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General service FAQs

FAQ: General

Q. What training have you had?

  • I qualified as a Guide Dog Trainer in 2013 with the University of Chester*

  • I qualified as an International Guide Dog Federation recognised Guide Dog Mobility Instructor in 2018**

  • I volunteered 2.5 hours a week from September 2014 until early 2016 supporting Puppy Classes, Improver Classes, and Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Schemes Bronze & Silver with Pets in Practise

  • I have a BSc in Zoology, 2:1, from the University of Reading 2011

  • I am a member of the Association of Professional Dog Walkers & Sitters™ and operate from their code of practice.

Chester is first university in the UK to offer Guide Dogs degree | University Of Chester 
** Frequently Asked Questions - International Guide Dog Federation (

Q. Are you qualified in pet first aid?

Q. Will my dogs and home be safe with you?

Yes. I have a clear DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate. I am insured through Simply Business including Public Liability and Goods in Transit. I have worked as a trainer for over seven years using Positive Reinforcement Training techniques, and I operate from the Association of Professional Dog Walkers & Sitters’ code of practice.

Your dog will only be let off lead with a signed ‘Off Lead Consent Form’ and wearing an additional Green Paw identity tag with my details on it. Otherwise, your dog will always be on lead or in my van's secure dog cages used for safe transportation.

Your key will be kept in a combination lockbox, without property details or identification and separate from any personal information. In the unlikely event your key is lost or stolen I will advise you immediately.

Q. How do you transport the dogs to the walk location?

I have an electric Renault Kangoo ZE small van fitted with a TransK9/B10 Double Dog Cage.

 Standard Features

  • Removable Central Solid Divider

  • Key Locking Door Handles

  • Independently Crash Tested

  • Rear Escape Door

  • Internal Anti-Slip Matting

  • Anti-Microbial Powder Coated Finish

Q. What do you do in case of emergency?

I first call you (the client) to discuss the situation and to sort out the best plan of action. If you cannot be reached and medical attention is required, I will take your pet to the vet designated by you or the nearest to our current location. If time is of the essence, then I may take your pet to the vet first and call you at the first opportunity.

Q. Will my dog be supervised at all times?

Yes. Your dog will be under constant supervision and will NEVER be left unattended except when safely locked in my van's secure dog cages used for safe transportation. This will be only for a matter of minutes as a maximum, and never in hot weather.

Q. Do I need to be home when you collect or drop off my dog?

No, if you are comfortable sharing a set of keys I can collect and drop off your dog even if you are not home. This will require a Key Holder Disclaimer & Waiver of Liability Form to be signed. Please see FAQ ‘Will my dogs and home be safe with you?’ for more information.

Q. What happens in bad weather or hot weather?

Rain is business as usual for an outdoor worker! I will always towel down your dog before letting them back into the house. I will use reusable overshoes where I need to step inside and will never tread mud into your home.

Hot Weather

I will not walk or free run your dog in hot weather which will put their safety at risk. The alternative options will be done on a case by case basis; we can discuss early/late walks versus a lunchtime trip to spend your dog and engage in safe water play or training games to tire their brains. 

My base temperature limit is 21 degrees Celsius, and I use Accuweather forecast to monitor this.

There is a level of personalisation for temperature limits though; this may be 22 degrees for on-lead walks in the shade and potentially 23 degrees for healthy long-snouted rescue dogs from hotter countries. Alternatively, this may go down to 20 degrees for brachycephalic, older, very young, and dogs in poor health.  

I have used PetPlan's 'How hot is too hot?' guide for these calculations. 

Q. Does my dog have to be vaccinated?

Yes, to deliver my services I require your dog to be vaccinated with the core vaccines:

  • Parvovirus

  • Distemper

  • Leptospirosis

  • Infectious hepatitis

  • Plus Kennel cough for dogs who will be going into my Dog Cage (all except possibly some Walk & Train packages, Drop ins and Starter Sessions).  

This is to avoid putting the other dogs I work with at risk, as well at the general dog public. Many diseases, such as the parvovirus, can be spread just through contact with inanimate objects.

