Dog Striders is owned and operated by experienced dog owner and animal lover, Michelle Skinner. A desire to leave the confines of an office, combined with a passion for dogs, led me to form Palmerston North's only premier dog walking service. "I will treat your dog as if it were my own".

Dog Striders considers Dog Walking to be a very personal service. It is my mission to provide a quality service that will enhance the lives of both dogs and their owners. I am highly passionate about professionalism and committed to providing the best levels of customer service.
Remember, "Your Best Friend is my Best Friend".

Dog Striders will uphold the following core values in the conduct of its business:
  • Provide only the best levels of customer service.
  • Show initiative and good judgement.
  • Be enthusiastic and strive for excellence.
  • Be committed, consistent, honest, reliable and trustworthy.
  • Provide a holistic approach and enhance the lives of dogs and their owners.
  • Respect for customers and dogs at all times.
  • Stand apart from others through integrity, professionalism and commitment.


At Rover's Retreat, overnight boarders play in the Daily Playschool program during the day and have their own individual rooms at night.
What are the requirements for Rover's Retreat?
You must be at least 4 months old, Spayed or Neutered (if over six months), registered and vaccinations must be current. You must be in good health, flea/worm free, friendly to all dogs, and generally love to play.

What is the interview process all about?
To be accepted at Rover's Retreat, your guardian completes a behaviour questionnaire to ascertain how well you interact with other dogs . I love and respect all dog breeds, however, I do not accept any aggressive dogs.

What will I do at Rover's Retreat?
You play and go walking during the day with me and other rovers with similar temperament and activity levels. I will give you a sleep in your room from time to time.

When can I be dropped off and picked up?
You are welcome to be dropped off anytime after 8:30am, but I suggest being dropped off before 4pm so you can play, eat, and then play again prior to snoozing the night away.

What kind of overnight gear do I need to bring to Rover's Retreat?
Bring your food, as it is best to eat the food you are used to. Your favourite toy or stuffed animal is always a good thing to curl up with at night along with your snuggly blanket.

What if I get sick or injured?
I will take excellent care of you if an accident occurs. Your guardian will be contacted. If it is an emergency, I will take you to a vet immediately.

Will someone be able to give me my medicine?
I administer medication provided by your guardian in pill, powder or liquid form for no additional fee. I do not give any injected medications. All medications must be in their original container.

Can my Guardian check-in on me?
Yes, all they need is telephone.

How do I make a reservation?
Your guardian can contact me by telephone during the day or email me anytime at dogstriders@xtra.co.nz. It's that simple!

How far in advance should I make a reservation for an overnight stay at Rover's Retreat?
It is best to reserve a room well in advance of your stay. You need to successfully pass the interview prior to reserving a room. Rover's Retreat fills quickly around holidays. Early booking is highly recommended!

Do you have showers?
Yes, I do offer baths so when you return home you are fluffy and looking your best. There is an additional charge for a bath.


More and more of us go out to work every day, but thankfully, we realise that 'home alone is no life for a dog'. At Dog Striders' Playschool, I ensure that your dog has a fun time when you are unable to be at home.

If you are working all day - or just going out for the day, I can provide care, attention and a generally great tail-wagging time in your absence! Most owners love walking their dogs, but sometimes time constraints during the working week means your dog doesn't get the exercise or company they need to keep them happy and content.
I provide a variety of exercise, heaps fun, behaviour modification (if requested), obedience training and socialisation which produces a happy well adjusted dog to live with. Most importantly you'll know your dog is in safe hands and isn't bored all day, moping around whilst they are missing you. Years experience have shown me that giving your dog a routine, exercise and fun is a great way of keeping them occupied and ultimately happy until you return home.

I treat every dog as if it is my own - and I treat every owner as if they love their four-legged furry friend as much as I love mine! I do not take dog aggressive dogs, so your dog will be safe with me.'

Doggie Daycare - Playschool Rates
$25.00 (half day)
$40.00 (full day)

Bookings 24 hours in advance. Pick up and drop off available on request.

I want to make it as easy as possible for you and your dog to enjoy the services that Dog Striders has to offer. I provide a dedicated pick up and drop off service if you cannot easily bring your dog to me.

Pick Up 8.30 – 10.00 am / Drop Off 5.00 – 6.00 pm

Within 5 km radius
One way - $ 5.00 Return - $10.00

Within 5 – 10 km radius
One way - $10.00 Return - $15.00


What happens when it's raining?
We get wet!! (except in heavy rainstorms).
Have you noticed how much your dog likes playing in the rain and the puddles? Give him a couple of friends in the same environment and they have a ball!
Please provide towels to dry him or her off as much as possible afterwards - and if you don't want your dog going out in the rain, just let me know.

What can I leave out?
A towel (for rainy days), collar and lead, time & attendance card, and your dog's raincoat or jacket.

Do you play ball with the dogs?
Individuals—Yes. Group walks—No. I want the dogs to play with each other and not over-exert themselves or get into fights because of ball possessiveness.

Do you always use the same park?
Not if I can avoid it! Just like us, dogs love a little variety, so I try to have 3 or 4 different places for them to visit.

