You should know who is walking your dog!
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR DOG WALKERS
1. Where will you take my dog?
2. In what types of activities do the dogs engage? Do you walk the dogs off or on leash, or is the outing a supervised playgroup in a designated location?
3. For how long will you exercise my dog (excluding car time?)
4. Do you include obedience during the walk? If so, how?
5. What sort of punishments and/or rewards do you use?
6. What will you do if my dog…
- Does not come when called?
- Does not sit when requested?
- Jumps on you?
- Jumps on somebody else?
- Growls at another dog?
- Growls at a person?
7. Do you consult with a professional dog trainer? If so, whom? What is your philosophy on keeping dogs under control?
8. Are you insured?
9. What is the maximum number of dogs you will walk on an outing? Do you separate dogs according to size? Age? Activity level? Some services take 10 – 15 dogs off-leash per handler! This is not safe or realistic.
10. What is the protocol for introducing my dog into the group? For letting my dog off leash? How do you screen dogs for dog friendliness?
11. Will you provide any reports/updates on my dog’s behavior either weekly or monthly?
12. In an emergency, what plan of action do you have in place? Are you trained in pet first aid or CPR?
13. Has a dog ever been lost or injured or killed on your walks? What happened?
14. Will walks be delegated to anyone other than yourself (an assistant or associate)? If so, how far in advance of the actual outing with my dog?
15. How long have you been walking dogs professionally? Were you trained to manage multiple dogs? If so, where or by whom?
16. Can you provide references from current and former clients? May I contact them?
17. May I observe/accompany you on a walk?
"Excerpted from a San Francisco SPCA publication"