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Dog sitting advice(2 Posts)
I am sitting a relatives dog at my own house. Ddog knows me very well and is attached to me affectionately, I visit frequently have spent a lot of time with him and he will always come straight to me out of everyone else to play or cuddle and follow me around so I felt quite confident to look after him although I have a cat I am home all day or DC are for the next couple of weeks but I usually work full time. I’ve looked after him before in his own home and he was very Barky very easily. Like triggered constantly to bark and hard to get to stop. He’s not allowed in most of the house due to urinating
Cat and dog are same age and have met a lot of times but not enough to exactly be ‘friends’
Obviously I don’t live with him usually and i know my relatives are really struggling with his behaviour mainly urinating and barking and nothing they have done has helped. They are out all day and don’t walk him (have a dog walker I think). I have always thought it could be anxiety as he seems anxious but also very affectionate and excitable and lovely natured.
Ddog is clearly really struggling with anxiety and it’s got much worse since he’s got older. Barking is noise reactive but seems anxious not aggressive. I tell him to stop and come indoors he will stop. Is jealous of Dcat coming near me but doesn’t get agressive, just anxious. Otherwise doesn’t pay cat any attention (unless cat approaches me). Won’t go outside in the garden unless I go too as is scared of me closing the door on him - at home he is put out in the garden alone and doesn’t seem to like it. Is happy on walks except if cars come along so likes quiet walks. If he sees another dog he will go mad dragging me to the dog and going OTT so I never let him off and always stop and stand still around another dog in case it ends badly. He urinated in my house within the first 10 mins but hasn’t done it again since. He is glued to my side at all times all day and night and cries if he can’t see me
What can i do to make him feel less anxious? And should I talk to my relative? It’s not my dog!
Firstly, you won't be able to fix these things in a fortnight, and yes, you need to speak to the owners as they're ultimately responsible for these things.
It does sound like there's some separation anxiety going on, as well as other anxieties. A couple of ideas spring to mind
- Adaptil can take the edge off things for anxious dogs; we use the plug in
- I would be praising him every time he goes for a wee outdoors, just like you would when house training a puppy (though it may be that urination is caused by the separation, not lack of house training).
- if he's trying to get to other dogs in a friendly wants to play sort of way, do you have any friends with suitable playmates? Here in South Wales we have a couple of indoor dog parks where you can let your dog off for off lead enclosed playtime with other dogs (Action Petz), and many other areas have enclosed private dog walking fields that you can hire where he can go off lead safely.
- a long line attached to a harness will give him more freedom and make it easier to tire him out while keeping him under control. I occasionally use one (if we might see sheep) and tbh DDog rarely wants to go further than the long line allows.
None of these are going to fix things in the long term but should hopefully make his stay with you more comfortable and enjoyable all round. For longer term things really his owners need to engage an APBC or CCAB accredited behaviourist.