3 min read

5 Key Characteristics to Look For in Dog Walkers



Your fur-baby is part of your family — you won't entrust their care to just anyone. You need a dependable dog walker who will treat your woofer like their own, even if they're just taking a quick spin around the block.

As fellow pet parents ourselves, we get it. We know how important it is to find an experienced dog walker who vibes with both you and your fur-child. To help you on your search for the "pawfect" walker, we've sniffed out some key traits every good dog walker shares!

They're responsive

Dependable dog walkers respond to messages from pet parents in a timely and professional manner. No pet parent wants a walker who ignores their messages or doesn't send enough "pupdates".

Whether you're booking a single or recurring walk, it's always a good idea to set expectations about communicating. Let your walker know how often you'd like to receive updates and whether you're unreachable during certain times of the day.

When you book a local dog walker through the Wag! app, you'll get text, photo, and video updates in real time. Plus, you can use the in-app chat feature to message your walker anytime during the service.

They're cooperative

Whether you're giving complex pet care instructions or navigating unexpected changes to a booking, a good dog walker will work with you in a friendly, professional manner to ensure a "pawsitive" experience for everyone.

When determining whether a walker will cooperate with you, pay attention to how well they follow instructions. After all, you wouldn't want to continue working with a walker who gave your dog treats after you explicitly told them not to.

If you've never booked with a walker before, read reviews from other clients. And if you're booking through Wag!, check out your Pet Caregiver's badges. The "Extra Caring" and "Follows Instructions" badges let you know you've found a walker who's eager to please!

But remember, cooperation is a two-way street. You'll also need to cooperate with your dog walker to ensure they have what they need to care for your dog. These might include things like parking information and building access codes. Work together to ensure your woofer's walk goes smoothly, and don't be afraid to ask questions if you're unsure about something.

person wearing pink shirt walking black and white dog near long grass

They're respectful

A good dog walker will respect your preferences and boundaries — but it's on you to let your walker know what those preferences and boundaries are! For example, if you avoid certain walking routes or your doggo is on a strict diet, be sure to communicate that with your walker.

As well as respecting your preferences, your walker will also respect your home and your dog. For example, they'll clean up after themselves while in your home, and they'll never pet your dog in areas they don't like to be touched.

They're knowledgeable

To keep your pup safe and under control, every dog walking professional has at least a basic understanding of leash training fundamentals and best practices. These include:

  • how to adjust collars and harnesses to ensure they fit properly
  • the different types of leashes and when to use them
  • how to handle common leash training problems, like pulling and lunging

All dog walkers with Wag! must pass a walking proficiency test that assesses their knowledge of best leash, collar, and harness practices. Applicants must also demonstrate they're adept at handling dogs in various real-life scenarios.

dog walker wearing yellow sweater hugging st bernard dog

They're passionate about dogs

Last but certainly not least, good dog walkers are passionate about what they do, and it shows! Top-rated dog walkers work hard to level up their pet care skills and learn about everything from canine body language to dog training techniques.

How can you tell if your dog walker is a real pup person? When reviewing their profile, look for mentions of current or childhood pets, as well as volunteer, foster, or rescue experience. Don't "furget" to look out for pet care certifications, too!

If you're booking a dog walker through Wag!, these badges let you know your Pet Caregiver is passionate about pups:

  • Ultimate Endorsement: One of the highest honors a Pet Caregiver can receive! Pet Parents give this badge to dog walkers they endorse above anyone else.
  • Preferred Clients: The best dog walkers have a high number of preferred clients.
  • Perfect Ratings: This badge shows how many flawless 5-star ratings each Pet Caregiver receives.

Download the Wag! app today to find a dependable dog walker near you!

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