could care less about which side you occupy on the great doggy divide, much less what your theories might be.

They are trusting you with a precious being. It's a little like the school bus driver. What you must convey is authority, kindliness, interest in their dog and entire, absolute competence.

I may not trust a chirper, but I'm not your customer.

Donald McCaig

#29 geonni banner

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:21 AM

Dear Doggers,

Someone criticized my belief that anyone who takes my dog must be a pack leader and others have made choke chains a disqualification.

Which forced a realization: Those who hire dog walkers, for the most part, aren't us. (I'll leave whether that's a good thing for another time.)

For example: At the vet, my dogs are almost always off lead. The receptionist pages, a vet tech comes out and meets Donald with one or six off lead sheepdogs. If they're new to the practice this can be disconcerting. A couple weeks ago, I brought my newest, Fly, who is a piece of work. (I have her muzzled on the table. ) Anyway, as we're going back the new vet tech is chattering, "Good dog, oh what a good girl! in a high, happy voice."

I said, "If you keep doing that she's going to bite you. It makes dogs nervous."

So, if I were hiring a dog walker would I hire Ms. Chirppy? Probably not. Mr. Positive? Probably not. Ms. Shock collar? Probably not. Ms. Gentle Leader? Probably Not.

Like me you have strong preferences. But, friends, we are dog people and the average consumer of dog walking services has a dog, loves his/her dog. cares intensely about the dog and, in a tough economy, will spend money on the dog but . . .

They aren't dog people.

And our quarrels mean absolutely nothing to them. The professional dog walker ought to leave them in their happy ignorance. If they enjoy Cesar Milan, fine. If they think ecollars are portable electric chairs, fine. If they think Gentle Leaders are gentle, fine.

They hire you so Spot gets some exercise and doggy fun. They could care less about which side you occupy on the great doggy divide, much less what your theories might be.

They are trusting you with a precious being. It's a little like the school bus driver. What you must convey is authority, kindliness, interest in their dog and entire, absolute competence.

I may not trust a chirper, but I'm not your customer.

Donald McCaig


Hear, hear!

I have mobility issues and use a dog walker. Priority one for me is, my dog comes home in one piece, and not bloody. Priority two is, my dog comes home well-exercised and happy. My dog walker handles dogs a little differently than I do. But my dog is crazy about him, and she leaves and comes home happy. Yesterday I had her in to the vet for a check-up. He praised her fitness level, and health. (He also purred over her "table manners.") My first two criteria are being met. To me, the rest is window-dressing.


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#30 Rave

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:45 AM

Dear Geezer et al,
We all live in different worlds and there's more than two groups we can be categorized into. Everyone needs something different and a good dogwalker/petsitter will tailor his/her service to each customer. I'm sure there's some that'll even growl and "alpha" roll your dogs for you if you look real hard. That's not what the OP wants to do though and as such is creating a unique niche service.

Of course there are some out there who would never be able to use an "off-the-shelf" service, but for the most part most of us can find a petsitter/dogwalker to meet our needs.

#31 Karynne

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:30 PM

Well said everybody! Me and my service definitely aren't right for everybody, but my goal is to be a perfect fit for a select few. My reason for starting this business is so I can do what I love on a daily basis, and for me prong collars and alpha roles don't fit into that, so that's where I've chosen to draw my line. If my client is really into CM, or whatever else, that's fine, it's not my place to judge. As long as they understand and respect what i will, and will not do, I think that's really all that matters.
~ Karynne

#32 airbear

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:39 PM

I've used dogwalkers for 10 years now. Pay about $500/month to have three dogs walked 4x/week. I use a dogwalker because I work out of the house, and I want the dogs to get some exercise as well as a break from holding down the floor during the day.

The dogwalkers that I have used take the dogs hiking off-leash. They're gone from the house for a couple of hours, and they're actually running in the trails for about an hour and a half. They run with maybe 6-8 other dogs, and 2-3 humans supervising the mayhem. The trails that they terrorize use are designated off-leash trails.

