Pawderosa Pet Care Blog

Professional Dog Handler vs. Professional Dog Walker

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I recently read a very eloquent article written by a pet care business owner. He was illuminating the difference between a dog walker and a dog handler. His summation was clearly about the differences between the professional, that invests in their training and skill to build a career, vs. the person who isn't as serious, and thinks it would be an easy way to make a buck. Having owned a pet care business for more than twelve years, I can tell you we’ve seen our fair share of crappy dog walkers. Let’s refer to them as IDW (Irresponsible Dog Walkers).

Once, my husband and I were getting our dogs out of the truck to go for a trail walk. If you've seen our video, you know that we train our dogs. We call each dog out, one by one, and make them sit until we are ready to enter the trail calmly. Another dog walker was pulling up to the trail head. The hatch to the truck shell was unlocked or broken, so it was flapping open. "Woohoo," thought the dogs, and they started jumping out of the back of the truck. IDW was still backing up, so they could have easily squished a pup running amok. To make matters worse, the trail head was alongside a crazy-busy road. Needless to say, my husband and I are freaking out, and trying to get the person's attention.


When we got over to IDW, they jumped out of the truck in a huff, and totally blew us off. No explanations, no guilt, no "Oh my god!" statement because of what just happened. INCONCEIVABLE! We were stunned, upset, and thoroughly enraged that they could be so crass, and irresponsible. This was going to be the first of many incidents we would have with this particular person.  Do you want to know the saddest part of this story? This person had been written up in the newspaper as a “fabulous trainer." 

So how do you know who's good and who's not? Here are a few things to expect/demand from an excellent dog walker/handler:

-Safety absolutely first! This goes without saying that the dog walker is caring for another person’s beloved animal. You, as the client, should ask them about their safety protocol. How do they handle new dogs, puppies, etc? Go out on a dog walk with your prospective dog walker. What a great way to see them in action.

-A walker/handler should only handle what they can handle. I know it's tempting for new walkers to start immediately with big groups. However, handling large groups (3 to 6 dogs) takes lots of skill and technique. Ask about their experience and training.

-They should always be professional, conscientious, and reliable. These are the hallmark traits of any good pet care professional. You must do your research. You can check references, but better still, find out what professional services are referring them like; vet offices, pet stores, trainers, etc.

We always ask our prospective clients to come out on a walk with us. Many have, and have loved the experience, gained tremendous trust in us, and learned a few tricks. IDW’s may tell you what you want to hear, but the proof is in the dog food. This is how you'll know you're dealing with a professional.

In the end, it doesn't matter whether they're a dog walker or a dog handler.  It's clearly about how they conduct themselves and their business, within the amazing world of animal care! Woof!

"You know you're successful in life when kids and dogs love you." LS







Categories


Recent Posts


Tags

cat feeder summer kids decor home animal care pet loss fur speech shelter fence pet adoption puppy care training tip little girl humane society smart feeder tips dentist belly foxtails first American cat cafe pet health baby panda russia preschool new year grooming GPS California dog pet food ecollar poison China family stray cat video Great Panda loss dogs dog walker trail tree frog cat lady obesity business cat purr aggressive animals social animals depression e-collar events how to pet friendship dog portraits foods to avoid history Breed Selection Off Doggie puppy outings trip hiking behavior Training and Tips artist bond professional care separation anxiety indoor cat communication Bay Area walking pet videos cat care Darwin kittens pet Conserve jump issues poison oak puppy friendship Pets and Children trails pet bonding training tool work breeds rats pet obesity chewing singing Drought REI health squirrel discipline How-to animals grass england children arthritis rules animal tracking device lost dog pet loss support Family fun affectionate holidays diet paw print My Pet Lives On regret pet parenting gifts pet care pet-proofing illness teeth call parkour dog domestic abuse products rash public engagement Halloween cleaning up animal science pets exercise kitten safety scratch science cat obesity parks runaway pet Water resources music house dog behavior banned fox protect crows amazing pets pet photography feral cat garden career bath product foxtail jealous dog dog handler puppies animal study office emotions cats dog training sea lion facts humans obese camping outdoors heat vine Cat cafe new york resolutions training socialization pet etiquette portraits dog walking Oakland 2014 pet relationship ocean rescue animals fish animal behavior treadmill pain management videos dining out designer gardening cancer free house guests beach cat breeds elderly pets Ebola birds Petco healing jumping pawderosa rules of the road grief tecnu gas selfie petcare dehydration Fleas litterbox babies dog care style evolution Puppy Training Tips hip dysplasia tip study

Archive