Group dog adventures take off
‘‘It's awesome because quite often I go on missions through the bush with them and they are loving it.’’
Some people dream of spending their days going on adventures with dogs. Queenstown’s Nikki Cameron does it for living.
The experienced outdoor instructor and qualified photographer combines her skills with love for pooches in her Adventure Dog business.
The business took off three years ago when Cameron walked a few dogs and posted professional photos of the pooches on social media for owners.
‘‘The owners love to get home and see that their dog has been out for the day.’’
After three weeks of taking dogs on adventures part-time, Cameron quit filmmaking study to keep up with the doggie demand.
She usually takes groups of four to six dogs to off-track mountain climbs, river walks or hikes through the bush in the Queenstown area.
‘‘It’s awesome because quite often I go on missions through the bush with them and they are loving it.’’
She says the dog owners prioritise their dogs’ happiness and saw it as more than exercise but an opportunity to allow dogs to socialise in an outdoors environment.
‘‘We expect them to know how to behave but they are dogs. This is their chance to hang out.
‘‘One or two days a week they just get to be what they are,’’ Cameron said.
Playing with other dogs and going on adventures together led to ’’huge changes’’ in some dogs’ personalities .
Over time some dogs had become better socialised with other dogs and humans too.
Cameron preferred to work with friendly dogs whose owners were in Queenstown long term, so she could get to know them.
‘‘I like to think of Adventure Dogs being a little family because me and the owners of the dogs are really quite tight and I want to keep it that way.’’
The business has reached its capacity but Cameron didn’t want to expand or franchise.
‘‘I don’t care about the money. Where’s the soul in that? I’ve got enough money to pay my rent,’’ she said.
Cameron takes dogs on adventures on mornings and afternoons five days a week.