I've been very happy with the three companies I've used. I get photos of the dogs with "their friends" every now and again, which I really enjoy. I also am informed if there are any problems with my dogs. Wick used to wear a little mesh muzzle on her walks back in my old neighbourhood, because she ate so much dog poo (gross, I know. She seems to have out-grown that). Rex currently wears a muzzle at the beginning of the walk, because he gets a bit over-excited and could grab a tail as it ran by. Once he's settled into his walk, the muzzle comes off. I'm glad that my walkers tell me these things, so we can find solutions before it becomes a problem. Lou, of course, is perfect. Posted Image

I don't expect my walkers to train on my dogs. A pre-requisite for the service is a reliable recall, which my dogs have. Group hikes certainly aren't for all dogs, and I think the service you're offering fits a niche. Good luck!
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#33 Alchemist

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:31 PM

I only use a dogwalker occasionally. I did use one every day for a period of a month or two a couple of years ago when DH had open-heart surgery; finding time when I could take the dog for a decent walk each day just wasn't in the cards at that point.

Most days Duncan comes to work with me. But on those occasions when I'm out of town, he'd much rather go for a hike midday than get shut in the house all day long. (We have a fenced back yard but I don't feel comfortable locking a dog outdoors all day long unsupervised).

Our dogwalker (an incredibly dog-savvy person, who knows more about dogs than any half-dozen average "dog people" stitched together) sounds a lot like Kristi's. He'll collect our dog mid-day, and will take a small pack of dogs (in the company of a couple of assistants) on a prolonged off-leash hike in the woods, often including a swim in a local stream (weather permitting; they do hike rain or shine). He'll return Duncan ~ 6 PM, as thoroughly filthy (usually) as he is happy and exhausted. For that he charges $20.

Before he'll accept a charge, he requires that the owner accompany him on an off-leash hike with his current pack. This gives him a chance to assess its interactions with other dogs, as well as its recall (and general obedience). Not every dog is accorded off-leash privileges. Some are never allowed off-leash in any form; others he may "couple" (with a double-ended leash) to a (larger) dog of appropriate temperament, with a solid recall. He also requires the owners submit a detailed form.

He won't throw balls or sticks for dogs while they're hiking; that is too likely to provoke unhappy interactions. Before I used him, I ran into him dozens of times while I was hiking, and got a chance to assess his interactions with his dogs. We had many chats about dogs before I ever hired him.

He'll also "board" dogs - they stay with him in his house, and get to sleep on his bed (if they're so inclined). Hikes during the day included, for a charge of $40 per day.

He posts photos each day on FB, and he also emails us short videos of the dogs taken out hiking. We can see how much fun they're having.

At the end of the day we get a detailed written report (or verbal, if we're home when they return). (In fact a colleague of mine stopped using him because she said he was too "high maintenance" - she thought she was getting TMI).

I'm sure this is not for everyone, but it's ideal for me when I'm out of town and know that DH is busy enough as single parent in my absence to be able to indulge in a long hike with the dog.

Oh: and he insists that dogs wear a martingale collar for leashing up before and after walks. It's the only requirement he makes, and I had no problem with purchasing such a collar for that purpose.

He won't do any training but I'm not sure how I'd feel about anyone else training my dog. I mainly want to make sure that a dogwalker insists on the manners I've already instilled.

#34 Christina

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:26 PM

You have a good plan here, but I think you need to reconsider a few things.

I own Connecticut Pet Sitter, LLC. Here is my experience:

1) You are going to get requests for visits AT noon from just about everybody who calls you.

2) You should always leave a daily report on how the dog did (some pet owners want to receive a text when you visit as well).

3) Keep your service area VERY VERY VERY VERY SMALL. I cannot stress this enough. You WILL find clients. DO NOT take clients from areas outside one or two (maybe three) surrounding towns (if your towns are small). I ended up covering a huge area and wasted a lot of money on gas.

