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Haverhill dog walking and training business celebrates half a decade in business

A Haverhill dog walking business that in 2019 expanded to include a training academy is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

In 2015, Sally Cousins quit her stock control manager's role at Tesco after 21 years to launch Woofers Walkies, since which 150 dogs have enjoyed their unique adventure style walks, completing the equivalent distance from the North to South Poles.

Along the way they have used about 6,200 eco-friendly poo bags and worn out three pairs of walking boots, two pairs of wellies and four pairs of trainers.

Sally Cousins with Merlot, a German short haired pointer, who was the very first dog she ever professionally walked. Picture by Emily Hunn
Sally Cousins with Merlot, a German short haired pointer, who was the very first dog she ever professionally walked. Picture by Emily Hunn

"I am extremely proud to have reach this milestone, especially after the events of this year.

"I’m very lucky to be working with such caring and dedicated pet owners who want to give their dogs an amazing time when they can’t be with them themselves.

"I could never have imagined that five years ago I would not only have achieved my dog walking dream but have also become a published author and opened a training academy too. I’m excited for the next five years!”

One of the dogs at Woofers Walkies
One of the dogs at Woofers Walkies

A desire to find a solution for wanting to spend more time with her own dogs and her own difficulties at securing regular care for them when she wasn’t around led to the business being founded.

Late last year Sally expanded the business further to include training and the Woofers Training Academy was born.

Alan Hanna who joined Sally in 2017, has devised some fantastic dog and puppy training courses that include Sally’s signature system, P•E•T® - Play, Engage & Train.

It is the same system that they use on their adventure style walks that helps to keep the dogs focused on them rather than running off to other distractions.

The P•E•T system is so successful that they have only taken on one new dog walking customer in the last year as their adventures are fully booked with long term loyal customers.

This year has been especially challenging due to the coronavirus which saw both sides of the business temporarily closing down.

It was during that time closed that Sally wrote her first book “The Lockdown Dog.” Its aim was to help dog owners manage their dogs during the restricted time and support for helping their dog cope on their own once owners returned back to work.

Both sides of the business are now open again and Sally is especially pleased that they have been able to add puppy classes to their services.

Sally said: “Puppies were the most affected by lockdown.

"For some it happened at a key time of their socialisation period.

"When they should have been getting out and about and experiencing the sights and sounds of our busy and noisy world, the world was strangely quiet and serene.

"As we have come out of lockdown this has proved challenging for puppies, making some of them anxious.

"Our classes have been designed to turn the pups into confident, resilient, focused and well-mannered dogs.

"We are delighted to have found an inside venue for our puppy classes at the Royal British Legion Hall in Kedington.

"As soon as they are ready to open we will be based there for puppy classes. In the meantime, we are using a secure field for all of our classes.

For more details on dog walking adventures or dog training you can check out the website www.wooferswalkies.com or contact Sally on 07743413110.