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Discussion Starter #1
Stan is now two and since I've had him I've been studying so I've been able to be flexible around when I'm out of the house etc, so I've never had to get anyone else to look after him. I'm now about to start working and will be out of the house two days a week and need to think about getting a dog walker. I always planned to do this, I got Stan whilst I was still at college so I could be around when he was younger, intending to use a dog walker when he got older and my work situation changed. The thing is, it all seemed so simple when I didn't have him- but I didn't realise just how MUCH I would fall in love with my little lad, and now it seems unbearable the thought of trusting someone else to take him out for walks.
He's very well behaved (most of the time), never runs out of sight and has a good recall (although not when chasing golfballs as i found out last week). Plus, he adores other dogs (only dog syndrome?) and would probably like going out with a couple of others a few times a week.
But I'm so worried that something will happen to him, like him getting lost. How do other people who use dog walkers cope? Or is it just me being too much of a worrier? I just meet so many dog walkers when I'm out who seem perfectly lovely and caring about the dogs, yet still I see them walk off, oblivious to the fact that one of their dogs is being left behind (often attached to Stan's bum :roll: ).
I'm always really aware of where Stan is and what he's up to, but that's because he's my dog and I'd be devastated if anything happened to him- my fear is that a dogwalker wouldn't be so vigilant.
I know i'm probably being a paranoid control freak but any advice would be most welcome.
Plus if anyone knows any good dog walkers in West London...
 

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I know how you feel, I wouldn't trust a dog walker with mine....or maybe it's I wouldn't trust mine with a walker IYSWIM :lol:

I have only ever used 2 walkers a handful of times and both were not to walk but just to let them into the garden and play/pet them. I prefer to walk myself.
On one occasion our walker didnt turn up for Nellie, I have never used her since.

I have yet to find someone credible near me :(
Good luck with your search - there are some great dog walkers out there from what I read on here :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You see I would be much happier doing that- having someone come into my house for an hour, to let him out for a wee and play with him, give him some attention and company. I'm quite happy to get up early and take him for a walk myself, before leaving the house and when I get home too. But I've not come across anyone who does that, I suppose that they make more money walking them as they can do several at one time. Bu to be fair I've not directly approached anyone to ask them, so I could give that a go.
 

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I just paid for a 1 on 1 walk and then told them I didn't want them walking :oops: :lol:
Like you I'm always happy to get up early and walk them myself.

If it had been a regular thing i'd have negotiated a better rathe though I think.
 

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I'm having exactly the same problem. I'm returning to start up my own Aromatherapy and Reflexology practice working from home but need to go on a couple of short courses to refresh my massage skills.I know of some so called doggy creches but wouldn't trust them with a goldfish!! Other good one's are booked up till next year!!
Anyone want to come round and spend an hour with my ever so cuddly little chocolate monster!!?? :lol: :lol:
I wouldn't relax and get the best out of the course if my little man wasn't looked after properly.Think I'm going to end up not being able to do the courses. :(
 

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Dog walkers round here will either walk your dog or do toilet/play breaks.
They also only walk 2 dogs if from the same house. My helper takes them to the beach, through the woods and has said more than 2 would not be fair to the dogs!!

Think tho West London is a little too far for her to travel!! :lol: :lol:

Good luck, there will be someone who will be able to help out.

Marianne
 

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I can sympathise with you and its precisely your concerns that made me set up my own dog walking business!!! :wink:

Unfortunately I'm not in your area and having only just started I'm afraid I dont have any conatcts yet but there are some lovely people on here so i'm sure someone will be able to help!!

From a dog walker perspective...(well this is what I do anyway!) I always sit down and have a good chat about what people really want and tailor what we offer around that, so it can just be a bit of a lead walk then home and play, or just home and play and poss some mental stimulation in the form of training, or just walk.. etc etc.. And I also go on a trial walk with you just to see how YOU interact with your dog when out and what commands they're used to... Some people talk to their dog all the time, others just leave them to sniff about, so its good to know what the dogs will expect when out with you! Someone reliable will only be insured to walk no more than 4 dogs at a time, any more than that then I wouldnt be keen on using them, thats just my personal opinion, I am quite happy with just 3 really and usually that includes my girlie Happy who just loves going out with other dogs!!

Whoever you find, dont worry about being sure about you want, anyone worth their salt will be more than happy to go with that!

