Growing up, our family pets were working border collies and our ponies were all rounders, ridden by the children, our parents and our friends. Over the years the animals in my life have given me a lot of joy, it’s an incredible thing to have their trust.
I know that I’m incredibly lucky to be able to say that I love my job. I take an immense amount of pride in my work and strive to make sure that every single animal has ‘the’ most wonderful time. I tailor my walks specifically to the needs of the dogs in my care. I cater for the young ones (and the not so young ones!) who keep me throwing their ball solidly for an entire hour. I have the water lovers who can hunt out a puddle from a hundred paces and the oldies who like nothing more than to potter around, sniffing every blade of grass they come across.
Puppies in particular benefit hugely from being out and about with new people and dogs. Youngsters need as many experiences as possible and I have seen so many puppies blossom as they form bonds with other dogs, learn from the older dogs and get the rare opportunity to be part of a really nice group of friendly, well socialised dogs.
I know that every single dog has their own unique personality, that glint in their eye, the things that make them tick. I work as hard on understanding every single dog as I do on making sure that every walk is fun and safe. I know that your dog HAS to love me for this to work and I’ve spent years perfecting my training and bribery techniques. I carry healthy treats, tennis balls, frisbees and rope toys. We go to reservoirs, rivers, parkland and green open spaces. Even getting towelled off after a walk is an opportunity to bond and a chance to earn a treat.
Some dog walkers charge a premium for one-to-one walks and if training is an issue I do offer this service but I mainly walk well socialised, happy, friendly dogs who love nothing more than playing with other dogs and interacting in their own world. Most dogs will benefit from meeting their pals to spending an hour socialising and the lasting mental benefits of them simply being around other balanced dogs is often that they’re more relaxed for longer.
Hiring a dog walker is much more than a compromise because of work commitments, it’s a fantastic opportunity for your dog to have a better social life than most people have!