There is no wonder that the dog care industry attracts so many dodgy people on the look out for a quick buck when one reads such articles.
I would be very surprised if there are many dog walkers earning that sort of money and am certain that there are none outside London. To earn that sort of figure, one would have to walk 18 dogs a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year? Even then one would have to charge £15 per dog, which as I say, is the sort of price charged in London. Whilst I know there are some who may do this, to be quite frank there are not many who would a. Physically be able to do it properly and b. The competition is now such that it would be quite difficult to have that number of clients.
Mind you, I recently saw a local dog walker on roller blades exercising a group of nine dogs of all sizes over a large distance in the midday sun around Exeter Quay. Firstly, that is above the legal number of dogs one walker is allowed to ‘walk’ and secondly it is highly inappropriate to expect small dogs to gait at the same speed as large dogs, particularly in hot weather. Somebody has obviously been watching too much Cesar Millan!
The sort of headline seen in the Mail will only serve to attract the wrong sort of people, often with little or no relevant experience and we are seeing the same sort of problem in the burgeoning dog day care sector. A poorly run dog day care centre can quite easily be the cause of a sudden change in the behaviour of your normally sociable dog, to one displaying dog aggression and it is quite a common theme in dogs I see with this problem.
As I’ve said before on this site, be sure to ask lots of questions about the relevant experience of people you contact, including how long dogs are walked for, levels of supervision etc.
A recent client of mine, caught her dog walker out by waiting in her bedroom and she discovered that from collecting the dog to returning it home, was no more than fifteen minutes. This despite the fact that the dog walker claims to walk the dog for at least an hour. You have been warned!
PETER MOUNSEY ASHCLYST CANINE BEHAVIOURIST EXETER DEVON JUNE 2015