This means that even sniffing something an infected dog had been in contact with hours previous can potentially infect an unvaccinated puppy, older dog, or immune-suppressed dog. I would not want to be the reason for this.

Your dog should be vaccinated as a puppy, then have regular boosters throughout life.

Contact your vet to discuss which vaccinations your dog needs.

Q. My dog has not been spayed or neutered, can he/she still be walked?

This can discussed in the initial consultation; each dog will be considered separately but I reserve the right to refuse any dog.

Entire males expressing humping behaviours will need to be put on lead for the duration of that walk, or potentially move to lead-only. This will be fully discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Entire females will not be walked when in season. If you have signed up for a training package, this will be taken into account as part of your delivery.

Q. Do you take bitches in season?

No. I am unable to take a bitch who is in season as I would not want to put her at risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Q. Do your services cater for all dog breeds?

Yes, I am willing to work with any dog breed where my services are appropriate for them.

Q. Can you help with barking in the night, food guarding, separation anxiety or other behaviours within the home?

I am unable to help with these concerns at this time. My training services are limited to those that occur outside of the home whilst on lead or off lead. This is a practical form of assistance.

For behaviours in the home, you will need to find a qualified behaviourist who will work with you and write a plan that you will need to follow to resolve these concerns. I would recommend working with a Behaviourist who is a full member of at least one of the following: the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC), Professional Association of Canine Trainers (PACT), or the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC).

Q. Do you offer your services on the weekends and bank holidays?

I only work office-hours* Monday to Friday except for my Drop in service, I do not work Bank Holidays.

*This is primarily 9:30am to 4:30pm, although this may change during hot spells for dog safety. 

Please see the Drop ins page or the ‘Drop ins, Puppies and Adoptions services FAQs’ for details on these services.

Payment FAQs

FAQ: Payment

Q. How do I pay?

I currently accept bank transfers only.

Training Services

50% of the total fee to be paid on confirmation of booking. Final 50% to be paid halfway through. Additional sessions to be paid in advance in blocks of 1-4 as agreed. 

Dog Walking

I will send invoices by the 4th of the month for the previous month's walks, payment to be sent within 3 working days of receipt. For regular clients, a retainer for 25% of predicted monthly cost will be paid in advance. Invoice will be for the remaining sum outstanding.


Drop ins

Invoiced after services delivered.

Q. What do I do if I need to cancel?

Training Services & Pet Sittings

You will need to give four working days’ notice to terminate a training programme.

Please note, you will need to pay for all services already delivered at the point of cancellation. For example, if cancelling before the third session, you will need to pay for the first and second session already delivered.

Dog Walking

You will need to give 48 hours' notice for a full refund and 24 hours' notice for a 50% refund.

Drop ins

Minimum notice 3 hours, please give as much notice as possible.

Training Services FAQs

FAQ: Training

Q. Why do I need an initial discovery call?

Animal behaviour is varied and potentially complicated. This call aims to pinpoint which of the training service packages are most likely to meet your and your dog's needs. This is an open conversation and I will fully explain the reason why I am advising a certain package. For some dogs, it may be I need to signpost you to a Clinical Animal Behaviourist.

Walk & Train services are delivered by me, directly training your dog before transferring their learnings onto you (Owner Inputs delivered in programmes of six sessions or more). Private tuition is where I will coach you in how to work effectively with your dog from the first session.

Recall and Longline Training

Where an off-lead recall response is unlikely to be successful within eight sessions, I will instead advise that I can teach your dog safe and enjoyable longline behaviour. This allows your dog freedom to express themselves in wooded and park environments without risk of running off; possibly moving into off-lead recall in the future. During the call we will also discuss what level of success may be possible for your individual dog. 

Lead-Based Walk & Train

Lower level behaviours can potentially be resolved in four 45-minute sessions. Moderate to higher level behaviours may need eight 45-minute sessions.

Q. What behaviours will you work on as part of a training package?

Recall and Longline Training

Poor recall due to the following: running off with other dogs, chasing small animals, seeking water, rolling in poo/dead animals, coprophagia (poo eating), scavenging, bolting with fear, lack of understanding of recall cue, or due to unknown reasons. 

