Professional dog walker Daniel Lombard gives pets a personal touch for playtime. Instead of walking five or more dogs at once, the 24-year-old travels from household to household, tailoring his walks to the needs of one or two dogs at a time. Here, the cofounder of Randolph-based Spring Forth Dog Services walks Penny and Sammy around their Dedham neighborhood. Next
The company's approach grew out of co-owner Katherine Ostiguy's experience while preparing to launch a dog training business. She had trouble finding someone to give private walks to her 11-year-old English springer spaniel, Tessie, who doesn't interact well with unfamiliar dogs. "I realized there was a niche we could fill," she said.
Here, Lombard gives Jack, a West Roxbury terrier mix, a treat for good behavior while on a solo walk. Next
What makes a good dog walker is more than leash control—walkers must understand dog body language, how dogs learn, and basic dog aid.
“Dan is endlessly patient and naturally very quiet with unfamiliar dogs," Ostiguy said. "This allows shy and aggressive dogs to warm up to him quickly.”
Here, Lombard walks poodles Bella and Joey through their Westwood neighborhood. Next
"My dogs are very important to me—they're my kids," said Randolph resident Belynda Crick. Lomabrd cares for her four pit bulls and fiest terrier, helping them socialize and interact with nature. "Having more people in their lives helps wiht social skills," she said. "I think they prefer him over me."
Here, Vito, her pit bull, shows off his skills by playing with a rope tied to a tree. Next
The personalized dog walking experience makes a marked difference. Penny (pictured) used to stop with her tail between her legs every time a loud vehicle drove by. Lombard switched up their route to quieter streets to calm her. "I like the way the dogs react to [Ostiguy and Lombard]," said Todd McCann, Penny's owner. "They're so attuned to the dogs' needs." Next
For Lombard, dog walking is more than just about making money—it's about being outside and getting to know the dogs he walks, like here, Ty, a boxer puppy. "Each dog has their own personality," he said. "You have to get to know dogs to walk them best." Back to the beginning
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