BENGALURU: Dog walking and pet-sitting have always been seen as a lucrative part-time job for many, to earn that extra money. Very often, being treated as that ‘extra side job’, the job is taken up by most who may not be aware of the intricacies that need to be known about dog behaviour. And very often it is this lack of understanding that makes it difficult to communicate with the breed. It is with the intention of educating and imparting knowledge about canine behaviour, that Anand Vishwanath has crafted a two-day course.
When Anand returned from the UK with a certification as a canine behaviourist, he started a dog walking service in Bengaluru with hopes of providing employment opportunities to people. However, he realised that lack of professionalism, understanding of breeds, temperament, type of barking and needs of the pet provided for a poor customer experience. After putting a pin on his earlier endeavour, he shifted his focus to getting people trained in dog walking and care through two-day courses.
“I started the short course last year for pet lovers who have owned dogs earlier. We select applicants carefully, to ensure they have experience in taking care of dogs. People who attend the course may want to take up dog walking or pet sitting in their spare time,” says Anand Vishwanath, founder and ‘pack leader’ of Anvis Inc. There is more to walking a dog up and down your neighbourhood and earning some pocket money, the former software recruitment professional points out.
“Breeds such as golden retrievers and labradors were previously used by hunters to bring back the prey. It helps to know the instincts these breeds come in with. We teach people to understand what the barking conveys, based on duration and frequency,” he adds.For instance, while walking a pet on the streets, encountering a pack of barking strays is normal. Knowing whether the bark is merely a warning to the pack saying “there is an intruder” or if it means “there is an intruder and we must attack”, helps the care taker make better decisions.
The bi-monthly includes hands on experience with various dog breeds, size and age, and a display of presentations. Participants also learn about types of leashes, activity levels required for a particular breed, based on their weight and age. There will also be a test at the end of the course.
Credible database and part time job
Open to home makers, students or working professionals who want to earn money on the side, Anand eventually aims to compile a trainer or ‘pet buddy’ list on their website. Rates vary according to the pet. One can charge `150 per hour for small dogs. And the price of walking bigger dogs could also go upto ` 300 per hour.