Co-owner Erin Seavey says new name of retail shop and dog walking service reflects the fact that “we’re using Mount Tam as the backdrop for everything we believe in for people and their pets.”

Like many Mill Valley business owners, when Erin Seavey and Dave Tint sought inspiration for their newly expanded and newly named business, they simply looked up – to Mount Tamalpais.

In mid-July, the pair are launching Mt. Tam Dog Company at 6 Miller Ave., where Seavey has owned the Alpha Dog retail shop for more than two years. The new moniker is a reflection of an expanded business that includes a dog walking service and sees the Sleeping Lady as its muse and its playground.

“We’re using Mount Tam as the backdrop for everything we believe in for people and their pets,” says Seavey, a Marin native who grew up in Novato. “We’re all about the health and fitness of dogs, love of the great outdoors. On the mountain’s hiking trails, we have the ability to be out in nature with our dogs.”

Under the new model, Seavey is the “den mother” of the retail shop and Tint is the “pack leader” of the dog walking business.

Tint, a Tiburon resident who’s been walking dogs for years, says he’s “all about bringing accountability to the dog walking business,” namely by using GPS to map out every route he takes dogs on – mostly fire roads – allowing clients to know “where your dog has been and what kind of exercise they had.” The dog walking service will include a maximum of six dogs at a time, on leash, primarily on fire roads.

Clients can also have input into the process, as Tint has categorized all of the trails he uses just like ski resorts do with ski trails, from “bunny slopes to double black diamonds.”

“I always tell people that my job wouldn’t be the same if I lived in Texas,” he adds.

That focus on accountability, Tint says, was inspired by its antithesis: he recalls seeing dog walkers with 10 dogs at a time in San Francisco, sitting on a bench and drinking a latte while the dogs scurried about.

As for the retail shop, Seavey says longtime Alpha Dog customers will still be able to find their favorites, especially custom doggie beds and custom collars. But they’ll also notice a clear shift toward being an “mini REI for dogs and people,” with a heavy emphasis on dog products like travel food bowls, doggie boots for the desert and life jackets for four-legged seafarers.

“We’re all about reflecting an outdoor passion for nature and staying fit, both for dogs and people,” Seavey says.

The 411: Alpha Dog retail shop will close on July 9, and Mt. Tam Dog Company plans to reopen one week later. 6 Miller Avenue. 415.389.6500. Click here for more info.

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