Imagine walking to the park with four dogs on a lead. Each one of them is earning you money. You're in a smart uniform that bears your business name.
An owner approach you and asks about your rates. You have limited availability in your diary, but you'll try and fit him in.
An hour later, both you and the dogs have had a lot of fun, and you're ready for a rest. You've earned as much money in one hour as you'd get in a day elsewhere.
But already you're planning on dropping the dogs off and collecting three more. Sometimes life is just a bit hectic!
The short answer is a resounding "Yes!" Dogs have been part of human company for thousands of years. They've acted as hunters, protectors and loyal friends.
Now, dogs have found a new way to serve you. Their owners will pay you to walk their precious pets. The equation is simple:
That's right- you can get paid to do what you love doing.
Many dog owners have to work long hours away from the house. They know that their dogs need company and exercise. Some types of dogs in particular fret if their owner is away too long, or they get bored and start to bark or misbehave. So they need a dog walker.
You can earn good money making sure their dogs have good company, and are getting the exercise they need.
Sometimes, you might meet with other dog-walkers and their dogs for some dog group bonding and socialising. You can be paid to do that!
The dogs remain balanced and contented, and the owner goes to work happy in the knowledge their dogs are safe in your capable hands.
It's a win-win for all: the owner, the dog and you.
What other tasks might be involved?
"Wow," you say, "I love walking. And I'd be happy being paid to take dogs for their daily walks. What else might I be called upon to do?" There are many ways of earning extra income.
1. You might be asked to dog-sit. This might involve keeping the dog company at times throughout the day and feeding it. People want to go on holiday, but don't want to put their animal through the stress of being crated on an aeroplane. Pet sitting is a good solution. The cat or dog stays in their own reassuring environment, and you provide for its needs. You don't need to be there all the time - just a couple of times a day. And the owner knows that someone is watching over their house for them.
You might collect the dog at 8.00am, take her for a walk, return to the house and feed her.
Now, with the dog curled up contentedly at your feet, you can sit down and email your other clients to arrange more bookings. Or make a cup of coffee and read a book until you need to take the dog for her second walk of the day.
And it's not just dogs. There are 8 million cats in the UK, one million rabbits, one million domestic chickens and hens, a million caged birds, and half a million guinea pigs. Plus hamsters, lizards and not forgetting 40 million fish.
2. You can board dogs at your house while their owners are on holiday. If you have the space, it's a way to earn more money. We cover that on the course, too.
3. And you can get paid for doing chores at the client's house, such as mowing the lawn. Some people might turn their noses up at that kind of work. But for us, it guarantees our freedom, it pays the bills, and liberates us from dull, grinding work where some boss is watching over us.
4. Dog training. Some dogs are badly behaved. It's not their fault. They're pack animals, and they need to know where they stand in the pecking order. They need to know who's boss. You can show the owner how to understand and improve their dog's behaviour. On the course we show you how.
Mike's first experience as a dog walker
By profession Mike is a personal trainer. One of his clients was going to be away for a week. The client, a high earning company director, asked if he could walk the two dogs while they were away. Mike said 'OK'.
And could he spend some time sitting with them in the house?
'Sure,' he said.
And could he mow the lawn?
So for that week, Mike continued his work as a trainer, walked the dogs, pet sit the house, and did some chores. He earned £100 a day over and above his normal work, for just a few hours' work. He put £700 into his bank, in addition to his normal income.
So you see, you can do lots of jobs at the same time, and get paid multiple times.
Doesn't that beat a day spent watching the clock at the office?
"Walking 13 dogs a day can exceed national average annual salary" - Daily Mail
What do you need to become a professional dog-walker?
You need to like dogs and be confident handling them. But you're good at that, right?
You'll also need to learn other skills including:
- How to read the dog's behaviour signs, including signs of boredom, fear, anxiety or aggression. This is especially important when taking the dog out for walks as the behaviour of other dogs can often be unpredictable.
- How to deal with animal aggression.
- How your own body language and your responses affect dog behaviour.
- How to set yourself up as a professional dog-walker.
- How to find clients and set your rates.
On the course you'll learn these skills. We'll ensure you can work safely and happily with any dog in any situation.
It'll help you not only in your relationships with the dogs in your care and it will also give you added self-confidence that you'll exude in all your interactions with dogs and people alike.
