Dog walking is a fast-growing and entirely unregulated industry. Virtually anyone can pick up a leash and pronounce herself/himself a professional dog walker. In this absence of quality control, it’s important to make sure the dog walker you choose is qualified to care for your dog.
Dog*Tec certified dog walkers have been through an intensive training program.
To be Dog*Tec certified, candidates must:
- Pass a hands-on practical exam. The exam includes walking multiple dogs on and off leash in challenging situations while demonstrating the ability to maintain voice and leash control, keep the dogs safe, and ensure every dog in their care is having a great time.
- Pass a comprehensive written exam. Candidates must show a high level of understanding in several areas of dog behavior, including learning theory, pack management, building a strong recall, reading dog body language, recognizing early warning signs of discomfort, fear, and aggression, and positively managing inappropriate dog play and leash manners.
Be first-aid certified. Pet Tech first aid certification focused specifically on dogs for professional walkers.
Pledge to use only humane training approaches. All Dog*Tec grads, as a condition of their certification, must commit to use only scientifically sound, positive training methods with all dogs in their care. Just as you wouldn’t want your child spanked by his teacher, you don’t want your dog jerked, shocked, or shouted at by your walker. Hiring a dog walker should provide fun and exercise for your dog and peace of mind for you.
Pledge to adhere to ethical business practices.