Dog Walking Academy
Don’t just walk dogs—be a professional dog walker
You’re serious about a fun, profitable career walking dogs. We’re serious about getting you there.
We’ve set the bar for professional dog walking education since 2004. Join us to:
Start a new career
Trade in your stressful, stale, or unsatisfying work for a living doing something you love—spending time with dogs.
Grow your business
Already walking? Learn a few new dog tricks, gain a marketing edge, solve pesky problems, and grow your business to new heights.
Learn your way
Attend our 3-day in-person course or go at your own pace in our online program—whichever best suits you and your schedule.
Get the best staff
Save training time, set your company apart, and get more from your dog walking, pet sitting, dog daycare, and boarding kennel staff.
Why attend the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy
Love what you do
Whether you’re just starting as a dog walker or have been walking dogs for a decade, we’ll help you get the most from every moment. Walk with confidence and ease, enjoy safe control of your dogs, and let go of your business worries.
Bypass business hassles & make more money
Learn how to sidestep and fix the common start-up, marketing, rate, and policy mistakes that keep dog walkers from making a strong, reliable living walking dogs. Why learn from your own mistakes if you don’t have to, or make less money than you could?
Solve perplexing dog problems
Ever wondered why dogs do what they do? Found yourself unable to get a dog to start or stop doing something? Struggled with a stressful behavior problem? You’ll leave class with answers and solutions to all your canine dilemmas.
Set yourself apart
Stand out to potential clients, referral sources, or employers by investing in the “Harvard” of dog walking schools. Your CPDW (Certificate in Professional Dog Walking) seal proclaims your professionalism and commitment to the best possible care of the dogs entrusted to you.
From canine first aid/ CPR to emergency protocols and understanding how to avoid and break up dog fights, arm yourself with the understanding, skills, and confidence to handle anything that comes your way.
Be a pro
In an unregulated industry, anyone can be a dog walker. But to be a professional dog walker requires professional education and training. We’ve continued to set the bar for dog walking education since we launched the first class of its kind in 2004.
Is the DWA Right For You?
Our students are a diverse group of dog lovers:
20-somethings starting their first career
More dog lovers these days are following their passion and choosing dogs as their first career, right after high school or college.
40-somethings looking for a career change
Lawyers, accountants, tech workers, ad execs, baristas, teachers, political consultants, writers, engineers, retail workers, waiters, HR directors—we’ve seen students seeking second (or third or fourth) careers from virtually every industry you can think of.
60-somethings seeking a retirement career
Whether for extra income or personal satisfaction and health, dog loving retirees are choosing an active retirement walking dogs.
Highly experienced career dog walkers
Professional dog walkers understand that to grow up living with and loving dogs isn’t enough, and choose to augment their hands-on experience with up-to-date, science-based learning about dog behavior and handling.
Dog business employees & job seekers
Many dog walking, dog daycare, pet sitting, and boarding companies send their employees to the Dog Walking Academy to fast-track their training in dog behavior, handling, and safety. And many of our students attend in order to better compete for these jobs.
Up-to-date, science-based education
Guided, hands-on practice
Highly experienced, respected faculty
Attend in person or online
Prepare for the PACCC certification exam
Receive a Certificate in Professional Dog Walking (CPDW)
The Perfect Way to Prepare for PACCC Dog Walking Certification
As the industry leader in dog walking education, we were asked by the Professional Animal Care Certification Council to help write the PACCC certification exams. If you’re studying to become a certified dog walker, the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy is the best preparation possible.
What DWA grads say
“This course has inspired me to breath new life into something I’ve been doing now for almost seven years, and to take it to the next level. I would absolutely recommend this course to experienced and inexperienced dog walkers.”
– Sara Munro, Built to Behave, Santa Cruz, CA
“The Dog Walking Academy was an eye-opener. I went in expecting to learn about dogs and dog behavior, and I did. I also came out having learned about being a business person in a very specialized industry.”
– Todd Perlman, Metro Dog, Richmond, CA
The typical full-time professional dog walker makes between $40K and $150K per year, depending on location, style of service, and size of business. We’d love to help you do the same.
The DWA Story
Future dogbiz founder Veronica Boutelle became a dog walker by accident when she agreed to take a couple of extra dogs along on her daily dog hikes. Back then, walking her first canine clients, it didn’t take Veronica long to realize she didn’t know as much about dogs as she’d thought. Despite having grown up with dogs like most animal lovers, she found herself facing all sorts of questions and challenges. When she asked fellow walkers where to go to school they raised their eyebrows or laughed. “A school for dog walkers??” they’d ask.
Seeking answers to her dog behavior questions, Veronica attended Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers, then at the San Francisco SPCA. Eventually she found herself Director of Behavior & Training at the shelter, with the Academy as part of her department. It was in this role that she met Mik Moeller, a long-time dog walker and the department specialist in dog-dog behavior and training.
It was Mik who first suggested starting an academy for dog walkers, and when Veronica launched dogbiz (then dogtec) in 2003, Mik was the first person she called. The two launched the program in the SF Bay Area in 2004 to provide dog walkers the support they had wished for earlier in their own careers. Eventually they trained other highly qualified instructors to bring the course to their communities across the US and beyond. The program is now available online as well.