Where can I learn these skills?
Now is the perfect time to train as a professional dog-walker. Not only is the dog-walking market booming, but an endorsed training course is available at the Blackford Centre.
The Professional Dog Walking Business Course is a carefully thought out collaboration between the Blackford Centre and the best professional dog-walking instructors.
The Blackford Centre's qualified instructors will walk you through all aspects of becoming a dog walker and setting up your business. In no time at all you will be fielding calls from your first clients eager for your services and you will be ready for them. You will be able to enjoy your walks in the fresh air, looking after some beautiful dogs and earning money.
"With some dog walkers now paid more than the average employee, it's clear the days when pay was linked to effort, skill and the societal worth of a job are over." - The Guardian
How will I learn?
Some courses tie you down to a tight timetable, which places unreasonable pressure on you. The Complete Dog Walking Business course is taught through distance modules including guidebooks, question and answer books, online assessment, videos, and contact with your own personal tutor.
When you enrol, you will receive the complete course and you control your pace through each module.
We know that you have other commitments and so we've designed our course around your needs. Some people make excuses for not taking charge of their lives and they postpone those decisions that will transform their lives. Here are two common excuses people make to put off positive change in their lives:
- I'm too busy. I couldn't fit any studies around my family and my current job!
We make it easy for you to take those steps toward a new and exciting career. You can do your study at night or during the weekends.
- I don't have a regular, predictable timetable so I don't know when I will finish the course.
You can complete the course when you like and take as long as you need.
Our job is to facilitate your progress through the course and into your new exhilarating business as a professional dog walker.
Take that first step now into an invigorating career: enrol in the Blackford Centre's Professional Dog Walking Business course.
What will I learn?
The course covers nine modules including the following topics:
. Requirements for a professional dog walker or pet sitter. This includes setting up your vehicle for animal transport, tools and equipment, signage, and the importance of a uniform.
. Market research and getting clients. We give you tried and tested methods for building your client base. You learn about creating your own brand, building an image, and setting up your website. You also learn about setting your terms and conditions, and how to deal with enquiries.
. Dog behaviour and how your body posture affects dogs. In this module you will learn what body language to adopt. You'll also discover how to manage multiple numbers of dogs, how to get animals into and out of your vehicle safely, how to deal with animal aggression, how to restrain animals safely, how to reduce pet anxiety and how to administer medication.
. First aid. This is important for you and the animals in your care: a sound knowledge of first aid gives you the comfort of knowing how to deal with any emergency. If a dog in your charge gets bitten, you'll be able to take care of it.
. Providing a boarding facility. Here you'll learn how to set up your home as a welcoming hotel for pets when their owners go away on holiday or business. It's extra money for you.
. Business insurance. Insurance for the self-employed professional is complex but essential. You will learn about public liability, personal accident, professional indemnity, cover for vet fees, and many other ways of protecting yourself. That way you're covered if a dog gets loose. And dog owners will hire you in confidence, knowing you're insured.
. Legal requirements. You'll learn about Council licensing requirements, accounting practices and whether to form a limited liability company.
Wow, that really is a complete course.
Everything you need to know about becoming a professional dog walker or pet sitter is included in this course. And that's before the free bonuses listed below.
Your assignments will be marked by one of our experienced tutors. It means your work is checked in a friendly and confidential atmosphere before being exposed to the outside world. And you can do the course by email.
And because you'll have direct contact with your personal course tutor you'll be able to have all your questions answered.
The helpful professionals at the Blackford Centre are committed to seeing you successfully moving into your own professional dog walking business.
"Dogs overtaking cats as Britain's favourite pet
New figures show the number of dogs is at all-time high and is on course to end feline supremacy." Daily Telegraph
Complete set of start up forms. You'll get free template forms such as a consent forms report forms veterinary authorisation form, and terms and conditions form. You can modify and use them as you choose.
Bonus 1. Free mentoring when you complete the course (value £365)
Once you complete the course, we'll give you three months' free business mentoring.
You'll have a personal mentor who'll help you set up your own business (if you want to do that).
For three months after getting your Diploma you'll get one-to-one advice and support from an active practitioner.
So if you're unsure on how to launch your own business, this mentoring programme will put you on the road to success.
And because it's all part of the Blackford Centre's course, it won't cost you a penny.
