Richmond entrepreneur brings business savvy to dog walking

If you are a busy dog owner, who works away from home, making arrangements to tend to your pet’s daily needs - especially when nature calls - is a relatable concern. Leaving for work in the morning and coming back after a full workday means, that unless you have taught your pet to use the toilet, you are going to need some extra help.

As a dog lover who grew up with pets all his life, James Heunefeld was familiar with the sinking feeling and guilt that comes with making your pet sit at home all day. That is why he started Tails Up Dog Walking, a professional dog walking, training, and sitting service based in Steveston. By combining his love for dogs and his affinity for premier customer service, James created what is now one of Richmond’s most sought-after dog walking services.  

“No day is the same,” James said, “we take our canine friends to a variety of off-leash and dog-friendly areas around the city that stimulate their senses and allow them to explore.”

Having recently expanded his business to serve all of Richmond, James said he was excited to show his new clients the benefits of having a well-trained and well-exercised dog. Because James manages his business from an entrepreneurial standpoint, Tails Up is an all-encompassing dog service. He offers group dog walks twice a day with pick up and drop off services, dog training and sitting. His wide range of services will soon be augmented with an easy-to-use, automated scheduling app.

Safety is the number one priority at Tails Up Dog Walking and meet and greets with new clients are always free. At that time, James decides whether the dog is well suited for pack walks, or if it needs one-on-one training prior to group walks. “Socialization in a safe environment is one of the biggest assets walkers can offer pet owners,” James said, adding that group learning is one of the most effective ways dogs pick up good behaviour.

“Growing up we had a very dominant, stubborn dog who was difficult to train,” James explained, “so believe me when I say I’ve pretty much seen it all.” Over the years, James studied training techniques and methods, which he uses on his walks. It is not uncommon to spot James on a walk, dressed in his blue Tails Up uniform and surrounded by dogs who, of course, have wagging tails and are grinning from ear to ear.

It is time to live your life off-leash! For more information about Tails Up, visit their website, call 778-847-7431, or email You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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