Jim Buck: The First Professional Dog Walker

by Amy Hazelton.

A friend recently alerted me to an article published in the New York Times. Although the article is an obituary, it’s an inspiring story and somewhat of a brief history of dog walking. While dog walking may be a newer service in the North Haven, Wallingford, Hamden, and Cheshire area, dog walking has been a thriving business in NYC since the ’60’s. What is interesting about this article, is being able to see a glimpse of the evolution dog walking.

When Jim Buck started Jim Buck’s School for Dogs, his clientele was composed of mostly very wealthy and prominent people of the Upper East Side, which included celebrities, politicians, and financiers. In the last 20 years, the role of the dog in their families has climbed up the totem pole. Where dogs were once strictly the guards of our properties that slept outside and got the random bone here and there, we now see people treating their dogs as one of the family. With that said, services such as dog walking, doggie day cares, and even doggie bakeries are popping up all over the country and are made available not only to the financially well-off, but also to the average middle-class dog owner. I honestly believe that Jim Buck was very much ahead of his time in regard to his beliefs about dogs. They don’t belong outside! They belong in our arms! So cheers to Jim Buck and paving the way for dog walkers and dog lovers!

This is a picture of Jim Buck in 1964.

Read the full article here.

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