“Doo-Doo Guru” Marks 30 Years


“Doo-Doo Guru” marks 30 years

COLUMBUS, OH — He made a business out of picking it up for 10 years, and has spent another 20 years helping others do the same. The “it,” in this case, is dog poop. It was February of 1988 when Matthew (formerly Roy) Osborn first started his dog waste cleanup service. With almost no money, he was holding down two jobs to support a wife, a 3-year old daughter, and a baby on the way. Some people called him crazy. Danny Russell, an editor for Suburban News Papers, called him an “ideas man” and wrote, “He would be wasted on anyplace but the land of opportunity.”

At times he would encounter odd requests – yes, even odder than his usual business. Besides cleaning up after pet dogs in back yards and apartment complexes, he strayed into cleaning up after geese, cats, a horse, and even some monkeys. When an employee balked at a request to “take care of” a 55 gallon drum of dog waste and rainwater that a prospective customer had been accumulating for some years, Osborn took the job, saying “I wanted to be known as the service that would take care of this kind of problem. If they couldn’t call us to do it, who could they call?”

Over ten years he built the business from a mere idea into a successful enterprise serving hundreds of clients each week. He hired several employees to drive a fleet of pickup trucks around the county, cleaning up and disposing of literally tons of dog waste every month. People began hearing about it far from Ohio and Osborn was receiving calls from people across the country, asking him how to get into the business for themselves. To meet the demand for these requests, the self-styled “entremanure” began writing a how-to manual.

In 1998 Osborn sold the scooping service and self-published his book, “The Professional Pooper-Scooper: How to Start Your Own Low-Cost, High-Profit Dog Waste Removal Service.”

The complete startup guide.

A year after publishing his book he was dubbed “America’s Doo-Doo Guru” in the book “Nice Job! The Guide to Cool, Odd, Risky and Gruesome Ways to Make a Living,” (Lookout Media, Ten-Speed Press).

He gained attention from far and wide and was featured in an article on the front page of the Los Angeles Times,  which called his how-to manual for pooper scoopers, “the bible of the business.” There was even international coverage, including a telephone interview with the BBC in London, and a story in a German newspaper, as well as many newspapers and radio shows in the United States. In 2001 Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition, compared him (even if slightly tongue-in-cheek) to Thomas Edison and called him “… a visionary, a magnate… a prophet — at least he succeeded in turning a profit in the pet waste removal business.”

The pooper-scooper turned author reckons he has sold “a few thousand” books over the years and says, “It’s very gratifying when people tell me how their lives have changed because of what I do, like the woman who was living in her car and built a successful business because of this. Or another woman who told me that she had couldn’t find a job but was able to do this to provide for her family, and even buy a home and put her daughter through college. It feels really good to hear those stories.”

Osborn has provided free advice for many active and prospective dog waste removal technicians and for people getting into any other kind of small business over the years, and “Give a little” is among the principles he advises in his essay, 15 Perennial Profit Principles.   A few of the other entrepreneurial guidelines that he considers timeless are:  #2: Know your stuff; #3: Do what you say;  and #4: Underpromise and Overdeliver, because “It’s always better to be pleasantly surprised than to be disappointed.”

15 Perennial Profit Principles

I believe that there are certain basic principles of business that will continue to be of infinite value to all business people both now and into the future, just as they have been in the past.  – Matthew Osborn

How I Became a Professional Pooper-Scooper

As this “entremanure,” “ideas-man,”  or simply a person who has “always been interested in new and different ideas” says on page of his web site where he tells his story,    “As nice as it is to have some cash, and a deal worth nearly a quarter-million dollars, one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had is to complete a project that I knew could work while just about everybody around me laughed at the idea. They must have thought I was nuts back then!

“For me a great source of satisfaction is to create new realities out of ideas. To solve problems and make things happen.

“If you’re the kind of person who likes to make things happen rather than just take whatever comes along in life, I wish you all success.”

Matthew Osborn
E-mail Matthew@pooper-scooper.com

Waste Stations Improve Public Areas and Trails

“Earlier this month Marin supervisors approved a contract for a pet waste removal service they’ve used before to scour our open spaces twice a week to clean up after dog owners and walkers who can’t — dare I say won’t — pick up after their dogs.  … emptying and relining dog waste cans by the open space gates, and restocking the dispensers holding biodegradable pet waste bags.”

Tidy Turf Pet Waste Removal of Sonoma, California was awarded the job of helping to keep the trails and open spaces of Marin clean, beautiful, pleasant and healthful.

