Why do I need a dog walker?

For those with busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to find the time to provide adequate exercise for your dog. Hiring a dog walker gives you peace of mind that your dog is getting the exercise they need. Our staff are exceptionally well trained, and are able to provide amazing mental stimulation through training and structured activities on the walk, so your dog comes home even more tired in less time! In fact, your dog will likely learn great new behaviours while with our staff that you can enjoy with them on your walks together.A dog walker can also be a lifesaver in inclement weather – we know a wide variety of indoor exercise tricks to put to good use when the weather is too hot or cold to walk your canine companion outside safely.If you are in the process of dealing with your dog’s reactivity or aggression and feel uncomfortable walking your dog in public, a highly skilled dog walker (like the staff at Happy Tails!) can ease that anxiety and help your dog’s training.

Why should I choose a dog walker instead of a dog daycare?

At a doggie daycare facility, you have little to no control over the other pets who are there. Our dog walkers match your dog with appropriate companions in a group walk setting, so you are fully aware of the types of animals your pet is around.  Frequently, daycare facilities do not provide a truly structured environment: often, animals are within a closed environment but essentially left to entertain themselves. Real “rest” time, away from the stimulation and distractions of other pets, is limited or non-existent. A dog walker provides customized, structured stimulation and exercise that is exactly suited to your particular dog.

What is a slip lead or chain collar, and why do you use them?

Slip leads and chain collars are the preferred tools of many top trainers, including our sister company Superior Obedience Solutions & Training. Slip leads and chain collars give dogs the appropriate positive reinforcement when they are in the heel position – the collar stays nice and loose around the dog’s neck. It is amazing how quickly they can grasp that this is the behaviour you want from them with the appropriate tool! However, should the dog move from that position or bolt, these tools allow the handler complete control.

How far in advance should I book your services?

For holidays and other popular dates (such as Christmas, March Break, etc.), advance booking is highly recommended. We cannot guarantee availability, especially with less than 24 hours notice.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will be charged the full amount of the service fee.

What payment types do you accept?

We accept credit cards or e-transfers.

What is a “structured” walk?

A structured walk is essentially walking with a purpose, rather than simply holding the end of the leash and walking in a straight line for a given amount of time. A structured walk includes lots of mental stimulation – sitting at stop lights, recall, and other basic obedience commands. These activities keep your dog mentally engaged as well as physically engaged.

Can my puppy join your group walks?

Puppies can generally participate in group walks at 5 months of age. Before that, private walks offer us the opportunity to establish a baseline expectation with your puppy before they join a group walk.

 

My dog doesn't like other dogs. How will that be handled?

Our staff goes through a rigorous training regime with both Veronica and Brad Harrod, owner of Superior Obedience Solutions & Training. Brad has trained and rehabilitated over 7,500 dogs, including dogs who are extremely reactive, have put serious puncture wounds in other dogs, killed animals, seriously injured their owners, and more. Brad specializes in large power breeds. Our staff are well versed in how to handle reactive dogs. Should anything become an issue for any reason, Brad and Veronica are a simple phone call away.

 

Do you stay in my home, 24/7, with the live-in boarding option?

During the “live-in” boarding service, we are there during the day and night to look after your pets. We confirm our scheduled time away with you in advance, so you know exactly when we will be out of your house and for how long – just as if we lived there!

My pet requires medication - is your staff trained to administer this?

All of our staff are trained to handle basic medications, and we have veterinary technicians as well as veterinary assistants on our team who can easily handle more complex requirements such as injections.