Basic dog education

I am both a pet parent and a sitter on THS. When reading and experiencing sits, I am amazed at how many H.O’s do not invest in basic dog training (either via YouTube university or paying.) THS truly is a gift if you think of the larger picture- pets are happy, home is not vacant, etc,. yet this is just a request to other H.O’s from someone who’s seen the other side of the coin:

Please teach your beloved pups basic obedience commands, how to go outside/pads, etc. It will make your sitters and you so much happier if the pups aren’t pulling their arm off down the street, or peeing every five minutes after being walked. Basic dog obedience is really a gift to the dog themselves as it is a form of having leadership in the household. Heck, my dog is not perfect and I’m still working on it also, however, you yourself will notice such a better relationship with your own pups when they are given structure.

Ps. If it don’t apply, let it fly.


I totally agree, and feel it’s not at all fair on the puppy/dog to have had some training. I recently sat for a 5 month puppy and I was glad to leave after the 10 days. The owners hand bothered taking him to puppy training I think because they’d had so many dogs before, so assumed they knew what to do. However, it was clear they hadn’t spent the time - work gets in the way. That experience would make me give a wide berth to puppies in future, although lots of dogs haven’t been trained either :flushed:


I’m so sorry your last pup sit made you think twice about puppies. I completely understand. I had a sit (not on here) where the dog was treated as a king and allowed to chew on everything and anything without a single correction, time out, or any behavior modification. It was truly a mess. In many ways, people don’t like to think that they need help in certain areas or think they are too busy but it truly is an investment of well being for the dog and the household in the long run.

When proper behavior is established early the dog doesn’t get blamed or blacklisted for the “busyness” of the owners. There are so many resources now also… Online training, video lessons, etc. I bet most dogs that end up in shelters could’ve been prevented if the owners were less busy and more invested in the 10-15+ years a dog gives them.


Thank you for posting @Ckone2541 and I join you in saying to @Smiley that I’m sorry your puppy experience wasn’t a good one, knowing what an amazingly patient, experienced, dedicated and caring sitter you are, I can only imagine just how challenging the situation really was.

I’d like to share something very relevant from one of my pet parent/owners who is now a dear friend and whose adorable dog I frequently sit.

Casey is just special… no REALLY special. He’s 4 years old and every sitter he’s ever had falls head over heels with him.

He’s not only cute to look at but his soul wraps around your heart in a way that only Casey’s can and he is THE most well behaved and happy dog I have ever had the privilege to sit.

The last time I was with him I even called his breeder to see if she had an older dog who may have been in need of a home … :dog: :slightly_smiling_face:

When his Mom came home from her trip we were talking, me gushing about her boy and what an amazing job she had done by him … these were her words;

“Angela I can’t take credit for Casey, first it’s his caring and responsible breeding but most of all his trainer, I searched out the best I could find and she is the reason he’s such a happy and well adjusted dog. He had 6 weeks intensive training from the time he came home, prior to that his breeder began teaching him how to be a good boy from the start and I’ve taken up the baton and continue to this day, that was the making of Casey”

Now not everyone can afford to do what Casey’s Mom did but that’s not the moral of the story, the moral is a trained and well adjusted dog is a happy one.

Like children they need parameters, they need to learn how to be a good dog and it’s their family’s responsibility to teach them in whichever way they can and as you say @Ckone2541 today it’s much easier than ever before with so much help and advice available and your point about dogs ending up in shelters is sadly very valid.


I absolutely agree. A recent example is my sister-in-law’s new puppy. Well, he is now 15 months old, but when I looked after him when he was about 7 months old, I was amazed at how well he responded to me and how well he walked. Yes, they religiously committed to a training program, but it paid off! It was and is a pleasure to mind him.


@botvot @Ckone2541 @Smiley and here he is, Casey who I want to keep every time I’m with him.

I had my “adopted” daughter Sophie with me the last time and when we left to go to our next sit, she cried for two days saying “I miss Casey so much”


How adorable is Casey, I would just want to cuddle that face the whole day long. And this is Bruno from Germany:


That’s a lovely story and I’m happy to say I’m currently looking after perhaps the most well behaved dog I’ve ever had the pleasure to care for. She’s the dog I’ve mentioned, on another post, who lives outside. I just love her to bits and she’s definitely enjoying my attention and cuddles. I still can’t help feeling sad though that she’s in a shed from 5.30pm - 7am (hours of darkness as it’s winter here in Australia).


@Smiley, don’t feel badly I would be the same …

We cared for two hunting/working dogs in France who also lived outside, the sit was during the summer and we were able to spend most of the time outside with them. I have to admit to letting them put front paws on the kitchen floor when I was preparing their meals in the kitchen always abiding by the PP/Owner’s rules but it made me feel a little better seeing them “almost” in the house … they of course knew no different.

Life outside was their life and they were the happiest and most well cared for dogs imaginable … Mostly it was my need to humanize them. :dog: :dog: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I always try and add on some training while I am sitting a pet. Mainly because it is a bonding experience and the pets (mainly dogs) like it and at the same time, learn you are the boss. Even if the dogs are very well-behaved, I teach them one new thing. They love it too. Dogs want to learn!


I usually end up doing training with dogs we sit , the most common behaviour I come across is pulling on the leash. If the pet owner seems receptive I will let them know how I’ve worked with their dog but mostly it’s just to make my life easier on walks and it’s much more pleasant for the dogs not to be choking on the end of their collar/harness.


That’s great and I’ve had a go too but know the owners didn’t continue

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@Coloradical @DKNZ @Smiley
Might also be good to talk with the owners beforehand, if they’re happy for the sitter to train the dog or to teach them new tricks.

I f.ex. wouldn’t be thrilled, unless I knew it beforehand and also knew and approve with the methods the sitter was using. And even then, I most likely would not agree for the sitter to do any training. Teaching some tricks, maybe, if I knew their methods.

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Yes! Training is a vital part of a puppy/dog’s life, and it doesn’t end with puppyhood. Like humans, dogs benefit from having boundaries, being able to understand expectations, and life-long learning in a fun way. Training also opens up opportunities to a dog to go places, do things, meet people, etc. that they otherwise wouldn’t. I think it’s so important that if you can’t afford the time and money involved in training, you shouldn’t have a dog. Just like food and exercise, training should be considered part of the responsibility of dog ownership.

My dogs get SO excited when we park at the trainer’s place each week, and when it’s time to do our “homework” every day at home. They go out to dog-friendly stores with me a couple of times a week, and it always makes me sad when I run into people who tell me that their dog “could never do that” because of their bad behavior. They could… if they were trained. It’s also upsetting when people tell me how lucky I am to have such well-behaved dogs. Sure, genetics and the breeder’s efforts play a big role, but it’s also a lot of time and effort throughout their lives! The bonds that form are priceless, though, and they are a dream to have around the house.

I agree with @CatsAndDog that I would want a sitter to talk with me about teaching the dog new things first. Thanks to our excellent trainer, I’m very particular about what my dogs learn and how they learn it, so I’d probably prefer that a sitter just enjoy their company.