What do you love most about your job?
I commonly tell people that I think that dogs are one of, if not the greatest contributor to human wellbeing and happiness there was, is, or will ever be. I consider it a privilege to spend each day with dogs and make the lives of the dog and the owner better as a result.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I started Darbs ‘n Dogs because I love dogs.
Well, everyone loves dogs, right?
Sure. Most people probably would say that they like or love dogs when asked. I mean something a little different.
While I was in college, I had a friend named Bre. She was my workout partner and one of my best friends. One night while we were training she brought up that she walked dogs in her spare time. I thought it sounded cool, but I didn’t really see it as anything more than a “side-gig” or a way to make some extra money.
Fast-forward to about a year later, I applied for a job as a dog walker and sitter for a phenomenal local business in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After a month-long interview and background check process, I was hired. This was the first time I realized that perhaps this dog-walking thing was more serious than I had thought.
I got one client, then I got two clients, and three, and after three months I had a full schedule, often times walking seven or eight dogs a day, seven days a week. It went from “cool part time job” to “Holy cow I’m busy, but I love this, and I can make a living doing it?!?!”
Sure it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows – often times it was rainy and rather miserable outside – but still, I got to spend my days with dogs and I was getting paid to do it. I LOVED it! Before long, I was reading books about dog breeds, behavior, history, biology, and training, and I of course was observing and working with dogs for 10 hours a day, or so. After several years, I eventually got to the point where other people started to notice my connection to dogs. I did not believe or acknowledge it at first, not even second or third—after about 20 people mentioned my “connection” to dogs, I came to acknowledge that it was real. That is what I mean when I say I LOVE dogs. Dogs seem to be naturally drawn to me, and I to them. I am able to communicate with dogs in a way that is effective and clear, enabling me to train dogs to do anything dogs are capable of learning.
Over an almost six year period, I learned many of the various nuances of dog walking, I learned to train dogs, I developed lifelong friendships with many of my clients, and I gained experience working with over 75 breeds of dogs of all sizes, ages, and temperaments. I also developed a reverence for the trust that my clients placed in me to care for and train their dogs. I took great pride in the reliable and exceptional service that I provided for each of my clients and their dogs, and those things continue to be of utmost importance to me today.
I incorporated Darbs ‘n Dogs in 2016 but for a number of reasons, Darbs ‘n Dogs did not officially launch until February 14, 2020. Darbs ‘n Dogs looks like and technically is a one-man show, but I (Darby; Ahm… Darbs) could not do it without the support of my wonderful family, friends, and clients. I think that dogs are one of, if not the greatest contributor to human wellbeing and happiness there was, is, or will ever be. I consider it a privilege to work with dogs each day and I am truly grateful for the gift each and every dog is to the world.
Why should our clients choose you?
Darbs 'n Dogs is a local, family-owned business dedicated to reliable, exceptional service that you can trust. Dogs seem to be naturally drawn to me, and I to them - I am able to communicate with dogs in a way that is effective and clear, enabling me to train dogs to do anything dogs are capable of learning. I use positive training methods ONLY and I focus on teaching your dog through operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, rather than punishing him/her when he/she does something wrong. I never use anything that would harm your dog or make him/her uncomfortable. Positive Training is scientifically proven to be the most effective and enjoyable method of training dogs, and it is also the only ethical way to do it. I teach you and your dog how to thrive together in a fun, positive way at a price that is unmatched in value. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions you may have - I am always available via phone, email, or here on Bark. Thanks so much!