|Barked: Fri Nov 16, '12 8:04pm PST |
|Don't do it without insurance. If you can't afford the insurance, just skip the whole idea. It is never ok to be working with dogs without insurance. Accidents happen all the time. Off hand, random, horrible things I have seen include a dog run into a door frame and break her leg, several dogs get loose when the spring in their leash/tether clip broke, lots of seizures, fights with wild animals no human could have detected, a dog jump through a screen window, an owner who didn't latch her gate properly and all her dogs got loose when one jumped on it, a dog somehow slice his thigh open running in his own yard...
Otherwise, if you have the experience and you're in a good area with a good schedule, go for it. If you don't -need- the work, it's a good time to get started growing a business... Otherwise you may end up strapped for cash. But you do have to be in a town people are willing to hire a dog walker, and you'll need to be able to get away to do the walking between classes.
Do expect people to have no idea their dog is aggressive/reactive, or outright lie about it. Setting up meetings and trial runs prior to accepting a client will help. Make the trial run after the initial meeting, where you come to the house while the owner is away, but won't be away so long the dog will suffer for not being walked... This way you make sure you will be able to get in the house. Many dogs are fine with anyone coming in when their owner is present to "clear" you, but will take you down for coming in when no one is home.
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