A few common sense guidelines in which in run both my walking and canicross business by.
Illnesses, if you are ill with covid or suspected covid, or anything contagious please can you message as soon as you suspect/have a positive LF/Positive PCR and or symptoms of any kind. This way I can discuss alternative collection/walking methods to keep myself, Demi, and other clients safe and well. It goes without saying that if I catch something I won’t be able to walk for a minimum of 10 days, which will have a huge impact on all my clients.
Following all meet and greets is a minimum trial period of 2 weeks, used to ascertain behaviours of the dogs. Provided this proves successful, walks can be booked in on a longer-term basis, however if behaviours change, or become challenging then we reserve the right to refuse service on the basis of the welfare of the individual dog and others on my books.
Minimum behaviour requirements:
For a dog to be suitable for group walking they must meet a minimum behaviour requirement.
This list is a guideline, and is not a complete list of behaviour requirements.
-Good behaviour upon collection/drop off.
-No jumping up, lunging or reactive behaviours.
-Easy to collect and put on a lead to take to vehicle
-Travels well and happily in car
-Walks well on the lead without pulling
-Good recall (for dogs to fully enjoy their time with me they NEED good recall)
-Easy to put lead on and off again,
-Happy in social situations with the majority of other dogs.
Dogs who do not meet all these requirements will need further training from either knowledgeable owners, professional accredited trainers or accredited qualified behaviourists depending on the severity of the issues. For the welfare of the other dogs, should behaviours not improve then dogs will either be offered a solo walk should these spaces be available, if not the we recommend finding another walker.
****Dogs that have a bite history or show serious signs of aggression to other dogs, people or others will not be allowed to continue group walks as insurance doesn't cover this.
I always request that owners keep me up to date on behaviours or incidents that happen whilst not in my care. This includes brining in outside dog professionals such as trainers and behaviourist.
As always, I believe in force free, positive reinforcement science and ethical based training. Should I have reason to believe that a dog has had adverse tools/punishment based training I reserve the right to refuse to continue to work with any dog. This includes but is not limited too: chock chains, prong collars, spray/shock collars/cans, hitting, yelling, starving, stamping, kicking, hitting, and leash jerking.
Booking and Cancellations:
I ask that clients try and set days as far ahead as possible. Whilst I will always try to keep some spaces free during the week for last minute and emergency walks, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to fit dogs in on short notice. So advanced planning is recommended to avoid disappointment, I will always try to accommodate, however I don’t want anyone to be let down.
Cancellations also need to be made in advance. I require a minimum of 24/48 hours is required unless it is a genuine real emergency. As of January 2022 I will be enforcing my cancellation charge policy for last minute cancellations, this is owning to spaces on my walks/canicross sessions being limited. I do operate a 3 strike policy, should you cancel with short/no notice without a sufficient reason, I will terminate services effective immediately.
As always, I have no minimum booking requirement, if you wish to have your dog walked once a week or 5 times a week that is fine. It is recommended that your dog be booked in at least once a week so that I can build a solid relationship of trust with them and be able to work with them properly.
All bookings must be made in writing, so please message me to book something in so there is a clear record of bookings. No booking can be made verbally.
All dogs must have legally UpToDate information on, collars/harnesses and fleeces must be in good condition, easy to fit, and easily accessible for us to be able to put them on for the dogs. If we request trackers, changes to harnesses, or other items, these requests have been made for good reason. We cannot be held responsible for situations that arrive if you have failed to provide proper fitting/charged/fitted equipment for walking.
All invoices must be paid asap. Please use up to date references so it is clear whom the payment is from. Non paided invoices will result in termination of services.
Collection/Drop Off Services:
All prices include collection and drop off as free of charge. However for the safety of our charges we require good easy access to the property and good parking facilities that are close to the property. (this does not need to be a drive way, road parking will do so long as it is reasonably accessible). For this reason we are sorry to say we are unable to collect any dogs from flats, with the exception of ground floor flats with immediate parking outside, this also includes maisonettes or any property that doesn't have access to the front.
Keys/Electronic Gates and others:
If you wish us to hold keys for your property please do let us know, although we do prefer a key safe. Keys need to be checked regularly to ensure they are in good working order and fit freely and easily to open locks.
Gates, especially electronic gates need to have clear instructions on how to use so we can quickly access collect and continue on to our walks. We cannot afford to lose time waiting for gates to open and close as our aim is to keep the dogs in the vehicle for as short a period of time as possible.
If you are present to allow us access to collect and drop of dogs we as that you are freely accessible in the time frame given. We do not have the time to wait for you to be free to drop off or collect.
Correct equipment, for both dog and human must be worn at all times.
Cancellations. For my session to be run properly and to be planned properly I need to know who is in attendance, last minute cancellations not only mean that you might miss learning new skill sets. But also mean that someone else could have had that space. I try to keep all my groups small so that I can spend time with each person on each session. I often get requests to join the group sessions which I turn down as I have kept capacity capped. As of 2022, cancelations without 48 hours’ notice will be charged, those who repeatedly cancel will no longer be welcome in group sessions.
I do not tolerate abusive behaviour directed towards myself, my associates, dogs or others. If I feel as though behaviour is not acceptable then all services will be terminated effective immediately.
As of April 2022 we will be reviewing all of our service charges and there may possibly be an increase to keep in line with current inflation.
***I ask that you check this page regularly throughout the year to see any updates and changes made to policies. By continuing to use Hoppes Hounds services you are agreeing to follow the polices listed above.
Nearly every penny I make goes back into my business so I can offer the absolute best service possible. I am NOT just a regular dog walker, I have invested significant time and money into my Canine Education and am working towards my Level 5 Behavioural Accredited with OCN London long term. I will be starting my Level 4 this year.
On top of this I am: Insured, experienced in handling dogs, hold a current first aid certificate, certified Canicross Instructor, hold a Level 3 certification in behavioural work, have done various courses including, puppy development, over arousal in canines, anxiety/stress and separation workshops, canine learning theory, canine predatory motor pattern, recall, tt-touch and more...I am always doing courses.