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Entrepreneur Who Led the Pack in the Dog-Walking Business Dies

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Jim Buck, the New Yorker whose early dog-walking service unleashed a new breed of business niche, died July 4, according to the New York Times.

Buck is credited for making dog-walking a professional business, according to the Times, which ran a profile of the entrepreneur in 1964 by the acclaimed writer Gay Talese. He came from New York's wealthy Upper East Side, skipped college and worked as an electronics salesman before starting Jim Buck’s School for Dogs in the early 1960s, the paper says. His clients, the obituary says, were mostly Upper East Siders.

As families changed and women entered the workforce in large numbers, dog-walking has become an in-demand service the world over. And a popular option for those looking for an easy-entry business. Startup costs are low -- $2,000 or less -- and the business can be run from home. Most dog-walkers earn in the range of $6 to $12 per hour, per dog, and it often doesn't take long to build a list of clients. What's more, dog-walking has bred a sizable litter of franchised businesses and a broader array of pet-care businesses, from pet-sitting to dog-training.

Interested in starting your own dog-walking business or other pet-related businesses? Here are some resources and related articles.

Business Idea Center: Dog Walker

Become a Pet-Sitter or Dog-Walker

Business Idea Center: Kennels

Meet the Dog-Walker in Chief at a Growing Franchise

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan on Pack Dynamics for Entrepreneurs and Other Animals 

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