Walk & Train

Undesirable lead behaviours, including; pulling on lead, reactions to other dogs, reactions to people, distractions (all), car chasing, fear of traffic, lack of understanding of loose lead walking, aversion to having the lead on, general anxiety when out, introduction of headcollar or muzzle, stopping or refusal to move, or due to unknown reasons. 

I am also happy to teach a new puppy or adopted rescue dog how to walk on lead from scratch. This can include socialisation and confidence exercises, and teaching your dog how to enjoy their lead walks. 

Q. Why might eight weeks not be enough to resolve my issue?

Due to the large variability of reasons a dog may be displaying behaviour you would rather they didn't, it is not possible to guarantee all behaviour concerns can be resolved within eight weeks. More complicated and higher levels of behaviour may take longer.

During your free initial discovery call, I will gather as much information about your behaviour concern as possible, and use this information to estimate what improvement may be possible in eight weeks. I will also keep you updated with progress throughout service delivery, and give you a full report and practical input during session six. 

There will be improvement and we will work closely together to determine at which stage you are able to continue resolving the behaviour independently. Improvements in behaviour will only be maintained if you follow the advice I give you. 

If upon discussion you wish for me to continue working with your dog for further improvement, these sessions can be as many or as few as needed. Further 45-minute sessions are £50 per session.

Q. Why do I have to come out on the sixth session?

Recall, Longline and Walk & Train training requires consistency and dedication from all members of the family between sessions. This is not a quick fix and requires a hands on approach from owners between the sessions. The below breakdown is based on an eight-week programme. 

Sessions 1 to 5

I use sessions 1 to 5 to gather information and teach the fundamentals of the new behaviour.

Session 6

Session 6 is a practical input with you to pass on the tools I have been using.

Sessions 7 to 8

Sessions 7 and 8 enable us to monitor together the success of this whole-family approach. You do not need to attend these last sessions; this will be determined through observation of the dog and discussion with you. 

Q. Will I need to buy any equipment?

It is very likely that you will need to buy equipment during the delivery of a training service. This could include, but is not limited to; appropriate harness, whistle, longline, appropriate lead, specific toy or enrichment device, coprophagia muzzle, different treats. 

I will advise what you will need to continue your dog's training successfully. It will be up to you whether to buy these. I do not sell anything myself; this advice would be for you to source and purchase at a retailer of your choice. 

I will use my own equipment during service delivery. 

Walking services FAQs

FAQ: Walking services

Q. If I go on holiday and leave my dogs at home, can you walk them?

I am unable to do this. It is a requirement for you to have in place a suitable environment for your pets to be cared for. It is against the law to simply leave your dogs at home without supervision whilst you go away.

Please look into home boarding, a pet sitter or boarding kennels for your dog whilst you are away. If this is within 5 miles of Mortimer, then I am happy to provide Walking Services alongside this. 

Q. Why do you advertise 30-minute walks?

This is the minimum time your dog will  be out walking for. I factor in extra time for collection and drop off.


For example, your dog may only get 30 minutes on muddy days where they need a wash down and towel dry before coming home. On a dry day your dog will get 30-40 minutes, but I would rather highlight the minimum to ensure no one feels short-changed.

Q. Where do you walk?

This will depend on where you live and what type of walk is most suitable for your dog. Walks will provide enrichment by use of varied green areas regardless, to ensure your dog has time to exhibit natural behaviours during their walk. 

Off lead walks will always take place in safe environments such as enclosed* fields or large wooded areas. 

*Please note, if your dog requires use of a secure hire-by-the-hour field then you must pay for this, or choose for your dog to stay on the lead, or sign up for a Recall & Longline Training Package prior to using Dog Walking services. 

Q. Do you walk dogs off the lead?

Yes, if your dog has an appropriate recall response and you have signed the 'Off Lead Consent Form'. 

No, if you wish for your dog to remain on the lead or their recall is unpredictable.

If you are unsure whether your dog's recall is appropriate, this can be established during the free initial discovery session.

I reserve the right to refuse service where inappropriate for the dog in question.

