House Sitting Dogs For Friends – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
OR, if you are out of this area, inquire about a telephone or e-Lesson
Are you considering house sitting your friend’s dogs? Here are some things to know…
Good With Dogs? Are you someone that is good with dogs? In other words, are you comfortable being around dogs? Do you enjoy being with dogs and caring for them? If so, then you might be doing the right thing. If not, then it might not be a good experience for you or the dogs. Dogs can pick up on how you feel about them, and if you don’t care for them, then for some dogs, they will act wary or disrespectful of you. And if you really don’t want the responsibility of caring for someone else’s dogs, will you do a good job or just the bare minimum? If you really don’t want to do it, then be honest, and say you would rather not do it.
Are You Old Enough? My experience is that younger people don’t make good caretakers or house sitters for dogs. The dogs don’t get the proper care, feeding, exercise or clean up. I don’t think people under 18 years old should be caring for someone else’s dogs. And the person most likely to be attacked by a dog is a 10 year old child. So, if you are a parent reading this, then you should not let your kids house sit or care for someone else’s dogs while they are away. I’ve seen numerous dogs, over the years, neglected by kids who were hired to house sit them.
Do You Know What To Do? Do you have a plan if the dog gets sick or injured? Do you have a written authorization to get the dog to the veterinarian, and have the owner’s credit card on hand to pay for any treatments? What if something happens to you, do you have a back up plan? What do you know about these dogs and their behavioral problems? Do these dogs know you? Is the place you are going to house sit set up in such a way to prevent escapes (lots of dogs escape from house sitters). Do you know how to give these dogs commands? Do you know how to feed, supervise, exercise, and play with these dogs? Do you know if these dogs will accept strangers, or your friends? Are these dogs healthy, and if not, do you know how to give them medications? Do you know how to feed a dog properly, to keep them clean, etc? Do you know how to prevent them from being destructive? Do you know how to play with them? Do you know what to do if they won’t obey your commands? Are you familiar with what to do with dogs when it is hot, cold, or raining, or a windstorm is approaching, etc? Do you know how to potty these dogs and how to clean that up? Do you know how to inspect the home to make sure it is still safe for the dogs when you leave? Do you know what kinds of toys are safe and which ones aren’t?
Are These Dogs Aggressive? I know of dogs that got in terrible dog fights while the owners were away. I know of a situation where 2 Weimaraner got in a horrible dog fight that lasted over 20 minutes. The dogs were horribly injured and required hundreds of stitches. The house sitters were helpless to stop the fight. You read regularly of house sitters being attacked by the dogs they are house sitting… it happens all too frequently. House sitters have been mauled, and some killed, by aggressive dogs. Is the dog friendly with the owners around, but then going to be aggressive towards you when they are gone? Are you aware that an aggressive dog isn’t going to allow you to administer any corrections of its behavior? Aggressive dogs will guard food bowls, toys, and certain places in the home. Aggressive dogs might let you in the home, but not allow you to leave. Is this a fearful dog? Fearful dogs can attack if they feel cornered. Fearful dogs will attack if you try to get them out from under furniture, out of the yard, from out of a crate or kennel, and so forth. Aggressive dogs can escape and attack another animal or person. Are you sure this is a dog you can handle and manage?
House sitting dogs can be fun, and you can make a few bucks doing it. But, if you aren’t prepared, or are with the wrong dog, it can turn into a tragedy.
If you are unsure, then hiring a professional dog trainer to give you and the owner advice is a good idea. A plan can be devised, and the risks minimized, so that everyone, including the dogs, benefit.