Dog walker gets new leash of life

Posted: May 17, 2021

The last year has been incredibly challenging for many, however one positive theme we’ve seen emerging is the start up of new small businesses.

Deborah Goldberg, like many others, used lockdown as a time to reflect and pursue her passion for pets by opening a dog walking business, Roundhay Bark.

With the help of a professional qualification from the School of Land and Animal Sciences at Leeds City College, she gained the accreditation needed to be a successful entrepreneur. 

Pawfect opportunity

Growing up, Deborah owned many family pets and often rode horses. She soon realised her desire to look after animals, and dreamed of opening her own business ever since.

“Animals have always been extremely important to me; I often wondered of ways I could turn my passion into a business. I set up Roundhay Bark in May 2020 during the first lockdown, and it’s really humbling to see how my client base has grown since then. I offer group dog walks, one-to-one walks and house visits for small pets. 

“As the dog walking market is crowded, I needed to make sure I stood out amongst my competitors, so I decided to take the IPET Network Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals Level 3 Award. This programme not only allowed me to gain an accredited qualification, but also helped me develop the skills I needed in order to deliver a confident and competent service for my clients.

“I loved how engaging the course was; we were able to use the lecturer’s dog, Winston, to demonstrate our knowledge of dog equipment and practise techniques such as walking dogs outdoors. 

“The programme structure was thorough, enabling us to achieve our best with extra reading material. I studied a wide variety of topics, including marketing, animal care, business planning, risk assessments and financial management.”

The right tools to succeed

Deborah has been inspired by the course to push her venture forward and explore new opportunities.

“The knowledge and skills learnt through this programme has allowed me to feel more confident in my abilities. The friendliness and expertise of the lecturer, along with the picturesque setting at Temple Newsam Home Farm, helped me feel more energised about moving my business forward in an exciting way.

“Since completing the course, I’ve set up a Facebook business page, introduced a client information sheet and researched risk assessments. Working for yourself often means that you’re left to your own devices, but this programme has given me the inspiration to put some fresh energy into promoting my business and delivering an excellent service.

“I hope to one day offer home boarding services, showing that I can take the responsibility of looking after dogs in my care very seriously.”

Read more about the range of Land and Animal Sciences courses here

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