How many dogs go in each group?
Groups are up to 5 dogs, but usually 3 or 4.
We put dogs into groups and determine the number of dogs in a given group based on a variety of factors including dog size, temperament, location and desired training outcomes.
Where do you walk?
We depart from whichever house is the last pick up in a given group. From there we walk to or around local parks if appropriate or explore different areas of the neighbourhood.
Generally we avoid any main roads, areas that are snake prone during snake season, or if your dog is a bit shy/anxious we just stick to quiet areas generally.
Some houses have nicer walks for the dogs near by than others do, so we run the schedule to utilise this whenever possible.
How long is the walk?
The walk itself runs for minimum of 45 minutes, unless it is shortened due to extreme weather conditions. Read more about that in the weather section!
In addition to the walk time, your dog may spend some time in the car with us and by the time all of the pick ups and drop offs are done your dog can be out for a maximum of 2 hours.
Do you go off lead?
Generally, no. It is against by-laws in most councils to take more than 2 dogs per adult handler into off lead areas, for obvious reasons.
The safety of the dogs under our care is paramount and having groups off lead presents numerous problems that can be caused by things outside our control, such as other dogs and people entering off lead areas.
The exception to this is where we occasionally have access to a private secure area. In this case, we will allow some of the walk time to be off lead play if the temperament of the dogs in the group suits.
What does it cost?
For ongoing weekly walks:
- 1 dog – $32 per walk
- 2 dogs – $48 per walk
For casually booked walks:
- 1 dog – $36 per walk
- 2 dogs – $52 per walk
How do you access my dog if I’m not home?
Obviously this varies house to house, and we will discuss that with you in detail before the commencement of our service.
Some houses will have a key safe, so we can get inside. Others may have a coded pad lock for a secure yard gate. We work out something that everyone is happy with.
What time during the day will the walk be?
Each day there are 4 walk blocks that roughly equate to 2 hour segments between 8am and 4pm.
If you have a preference for a particular time block we will try to stick to it, but its not something that we can guarantee every time, as every client has a preference and they don’t always fall in to place perfectly.
If your preference is for am or pm generally though its pretty rare that we can’t manage it.
We also can’t guarantee a specific time because traffic and schedule changes impact this on a day-to-day basis. We can of course shoot you a message to let you know where we are up to if you need to know more specifically on a given day.
What do you do in bad weather?
We have a few policies for handling problematic weather conditions:
If it’s a little bit, we keep going unchanged. If it’s a lot or it’s looking like a real storm then we may elect to either shorten a walk, or reschedule it to an alternative day following a discussion with you. Generally the dogs still need their exercise on a rainy day so we aim to have as little disruption as possible here.
Extreme heat is no good for our furry friends. On hot days we start earlier, to get as much done before the real heat of the day hits. Once it does hit, we adjust as appropriate depending on the day and the dogs in a given group. Some walks become shade hopping casual hangouts with a pack of doggy friends. Some are just a little shorter. Some get cancelled all together. There is a degree of discretion here because some dogs are fine well into mid/high 30s, others are unable to function at the first hint of the sun.
Often on hot or stormy days the usual procedure can change from group walk to one on one house checks for each dog. This can be great if you’re away from home as it ensures your pet is safe, has adequate water, makes it out to the bathroom, etc.
What if my dog doesn’t like other dogs, can he/she still go?
We do an initial assessment to ensure your pet will fit in, but the short answer is yes.
Our walkers are qualified trainers, and it’s very rare that we can’t easily incorporate an antisocial dog into a group without any concern. A big part of what is good about a walking service is controlled socialisation for dogs who are a bit unsure, and for others that may need to learn to be a little more respectful of personal space.
That’s not to say there aren’t cases of reactivity that wouldn’t work in a group walking scenario, or where groups might be something that we have to work toward in a training program. It’s critical that we approach this carefully, for the safety of your pet, the other dogs in our service, and ourselves.
If that turns out to be your situation, our Solo Training Walks are a good starting point, as well as our Behaviour Consultation Service, to get your dog on a path toward better canine manners.