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Advice on clients dictating walks

Discussion in 'Dog Walking' started by DawgCrazy!, Dec 18, 2017.


  1. DawgCrazy!

    DawgCrazy! PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I’m new to dog walking and one of my clients requires an evening walk in the dark and I’m happy to provide a lead walk however one of the dogs is reactive and lunges at cars so the owner wants me to drive to a local field for the walk but I don’t feel comfortable walking around on the field at the same time every week in my own in the dark .

    Is it normal for clients to dictate walks?

    Also they have given me very detailed instructions on dealing with the lunging but I am not a trainer so is it ok to say sorry no that’s a bit much to ask ? Obviously routine manners like waiting to cross the road etc I am ok with but I feel this is a bit above my advertised service as a dog walker?

    Tia
     
  2. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I am not a dog walker but would expect any professional to carry out a (informal) risk assessment of where they were going to walk a clients dog. The hazards to identify would relate to your clients dog, the general public and yourself. If you feel your own safety could be compromised and the risk of walking in the place the client stipulates is too great for you then it is perfectly acceptable to tell the client ghat you do not provide walks in the dark in isolated areas and if this is what they require then you will be unable provide the service required.

    Personally I also would be unhappy with this request. If you can locate a lit or safe secure field for hire in the locality then you could suggest to the client that you are prepared to take their dog there (for appropriate reimbursement of hired field cost etc).

    Regarding the lunging instructions I suppose it depends whether the instructions are designed to keep you and the dog safe or whether they are you training the dog. If the latter and more than you are prepared to do then say no.

    Don't take on clients which are problematic just because you are starting out and want some business. Accept clients on the basis of whether you can and want to provide the service requested or can reach an acceptable compromise.
     
    #2 kittih, Dec 19, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    fitz, Seonag, DawgCrazy! and 4 others like this.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't expect a dog walker to walk my dog in a field in the dark - I wouldn't do it myself.

    If the dog has issues on pavement walks and she is in the process of training him out of it, it's reasonable to ask you to be consistent with that, however, it depends what she wants to you do and if it's within your capabilities (and something you agree with).
     
    Seonag, DawgCrazy!, rona and 2 others like this.
  4. Kim Watcham

    Kim Watcham KIM N ARCHIE

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    hi ...I think its very wrong of them to ask you this I would never ask anyone to walk my archie on there own in the dark if I take archie out in the dark and I do but we stay where there are houses lights etc ...try having a little chat with them about this and say your not comfy about this even when I'm out with archie he has a light up coller on so bikes can see him on the pavement him being small ....
     
  5. Maxine67

    Maxine67 PetForums Member

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    I don't walk my own dog on fields after dark never mind clients dogs! I do the occasional after dark walk and they are always street walks. Don't take on any dog/walks you don't feel comfortable with, your own safety is as important as the dogs.
     
    DawgCrazy!, Sproglet and Lurcherlad like this.
  6. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    I personally don't see any issues...in the winter I walk in the dark most days.
    However if you aren't happy to provide what the customer wants then just say you can't take the dog on.
    The detailed instructions will be to keep consistency with the dogs training so again if you aren't comfortable with this then don't take the client on.
     
    LinznMilly and labradrk like this.
  7. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    I agree with the above, just don't take the dog on if it's outside of your comfort zone (be it the walking in the dark or the dog itself). I am sure there will be some out there who will accommodate to what the owner wants. No they shouldn't 'dictate' what you do or where you go, but equally they are paying for a service, and I have a lot more respect for an owner that knows their dogs issues and how to work around them.
     
    LinznMilly and rona like this.
  8. joface

    joface PetForums Member

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    Customers can request anything they want, whether you want to do it is another matter & that is entirely your choice, no-one on a forum can tell you that. The beauty of running your own business is that you can decide what you want to do & if you don't want to do it either offer a compromise you are happy with or walk away. Trust me, if you don't enjoy doing it you will start to resent it & end up having to let the customer go anyway, As for the techniques for dealing with the lunging, if you are enforcing existing techniques then yes I would happily use those methods.
     
  9. Waggle n Purrs

    Waggle n Purrs PetForums Member

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    I personally wouldn't walk dogs in the dark(apart from my boarders in my own village) If you are not comfortable with what the owners are asking then stick to your guns and say so - if they won't listen let them find another walker.
     
  10. Seonag

    Seonag PetForums Junior

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    Think it's really wrong to ask you to walk in the dark like that, as for the dog being reactive I'd suggest a behaviourist was need and not a dog walker
     
  11. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Lot's of dog walkers will happily walk reactive dogs? after all they need walking just as much as any other dog does? I have a lot more respect and faith in a walkers handling skills if they are willing to take on dogs that don't fit the happy-go-lucky criteria.
     
    Seonag likes this.
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