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Dog Walking Academy​

Policies & FAQ​

Dog Walking Academy Course Policies​

Cancellations & Refunds

Online Course Policy: We want to make sure the Dog Walking Academy is a terrific fit for you, so we have a no-questions-asked refund policy. Here’s how it works: You have 30 days to try out the first two modules. If after you’ve completed the first two modules you decide the DWA isn’t right for you, just let us know and we’ll provide a full refund. Easy. Just remember you need to let us know within 30 days, and have taken the first two modules.

In-Person Course Policy: To afford to keep classes small and personal we do not provide refunds for in-person courses, so please plan carefully. Cancellations two weeks prior to an event are credited towards future events. Cancellations within two weeks of an event are not credited. No-shows are not credited. Should an event be cancelled for any reason all registrants will receive full refunds

Student requirements

The Dog Walking Academy is a professional course for adult students 18 and over.

Dog walking is a skilled profession that by its nature carries risk of physical harm to dogs, dog professionals, and the public. Students must be physically, emotionally, and intellectually capable of safely handling dogs in public spaces, including taking proactive and evasive action to avoid incidents and emergencies, and responding to emergencies quickly and effectively.

Certificate policy

To achieve the dogbiz Certificate in Dog Walking, students must:

  1. Demonstrate competency handling dogs using only positive techniques (via the group field trip in the in-person class or the one-on-one field trip for the online class)
  2. Pass a take-home written exam (in-person class) or series of online quizzes (online class)
  3. Attend (in-person class) or complete (online class) all portions of the program

Receiving a completed certificate is not guaranteed. Refunds will not be made for failure to satisfy certificate requirements.

Program attendance and completion

Because of the serious nature of this work—taking others’ beloved four-legged family members into public spaces– we require full attendance (in-person course) or completion (online course) of all portions of class in order to complete your certificate process.

In-Person Course Policy: Students who miss any portion of class for any reason will be required to return on a subsequent class date to make up the missed portion in order to complete their certificate. A $70 make up charge applies. Please note that we do not guarantee when or if another course will be available in your area. To avoid this additional expense and delays to your certificate, as well as out of respect for instructors and fellow students, please schedule your commute and travel arrangements to leave you plenty of time to be on time and to stay for the full scheduled hours each day.

A special note on first aid certification attendance: Due to the policies of the companies providing first aid certification, if you miss a portion of the first aid section of class you will be required to make up the entire four hour first aid section on a subsequent date. 

Online Course Policy: The online DWA program is self-paced. The average student, working on the course 3 hours per week, will finish in 2.5 months. To support and encourage successful completion, students are given 6 months to complete the online course. Refunds will not be made for failure to complete the course within the 6 months allotted. Students not completing the course within 6 months may apply to extend their access to course materials. A $100 fee applies. To avoid this additional expense and delay to your certificate, we recommend setting aside regular course time in your schedule to pace your completion of approximately 30 hours of course material.

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General Dog Walking Academy FAQ​

What is the minimum age to attend the DWA?

You must be at least 18 years old to attend the Dog Walking Academy.

Are there payment plans available for the DWA?

Yes. You can arrange a payment plan by reaching out to our office at [email protected] or 510.525.2547. Payment plans are interest-free. For in-person academies your tuition must be fully paid two weeks prior to the start date of the course. For the online course, you will be granted access to course materials once your tuition is paid in full.

What if I don’t “pass” the field trip?

If you’ve taken the in-person class you have two options: You can join the field trip of a subsequent section of the class, or submit unedited video footage of you walking dogs that addresses whatever issue arose during the field trip.

If you’ve taken the online class you can arrange a second field trip. Please note there will be an additional charge of $150 to cover your Field Trip Coach’s time.

Is this course for experienced dog walkers or beginners?

Both. Our curriculum is designed to honor what you already know while advancing your knowledge and skills.

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Online Dog Walking Academy FAQ

How long will it take to complete the online course?

It will vary from person to person, but the online course includes approximately 30 hours of instruction plus quizzes. You will have 6 months to complete the course. Some students take 6 months, others finish the course in as little as two weeks.

How do you choose field trip coaches?

Our field trip coaches are chosen for their professional training credentials and experience, instructional skill, and supportive approach to guiding students.

What if there are no field trip coaches near me?

If we don’t have a coach in your immediate area, we’ll work to pair you with a coach within a reasonable driving distance.

Where will I meet up with my field trip coach?

You and your coach will choose a location that best supports your field trip goals and the type of walking you do or plan to do—whether that’s a park, neighborhood, or trail.

What is a passing grade on the online quizzes?

Because there is no question on the quizzes that you wouldn’t want your own dog walker to know, we require 100% to pass. But don’t worry: You are welcomed and encouraged to use your notes and you’ll have a chance to revisit and rework any questions you don’t initially pass. We want you to get them all right—for yourself, your clients, and the dogs!

What are the tech requirements for the online DWA?

You’ll need a computer or tablet and an internet connection.

In-Person Dog Walking Academy FAQ

Can I bring my own dog to class?

No. Student dogs will not be allowed in class. Your instructor will bring dogs who have been pre-screened for their comfort and safety working in a group environment.

What is a passing grade on the written exam for the in-person class?

Because there is no question on the written exam that you wouldn’t want your own dog walker to know, we require 100% to pass. But don’t worry: The exam is designed to provide an opportunity to solidify what you’ve learned by reviewing and applying it. That means open-book and open-course binder. And you’ll have a chance to revisit and rework any questions you don’t initially pass. We want you to get them all right—for yourself, your clients, and the dogs!