Although Coastal Dog Walkers has been trading since 2015 I have frankly been hopeless at collecting reviews! I use review sites myself all the time when looking at choosing a product or service so it's crazy that I haven't been collecting reviews since day one. I do have a small number on Facebook but Facebook is becoming less popular all of the time and often when I ask someone to review me on there they tell me they aren't on it. I myself am not on it so I can't blame them.
So having looked around I have decided to start again with reviews by collecting them on Trust Pilot. So if you've used us (even if you don't any more) please leave a review HERE.
To be more specific I do of course mean tennis balls! Tennis balls are great. Why are they great I hear you ask? Well a lot of the dogs that I've walked over the years are simply obsessed with them and you can use that to your advantage.
As well as being a great deal of fun for a spot of human/dog interaction I often use a tennis ball as a distraction tool when I really need to keep a dog focused on me.
I walk 2 or 3 dogs who are really lovely with dogs they know but not overly keen on the ones they don't and they have a tendency to bark and/or lunge towards random dogs that we'll inevitably cross paths with.
When we're approaching someone walking their dog I whip out the tennis ball and immediately the dog's focus is on me or rather it's on the tennis ball which I happen to have control of. This generally allows up safe passage past the dog we're walking towards without any of the kerfuffle that would have occurred had I been without my trusty tennis ball.
This has been a revelation for me and is a top tip that you should try if you have a dog who doesn't mix well with others. If sticks or treats are your dogs favourite thing then they might just be the answer for your looking for. It's a good idea give your dog a reward once you're safely past the other hound to praise and reinforce their good behaviour.
Living very near to the beach as you may think i'd never be away from the place so it may surprise you to find out that I deliberately avoid it when I'm out dog walking. At first glance that statement appears to be a bit odd; after all the dogs love the beach and I'm a dog walker so why would I deliberately avoid it? Allow me to explain:
My number one priority for all of the dogs I walk is their safety and the thing with the local beaches is there are lots of other peoples dogs running around off lead and I don't know for certain that all of those dogs are safe. Indeed some of the dogs I walk can be reactive so I figure I'm asking for trouble if I put them in a situation where I know they'll encounter dogs off their leads.
Also I think my job as a dog walker is to actively walk your dog. You're not paying me to sit on the beach, cup of coffee in hand whilst your dog has a nice run around. Somehow that doesn't seem like what a dog walker should be doing in my opinion.
I'll leave the beach walks to the dogs owners as there are plenty of other options whether we're dog walking in Tynemouth, Cullercoats or Whitley Bay. We're always discovering new routes as new dogs come on board so even without the beach on our chosen routes we really are spoiled for choice.
Actually I've took puppies on for a while now but I haven't been very good at promoting the fact. It wasn't something I initially thought about and really I just wanted to focus on the dog walking side of things but pup visits and dog walking go hand in hand so really it was a bit of a no brainer. My first pup was 'Indy' who I took on about a year ago and since then I have had 2 other pups come into the gang, namely 'Maisy' and 'Luna' who will both make the leap from puppy school to proper pack walks in September.
All of the pups I have took on have needed a lot more attention that the grown up dogs I have been more accustomed to but I have enjoyed seeing them progress and find their place in the world.
Here's a picture of the new most recant puppies, Maisy with her broken leg and lovely Luna. Both of these dogs were about 12 weeks old in these pictures and I am pleased to say Maisy's leg is now healed and better than new and both dogs have a lovely nature and are full of beans!
As anyone with a pup will tell you looking after a new pup is way more time consuming than looking after an older dog, new pups demand much of of your time and attention but look at how cute they are! This means that my time is generally split over a couple of puppy visits per pup each day i have them, more often that not this will involve 2 half hour slots and each visit comprises of a short walk, once the vet says it's ok for them to be outside that is and some command training and of course playtime.
So if you have a new pup or are thinking of getting one then give us a shout as we're now looking out for our next puppy as both Maisy and Luna are almost ready to graduate into regular one hour pack walks.
I'm pleased to say we're expanding into Cullercoats and the Marden. For the past few years we've concentrated mainly on Tynemouth and the so called Tynemouth fringe (used to just be known as the part of Shields next to Northumberland Park in my day!) but feel that the time has come to spread our wings and take on new pooches outside of our normal zone.
The area we operate in now is very small compared to the majority of dog walking businesses so it's probably overdue that we expand our boundaries a little. Please give me a share on your Facebook page to help spread the word. Thanks, John. Coastal Dog Walkers :)
Good question because if you're looking for a North Shields Dog Walker then a quick Google will show you that there are other options out there.
