Have you dreamed of being a professional dog walker?
I love my little business, The Moochy Pooch, and think I’d love it even more running it with a partner. For me, two people mean twice the scope, twice the skills and twice the potential.
It’s a fine time to work in canine care. Many people introduced a new dog to their lives in lockdown and, now they’re going back to work, walkers, sitters, trainers and carers of all kinds are in high demand. I’m in a place where I’ve got a waiting list, have had to stop marketing, and am working more than I’d like.
I’m looking for someone who wants to work with dogs and get involved in the day-to-day running of a business. Ideally someone calm, empathetic, conscientious and dedicated, who will always prioritise dogs’ wellbeing before profit. If you also like mindfulness, nature and trying to do good for the planet, that’s a massive plus.
Dog walking, why it’s great:
- Doggy relationships – How many jobs are there where you get to fall in love every day?
- Freedom – My escape was from marketing and fundraising desk jobs, and I’m certainly not missing sitting down, screen-time or bureaucratic management.
- Health – A job to boost your mental and physical health being in the great outdoors with our best furry friends.
- Learning – There’s CPD potential in canine care work. I’ve relished the opportunity to delve into dog psychology, animal behaviour and evolutionary biology.
And, in the name of balance, some downsides I’ve found:
- Dogs (quite obviously) aren’t robots – No matter how experienced you are or how many steps ahead you’ve thought, they will always find new ways to surprise and test us. This can be funny but also quite stressful at times.
- Unless you’re Houdini, you will get tangled in leads
- There’s more driving than you’d imagine
- Waterproof clothes and shoes often aren’t waterproof at all
- Sometimes you have to race against the clock to fit everyone in
- Maybe you’re not as fit as you think
Why partner up when you could go it alone?
The Moochy Pooch was established a year ago when I decided to go into animal care full time.
In the last year, I’ve got happy customers and a fully booked schedule of dogs to walk and care for, wonderful reviews and testimonials on various platforms, active, well-followed Facebook and Instagram profiles, a professional website and all sorts of practical experience to draw from. Enquiries come in regularly and, at the moment, I generally have to turn them down.
I’ve had a positive experience of co-running a business before and have a great friendship with my former business partner. I’m an enjoyable person to work with and am an ENFP on the Myers-Briggs test, if that means anything to you? I love to understand and collaborate and make people happy. I tend to have lots of creative ideas and enthusiasm, a love of fairness and conscientious communication, and an analytical and practical approach to problem solving.
Normally, when you start your own business, you must wait several months before generating an income and learn by making all kinds of mistakes along the way. Joining The Moochy Pooch will side-step some of this. I’m not saying we won’t make mistakes but at least I’ve already made a few to get us off the ground!
What kind of skills and experience might you have?
- A love and understanding of dogs
- Commitment to positive reinforcement and awareness of modern training techniques
- Experience of animal care
- Keenness for running your own business
- Customer care and attention to detail
- Good organisational skills
- Physical fitness
- A love of walking, nature and outdoors
What you’ll need
- A secure, crated car or van is a must. You won’t necessarily need this from Day 1 but sooner rather than later, you will need to have an appropriate vehicle for the job.
- Robust, waterproof outdoor clothing and boots
The Moochy Pooch’s Values
- Dogs before profit, always
- Environmental sustainability
- Mindfulness, kindness and calm
There’s so much I could write here, but I’ll save the content for when we meet. Save to say, these values are core to how I work now and encompass my aspirations for the future. When looking for someone to work with, I will want to know that you understand and share these values.
If you’ve read this far and are excited by the opportunity, the next step is to contact me. I’d like an email with a bit about your background and why you’re a good fit for The Moochy Pooch, stating some of your personal values and attributes. You’re welcome to send a CV if you want to and I’ll happily share mine too.
(My LinkedIn profile is well-populated, if you’d like to know more about me and how I came to this point.)
My aim is to co-run The Moochy Pooch with a business partner. How we get there depends on you and what experience and commitment you bring. We’ll shape the process together so that it works equally well for both of us.
In the short-term you could be a self-employed contractor, while we get to know each other and decide whether we’re the right combination for a formal business partnership. There are also upfront costs, like canine first aid course, DBS check, branded clothing and insurance, which will need to be discussed and agreed.
As a basic starting point, you will earn £9 per hour as a self-employed contractor.
Speaking bluntly this isn’t a job for someone whose main aim is earning lots of money. With the cost of fuel so high and more overheads than you’d imagine, the finances are tighter than they first seem. Or, at least, that’s what I have discovered so far. It has to be as much about personal wellbeing, job satisfaction and a love of being outdoors with animals, as it is about paying the bills.
It’s not a closed system though, I have a lot of creative ideas for how The Moochy Pooch can be grown and developed, and I believe there’s plenty of potential to create a thriving business that’s great fun to work in. If you’re also excited to grow, look to the future, and develop new products and services, that’s certainly desirable.
If you share The Moochy Pooch’s values and would like to join me, please get in touch and introduce yourself by emailing email@example.com.