Love for dogs is above all! The founder of “Walking Dogs” Natalya Shipshiley told The Challenger how her high-tech dog walking service helps Muscovites take care of their pets, how walkers are selected and how safe they are, and what kind of sport she does and how she approaches her diet.
- There was no one to walk with my dog during the day. From this problem, the idea for a service was born. So, “Walking Dog” appeared in 2016. I came up with an idea, a title, and most importantly, a philosophy.
“Walking Dog” - from the very beginning, a socially responsible business that focuses on the urban environment and which teaches people to interact with dogs. Unlike, for example, America, there were practically no dogs sitting in Russia. The exception is dog schools and small agencies. I wanted to make a technological service that guarantees the quality of services.
I launched the service alone, but I was really helped by additional education in project management in the field of development and urban studies, business books and several business courses.
In general, I wanted to become a valiant lawyer, but in the process of studying at the law faculty at Moscow State University, I realized that this was not mine.
I invested in the service of their own five hundred thousand rubles. We received our first clients thanks to the media that spoke about us, the next clients - thanks to word of mouth. At the beginning of 2018, we received half a million dollars from business angels ( private investors who invest in promising projects. - Ed.
) for the development of the project and IT infrastructure. We have it complicated and similar to that used in taxi call services. We select an artist so that both the owner and the sitter are comfortable. When we attracted investments, there were five people in the team. Now - forty.
Service works only in the capital. We do not plan to expand yet: Moscow is a huge area for work.
There are several kinds of customers. Those who order regular walking three times a day seven days a week - they just do not walk with their dog and outsource the care of the pet. Those who use the services regularly, but also take care of the dog.
Usually these are people of creative professions: architects, designers, marketers. Many more dog owners order paddock from time to time: they went on vacation, fell ill, blockage at work.
Walking one dog costs from 490 rubles. Dogsitting - from 690 rubles per day. The price increases depending on the number of walks, the number of dogs and their "complexity".
The client leaves request for walking or siting on
or in the mobile application. The manager contacts him and fills out a questionnaire, which describes the dog in detail, in order to choose the most suitable sitter or walker. Then the client gets acquainted with the performer. If it’s walking, the performer conducts an acquaintance walk for a small fee. If you need a person who just looks after the pet, the sitter also comes to get acquainted.
After that, the customer buys a package of paddocks or sitting. A person comes to the dog who is already familiar with it.
I myself am an active user of our service. My dandy spaniel replaced about ten walkers and finally found his love. Ira has been walking with Dandy for more than a year, five days a week - in the afternoon on weekdays.
I leave the dog with a sitter from our service when I go on vacation.
We hire people who can communicate with dogs and who are ready to share our philosophy. We have a thousand sitters and walkers, almost all of them women. Some have chosen for themselves sitting and dog walking as a profession and do this all the time. A full time walker and sitter can earn 50 thousand rubles a month, just walker - up to 30 thousand a month.
Use the services "Walking Dogs" is safe. Our performers go through five stages of selection: questioning, screening, video interviews, online courses, internships with an experienced mentor . In other services you can get to work simply by filling out an online application form. We can’t do that. At the same time, now the candidate can go through all five stages of training in one day - save his time and immediately start working.
We have not had a single case of theft or other trouble related to the sitters. But the client must be mentally prepared that an outsider will be in his apartment, who is also responsible for his dog.
Each owner worries that his dog may run away. Before the launch of the service, I was worried that Dandy would run for a walk, did not sleep at night and thought: "Oh my God, tomorrow the walker will come, and something will happen for sure." I had to come up with special safe equipment, each of our walker gets it when they get to work.
As leashes and mounts, we use climbing gears and carbines that can withstand a breakthrough of several hundred kilograms. The leash is tied to the walker belt - this is the most reliable way to keep any dog. Two collars are put on each dog: one main, the second spare. Spare dangles on the neck of the pet and does not cause inconvenience. If the dog slips out of the first collar (this happens in breeds with a small neck, for example in pugs and bulldogs), the safety harness does not allow to run away.
This has happened several times, and each time we say thank you to our foresight.
I started engage in motocross in 2016 and was very imbued with this sport. I even went to study in a special school. The coach had round eyes: in the first lesson, I got everything that people do in the tenth.
There was a break in training due to a broken arm, but now I periodically ride the track and enjoy doing it.
I train not for achievements, but because I love it. Motocross and enduro (a discipline of motorcycling in which an athlete overcomes impassability and tracks with obstacles - logs, boulders. - Approx.ed. ) - expensive sports, while the track is located outside the city, you have to spend the whole day on training.
Enduro is a freer sport: you can ride in the mountains, valleys and forests. And motocross is more technical, it attracts with its discipline, and also pumps all the muscles. You do not turn the motorcycle with your hands, but with your whole body.
From " urban sports I love cycling. I like to go to training during the day, so the working day is divided into two.
This life hack, I advise everyone. I used to run long distances, I ran a half marathon in Prague. Then there were problems with my knees, and I decided not to go too far with shock loads.
I really love yoga - I practice at home myself - and meditate. On New Year's Eve, I went to Vipassana in India, in Jaipur.
She was silent for ten days, did not use the phone, did not read anything. We meditated from morning to evening with short breaks. The result was an unforgettable experience of immersion in yourself.
I try to eat intuitively and listen to my body. Too the right diet does not suit me, sometimes I want to eat bread or sweets.
When you do not forbid yourself, you don’t really want to violate anything.