Monday, February 6, 2012

Dog limit Santa Clara County Parks

It has come to our attention that Santa Clara County Parks is in the process of setting up a proposal for a new law to limit the amount of dogs walked by one person. Currently there is no law in place limiting people on the amount of dogs they walk. We learned that the reason for changing the law was another dog walking business that caused incidents in County Parks. The individual does not have the ability to walk multiple dogs and

was observed having 6 dogs lunging and barking at the end of their leashes when being passed.


We are obviously sad that again it seems to only take one business for a law to change. It happened a few years ago when the Open Space District reduced the amount to 3 dogs per person. We are afraid that the County will adapt a similar rule.

We are not going to sit back and wait. If the County changes the law we will lose our business. Obviously that is not our goal. We love what we do and do what we love so we are going to fight this until the end.

We are in the process of setting up a proposal for a permit system that the County could use for professional dog walkers as San Francisco and the East Bay have already introduced. Our current proposal is:

  • Permit (against a fee)
  • Formal dog walking training or internship with a professional dog walker (that has had the training & certification)
  • Dog First Aid certification
  • Insurance
  • Licensing: with County (dba) and the City they are operating from (if applicable – we don’t have a license as we live in unincorporated Santa Clara County and the County does not issue licenses for businesses like ours)
  • Vehicle check: insured, registered and maintained vehicle
  • Trail Manners Workshop (our suggestion: setting up a mandatory workshop for professionals with the County covering the following aspects: trail etiquette, multi use trail management, environmental impact, etc)
  • 8 dogs maximum per handler

The South Bay is not exempt from the trend of agencies in the San Franciso Bay Area to regulate professional dog walkers. We totally support the idea of issuing a permit for professional dog walkers because it will give legitimacy to the profession. Being a professional dog walker is not something that just anyone who likes dogs can do; it takes knowledge and skill to control groups of dogs. With safety and training requirements in place, dog owners can feel more confident that licensed dog walkers know what they're doing and that their dogs will be safe while in the dog walker's care. And people who encounter a dog walker in the park or on the street can feel more confident that licensed dog walkers know what they're doing and that the dogs will not cause problems.