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By Breeana Greenberg
Michael Bass discovered that he wanted to pursue dog walking as a profession while working for another dog walking company. After spending about a year learning the ropes, he fell in love with the profession and started his own business, OC Pup Scouts, in Newport Beach in 2015.
While he was getting the business off the ground, Bass walked his friends’ dogs around his neighborhood to attract the attention of potential customers.
“I spent every day in dog parks just trying to meet people,” said Bass. “I borrowed friends’ dogs just to have a pack … something people would look at and possibly ask me, ‘Oh, what’s this?’ â
Bass organized meetups and communal pack walks to get potential customers to come out and get to know their dog.
“It was a lot that I was out in the community every day,” said Bass.
From there, OC Pup Scouts grew with mobile locations from Huntington Beach to Carlsbad. In general, a “pack handler” serves every area, giving customers the opportunity to develop a relationship with their handler and see the same face every day, Bass said.
As his family grew, Bass moved his family to Dana Point in March 2021 and opened a Pup Scouts location in town the following month.
âWe love the community,â said Bass. “It’s so family friendly and you know all the parks and just dogs that run around everywhere.”
OC Pup Scouts offers one-hour hikes, half-day hikes and full-day hikes as well as private training.
“The dog walk is really structured,” said Bass. âWe don’t just let dogs do what they want on this walk. It goes hand in hand with a lot of obedience, skill and training. “
Pup Scouts Dog Walking is great for socializing dogs and reinforcing positive behaviors, Bass explained.
“It’s great for over-excited dogs who need to interact with and care for other dogs in a very quiet environment,” said Bass. “We have a lot of trainers who send dogs in just to make dogs a little more social, just to add to their obedience training.”
It’s also a much more structured environment compared to a dog daycare where dogs run around and adopt bad habits and behaviors.
“With us, they’re around all of these other dogs and it’s just very quiet,” said Bass. âThey work together, go together. In this way they learn a lot of really great skills that mom and dad can bring home with them and hopefully behave better. “
After the clients have created a profile at Pup Scouts, a team member will contact you to conduct a consultation.
âWe do a counseling session where we meet with each dog before we take them in, and there we talk to the owners about their schedule and needs, and give some sort of recommendation based on the dog’s energy level and work schedule; how often they take it out, âsaid Bass.
Pup Scouts requires customers to sign up for at least one walk a week so dogs can become familiar with pack walking.
“It just creates a much safer environment when everyone knows what they’re doing, and it’s not like random dogs walking in and out all the time,” Bass said.
Bass’ favorite aspect of participating in OC Pup Scouts is being able to make passers-by smile at the sight of all the dogs.
“I love it, especially when we’re in the community, we make people smile,” said Bass. âTo make people laugh and to make their day easier. . . Just to go for a walk with a bunch of dogs and they see us, that’s a good feeling. “
OC Pup Scouts will hold its second Give Back Week from December 13th to 17th. Each dog walker has chosen a charity that matters to them and pledges how many miles they will walk during the program. Residents can sponsor a dog walker by donating a dollar amount of their choice per mile.
Last year, OC Pup Scouts raised $ 5,000 for various charities. A virtual registration form can be found on the OC Pup Scouts website.
OC Pup Scouts
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Prior to joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter for Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at [email protected]
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