My name is James and I'm here to help you with a true VIP pet service. I have spent many years raising animals and working at shelters as a volunteer, specialising in larger stronger dogs and grumpy cats, both in general care and social/behavioural rehabilitation. I enjoy studying animal behaviour and biology in my spare time. Mental stimulation, physical exercise and behavioral analysis all make for a happier and healthier pet, whether its doggy weight loss, curing anxiety or simply great company on your walks, I will also never turn down a cup of coffee and a chat. The services I offer are house visits to help you out, a place to stay when you are away and dog walking. You are more than welcome to join me on the walks, I am always up for good conversation. If your dog is shy and needs socialization or a play date friend, Odin has been trained to be a good one. I can also offer good advise and tips to help you out. At the end of the day, I want to help you and your pet have a better relationship, ease some stress and have fun getting exercise. I own a great Puppy named Odin, he loves to make new friends and will be a great daycare mate to any dogs staying with us. He is great at alleviating anxiety and building confidence.
One side to Dog walking most overlook is the experience of the walker in areas dealing with maturity and ability to deal with dangerous or emergency situations. Having spent many years volunteering in Dog Shelters and in my careers, I have had to deal with many, some bad, some good, but always striving to deal with problems head on in a calm and professional manner.
I will give you three examples to highlight my skills....
Example One: In 2017 I found myself in the right place at the right time in a Dog park. I had taken a regular clients old Lab for his bi weekly dog park play time when a normal night turned into chaos. A young inexperienced lady was walking her clients Dog, unknown to her and the client, their "blue staffy" was actually 1 year old a heavily muscled staffy X bred for fighting. I took one look and knew there would be trouble, but before I could say anything she had released the dog into the park without first seeing how it behaved toward the other dogs through the fence. Her dog went straight for a large mastiff belonging to a teenage boy and bit onto its face. While everyone in the park was freaking out, I jumped into action, lifted the the boys dog in one hand and held off the aggressive staffy with my legs, while yelling at people to get back so I could lift the dog over the fence to safety. The boy unfortunately due to emotional distress put his hand in between the fighting dogs in an attempt to protect his best friend and lost the end of his finger (never do this). I administered first aid to the kid, calmed the situation, called the ambulance and police... I tell this story not to boost myself, but to make you aware that experience is very important when it comes to choosing who you want to take care of your family pet. Also that if you take your dog to a park, make sure to assess how it behaves to the other dogs there. If you dog attacks anyone, you are liable for any legal damages. Also it is just common sense to be safe.
Example Two: There are also very positive experiences. I have stated that I specialise with large dogs who have anxiety. Many people with good hearts adopt a dog to give it a good home and a second chance, while admirable, they often over look the dog's past and previous traumas. I had a client, her name was Rosie (a very strong HeelerxPitbull) and I worked with her for 2 days a week over a period of 6 months. She was an absolute sweetheart and very gentile, but reacted to canine aggression with force. Her anxiety on a lead was so bad, I couldnt get her to walk down a street without her crying and stopping to see if there was another dog or person around every corner waiting to attack her. She had very little exposer to positive experiences with other dogs, that often her first reaction was to wrestle and dominate them if they showed her any aggression, rather than to ignore and walk on. It took time, but eventually I helped her realise that walking was a fun experience and other dogs could be fun too. If a Dog growled at her, she was to sit there and be patient. Granted, there are some things you cannot train out of a dog, but her progress was remarkable. I eventually convinced her owner to let me take her to a Dog park, the owner feard she would fight other dogs, but I assured her she wouldnt. I took her and after some hesitation, she spent the next 3 hours having the time of her life. Unfortunately, Rosie died a week later. She got out of her yard and ran onto a road. The story had a sad ending, but this was a dog that had been returned 5 times to a shelter and was on death row. A single mum gave her a chance and in that 6 months she for the first time had a real life, thanks to a whole lot of guidance and love.
Example Three: I have a regular client and friend, she is a lovely senior lady who first contacted me to help her walk her son's large energetic and strong Louisiana Leopard Dog (Cataloua Cur), while she walked her Cavalier, as her son often wet overseas for work. She needed someone to help ease her anxiety and keep her company, scared her son's large dog would break lead and run off somewhere, or pull her over and risk injury. We started off going on what is now our usual 1 hour trek and became fast friends, always great conversation and lunch waiting for me. I helped her build her confidence as a dog owner and her control over the larger dog, to teach her to be the alpha and to teach him that he needed to listen to his Nanna. A year later we still see eachother for coffee and go for walks, her confidence walking the dogs and deal with their behaviour a pleasant improvement. They are both wonderful Dogs and always eager to see me.
Dog walking for me isn't just about taking over when you cannot walk your dog, it is about helping people with needs specific to them. Hire the right person for the job, the person you think will be best suited to yours and your pet's needs. Someone you eases your mind and makes you smile for a job well done.
Conditions of Service.
* You are paying for my time and experience, know that you will get that and more.
* I offer special discounts for seniors and the disabled when they have an ongoing booking or require special needs.
* All daycare and stay over nights include a walk in the final price, they will be well cared for and given plenty of attention. Whereas a Kennel will just house them in a cage and let them out for a short time for exercise.
* While I specialise in walking them, I do not take adult dogs with severe social/seperation anxiety (constantly cry) or who are not house trained as adults for stay overs at my home, as this is often a nightmare, it can be damaging and very stressful to the dog. They are better off having a daily house visit and walk. Puppies are the exception as they require constant care and a controllable. I also have to think about the safety of myself, my own dog and my property.
* Dogs must have a clean history, good nature and free from destructive or aggressive tendencies. Ideally a dog happy to just chill and enjoying his holiday.
* Dogs must be up to date with their vaccinations and be in good condition upon arrival. No fleas, ticks or filthy coats will be accepted.
* Happy to bath the dog if needed at extra cost.
* Extra fees may be incurred due to public holidays or special requirements. This is a job after all and time and a half applies.
* There will be a charge for travel outside my local area, to cover costs. Generally $5 per 10km one way or at my request.
* Be aware, booking through madpaws incurs the walker/sitter a 15% cut from their earnings, which goes to madpaws. Nothing is free. Take this into consideration please when looking at prices.
* I suggest booking a consultation/walk to meetup before finalizing any bookings, better to have a conversation first before settling on a service.
* Owners must be honest about their pet and provide all details requested for safety reasons. In the end, you are liable for everything you pet does.
* Owners are responsible for any food, medications, bedding and items required to look after their pet.
* Owners must agree to terms of service.
* My cancellation policy is now strict due to abuse of this, my time is valuable and not to be wasted. Just like yours.
* I have the right to refuse service or suggest an alternative option when I believe circumstances warrant it or it is in the best interests of your pet. In the end, I want you to have the best service possible and walk away happy with it.
Thank you for taking the time to read everything and considering my services. I want you to make a well informed decision and be confident with your choice.
Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Kelpie, Rottweiler