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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I get a lot of people wanting to 'pick my brains' about professional dog walking - I've had people come to 'shadow' me from as far as Devon! Anyway, I usually take them with me and they help out with the dogs and learn handling techniques in return for asking questions, seeing how things run, how I set up paperwork, handle phone calls etc. I've had about 5 this year, and the requests keep coming in, For a while I asked for 'refreshments' then lunch, and people were willing.

I'm going to have to start charging something, and was thinking of charging £30 per two hours, and was wondering what people thought? There are lots of courses for dog walking and pet sitting, but not really any practical. If you wanted to be a dog walker would you be willing to part with £30 for a couple of hours, or £60 for a half day?

Obviously I'm not 'accredited' although that's something I want to do in the future as I'm sure dog walking will have to be regulated at some point, but I do feel I'm teaching people in the same way I teach dog owners to train their dogs, so should be charging for for my time in the same way (although a lot cheaper...).

Wondered what people think?
 

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I think if someone wants to get ideas about successful running a business they should expect to pay for one on one tuition, perhaps you could set up one day a month as a course day for people to book onto?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That would be my aim, although if it's that formal I'd have to look into getting backing from a college or similar I think. I'm not quite there yet though, still trying to get my dog training courses full.

I've got feedback from the people I've already done, so I've got my marketting all ready!
 
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I think this is a great idea! If there was someone offering this in my area, I would definitely have signed up before setting myself up, as practical, hands-on advice beats theoretical (online courses) in my opinion. And the prices you're talking are more than reasonable for valuable knowledge and experience to start-up a business.

Would you need specialist insurance if you offer training in exchange for a fee?

I also think pairing up with a college is an excellent idea - lots of animal related courses out there and lots of people leaving with a diploma/degree and not being able to use them in their preferred field due to the high volume of applicants for very few positions.

I know - I was one of them! Left uni two years ago with a degree in Small Animal Care and applied for Guide Dogs/SSPCA/Dogs Trust and a local Hydrotherapy centre. Hundreds of applicants for the one post and never thought I'd work with dogs in any capacity until I had a light-bulb moment when I came across Dog Walking advertisements. If I'd only known sooner!!!

So, working in conjunction with further education centres would open more doors for young people and highlight the fact that there are more options out there when choosing a career working with animals. :smile:

I actually think by doing this, you may well be able to call yourself an 'industry leader' :D and on a more serious note, perhaps pave the way for Dog Walking to become regulated and a field that requires formal training/qualifications.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! That's very generous of you. :D

I already have the right insurance for dog training, professional indemnity, so I already have the right insurance, and as part of my kennel club membership for dog training I have to do a project, which I will be basing around the need to regulate dog walking and daycare. Another 2 years before I can take my assessment though, so some time in the future.
 
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Fair play. :smile:

If there were more professional, practical courses on this then it would help people (myself included :rolleyes:) from making mistakes that others have made and arm us with the right information to deal with situations and not just rely on our own judgement.

Keep us updated!! And best of luck, (not that you'll need it) but hope it is another avenue for you to increase revenue and help others out.

BTW - Forgot to mention that it's very generous of you to take people under your wing and take the time to help them. Not many would be so generous :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm very proud of being a dog walker, and sometimes on forums like this I read people who have encountered bad ones, and I'd like to separate the uneducated from the people who only care about money so owners have a better choice. And all the dogs are safe and have fun!
 
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I'm very proud of being a dog walker, and sometimes on forums like this I read people who have encountered bad ones, and I'd like to separate the uneducated from the people who only care about money so owners have a better choice. And all the dogs are safe and have fun!
Tru dat :D
 

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I do think that it is a very good idea but would suggest you make absolutely sure you are insured. After all if someone set up as a dog walker and did something your way and it backfired you do need to have insurance cover.
Not that I agree with people claiming right left and centre but you are better to be on the safe side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do think that it is a very good idea but would suggest you make absolutely sure you are insured. After all if someone set up as a dog walker and did something your way and it backfired you do need to have insurance cover.
Not that I agree with people claiming right left and centre but you are better to be on the safe side.
I am insured, as mentioned in my last post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just had my first booking - I was nervous thinking nobody would want to pay for training with me (not sure why!), so she's coming Monday. Thanks for the support. :)
 

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As it appears you are on the KCAI scheme and hope to become an accredited instructor when you are ready, have you asked if there can be a dog walking accreditation as there is for rescue, KCGCDS, Dog Wardens etc?

Perhaps you could pioneer that module?

You can become accredited in many fields and/or specialise.

Then of course you would have some credibility as your skills, knowledge, ability, training and experience would be backed up by external verification rather than your own say so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dog walking and daycare will be my project, although as I've two years to go yet I can imagine someone else will get there first.

I've been on the phone to Lantra today to see if they can accredit me, should only take a couple of weeks once I apply, but am just sitting down tonight with a HUGE stack of paperwork.

The route I took to dog training leaves me with the KCAI being my only hope of a qualification, which I didn't know at the time, and I don't want to do that to someone else that I am training.
 

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Dog walking and daycare will be my project, although as I've two years to go yet I can imagine someone else will get there first.

I've been on the phone to Lantra today to see if they can accredit me, should only take a couple of weeks once I apply, but am just sitting down tonight with a HUGE stack of paperwork.

The route I took to dog training leaves me with the KCAI being my only hope of a qualification, which I didn't know at the time, and I don't want to do that to someone else that I am training.
But the beauty of the KCAI scheme it is the ONLY one that is externally verified and thus is a true qualification whereas all other routes and bodies are those which are self appointed and have no one to answer to bar themselves.

When I look at the calibre of people the scheme attracts such as John Rogerson, this speaks for itself (IMHO)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If I could have my time again I would choose Compass, or any of the college accredited courses. I did most of my training with John, but of course everywhere you go people say 'only choose a qualified trainer or from an reputable organisation' and look down on people like me without one, and John can't give any qualifications, and I can't join an organsation. I would still do the KCAI scheme, but it would be nice to be 'qualified' already.
 
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