Forgive me if I am wrong here, but the idea of local councils making it “unlawful” to walk 4 or more dogs at a time seems a little unfair? Councillors have made statements such as “”With more than four dogs, you are not taking your dog out for a walk but a pack of potentially dangerous animals for a riot around the park” – which I just find shocking! Their reasons are “the changes will address dog fouling and potentially out of control groups.”
Now I am all in favour of dogs being safe and under control when out walking, and it does worry me sometimes to see dog walkers with 6, 8 even more dogs, all off lead, all careering around and causing general havoc and mayhem, but surely there are other ways of encouraging responsible action than slapping on a £100 fine for simply walking more than 4 dogs?
As most of my clients know, I also have a concern about people waking up one day and deciding to open a dog walking business – I’m not sure some don’t realise it takes more than a nice pair of wellies and a roll of poo bags to be a professional dog walker and the level of responsibility involved in having someone else’s dog out in public is fairly significant! But as one insurance site tells us “It is not essential as a professional dog walker to have a dog walking qualification, certification or license. A love of dogs and enough spare time is really all you need to get a dog walking business started” – is it any wonder more and more are popping up daily?
I am a huge fan of the entrepreneur but I am also a huge fan of professional, safe, responsible, accountable businesses and it makes me wonder where this will all end up? Councils are penalising responsible owners simply for having too many dogs (in their opinion!) yet anyone can call themselves a dog walker and have dogs running around off lead without any qualification or license in place – it feels like double standards to me.
If I was a dog walking business, I would want to make sure I was positioning my business in such a way that my professionalism and capability were my key marketing messages so that owners would be reassured that I am not just “someone with a love of dogs and spare time” and I would be setting up my business to be able to weather the restrictions that some councils are placing on walkers in their area – this is NOT a market to jump into on a whim, and a carefully thought out marketing plan and operating strategy would be key. But that’s just me – and I only have one dog 😉 Walking him feels like walking 6 though! Anyone know any good dog trainers?????