I worked in the corporate world of budgets, sales, high performance and high stress for 22 years in the Liquor Industry. I loved my job but mostly I enjoyed building strong customer relationships based on trust and reliability. I thrived in that environment. My world collapsed into turmoil when my husband died suddenly and I found myself wandering lost and lonely immersed in my grief, and, comforted by my dog, Tia, I began my journey of self discovery.
Tia had developed severe behavioural issues, some of which I had inadvertently created and so my path was set. A fire was lit, passion ignited and my thirst for knowledge of canine behaviour had begun.
I became a certified Dog Walker with *dogbiz, I left my job in 2015, sold my house moved back to New Plymouth and set up my Dog Walking business at the age of 53.
It is not enough just to have a love of dogs to work in this industry, it helps, but you will need to have a skillset that includes, resilience, self motivation and you will need to study hard to understand how dogs learn and how you can effectively change behaviour.
You will need to have 'skin in the game' and get your hands on as many dogs in as many different situations by volunteering at shelters and rescue organisations. Offer to help out at a Puppy Class or become part of Love thy dogs' volunteer crew and learn about correct socialisation, dog body language and appropriate playstyles. How and when to intervene during play.
If you think you'd like to work with dogs because you don't like people then go and work with goldfish.
You will need relationship building skills based on excellent customer service, trust, reliability - yes we walk in the rain. Its important to our owners that wee Fluffy is cared for and loved and kept safe while in our care. This includes never using force, fear or intimidation with other peoples dogs....ever. All of this will enable you to charge a premium price as a Dog Walker.
Walking along the beach with my groups, all of whom have been carefully selected based on age, size, temperament, bite history, and personality, knowing I have got the dynamics just right, is like chicken soup for the soul that feeds my heart and fulfils my dream.
I hope that I'm still dog walking until I retire. And when I can no longer walk I will watch all my dog walking videos on loop until my heart stops beating.
So, you want to be a Dog Walker? Let me help you with that. I'm offering limited mentorships to the right candidates in 2021
providing ongoing coaching, training and support programmes to help you start your own Dog Walking business.