Q. Is my dog being walked alone?

If you have paid for one dog as part of a Group Walk, your dog will be walked with up to three other dogs. This provides enrichment by way of play, which will be carefully monitored to ensure all members of the group are enjoying their time together. 

If your dog requires one-on-one walks, please take a look at my Walk & Train or Longline packages. 

Q. How many dogs are walked at any one time?

I will never walk above four dogs.

Q. Why don’t you walk more dogs at a time?

I believe that more than four dogs cannot be supervised fully. It poses a greater risk of injury to the dogs and to people, results in less ability to monitor interactions between and ensure everyone is having fun, increases the risk of spreading pests or diseases, and puts me at higher risk of physical injury whilst trying to handle them.

In addition, I am a member of the Association of Professional Dog Walkers & Sitters™ and have agreed to operate from their Code of Practice, which limits members to four dogs. 

Drop ins, Puppies and Adoptions services FAQs

FAQ: Drop ins

Q. Why don’t you do drop ins for dogs?

Drop ins do not provide sufficient human interaction and time to be the primary care for dogs. They require a higher level of human company, plus this service would not allow for regular enough toilet breaks for dogs whilst the owner is away. Healthy adult dogs should have the opportunity to toilet at least every 3-4 hours during the day; more for puppies and older dogs. 

If you are leaving your dog all day whilst at work, you should be arranging a walk for midway through the time they are being left. If you are going away, you must arrange for a dog sitter or boarding kennels. 

If you are out of the house for more than eight hours on an ad hoc basis and would like to discuss occasional days where I provide a walk and a drop in, please speak with me. For example, you have a day in London and you would like a walk in the morning and a drop in to toilet and play with the dog in the afternoon. 

If you are regularly out of the house for more than eight hours a day, then please look into Doggy Day Care for the welfare of your dog. 

Q. Why do I need a pre-puppy starter session?

Getting a new puppy is a big commitment. They require a lot of attention and consistency as they develop, to ensure they become the relaxed family member you are looking for. 

The pre-puppy starter session will give you the tools and knowledge to give your puppy the best start to life. There is much more to puppy and dog ownership than just feeding them and a daily walk. 

In addition, I can help you work towards identifying the right puppy breed for you if you haven't already found a breeder. Please note, I will not be able to find a puppy for you. 

Q. What does a pre-puppy starter session cover?

This depends on what you are hoping to take away from the session. Below are some ideas of areas you may wish to discuss, but this is not exhaustive if you find you have other questions too. 

  • How to find a responsible breeder and avoid supporting puppy farms

  • Why to avoid puppy farms

  • Whether a puppy is the right choice for you

  • How to socialise your puppy

  • Why socialisation is important

  • How to set up a sleep and/or toilet routine

  • What to expect in the first year

  • How to understand your puppy

  • Why puppies can nip, chew and/or bark

  • What to buy to be ready for your new puppy; beds, toys, bowls, lead, harnesses etc.*

  • What Puppy Classes are for

  • Which puppy books provide safe and up-to-date advice

*I am happy to deliver this over video conferencing, at your home, or we can meet at a Pet Supplies Shop and really discuss the options fully

Q. Why do I need a pre-adoption starter session?

I am thrilled that you are considering adopting a dog. 

Rescuing a dog is a big commitment. They require a lot of patience and careful handling in the early days, plus attention and consistency as they settle in to ensure they become the relaxed family member you are looking for. 

The pre-adoption starter session will give you the tools and knowledge to give your dog the best start to their new life with you. There is much more to dog ownership than just feeding them and a daily walk. 

In addition, I can help you work towards identifying the right adoption methodology for you if you haven't already found your dog. Please note, I will not be able to find a dog for you. 

Q. What does a pre-adoption starter session cover?

This depends on what you are hoping to take away from the session. Below are some ideas of areas you may wish to discuss, but this is not exhaustive if you find you have other questions too. 

