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What's Your Take: Should Dog Walkers Be Licensed?

What's Your Take: Should Dog Walkers Be Licensed?

Sadly, a pup can't tattle if there were too many other dogs on his walk or if it was 20 minutes shorter than you were paying for, but it's hard for me to understand how licensing dog walkers would help regulate this industry. Despite also popping up in 2007, the news in SF is that considering a required license is back on the table.The idea is that San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department is facing some serious budgetary cuts and hope that forcing dog walkers to pay for a license would help the city recoup some of that money to fix the parks and other public spaces the dogs are using. On one hand, I would like more accountability for anyone I was entrusting with my lil guy but, in a city very limited in pet-friendly areas (compared to NYC), I'd want to see quite a few more dog runs open up before totally backing funds going towards this organization. With both those considerations in mind, how do you feel on the licensing issue?


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aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Depends on how many...
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
*learning NOT to be afraid
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
I don't like the idea of such large groups of dogs (10 seems a little much, esp. if it's 10 "average"sized dogs). Plus, Ladyr, I had the same issue once! i was walking my dog (on a leash) and some dogwalker had soem of her charges off leash and like three came up and were harassing my dog (and my dog was a shelter dog who was very nervous and fear-aggressive due to poor experiences with dogs previously). So the other three are barking and jumping and pushing my dog around and I'm trying to keep her calm while trying to call this idiot woman over. My dog final snaps (but I jerked the leash in time so she didn't actually make contact with any other dogs). This woman has the nerve to come over to me and yell at me for bringing such an "unstable, vicious dog" out in public and said I should be ashamed of myself for raising such a monster. The nerve! my dog was fine and learning on to be afraid and this woman's irresponsibility caused my pup's progress to back track to where she was afraid to leave the house again. I'm a little undecided on the matter because i don't fully know what it all entails, but I'm def. for maximum numbers and more walker responsibility.
ladyr ladyr 7 years
I don't know if licensing is the answer, but it would be good if there was some kind of regulation (I like wackdoodle's certification and animal safety training idea). Some dog walkers seem to have pretty good control, while others have very little and are extremely irresponsible. For example: One day I was at a high traffic dog park here in SF with one of my dogs. It happened to be on a weekday and there were lots of dog walkers there, many with 10+ dogs in their care and most of them off-leash (many dogs in this park are off-leash at any given time, but it is not fenced). From a distance, I could hear people calling for a dog over and over again and when I got closer, I saw that it was a dog walker with one helper and they had probably around 10 dogs with them. I asked if she was missing a dog and what the dog looked like in case I saw it on my way out. She had in fact lost one of the dogs in her care, and the rest were just wandering around not paying any attention to her or the other woman. As I was walking away, a young dog in her care comes up to me and my dog (who was leashed b/c I was doing some recall training with him) and starts barking in my dog's face and jumping all over the place. My dog growled at it since it was getting in his face and behaving inappropriately towards him. I corrected my dog and tried to walk away, but the dog followed us and would not leave my dog alone. The dog walker had the stupidest reaction! Instead of coming over and calmly correcting the dog that was her responsibility, she proceeded to yell out "dog on leash, dog on leash" like it was a contagious disease, causing everyone around to look at me and all the dogs to start looking around in panic. There had been no bite, and the incident could have been over in a matter of seconds. Instead, it got worse, and both dogs got more worked up. Eventually, the other woman made her way over and grabbed the dog's collar. It was ridiculous!! I was angry, and I was also embarrassed because she had made such a spectacle of it. On my way back to my car just a few minutes later, however, there was another dog walker with probably around 8 dogs and she had complete control. All the dogs were walking at her sides or behind her without leashes, and when one would wander a little she would call it back to her immediately and keep walking. That was cool to see!
Angelica Angelica 7 years
I think it depends on how many dogs the person is going to be handling, but in terms of big numbers I am all for it.
hataricat21 hataricat21 7 years
I think that its a toss up. As far as I know, most doggy daycares do not have all licensed staff members to watch the dogs. What is the difference? If its a matter of dog safety, then I think that anyone that cares for a dog within a business, should be licensed. If its a matter of money, then it should be a license directed at all those that take care of dogs, not -just- dog walkers.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 7 years
I am not sure about this. I am undecided. I would like dog walkers to have some sort of certification and animal safety training. But requiring licensing become complicated - it means there will have to be standards for the job, then training centers, and finally someone with the state who certifies and inspects the licenses of the dog walkers. A whole new expensive can of worms. As far as that picture of the woman with the stroller and the pack of dogs - she's an idiot. If those dogs choose to they can go wild and run away dragging that child and stroller out into traffic or simply dumping the child to the ground from the toppled stroller at a high rate of speed.
AmaznGrace AmaznGrace 7 years
We would all like to believe that the person caring for our pet is a kind, loving and stable individual. But you really should spend a little time around the dog parks, and I think you'd vote for licensing these people. The good ones won't mind - but the not so good ones.... I've see dogs cowering away from the commercial dog walker - because she is using the 'fling stick' on them and not the tennis ball. I've see vehicles crammed full of what would become 'furry projectiles' in the event of an auto accident. No crates or tie downs. Oh, and I don't think I ever saw a commercial dog walker clean up after any of the animals they are being paid to care for. A little oversight would be a good thing.
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