On the face of it Coastal Dog Walkers and any other dog walking business may look the same. We both walk dogs right? Well, yes that is true but if you dig a little deeper there are a few key things that we do differently from most:
Every business should have a few USP's and the above points I think are the main ones that separate our dog walking business from the next one on the list. On a personal note I'm also pretty relaxed about things and I never tie anyone into any kind of contract or anything like that. Should your needs or circumstances change and we have to part ways then that's fine, after all we're here to fit around you, not the other way round!
Coastal Dog Walkers.
I often (just about every day) get the comment “you’ve got your hands full there!” when I'm out walking a small group of dogs around Tynemouth or North Shields – my insurance covers me to walk up to six dogs at a time but I much prefer a ratio of one human to three or four dogs and I only take on dogs who are good, or at least 'good enough' on the lead and are friendly with other dogs so although four dogs must look like a lot I’d rather have four well behaved dogs than have one who’s a bit of a nightmare.
I often see owners who cannot control their one dog. It's off the lead, running around 'being friendly' but really it’s being a bit of a nuisance racing up to other dogs and people regardless of the welcome it might get. The owner calls it back, the dog ignores the owner and eventually the owner comes over to retrieve it. I also see dogs straining and pulling on the lead as they want to come over to my group, while the owner has to drag them along to get them moving, all the while me and my pack stroll on by....so I wonder who really has their hands full?
Of course not all dogs are impeccably well behaved or good on the lead, I myself have a rescue dog who’s lovely but he pulls like an ox whilst being walked. With Coastal Dog Walkers I have found that even excitable dogs usually do settle into pack life – I suspect they learn from each other and if I introduce a flighty dog into a settled group I find the flighty dog adjusts into that calmer mindset. Take Lola for example, she’s a gorgeous Saluki that I have been walking for a month or so. She’s very friendly with people and dogs but is super excitable when I collect her but even after only a short time she’s starting to stabilise and learn from the pack that it’s way better to just relax and enjoy the walk...
I've been walking this gorgeous greyhound for about 9 months and she's one of my favourites to walk as I really do like a greyhound.
She's about 4 years old now and was recently retired from racing when her owners re-homed her last summer. She's a very gentle girl and is very used to being walked in a pack, like most dogs she's a little excitable when we first go out but soon settles down and walks very nicely on the lead.
She's definitely the clumsiest dog I walk and you can almost guarantee that April will get herself entangled in a lead on most walks and if she doesn't manage that then her other trick is to stop dead with no warning causing me to bump into her boney back end!
April for me is a real success story because initially she was walked with a muzzle as she could be very reactive to other dogs. After about 3 months the muzzle came off and we haven't looked back since, she's very friendly with the rest of the pack although to be fair she can still sometimes react to random dogs that get a little too close but she's finally worked out that not everything small and fluffy is a rabbit that needs chasing. Here's April out on a dog walk in North Shields with some of her doggy pals.
Well here we are in my 3rd year as a North Shields Dog Walker. I'm excited to start 2017 and feel very confident about the year ahead. A couple of regulars have moved on recently, one pair of dogs have relocated to Chester as the owners job changed and the move was necessary. Another mid length temporary contract came to an end but a new dog (Scooby) is joining the pack this week and other enquires are sure to come in as January is quite a busy time for new leads it seems. The dogs I do have are all very good and everyone is getting along fine so hopefully any new additions be be equally well behaved.
Being a North Shields dog walker most of my work is in my local area and today i'm off to one of my favourite dog walking routes from North Shields Fish Quay along to Tynemouth - it's a walk I never tire of doing even on a drizzly January day like today.
Must dash, dogs need walking!
One of the reasons being dog walker is great for me is that it is one of those jobs that fits in very well around our family life. We don't have a large family network close by so since we had our 2 boys we simply haven't had the on tap childcare that some are fortunate enough to have - I must stress that I'm in no way moaning on or playing the sympathy card here. We've paddled our own canoe for a long time now and we're well past caring about date nights or child free weekends. Our boys are 16 and 12 now so all that sort of stuff isn't too far away now anyway.
School holidays can be a balancing act for me but this summer has been easier than last summer and next summer will be easier again as Albie will be 13 by then. This summer he's accompanied me on 4 walks per week for the 1st few weeks of the school hols and I have to say he's been fantastic. He's not moaned on once and has thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the dogs and hopefully with me too.
here he is with Lewis and Islay. (Islay is his favourite dog I walk):
All the dogs love him and this has helped build his confidence and all the fresh air and exercise will be doing him the world of good. He's loving his step counter app on his phone and is more obsessed about his steps thsn I am!
Here's one more pic of him with Buzz from a little while ago:
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.