FAQs

GoDogPro.com is a comprehensive, searchable, online directory for people in Northern California seeking professional dog trainers, groomers, boarding and daycare. GoDogPro also supports searching for professional dog walkers who service neighborhoods in San Francisco.

In 2021 GoDogPro will go national. GoDogPro is accessible, scalable, and user-centered with a mobile-friendly interface.

Currently, if a dog owner needs a pet service their only options are limited to Yelp, NextDoor, Google, or asking for recommendations from friends or strangers at the dog park. The GoDogPro directory allows you to browse all your options in one place and find the right person for you and your dog.

Additionally, there are very few regulations in the dog services business. Virtually anyone can create a website and advertise, regardless of training, experience, and insurance.

Hiring a professional - someone who knows dogs and handles dogs for a living - means peace of mind for you and a better experience for your dog. Dog pros on our site all agree to our professional code of ethics:

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My business only uses positive reinforcement and force-free methods in handling client's dogs. We do not employ the use of fear or intimidation, pain or physical punishment, or aversive equipment such as spray bottles, pinch collars, shock collars, or choke chains. We do not use punishment-based techniques such as intimidating body language, poking, yelling, jerking on a collar/harness, pinching, kicking, or striking dogs.
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We promise to treat the dogs in our care as if they were our own: with compassion, kindness, and patience.
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We agree to maintain and respect the confidentiality, privacy, and personal information of all our clients.
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We agree to comply with all federal, state, and local laws in both business and dog care.
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We will maintain a current business license, insurance and where applicable, bonding. We will also keep our pet CPR current.
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We will expand our knowledge and understanding of dog care with continued education and professional development.
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We agree to treat other dog professionals with respect and give them support and encouragement. We will refrain from public defamation of our colleagues.
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We will pick up all the dog poop and leave public space cleaner than we found it. We will be considerate of the community and other people and their dogs who are also using public parks, trails, beaches, etc.
If you believe a professional on GoDogPro has misrepresented themselves, please let us know by clicking the red flag on their profile page (bottom right corner).
5% of all GoDogPro profits are donated to local dog rescue groups

Currently, our listings include dog pros in Northern California. Please standby: we will be expanding to more areas and cities very soon!

Yes, dog pros on our site are vetted in three different ways:

  1. Before signing up, all pros must agree to the high standards of GoDogPro’s Code of Ethics - the most important being that all pros on the site employ only force-free/positive reinforcement methods with client dogs.
  2. Each profile page requires that pros disclose their business license number, insurance information, credentials and training, and the number of years in business. We encourage the public and the dog community to use the “flag this business” link on every profile page to let us know if a pro has misrepresented their business.
  3. Rather than using unreliable anonymous reviews or rankings, we have created a unique system of "professional endorsements" which helps users find a high-quality dog service provider. Each profile page has a section where pros can endorse other local dog professionals they know and trust. These virtual recommendations are similar to the word-of-mouth referral system that the public and professionals in every field already use.

The site will always be free for users looking to find a dog professional.

While we are still in beta, dog professionals will be able to set up a profile page for free. We will roll out an affordable paid subscription membership for dog pros next year. We do not take a cut when businesses find new clients through our site

Yes, we are looking for funding to expand our coverage area, so feel free to contact us if you are a venture capitalist with deep pockets or are interested in advertising on the site. GDP is accessible, scalable, and user-centered with a mobile-friendly interface.

All established, local professionals in any field have a reputation among their peers. For instance, your auto mechanic (or plumber or lawyer) can easily tell you which other mechanics in your area do quality work and which ones they would trust to fix their own car. GoDogPro uses this organically created reputation systems to help you find someone you can trust. If you are looking for a dog walker and both your dog trainer and your groomer recommend a business on their profile page, then you know you can probably trust that walker.

GoDogPro does not rely on anonymous reviews or user rankings, which are less trustworthy than we think. We know that public reviews are bought and sold and that anonymous reviews can be used for personal or political gain.

The local dog community is smaller than you think, and we hope to encourage collaboration and mutual respect between professionals, which is why our site uses positive recommendations and chooses not to foster animosity and competition through negative reviews.

The quick answer is "no".

GoDogPro makes the process of finding someone to take care of your dog easier by allowing you to compare and evaluate dog professionals based on their experience, qualifications, and reputation within the local professional dog community. All member profiles include information about their business license, credentials/certificates/schools attended, number of employees and number of years in business, and whether the business is insured and bonded.

Dogs are family members, and in many cases, you may also be handing over the keys to your home. We suggest meeting your dog professional in person before hiring. 20 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dog Walker.

While some dog guardians are comfortable hiring gig workers using walking and boarding apps, many prefer the expertise and accountability that hiring a real dog professional offers. GoDogPro is for dog owners looking for an established and experienced dog business they can trust, rather than using a part-time worker hired through a third-party app.

Both rover.com and wag.com aim to take over dog walking and boarding to create an Uber/Lyft-type model, with poorly vetted, part-time, underpaid, untrained gig workers. You may have seen stories in the news of instances where this has gone terribly wrong (dogs lost, dogs dying, etc.). These dog walking and boarding apps have millions in funding but no focus on hiring people with professional dog experience and very little accountability when things go wrong. It is insanely easy to get hired by Wag, and you don't need ANY experience with dogs. Many dog owners are not willing to trade risk for the convenience of an untrained, poorly skilled, on-demand part-time worker.

Read more about on-demand, app-based dog walking companies:

GoDogPro only lists service providers that use positive reinforcement/force-free methods.

We are committed to representing only dog professionals that use positive reinforcement and force-free methods in their training, walking, and handling client's dogs. This means that they do not employ the use of fear or intimidation, pain or physical punishment, or aversive equipment such as spray bottles, pinch collars, shock collars, or choke chains. Aversive or punishment-based techniques also include intimidating body language, poking, grabbing, yelling, jerking on a collar/harness, pinching, kicking, or striking dogs.

Please contact us if you believe a pro member on our site has misrepresented their business and does not qualify as force-free.

Positive reinforcement dog training methods are science-based and humane. Force-free trainers do not rely on human dominance/dog submission or the (debunked) theory of “being the pack leader”. Many recent scientific studies show that positive reinforcement dog training is more effective and successful than dominance training and punishment. To learn more about the science and philosophy behind this approach, please visit the Pet Professional Guild:

Terrier puppy following a scent on the ground