BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Dog walker, Animalia, Coulsdon, Surrey

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Dog walker, Animalia, Coulsdon, Surrey - Name: Karl Boyce

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Karl Boyce

When did you become a manager?

A year ago, when I set up Animalia with my sister, after being made redundant.

I'd been a stockbroker and had a dog-walker for my own dogs. I thought it'd be ideal to have a dog creche, also providing home visits and dog-walking. We later took on two staff and now have 25 regular customers.

What does management mean to you?

My priority is the animals. It's more important turning up for an animal on its own than for a meeting. You have to manage personality clashes - if a German Shepherd and Doberman clash, you may not want to be in the middle. If there's a problem, we make sure they don't go out together.

It's about confidence. You must establish yourself as pack leader - be reasonably firm and interact constantly. The most important thing is to be more interesting to them than the other dogs, to keep their attention.

And make sure you have treats - not that different from managing people, perhaps.

What do you love/hate about it?

I love the outdoor life, but I miss human interaction.

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