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Questions to ask dog sitter when we visit.

(6 Posts)
hennipenni Tue 06-Nov-12 15:12:44

we need to go away for a couple of nights in Dec. Our puppy will be 7months old by then, not reliably house trained - has the odd accident which the dog sitter is aware about. We were advised to go with a dog sitter as the puppy is quite nervous around people and other dogs so we thought he'd be better with just one person, being looked after in the dog sitters house with her elderly dog rather than in kennels with lot's of staff and dogs etc.

What should we being asking her when we visit?
many thanks

SpicyPear Tue 06-Nov-12 16:30:40

It depends on your dog but I use a couple of sitters and things I discussed with them were:
- exit management and outdoor supervision (even if he's not usually into escape artistry, I worry about my nervous girl trying to bolt for home)
- where in the house they are allowed (rooms and furniture) and maintaining consistency with your usual boundaries
- how often and how long they will be left home alone for and where
- arrangements for separating the dogs to give them their own space if necessary, when home, at night and when out
- plans for walk

I also wouldn't put a dog like yours into kennels but I actively placed my nervous girl with a family with two older children to help with her socialisation. But it depends on the level of distress this would cause your dog and whether he displays any fear aggression. It did her a lot of good.

hennipenni Tue 06-Nov-12 17:54:00

Thank you spicypear, there's a few questions you mentioned that I hadn't thought about blush (well most of them actually).

I don't think he shows any fear aggression, he just hides behind me if faced with something he doesn't like or is unsure of, but has recently had a couple of bad experiences with big bouncy young dogs wanting to play with him which scared him.

He is much better than he was when we first got him and is now starting to approach people he's familiar with as long as he can approach them in his own time, they don't approach him and he has his 'safe' place to hide in when it all gets to much for him(despite being told by one well meaning dog owner that we should stop him going into his safe place now and try to push him forwards to meet and greet people - surely this is wrong?)

SpicyPear Tue 06-Nov-12 18:10:34

Oh gosh yes very wrong! He should be allowed to go to and stay in his safe place when he needs to. Pushing him towards people and not allowing him to hide would almost certainly make it worse. This Victoria Stillwell article on the risks 'flooding' a nervous dog.

Scuttlebutter Tue 06-Nov-12 18:43:35

Home boarders are usually licensed by your local Council. Ask if they are currently licensed, how long they have been licensed and if you can see any previous inspection reports. Make a quick call to your local Council to confirm.

Ask about public liability insurance, and discuss with them your vets details, your vet insurance, and how vet treatment would be authorised/paid for in the event of an emergency.

Agree about behavioural consistency, security of garden and house and maybe specifying on lead walks only for that weekend. Don't forget to make sure his ID tag has your mobile number on it rather than a landline, in case he gets lost.

hennipenni Wed 07-Nov-12 21:11:55

Thanks scuttle, hadn't thought about mobile number on his tag.

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