I thought I would add a blog to the site to keep you guys up to date with what I've been up to and some of the experiences I've had (both good and bad) doing this job.
Firstly I thought if I shared my reasons for starting Woofs and Hoofs you might get to know me better.... there were a few things that pushed me into doing this, firstly there was the number of times I would see dog walkers unload 6 or 7 dogs from a van at our local park and then just let them run around with no real control. As a dog owner I know that I would never hand my dog over to someone walking that many dogs at a time.
The second thing that made me think seriously about this as a business was when I went to do a dog assessment for a German Shepherd rescue that I work with and the owner was telling me about the "wonderful behaviorist" they had been working with to deal with their dogs aggression issues towards other dogs especially the other 2 in the household. The owner had paid £90 consultation and then was paying a further £35 each week for training and £12 per day Mon - Fri for lunch time walks from this woman, they had been paying this for 3 months and the behavioursist had not attempted to resocialise / re introduce the shepherd to the other dogs in the house, had in fact turned away to avoid meeting another dog on a walk and had not given the owner any strategies regarding creating boundaries / setting guidelines / getting focus from the dog or any of the things that i would consider basics, yet this owner was happily forking over £95 per week to this woman. For what its worth I would always question if someone is the right person to be working with you and your dog if any issue takes more than 3 visits to resolve or at least for you to be in a position to continue the work on your own.
The third thing was probably a bit of a mid life crisis and realising that I didnt want to be a retail manager for the rest of my life, working to someone elses ideals and targets.
So having seen so many poor examples of dog walkers and so called behavioursists that were happy to just keep taking a clients money for nothing I decided that I could offer a good service. I was already qualified as an animal behaviourist so I set about topping up that learning with some specific dog training courses and pet first aid, set up my website and quit my job - I've never been happier!!!