“It’s not an easy job,” said Brian Sanford, Marin Open Space District superintendent.

Read the full article by Vicki Larson, at the Marin Independent Journal, here: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyle/20171113/its-a-crappy-job-but-someone-has-to-do-it

It’s a crappy job but someone has to do it



The Privileging of Pets

People are spending more and more money on pets, increasingly regarding them as members of the family, substitutes for children, or even as companions superior to human beings.   As professionals in the pet care industry, pooper-scoopers must be aware not only of the depth of feeling that people have toward their animals for a number of positive reasons, but also that one of the things they love about their dogs compared to people is the trustworthiness and reliability they find in their furry companions.

This is why it is so important for those who own and manage dog waste removal services to be sensitive to the needs of their clients, provide “no questions asked” satisfaction guarantees with free re-cleaning of yards, ease of setting up service, and above all – reliability and dependability.

This article examines the issue of why “pet humanisation trends continue to accelerate” and why some people would rather trust their animals than other people.  As  writes at The Guardian,  “Who can blame us for anthropomorphising animals when it’s becoming harder to have faith in actual human beings?”


We treat our pets as people. Is it because it’s getting harder to have faith in humans?


People Want to Spend More Money on Pets

Always give the customer the option to spend more money, because lots of them want to.

“The trend to treat dogs like children is becoming increasingly popular,” added Jancy Ulch of K. Sutherland PR. Ulch represents both Bella & Beau and Planet Dog, both of which cater to humans who seek to give their pets special treats.

“This may be due to the growing population of young, working professionals who aren’t quite ready for children, but still want something to spoil and love,” Ulch continued.

Read more at SupermarketNews.com:

Humanization of pets drives spending


You + Dog + Yoga = Doga

It’s axiomatic in the pet industry that anything that can be sold for people can be sold for dogs. The trend of dog lovers increasing the amount of money they spend to express their love of dogs and include them as family members continues.  It is a good time to be in a business that helps people with their dogs.

Read the story by  Claudia Romeo at BusinessInsider.com:

Dog yoga is London’s latest fitness trend aimed to help you bond with your pet


Is it Time to Hire Help?

A recent article at Dogtec.org has some useful ideas for scoopers who are running up against the limits of their time.

“Most dog service businesses are one-person affairs. If you run one, you know what it’s like to juggle a multitude of tasks and wear too many hats at once: Trainer/walker/sitter/daycare or boarding operator, administrative assistant, marketing manager, bookkeeper, accountant, customer service rep, even janitor.
We find in our business consulting work and when on the road speaking at conferences and seminars that many dog pros are exhausted by the pressure of keeping up—or the stress of not being able to. When we suggest hiring some help, the reaction is often shock. “Oh, I couldn’t do that. I can’t afford it.” The question is, “Can you afford not to?”

You can afford it. Really.”

READ MORE at http://dogtec.org/articles/hiring-you-deserve-some-help

FREE Business Manual – Start Your Own Pooper-Scooper Service

Hey, it’s FREE. No cost, no kidding.

Over the years I’ve had so many requests for information that I finally put it all down on paper. And some years after that I put it all into a snazzy E-Book that you can download right now! Complete details about operations, office prodecures, actual samples of successful marketing materials, distilling my own decade of experience in starting up from almost nothing and building a successful, thriving, well-liked and PROFITABLE dog waste removal service business.

If you think you might find opportunity, you’ll find my startup manual is a tool to speed your success and increase your satisfaction.

Matthew Osborn

3D Print Your Own Pet Toys and Novelties

With the increased availability and lowering prices of 3D printers, professional scoopers can now make a wide variety of very specialized items for the office, or for use in your vehicles, advertising specialties, and pet toys with the animal’s name or your company logo on them.

“3D printers can now be used to print a variety of pet products, toys and accessories. Name plates, hamster wheels, dog bones and bird perches are just a few of the endless array of items that are aptly suited for production using a 3D printer. ”

See this Article by by  at 3DPrint.com


3D Printing for Pet Products

The Pet Industry is Good for People, Too

“According to that study, pet owners visit their doctors less frequently. Additionally, dog owners who walk their pets at least five times a week have a lower incidence of obesity.

This measure of the benefits of dog ownership equals $250 per year of savings, on average…”

Mike Bober writes about the benefits to society in general that accrue in part to the responsible animal care promoted by the pet industy in this article in Pet Business magazine: