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  • Writer's pictureThe Pawsitive Dawg Walking and Pet Sitting Team

Creating High Standards in the Pet Care Industry: Our Staying Pawsitive Training Program



Your pet’s well-being is our top priority.




We are on a mission to provide top notch professional pet care services that you can trust for the life of your pet. We treat your furry loved one as our own, fostering their physical, social, and mental well-being. We want to become an important part of your family for the life of your pet. We stand out in the industry by offering:

  • A dedicated team available year round

  • A wide range of customizable services

  • Flexible scheduling, including on-demand options

  • Top notch visits delivered by highly trained professionals and supervised by skillfully trained managers

  • Care for all animals, including reactive, shy, or fearful animals

Choose Pawsitive Dawg Walking and Pet Sitting and experience peace of mind:

  • Knowing your pet is in caring hands

  • Having more time for your yourself

  • Coming home to a better behaved and well socialized pet


We strive to provide exceptional service, prioritize fear-free practices, and foster the physical, social, and mental well-being of our furry friends. We invest time in building genuine friendships with our furry friends, never resorting to forceful methods.


Our commitment to using fear free and force free tools and techniques ensures your pet’s safety, happiness, and comfort. As we step into your home to care for your pet, you can say goodbye to guilt, knowing they are in loving hands.


We lead a dedicated, well trained, and highly skilled team of professional pet care providers committed to delivering exceptional care for companion animals and outstanding customer service to our clients. 


Our focus extends beyond pet care. We provide outstanding customer services to our clients between visits, offer comprehensive training to all team members, and closely monitor every visit to ensure the safety, happiness, and enjoyment of both pets and clients.


Our employees are part of a carefully selected team that provides extraordinary care for companion animals when their owners cannot. They go through a very thorough interview process and intensive training program for at least 3 weeks before they provide any services on our own. 


Their learning never ends and they continually shadow other team members as well as participate in on-going professional development opportunities to learn new skills and build their overall knowledge of the best practices in animal care. 


Our intensive training program is designed to create the best pet sitters in the industry who consistently provide notch top pet care services for the life of your pet.


Week 1: Staying Pawsitive Orientation and Onboarding


Overview: During the first week of training, our focus is on building a solid foundation of what it means to be a team member of Pawsitive Dawg Walking and Pet Sitting. A deep understanding of our company’s mission, values, and standards is crucial if we want our team members to provide exceptional pet care services.


We incorporate our core values into all of our training and emphasize the importance of compassion, integrity, and relationship building so that we “Stay Pawsitive in Everything We Do.”


Most of the training for Week 1 is done online in order to build a solid foundation and background knowledge that can be later applied in the hands-on training during Weeks 2 and 3.


Objectives:

Foundational Understanding: Develop a comprehensive understanding of Pawsitive Dawg Walking and Pet Sitting’s mission, values, and standards.


Policy and Procedure Familiarity: Thoroughly grasp the company’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Handbook and the Employee Training Manual.


FetchFind Module Introduction: Follow directions written in the event notes while working through the Fetch Find training program, focusing on high-standard, science-based pet care.


Key Activities:

Review Policies and Procedures

Our new team members take a deep dive into our Policies and Procedures on the first day of training. Our thorough onboarding includes reading through our 51-page Employee Handbook and participating in an 1.5+ hour Employee Training Manual online course. This ensures they understand the policies and procedures that prioritize the safety, comfort, and well-being of both the pets we care for and our team members.


We comprehensively address everything they may encounter as a pet sitter, from grasping the nuances of key management to acquiring knowledge about client communication and pet care protocols, as well as learning how to handle the scheduling intricacies.


Participate in Fetch Find Modules

Pawsitive Dawg Walking and Pet Sitting is proud to be FetchFind Approved! Using science-based, up-to-date content developed by nationally known pet industry experts, the FetchFind Monthly Pro program ensures that all of our employees are trained with the same consistently high standards from the minute they join our team. This means you can rest assured that your beloved pets are receiving the best care possible from our knowledgeable, confident, and compassionate staff.


Our team members watch the following foundational modules in the Fetch Find curriculum during their first week and continue to complete other modules as they progress through training during Week 2. 


Covid 19 - Our team members are informed on COVID-19 Pet Care protocols and current guidelines. They also learn fundamental safety practices, including proper social distancing, hand washing, and PPE best practices.


Customer Service Basics - Our team members will be taught customer service essentials, how to create positive first impressions and enhance communications with clients, ways to go above and beyond on their visits, and how to select the perfect photos for sharing in our visit reports.


Introduction to Safe Handling - Our team members will learn the fundamentals of safely and effectively handling dogs. They will explore strategies to reduce risk and establish a strong understanding of best practices when working with animals.


Equipment 101 - Our team members get acquainted with the diverse array of tools employed in pet care. This module ensures our team is consistently trained with the perfect equipment for every task. It covers everything from different leash styles, harnesses, and collars to discerning the specific gear tailored for various breeds and sizes.


Dog Walking Basics - Our team members learn that they don’t “just walk a dog.” Walking a dog goes beyond just the walk. They gain valuable insights into pacing, identifying signs of discomfort or tiredness in dogs, mastering leash dynamics, and creating an engaging yet secure atmosphere for our furry friends on our walks.


Bite Prevention - Our team prioritizes safety! This crucial training teaches the skills to identify signals, read body language and implement strategies to safely greet an animal to prevent and avoid bites, ensuring everyone’s safety and well-being.


Feline Fundamentals - Our team learns that cats demand a unique approach and are to be treated and greeted much differently from dogs. This module explores feline behavior, delving into their preferences, dislikes, and optimal interaction methods, ensuring a consistently relaxed experience for our beloved feline friends.


Outcome: By the end of Week 1, employees build a strong foundation in our values and policies, ensuring the safety and comfort of both pets and team members. They start the Fetch Find training program for consistent, high-standard learning, gain essential customer service, safe handling, and pet care skills, and are prepared for specific challenges they will encounter in Week 2. This comprehensive training equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary for exceptional pet care services.


Week Two: “Paws-on Experience” - Hands-On Training in Pet Care Excellence


Overview: In Week Two, our new team members transition from the foundational knowledge gained online to practical, hands-on learning. This phase is crucial for embedding the skills and standards of Pawsitive Dawg Walking & Pet Sitting into their everyday work ethic.


Objectives:

Practical Application: Apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in Week One to real-life situations.


Skill Development: Master essential pet care skills as outlined in the “Essential Skills” checklist specially designed for each position (pet sitter, dog walker, or cat sitter).


Safety and Security: Learn to navigate various environments while ensuring the safety of the pets and security of clients’ homes.


Key Activities:

Shadowing Sessions: Engage in multiple shadowing opportunities with experienced staff to observe and practice the essential skills of what it means to be a force free and fear free pet care professional.


Pet Interaction: Gain hands-on experience in interacting with a variety of animals, focusing on positive and appropriate interactions.


Routine Mastery: Learn to effectively manage daily pet care routines, including feeding, walking, playing, and cleaning.


Safety Practices: Develop awareness and skills to maintain a safe environment for pets, both indoors and outdoors.


Client Communication: Practice using the app for timely and efficient communication, including taking photos and writing detailed visit notes.


Outcome: By the end of Week Two, trainees will have a solid grasp of practical pet care skills, ensuring they are well-prepared to deliver compassionate, integral, and relationship-focused services, embodying our motto: “Staying Pawsitive in Everything We Do.”


Week Three: “Paws and Reflect” - Advanced Mastery in Specialized Pet Care - Deepening Expertise Through Practice and Knowledge


Overview: In Week 3, we elevate the training experience to focus on specialized pet care mastery. This week is designed to reinforce and build upon the foundational skills developed in Weeks 1 and 2, transitioning employees from basic understanding to advanced proficiency in pet care.


Objectives:

Advanced Hands-On Training: Perform pet care visits independently while receiving real-time feedback and mentorship from a manager.


Enhanced Canine Understanding: Deepen knowledge of canine behavior, communication, health, breeds, and development.


Key Activities:

Independent Visits with Onsite Mentorship: Conduct pet care visits independently, with a manager present for guidance, feedback, and support.


Advanced Fetch Find Modules: Continue with more complex topics in the Fetch Find curriculum, emphasizing specialized pet care techniques focusing on the health and well-being of the animals as well as understanding body language and communication.


Pet First Aid and CPR certification Program: Demonstrate knowledge to handle emergencies, from minor injuries to urgent situations that require them to act safely, ensuring the pet’s safety at all times.


Outcome: By the end of Week 3, our team members will have achieved an advanced level of pet care expertise, marked by their ability to handle specialized care needs and effectively communicate and care for a variety of breeds with varying health and development stages. This week ensures our team members are not only proficient in pet care, but also excel in providing tailored, compassionate, and knowledgeable services to every pet and client they encounter.


Final Assessment - Measured Mastery: Evaluating Skills and Progress for Excellence in Pet Care

These scenarios are designed to test and enhance the practical application of the skills and knowledge gained in the previous weeks of training. The outcomes ensure that the employees are not only theoretically proficient but also practically adept in handling a variety of real-life situations they may encounter as pet sitters.


Objectives:

Problem-Solving Skills: Develop the ability to effectively handle unexpected situations and make sound decisions under pressure.


Policy Adherence: Reinforce the importance of adhering to company policies and procedures in various scenarios.


Time Management: Enhance skills in managing time effectively, especially in scenarios where timing is crucial.


Safety and Emergency Response: Improve skills in identifying potential safety hazards and responding appropriately to ensure the safety of both the pet and the pet sitter.


Client Communication: Understand the importance of effective communication with clients, especially in scenarios involving changes or emergencies.


Navigation and Planning: Improve skills in navigating and planning routes efficiently, including handling unforeseen obstacles.


Outcomes: Upon completing these scenarios, employees will exhibit enhanced problem-solving and decision-making abilities, confidently applying company policies to a range of real-world situations. They will demonstrate improved time management, safety awareness, and client communication skills, ensuring the well-being of the pets and effective handling of any unforeseen circumstances. This training phase solidifies their ability to skillfully respond to both routine and complex pet care scenarios.


"Guided Growth" Mentorship Program - Nurturing Expertise through Personalized Mentorship


Upon completion of the training, our team members are fully equipped to independently complete pet care visits, embodying our “Staying Pawsitive in Everything We Do” motto. Yet, they are never truly alone in their work day. Our comprehensive training ensures that they have seamless, coordinated access to management support for additional assistance whenever needed. This structure reflects our commitment to ongoing mentorship and support, ensuring our team members can confidently provide exceptional pet care while knowing they have a supportive team of managers behind them throughout their entire employment with Pawsitive Dawg Walking and Pet Sitting.


Mentorship Program Overview:

Our mentorship program is an integral part of the ongoing development and support for our team members. By pairing new employees with a member of our management team, we foster a nurturing and growth-oriented environment. This program includes monthly scheduled check-ins, shadowing sessions, and open discussions, ensuring continuous learning and improvement.


Key Components:


Personalized Pairing: Each new team member is paired with a management mentor, creating a supportive and personalized guidance framework.


Monthly Check-Ins: Regular monthly meetings provide a platform for discussing various aspects of the employee’s experience and progress.


Structured Discussions: These meetings cover a broad range of topics, including:

  1. Recent accomplishments and learning experiences in pet care.

  2. Evaluation of strengths and identification of areas for development.

  3. Open forum for questions related to job responsibilities.

  4. Suggestions for improving job roles and company practices.

  5. Requests for specific training or additional support.

  6. Feedback frequency and effectiveness.

  7. Desire for more shadowing opportunities or direct learning from managers and colleagues.

  8. Discussion on any policy or procedural changes needed.

  9. Effectiveness of management styles, including feedback on Angela’s approach and suggestions for change.

  10. Identifying any roadblocks or distractions impacting performance.

  11. Strategies and tools most beneficial for growth and development in the upcoming year.


Shadowing Opportunities: Opportunities for shadowing a manager or having a manager shadow them, providing real-time feedback and learning.


Support and Accessibility: Ensuring that, while staff are capable of independent work, they always have access to management for guidance and support.


Outcomes:

Enhanced Skill Development: Continuous improvement in pet care skills and professional growth.


Feedback and Support: Regular feedback loops and a supportive environment that fosters confidence and independence.


Open Communication: A culture of open communication, where suggestions and concerns are welcomed and addressed.


Responsive Management: Adaptive management strategies that respond to individual needs and overall team dynamics.


Empowered Employees: Empowered staff who feel valued, heard, and motivated to provide exceptional pet care services.


This mentorship program underscores our commitment to not just training but nurturing and developing our team, ensuring that each member feels supported, confident, and equipped to excel in their role.


"Pawsitive Growth" Professional Development Program - Elevating Pet Care Expertise


Overview: Our Professional Development Program, "Pawsitive Growth," is designed to deepen the knowledge and skills of our pet care professionals. Through a curated selection of videos and articles, team members will engage in advanced learning, focusing on dog and cat behavior, training techniques, and health care nuances. This program is an extension of our comprehensive training, reinforcing our commitment to exceptional pet care.


Objectives:

Enhanced Pet Care Knowledge: Build upon foundational pet care skills with advanced understanding in canine and feline behavior, integrating principles from Fear Free.


Evidence-Based Pet Care Techniques: Apply advanced, research-backed strategies in daily pet care practices.


Continuous Learning and Assessment: Encourage ongoing learning and self-assessment through quizzes and reflections on learnings.


Components:

Resource Library: Access to a selection of videos and articles from renowned pet care experts and Fear Free's online courses, covering critical topics in animal behavior, handling, and emotional wellness.


Interactive Learning: Team members are required to watch or read assigned materials, reflect on how this information can be applied in their daily visits, and complete associated quizzes.


Feedback and Reflection: Employees will list key learnings and discuss their practical application in pet care scenarios, fostering an environment of continuous improvement.


Outcomes:

Advanced Pet Care Proficiency: Proficiency in Fear Free methodologies, leading to improved emotional and physical care for pets.


Practical Skill Integration: Ability to integrate advanced training techniques and knowledge into everyday pet care situations.


Empowered Team Members: Foster a culture of proactive learning and self-improvement, ensuring our team members are confident and recognized as true pet health experts, debunking myths and misinformation, and well-equipped to handle a wide range of pet care scenarios.

This program is a testament to our dedication to the highest standards of pet care, ensuring our team remains at the forefront of pet care expertise and continues to deliver compassionate, skilled, and informed services to our clients and their beloved pets.




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