  • How to adopt responsibly*

  • Whether a rescue dog is the right pet choice for you

  • How to help your rescue dog settle in

  • Why the early days are so important

  • How to set up a sleep and/or toilet routine

  • What to expect in the first year

  • How to understand your dog

  • Why dogs can grumble, chew and/or bark

  • What to buy to be ready for your new dog; beds, toys, bowls, lead, harnesses etc.** 

  • What training support is available

* Including how to recognise a genuine rescue organisation in the UK or mainland Europe, and avoid fake 'rescue centres' set up by puppy farms to offload 'extra stock' (poorly or older unsold puppies). Purchasing the latter helps fund the puppy farm to keep going. If they continue to be unable to sell (or 'adopt' out) these puppies, they will anonymously surrender them at a rescue centre. Adopting from a genuine organisation will ensure your money goes towards helping unwanted dogs rather than the unethical breeding of more. 

**I am happy to deliver this over video conferencing, at your home, or we can meet at a Pet Supplies Shop and really discuss the options fully

Sustainability & Other FAQs


Q. What makes Green Paw more sustainable than other pet services?

Green Paw has been built with both pet owners and the planet in mind. During the set up of the business, I have made the following decisions to reduce start up emissions and embed sustainability into the core of what I do:

  • Second hand van to avoid production emissions and mining

  • Fully electric van to avoid fossil fuels

  • Electricity supplied by Ecotricity, an Ethical Consumer 'Best Buy' as they are actively building new sources of renewable energy

  • Phone tariff with Ecotalk, who put all profits into protecting nature with the RSPB

  • Second hand phone to avoid production emissions and mining

  • All uniform is either second hand or made from organic cotton, supporting fair trade and sustainably sourced

  • All washing at 30 degrees unless sterilisation required

  • All cleaning products are non-toxic and vegan 

  • Poo bags are made from plant-based plastics rather than fossil oil-based

  • Toys are either second hand or made from recycled materials (Beco)

  • All treats I purchase will be rated Green (score of 12+) on the Ethical Consumer Shopping Guide or have achieved the Ethical Accreditation mark by the Good Shopping Guide, including use of plant-based treats where appropriate

  • Going paperless for admin; contracts and consent forms are signed electronically via LegaleSign to reduce need for printing

  • Any physical marketing is on 100% recycled cotton excess from the t-shirt industry and/or paper

  • I am plant-based for the environment myself

  • I am offsetting all remaining carbon footprint/Greenhouse Gas emissions

Q. How do you calculate your carbon footprint?

I have utilised three different free tools available for individual and SME (small and medium enterprises). Due to the lack of detail held within these tools to make them user-friendly, I have opted to choose higher levels at every stage to ensure I have over-estimated rather than under-estimated my carbon footprint. 

Use of the median and based on the level of detail used, I have calculated my business' annual carbon footprint at approximately 6.6 tonnes CO2e (Small World Consulting (

Thanks to my second-hand electric van and clean Ecotricity electricity, I calculated my annual transport emissions to be 1,508 kgCO2 GHG (as a worst-case-scenario), which is around three times less than if I had an equivalent diesel van. This was calculated using the Carbon Trust's 'SME Carbon Footprint Calculator' (Tools - SME Climate hub).

Q. How do you offset your carbon footprint?

I have chosen to offset my emissions via donations to World Land Trust (WLT) who will use the money to protect existing established 'forests that store harmful carbon dioxide (CO2)'. 

I am opting to offset via charity rather than a market-based offset scheme due to the controversy around whether these schemes can cause damage to indigenous populations and merely 'shift' deforestation to elsewhere. Ethical Consumer recommends, 'If you do DIY offsetting, you can choose to give to a conventional charity, and possibly circumnavigate a lot of the bureaucracy of the official offset market.' (A Short Guide to Carbon Offsets | Ethical Consumer) So this is what I have opted to do. 

I aim to further reduce my carbon footprint over the coming years.  

Q. Are you insured?

I am insured through Simply Business including Public Liability and Goods in Transit.

Q. Are you DBS checked?

I have a current and clear DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate.

Q. What security measures do you have?

Your key will be kept in a combination lockbox, without property details or identification and separate from any personal information. In the unlikely event your key is lost or stolen I will advise you immediately.

Your personal information will never be sold or discussed with any 3rd parties. I will adhere to the Data Protection Act.

Q. What are your terms and conditions?

Terms and Conditions (Terms of Business) can be viewed at

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