Try looking at the 'National Association of Registered Pet Sitters' site and there is also a web site called 'Dog Walking Now' where you can list where you are and what you want!!

Good luck and please try not to worry too much!!
 

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As your paying for the service you can state what you would like the person to do for your dog, if all you want is for Stan to be let out and then played with for an hour than they should be happy to do that.

I think a lot of walkers/sitters also leave you a form saying what they`ve done and how Stan was, I think this is a good idea personally, I`d like that sort of thing if I used someone for Cindy and CJ :)
 

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Before we ever got Hudson we called round and pretty much interviewed the potential dog walkers.

There have been an odd hiccup or two, but nothing major or disasterous and I trust them with 2 of the most important things in my life!!!

I'd advise having some of the local ones round, talk to them, there dogs etc. Check there refrences, speak to some of their other clients and you will get a feel for who you can trust.

:)
 

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I know exactly how you feel, it's so tricky finding the right person! We met with so many different dog walkers /boarders and found the loveliest person who we trust completely but she's not always around when we need her so we now have 3 different people on hand who do slightly different things - one will come and visit Buddy at home, one will walk him and he usually stays with our favourite person if we're away for a few hours.

I do still constantly worry though and obviously no one will look after Buddy the way that we do!!

I agree with what everyone else has said, call some different people, see if someone can recommend someone and then meet with a few different ones. They should be happy to meet with you free of charge, have some paperwork to complete for you and show you their insurance, too.
one of our walkers has a little report sheet that she leaves after she's been, telling me how many times he's pood and weed, how much energy he had and how long the walk was that they went on. maybe look out for little extras like that that would put your mind at ease.

I hope you find someone who you like and trust!
 

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Hi katy
i can recommend a brilliant dog walker. He's also an apdt trainer and really experienced. He walks no more than two dogs together (in London it's not unusual to see dog walkers walking 6+ dogs at a time ).
Are you going to corinnes on Sunday. If so I'll catch up then - don't have Internet where I am so struggling with iPhone lol
 

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We used a dog walker who set up her own company when we had Lenny - she was fab and used to leave us a note about what Lenny had been up to. When he died, she even sent us a card a few weeks after that she said reminded her of Lenny so she couldn't resist it. Since having Ed though, we wanted someone to look after him rather than just a walk - we found someone on NARPS and used her for a month or two but never had a good feeling about her. Don't get me wrong - Eddie loved going and playing with her 2 dogs but I felt she expected him to be fully trained at 6 mths old and would never give us a good reprt! So we advertised in our local post office for someone - we had LOADS of enquiries. Some were no-goes straight away, but then Vanessa called us!! She lives locally. has 2 young labs herself, doesn't work, and spends all day at her stables. Eddie ADORES her and we could not be happier! We met her and both just knew staright away. Her daughters love Ed too - we don't even get a backward glance when they collect him!! She had him for 2wks when we went on holiday and tells us "we love him so much!".
I know we are lucky - Vanessa has become a friend and we are happy to leave Eddie with her.

I personally think you will 'know' when you meet the right person for your dog. Do you know anyone locally that may be able to help? Not necessarily a dog-walker but someone you know and trust?
 

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In the past, I advertised at the vets for a dog-walker and had a applicant from the local 6th form college. It worked out really well as she was taking her A Levels with a view to becoming a vet (so was a genuine animal lover) and didn't have full days of lessons, so she was able to come and spend a couple of hours midday with the dogs, either walking them or just being in the house with them. She was so trustworthy and sensible that we used her to house and dog-sit when we went on holiday.

If you have a college or uni close to you, it might be worth putting an advert up there and seeing if you get anyone who you think would be suitable. You could always specify that you don't want them to walk you dog (just play in the garden) until you get a feel that you would be happy for them to do so.

Becs and The Gang
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you so much for all your advice everyone, it's really helpful to hear about other people's experiences finding someone to trust your dog with. You've given me a lot to think about and some good tips. I'm still undecided about whether I want someone to come in for an hour and play with him, or take him out for a walk. I know what Stan would probably prefer- the walk, every time! It's just my own anxieties about him being taken out by someone else.
Jenny I am going to Corinne's on Sunday- really looking forward to catching up and reuniting the dogs!- I'd be interested in getting the details of the dogwalker from you, just the fact that he only walks two dogs is a big plus. As you say, the amount of dog walkers you see with far too many dogs, that is exactly what I don't want for Stan.
 
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