Hi everyone, hope you are all staying cool during this spicy summer weather.
Today I wanted to talk about picking a dog walker. More specifically, on the interview process when selecting one. In the past little bit, I had 2 meet and greet interviews where the people informed me "just so you know, we are meeting with another dog walker too... sorry..". I was like, "good!" which seemed to surprise them. Here's why it didn't (and doesn't) bother me:
Ummm, I would do the same thing.
My dogs are my literal babies, it is important to me that I would find someone who I clicked with and got a good vibe with.
Not all dog walkers offer the same services!
For example, we focus primarily on group walks and puppy visits. We do offer solo walks for a select few, and are always willing to work with shy dogs to help slowly bring them into the appropriate group. So if you were looking for more of a long term solo walk solution, it likely isn't us! Also, our after hours walks are subject to availability. We are a small team and only 2 of us live in the service area. On top of that, I truly value living a balanced work/play lifestyle - and want the same for my team. While I can accommodate most evening and weekend walks - sometimes, I can't. I am always very upfront about this, and if you are someone who would often rely on after hours walks - then once again, we probably aren't the right fit.
Are you comfortable with a team of walkers? I COMPLETELY love my team, it allows for a ton of flexibility. We are a very small team, and because of this we all know all the dogs pretty well & day to day we tend to walk the same dogs/groups. But it is great because we can swap around dogs if any of us need time off, or we have some extra dogs added on some days. But maybe you just want ONE person walking your dog (I would urge you to consider not letting this be a single determining factor, as you could be missing out on some amazing companies)..
Some dog walkers specialize in reactive dogs (ME!!!!!!), and some specialize in small dogs, and some do on leash walks while others do off leash walks. You need to find the company that would match the best with your needs!
We are interviewing YOU as well!
The meet and greet is always 2 parts - we need to make sure we are a good fit for each other. This isn't just any type of service, we are taking care of your family. We are entering your home. It is a huge deal. We need to make sure there is a bond and trust between us. On top of that, I know the dogs and the groups that we walk extremely well. I will get a very good sense of if your dog will be a good fit with us or not. If not, I will do my best to help you out and find a more appropriate dog walker. For example, last month I referred an ADORABLE tiny chihuahua to Sparky's Comrade because I determined we wouldn't be able to give this dog everything she deserved. I also suggested someone I had a meet and greet with to use Kerr Dogs instead of us, because the vibe I got told me they would be happier with a smaller solo run company. At the end of the day, what matters most is that your dog THRIVES with us & that we have a good working relationship between us humans. I also need to make sure you follow the same methodologies as we do (living our best force free life hehe).
Tips when searching for a walker:
When Hound Fly wrote a good article about this as well, you can check it out here. Is there anything I am missing? Let me know!