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Can a 14 year old walk dogs?

Discussion in 'Animal Jobs & Working with Animals' started by Aria, Aug 23, 2013.


  1. Aria

    Aria PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    Me and my friend, both 14, are looking to set up a small dog-walking business. We are almost 15, if it matters. We'd generally get off school about ten to 4 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 3 on Fridays & Wednesdays. And at lunch, we 45 minutes, so we could walk a dog then, if it was close by (our school is directly in the village.)

    We aren't really sure what rates do charge though? We live near Glasgow in a rural area, if it helps. We both own a dog. I own a staffie mix and she owns a golden retriever. That's all the information I can think of at the moment. We were just wondering if it was legal/allowed.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Knightofalbion

    Knightofalbion PetForums VIP

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    Hello dear Aria. Welcome to the forum.

    I can't think of any legal impediment as to why you shouldn't offer a dog walking service on a casual basis.

    Three things:

    1) I trust you've told your parents and they've okay'd it?

    2) You would need your mum and dad to vet any people you were going to walk dogs for.

    3) I trust you wouldn't be walking dogs in secluded areas. It should be an open route in view of houses/people.
     
  3. Aria

    Aria PetForums Newbie

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    1) Yep, they've said yes

    2) Okay, will do!

    3) Completely open and mostly in daylight.

    Thank you for the information! I was a tad unsure because of threads I'd seen here before.
     
  4. Knightofalbion

    Knightofalbion PetForums VIP

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    Yes, taken in context, two students earning themselves a bit of extra pocket money. No harm in that.

    But special emphasis on 2 and 3 for your safety. That's the world we live in!

    Good luck to you both.
     
  5. hippymama

    hippymama PetForums Senior

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    i think you would need to be very careful as im not sure you could get insurance , most dog walkers these days are insured ,its a big responsibility you need to think of things like what would happen if you lost a dog or one got injured ?
     
  6. Dogpsycho

    Dogpsycho PetForums Newbie

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    My question would be "can a 14yr old walk dogs SAFELY", as I don't believe it's just a question of taking a dog for a walk, but also taking the best care of "a family member", if the job is to be done well (and in order to get a good reputation - and, therefore, more work).

    The dog may not "behave"/"listen" when given commands, might need protecting (from people, as well as animals and other dangers (there was recently a case where a dog died after being bitten by an adder, whilst on a walk), might need medical assistance whilst in your care (dogs can sometimes have things like heart attacks, strokes, etc) - and more.

    Should the dog get injured (in any way) on a walk, who's going to pay the vet fees ?

    Whilst I appreciate the interest & thoughts behind the scheme, I think that it's a BIG responsibility and you might benefit from others who do similar work (as their business). I think the research would help you, in many ways.
     
  7. Knightofalbion

    Knightofalbion PetForums VIP

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    Yes, that is true. Though there is a differential between, as in this case, a student seeking to make a bit of extra pocket money and someone offering a professional dog minding service. It's like getting a boy scout washing your car for 'bob a job' week as opposed to going to a professional valeting service at a garage.

    And of course, you are legally obliged to 'poop and scoop' if you are walking a dog, yours or somebody else's and keep it under control. Re the latter, hence the suggestion to get their mum and dad to vet the job, owner and dog.

    Unless I've completely got hold of the wrong end of the stick young Aria and her friend are talking about a 'walking a little old lady's Yorkshire terrier or a busy professional's spaniel' type scenario.
     
  8. Aria

    Aria PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah, probably those kinds of dogs, although there could be some big dogs too but my mum agrees I'm strong enough to handle them as when we got our dog, he was very strong and unruly until we trained him.

    I'm going to have a vet emergency number on hand at all times and I know some canine first aid due to helping out at my vets.

    As for the dog not behaving/listening, we would keep the dog on the lead until we've maybe walked him a few times and the dog is familiar to us. There are no snakes where we live, and very few dangers as a lot of people in our community have dogs so most people are familiar with them and know how to act.

    As for public liability insurance, we weren't sure whether to get it or not.
    If we didn't, we'd tell them upfront that we were fully reliant on them for dog insurance. Do we need to get insurance or take any other precautions?

    One thing we weren't totally sure about was the price. How much would you pay a couple of teenage girls for a 1/2 hour walk or 1 hour walk or a 2 hour walk?
     
  9. CatAttack

    CatAttack PetForums Junior

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    I don't see why not.
     