What are your office hours?
7:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. This doesn't mean that you can't schedule a walk for the weekend, it just means you must call during the week to schedule it.

If an unexpected matter arises and you do need to contact me during the weekend, please don't hesitate. I understand that sometimes it cannot be helped.


Man's Best Friend

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender,
who gives so much while asking for little in return.
You are his life, his love, his leader, his soulmate.
He will be yours, uncritical, faithful and true,
to the last beat of this heart.
You owe it to him
to be worthy of such devotion.”

Lets face it, people’s lives have become busier. Coupled with the demands of modern society there are now greater numbers of family members working longer hours, 6 days a week, and generally, with less time to tend to the family dog.

The fact of the matter is, that people are often severely pinched for time, contributing for the need of a dog walking professional. I will not only take care of your dog’s basic needs, I am also a good companion for the dogs and of great support to you.

Let DOG STRIDERS Work For You!

Let DOG STRIDERS Work For You!

Whether you have work commitments, out of town travel, a busy lifestyle with little spare time, suffering from poor health, an incapacitating injury or wheelchair bound, elderly and can no longer keep up with your beloved pooches, over weight dogs, young puppies or dogs that have special needs or simply have no backyard to romp round in.


Before your dog’s first walk as a Regular or Casual, I will visit your home to meet your dog and ensure he/she is comfortable with me. The temperament of all dogs needs to be assessed, so I can ascertain if your dog is suitable for individual or group walks.

In group walks, individual dog's needs are met by matching dogs of similar temperament, personality, energy level and size. All dogs on group walks must be socialised and compatible with other dogs, otherwise an individual walk is appropriate.

Aggressive dogs will not be accepted.

If you and your dog are well matched to me and my services, a profile of your dog will be compiled and a contract for service completed. Collection of any keys needed to pick up your dog will need to be arranged and walking dates booked.


In-home Pet Care is a fantastic alternative to boarding in a kennel or cattery and more cost effective in multiple pet households. All your pets remain in the comfort of their own environment resulting in them being happier and less stressed. They eat their usual food and follow their normal routine.

Your pets will not be exposed to potential illness, parasites or contagious diseases from other boarding animals and there will be no kennel/cattery hours to negotiate. In-Home Pet Care is beneficial for owners of pets with disabilities, such as being blind, deaf or too old or timid for boarding establishments.

I am a dog owner and animal lover, and I know that while I cannot replace you, I can offer you the peace of mind that while you are aware my sole aim is to provide your pets with the physical and emotional needs in your absence.

Your home will have a "lived-in" look and be checked twice daily while I attend on the pets. All dogs in my care will wear a “Dog Striders” I.D tag which has my contact details engraved. My In-Home Pet Care service consists of the following:

Key Benefits
  • 2 x 20 minute walks (am/pm) in your neighbourhood.
  • Water bowls cleaned and refreshed daily.
  • Daily backyard poo patrol.
  • Daily kitty litter change.
  • Lots of cuddles, love and attention.
  • Coats brushed and medication given (if required).
  • Fish feeding.
  • General home security check.
  • Rubbish bins in and out.
  • Pot plants watered.
  • Mail collection.
  • Curtains pulled.
  • Lights, television and/or radio on and off.
In-Home Pet Care Rates

1 Dog & Cat(s)

Extra Dog

Care Visit Only
$15.00 (1 x feed per day (exclude walks)
$20.00 (2 x feeds per day (excludes walks)

Visiting Times are from 7:00am-10:00am/3:00pm-6:30pm


Dogs are pack animals. Your family is his pack. Leaving dogs at home all day on their own can make them anxious, stressed and develop bad habits (i.e. barking, chewing, digging and generally being destructive). Lack of physical and mental exercise are primary causes of misbehaviour and boredom. Walks break boredom, relieve loneliness, and reduce over energetic behaviours.
Socialisation with other people helps relieve separation anxiety, and your dog also needs regular social contact with other dogs. Having your dog walked, even if only a couple of times a week, will keep his social skills well oiled, and assist the overall wellbeing and happiness of your Best Friend.

Walks are conducted in a variety of different locations to ensure that each walk is exciting for your dog. As different dogs have different needs, there is a selection of exercise options for you to choose from. In summer, we visit the river on a daily basis for a quick swim to cool off.

Below is Dog Striders menu of exciting exercise options for you to choose from.

“Stroll & Sniff” around the dog’s own neighbourhood.

“Power Walk” anywhere with real energy.

“Fetch & Frolic” in a nearby park with a ball or frisbee.

“Jog & Trot” along the river walkways.

“Puppy Power” short duration with gentle socialisation.

In wet weather, I will ensure your dog is still walked. If your dog is not wearing his/her jacket they will be towel dried on their return home. If walking in wet weahter is not suitable you will need to let me know.

Walking Rates
15 mins - $12.00
30 mins - $20.00
45 mins - $25.00
60 mins - $30.00

Discounts may be negotiated when booking your dog(s) in for long term, 4 + walks a week.

Includes lots of treats during and at the end of each walk!!