Bonus 2. Business Blueprints (value £17)
This 47-page eBook contains complete step-by-step checklists for starting a successful business.
Click here to learn more about Business Blueprints.
The course is carefully designed to show you how to become a professional dog walker. It's structured to give you the right information when you need it. There is comprehensive documentation and specialist support material.
The 'Diploma in Professional Dog walking' is a complete learning package. It is crammed full of information, tips and exercises. Everything is beautifully packaged to provide you with your own permanent reference library which you can consult long after completing the course.
Constructed by experts, the course distills years of experience, covering every kind of market and all types of publicity. And it incorporates the most common questions and comments made by our students. By taking this course, your success as a dog walker and pet sitter is almost certain.
The course is personal to you
Your course is fully personalised. We carefully mark your assignments, and show you how to improve. We provide advice that you can't get anywhere else, and we give you the encouragement that you need to succeed.
The courses are based on the real world. By the end of the course, you'll have met all the main problems that a dog walker may encounter. So you won't have any surprises when you face a client.
You also have two advantages over dog walkers who have learnt 'on the job'. They have usually picked up their knowledge as they've gone along. And many have fallen by the wayside.
Because you'll have learnt the craft in a systematic way, you'll be more professional. That means you'll earn more money.
You get exclusive information
The course gives you an invaluable insight into the dog walking world. You can't find these trade secrets disclosed anywhere else. The course is distilled from actual experience, to give you the answers to questions like:
- What sort of people hire dog walkers?
- Where do I take the dogs?
- Can I let them off the lead?
- What do I do if I lose a dog?
- How do I deal with aggressive dogs (we have some sneaky tips that will make them behave
- Where do I find clients?
- How much do I charge?
- What paperwork do I need?
Just look at the course benefits
Unlike other organisations, we provide complete coverage of the subject, covering all aspects of dog walking and pet sitting.
There are 8 assignments for you to complete.
You'll have email access to your tutor, who will give you free advice and suggestions on anything to do with dog walking including your own work.
You can contact our course advisors at the Blackford Centre by phone or by email.
You can also contact other students, using our student database, to which you can add your details.
You can take as long as you want to complete the course.
And if you aren't delighted with the course we offer a 60-day no-quibble refund.
About your tutor
The Blackford Centre's tutors are full-time dog walkers, who bring their on-the-job experience to the course. You'll get advice directly from active practitioners - not armchair theorists.
That means you'll get someone who really knows how to help you.
How long does the course take?
You can complete the course in around four to five months, depending on your other commitments. Some students do it faster, while others take longer. That's one advantage of distance learning. You can learn at your own speed, not at your teacher's.
And there's no time limit on the course. So if you need to be away for six months, you can do so without worrying.
Students who satisfactorily complete the course are awarded the Diploma in Professional Dog Walking. That includes the Blackford Centre's Diploma certificate.
When you complete the course
Once you complete the course, you'll receive your Diploma, which is a recognition of your skills and knowledge.
We also send information about your success to your local newspapers (if you want). There's no charge. It's a good way of telling potential clients about your availability.
We'll also put your name on our list of Approved Dog Walkers . And you can get a free logo to put on your website and your letterhead.
Who enrols on the course?
All kinds of people decide to become dog walkers. But typically they are:
1. People who like the outdoors
2. Those who enjoy an active life style.
3. People who are frustrated by their dead end job,
4. Those who can't commit to working 9-5 due to family or other commitments.
5. People who need time to write their novel, build their extension or look after their children.
6. Job seekers who are finding there is a lack of decent jobs around.
7. Those who don't want to move home because they like their area.
8. People who notice there are increasing numbers of affluent, time-poor money in their neighbourhood.
Another course is ready for despatch
It’s time to get started
Having read this far, you've got what it takes - you're motivated.
Fill out the enrolment form now, because this is where the adventure and rewards begin. It's easy to start:
- Register easily by clicking here. If you need help or information, email or phone the Blackford Centre.
- We'll send you the full course materials within five days - anywhere in the world.
- When you get the course, read the first module. It's laid out in an easy-to-follow format. Then do the first assignment. It asks you simply to describe your life, your interests and your aims. Send (or email) it to your tutor for assessment. Your tutor will return it to you with friendly advice and comments.
- Do the same for the other modules, until you reach the end of the course.
We look forward to helping you succeed.
With best wishes
an advisor on