  10. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Your parents could get you insurance for your birthday or you can pay them back with some of your earnings.



    Cliverton is very good for dog walkers.

    If I were you I would be reading tones of behaviour books and maybe looking at taking online courses once business is good.

    Not really a behaviour book but In Defence Of Dogs shows you how the times have changed for dog ownership and its a good read.

    Set up a facebook page for your business.
     
  11. CatAttack

    CatAttack PetForums Junior

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    How much is insurance, roughly?
     
  12. Petgirl

    Petgirl PetForums Newbie

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    Yes, You can.
    When I was 12 I go all day with the dog from my neighbor :)
     
  13. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Mine cost me £110 from cliverton and covers me for up to 5 dogs though I don't recomend you walk this many at first especially if your going door to door. I'm covered for a year.

    If some dogs are not used to other dogs comming to their home they may react aggresively to canine vistors.

    Its perfectly ok to turn dogs down if you feel they are unsuitable or you think someone more experienced should walk them :>
     
  14. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    I would not allow you to walk my dogs for the following reasons:

    1 You do not have sufficient skills, knowledge, ability, training or experience to be trusted with my dogs.
    2 You cannot drive so would be unable to take a dog to the vets in the event of an emergency
    3 You do not have a canine first aid qualification
    4 You could not obtain the relevant insurance cover

    If you do not have that insurance cover your parents would be liable to a civil action (have you checked they are happy to do this)?

    There is no minimum LEGAL age to walk dogs, however once you start accepting money for a service you provide then you open yourself up to all sorts of statutory legislation.
     
  15. BeauNoir

    BeauNoir PetForums VIP

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    With regards to the law, no reason you can't walk dogs, BUT, it can not be on your lunchtime as you can not work during school hours, before 7am or after 7pm and it can't be more than an hour before school. You must also have a 2 week break at some time in the school holidays. During term you can only work a maximum of 12 hours per week total, no more than 2 hours a day on week days and sundays and up to 5 hours on saturday. Really, you aren't likely to get more than £3 an hour without insurance, experience, etc and at your age and if you are splitting that with your friend, you are going to get a maximum of £18 a week each.

    No harm in doing a bit of advertising and seeing if anyone would be interested at the times you have said, obviously the most popular times are around lunch so that may also be an issue for you.
     
  16. Tanji

    Tanji PetForums Member

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    Legally yes as your both over 13 both can do part time work
    There are hour restrictions can't remember them all but confident it was max of 5 on a Saturday and 2 on school days and Sundays

    Only exceptions are from memory acting tv films etc and modelling

    You mention becoming 15 soon think at that age your allowed 8 hours on Sat the rest is same

    Ken
     
  17. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    No, not legally. Because you have to be 18 to sign a contract. Which means you would need an adult to sign / be responsible for insurance, contracts and agreements and vet treatment.
    I would also add that I`d be doubting the sanity of anyone letting kids walk their dogs in this day and age.
     
  18. Tanji

    Tanji PetForums Member

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    Not saying I personally would use this service, contract? That's a different matter altogether yes legally part-time work at that age.
    I expect that these two are going in their local neighbourhood asking owners or doing a poster campaign in known dog walking area. Getting into contracts I reckon is a potential minefield (though can see why it been suggested) I may be entirely wrong but I don't see these as a key holder getting the dog walking returning and locking up, I think this is a door knock pre-arranged time taking dog out and returning it home whilst owner is still in, for an agreed price per half or 1 hour walk.
    Ken

    PS good luck to you in your scheme I have seen an advert round here some time back by a 16 year old boy, and later saw him walking a dog in the park. To be honest having said I personally would not use the girls, when I broke my ankle I would have used a service like this for the recovery time.
     
  19. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    Thought I would add my opinion :) I would let you walk my Cavalier King Charles, he loves everyone! Wants to be with people , excellent recall , excellent off leash, small and not very strong, 9 years old and LOVES children especially my 13 year old nephew.

    My husky? Definitely not because he's a tinker and I don't trust him, and I would never put someone else in his firing line because I wouldn't want you to feel bad if he escaped ( which he is MORE than capable of doing)

    I think as long as the dog owners are responsible in judging whether you can handle their dog I can't see there being a problem.

    Good luck! :D
     
  20. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    Aaand before I get accused of being a bad dog owner I live across the road from the vet so not driving is not a problem. :smilewinkgrin:
     
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