4) Make a good website and research how to optimize Google search results. (And make a Google Places page).

5) Another one I cannot stress enough- contact other pet sitters in the area. Introduce yourself, tell them your plans for your business, and ask them what their specialty is. There are always going to be enough clients to go around. In my area especially, pet sitting is not a very competitive business. I refer people to other sitters all the time and get referrals back just as often. Often these pet sitting businesses are run by one or two people and there just isn't enough time to handle every appointment request (especially when they all want you to visit at noon).

6) Always answer your phone. A missed call is a missed opportunity.

7) Put a forum on your website where people can submit an inquiry to have you call them. Nobody likes to call you first, they want you to call them. Most of my clients come in this way.

8) Choose a professional name and go LLC. You will be more recognizable and more popular. "Cutie Pie Paws Pet Sitting" is not nearly as good (or memorable) as "Companion Animal Sitters" or something of the like.

Good luck :)

#35 Karynne

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:13 PM

airbear:Thanks for sharing your experience! It sounds like your dogs have a lot of fun on their outings. The walker you use certainly sounds a lot more responsible than the ones here that offer off leash outings. Around here the walkers don't seem to understand why bringing 8 dogs to an already crowded dog park (with only one walker supervising the mayhem) is a problem. They make a lot of money doing it, but it's not safe, which is why I've chosen not to jump on that bandwagon. Off leash hikes would be a wonderful alternative to it, but there isn't really anywhere to do it near Tacoma...sigh.

Alchemist: It sounds like you've found a great dog walker as well! Eventually (when we have a house, not an apartment) I'd love to be able to offer boarding at our home. For now though, if clients need vacation care I'll be referring them to my friend, Shana, who runs a pet sitting company in town.

Christina: Thanks for all the helpful advice!
1) I figured this would be something I'd encounter pretty regularly. If the client is really stuck on needing a noon appointment, then there's probably not much I can do for them (assuming my noon time slot is already taken) other than refer them to another company. But hopefully I can persuade them of the merits of other walk times. For example morning appointments (10-11am) can help lessen the chance of a dog becoming destructive throughout the day. It wouldn't be a guaranteed cure obviously, but if they're trashing the house because of boredom and pent up energy, then a morning workout might be just the ticket. Afternoon appointments also have their advantages. Lots of people take their dogs along on their morning workouts (jogging, biking, etc.) but just want to relax once they get home from work, so an afternoon walk could work well for them.
2) The way the GPS system works involves QR codes, so it's kind of a punch clock of sorts, as well as a communication channel. Each client is issued a QR code (to be kept at the client's house), so when I pick up the dog I just scan it with my smartphone and it sends an email or text alert to the client letting them know I've arrived, and then GPS tracks my phone in real time until I scan out again (it sends them an alert when I leave as well). They can watch our walk live on their computer, or log in later and view the route then. When I scan out, I have the option of sending the owner a more detailed message, or I can leave a paper note instead, whatever the client prefers.
3) Couldn't agree more! I decided early on that since driving is one of my least favorite parts of the job, that I wanted to minimize the amount of time I spend doing it. My service area is Tacoma, and only Tacoma. You can drive pretty much anywhere in Tacoma in about 15 minutes, so that should cut down on my commutes.
4) Yeah, a website is definitely a must have, and it's pretty useless if customers can't find you in the search results. I'm currently still designing mine, but I hope to have it done soon.
5) Great advice! I'd already planned on introducing myself to the other dog related businesses in town (trainers, pet stores, rescues, etc.) but it never occurred to me to extend that to include other walkers.
6) Definitely solid advice.
7) Yep, the contact page on my site already has one.
8) I agree! I always gag when I see business names like that, so I steered clear of them when picking mine. I chose a sole proprietorship for the simplicity factor, as taxes and accounting make my head spin, but I'd be curious to hear why you chose LLC. What are the advantages to it?
Thank you for the great advice and well wishes!
~ Karynne


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