We define a dog walker as somebody who walks your dog, they may not necessarily be a trainer. While a trainer may know how to train your dog, dog walkers are concerned with only walking a dog who has already been trained.
Dog walking as a profession is still evolving in India. With the majority of dogs being walked by local maids and guards, the standards are set pretty low. Hence, we have unhappy pet-parents whose main concerns are “will the dog walker be on the phone, while S/He walks the dog”. Another acute problem we find is dog walkers provided by agencies. In the absence of any regulatory body regulating the quality of their training as a dog walker, its often easy to claim that they are certified dog walkers, for instance when we see an engineering degree, we know that the holder has some basic engineering skill set, reason being AICTE regulates what is to be taught and only when the requisite training is absorbed by the candidate, they get the degree. You ask what is the significance of the certificate.
Another factor that comes into play, is the sky-high costs of hiring a dog walker. There is a real dearth of dog walkers. With the majority of dog walkers being un-skilled, it is no secret that the majority of them are afraid of dogs unless they have been working with a family who owns a dog. Most of the unskilled labour have a rural background. According to WHO Roughly 36% of the world’s rabies deaths occur in India each year, most of those when children come into contact with infected dogs. Things become a little more complicated when the dog population gets out of hand, as is certainly the case in many parts of rural India. Hence, the majority of people/unskilled labour who do such kind of jobs are not willing to associate themselves with dogs because of deep set fears and hence it was a difficulty to provide such a service at scale. Thus we see an abundance of sitters and boarders who understand dog behaviour and who are educated enough not to fear rabies.
This leads to a scenario where a certified dog walker is willing to provide the service at an increased price. While the morality of this scenario is questionable, we at the Collrs house are changing that.
Follow us on facebook to keep yourself updated on how we are doing it. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries that you might have.