Dog that needs introduction

I have a dog that you MUST be introduced to in order to sit. Once she meets you and knows it is ok, she is fine. Thankfully we have never had an otherwise and don’t want to. Is it OK to require an introduction to the pets?
I would explain it in the invite.


Hello @doghouse and welcome to the Forum!
This is a valid question and one which is specific to each pet owner. As long as you are very clear in your listing about the prior ‘meet and greet’ then it should be agreeable to anyone who applies.
This does limit your range of sitters, location wise. It would require someone who lived nearby or was in your area for an extended period so that the initial meeting was possible.

Thank you for posting. We look forward to seeing you back here with updates on a successful connection!
Karen S and the Forum Team

1 Like

I insist on meeting a dog in the presence of the homeowner. Period. I’ve had only one time that I’ve made an exception, but it was because the HO did a video tour and showed me her positively mellow sweet old lump of fur dog.

I LOVE DOGS … Even the breeds that people say are inherently troublesome or dangerous…but even the best most well-behaved dog can be weird with strangers and possessive and protective of their homes.

1 Like

If you mean the sitter should come on the day you leave but before you are already away, that is completely fine and we almost always do it this way. If you need someone to come beforehand, it’s best to state that expectation very clearly in the first 1-3 sentences (in the listing as well as invites). It’s usually not the dogs that need introduction, but more often than not HOs want to meet in person on the day they leave (which is also really preferable to us).

It is fine to require this but the best way to do it whilst keeping a large pool of sitters is to add a day to your dates before you leave and ask your sitters to arrive a day early.

If you were thinking more that you want sitters to pop in a few days before the sit starts to say hello and meet your dog then you are likely only to get applications from very local sitters


Spot on. I’ve only had it happen once and it worked out but lesson learned.

I think its fine as long as clear request in profile, no sitter should have an issue with it.
We’ve had a complete mix of doggy intros from arriving the day before to meeting up months early to finding a key under a pot plant and letting ourselves in as the owner (who we’ve never met) has already left. Whatever works best we accommodate :slight_smile:

1 Like

It works both ways. I also need an introduction. The idea of barging into somebody’s house (territory) without any prior introduction makes me most uncomfortable. Thank goodness it has only happened once but strangely enough that also was the only time I had a bit of a problem. On a couple of occasions, the cat tried to bite my ankles. Typically I arrive one day earlier.

1 Like

Hello @Doghouse and welcome to the Community Forum. As a previous homeowner and now sitter, I feel it is of very important to meet both the owner and the pet(s) prior to the sit. This doesn’t necessarily mean a day before UNLESS the owner is leaving early in the morning where there would be no time for initial introduction. I feel it is important for many reasons, most importantly the pet(s) but also a thorough walkthrough of a home, especially if there are any quirks in the home. You can have a list of items that are necessary to do but there is usually something that is a little confusing and face to face explanations make a great deal of sense.
As far as pets are concerned, I could never imagine springing myself on an unsuspecting animal in their domain. Not only could this be frightening for them, but also they might be territorial to their home and it’s belongings. I think it’s best they meet you, sniff your hands, legs, luggage, etc., so when mom and dad leave they are not confused as to what is happening. The only exception to this rule would be if they are seasoned pets who are used to having different people in their home all the time.

1 Like

I had this situation a few months ago.

I am a full-time sitter and decided to travel to Bali at the end of last year. I applied for a sit over Christmas, and although I communicated with the owner before travelling, she insisted that any sitter MUST be in Bali before she would confirm the sit, and MUST be able to meet the dog at least a couple of times before she travelled. There were a few applications, but due to visa and travel restrictions back then, I was the only person able to fit all her requirements.
The dog was a rescue, a big Bali Kintamani - and very protective of the owner. I eventually met her 4 times before the sit, twice at her home and twice on walks on the beach. He was great on the beach, just ignored me, but at the house, he was very wary.

But in the end, after a couple of days, he realised that it was me that was feeding him and walking him, and we ended up having a great 2 months together!

The house had a cleaner, gardener and pool man twice a week, and I had to take the dog for his walk when they appeared, it was coordinated so that they all arrived at the same time! He didn’t like them - especially the gardener :rofl: :joy: :sweat_smile:

So it did work ok in the end, but if I had not been in Bali, the owner would probably not have travelled, so it does limit your choices.


I usually come the day before to meet the dog(s) but on my second sit the HOs left and I arrived a few hours later. The 2 dogs were sleeping on the couch when I walked in. They looked up at me, then went back to sleep.
Maybe I’m lucky, but I’ve never had a dog take more than 15 minutes to decide I’m okay.
I am doing a 3 week sit in London Aug-Sept. The HO asked if we could meet in advance and since I was very nearby on a sit in May, I stopped in and met the 2 dogs, 2 cats and HO.


We’re with our second dog whilst being with THS as owners and have preferred to invite the sitter the day before we travel to allow our dogs to see we are relaxed and comfortable with the guests in the house, to walk with them round the neighbourhood/local dog park etc and to give us peace of mind that the sitter is going to be ok in our house.

Our last dog was aggressive to other dogs outside the house despite being completely the opposite indoors. Knowing our sitters were ok with that was key to us having a relaxing trip.
Our present dog is a rescue, 4 years old and we’ve had him for 5 months. He is not keen on visitors to the house, a problem we are working on changing. So, We met our sitter outside the house with our dog and following the guidance from our behaviourist, our sitter went inside before our dog. This happened last night and he and our sitter are getting on nicely.

It’s important to us that we have that extra time for sitter to meet our dog, and we talk about that before confirming, usually account for that in the published dates.


We have only had one sit where we arrived on the property without having met the dog and with the owner not being there.

I have to admit we were a little nervous (even though it was a labrador), as you just never know how they will behave.

We brought along lots of treats to distract the dog while we dug the key out from under the pot plant and let ourselves into the house! Thankfully it all worked out ok but I would prefer not to do it that way again.

If possible I try to meet the dog a few days prior to the sit. With international sits we often stay with the HO the night before they leave so we have all have plenty of time to get to know each other.

Welcome to the forum @TheDockers and thank you for sharing valuable feedback with other members. Before I say anything else have to totally agree… “Milo is just full-time cute” :star_struck:

As a sitter it’s always very reassuring to hear from owners who have really considered socialisation and especially with rescues where the handover can be more involved than with the family friendly lab for instance :slight_smile: We ourselves won’t accept dog sits without having that time with owners for all the reasons you state in your first paragraph. We learn so much about our charges in that time spent together, and it’s especially important (we think) when caring for rescues.

We say this over and over here on the forum, that communication is key… it really is, and not disclosing any information about pets and their individual needs is a recipe of potential problems. Sounds like you have really thought through your meet, greet and handovers and that will benefit everyone… not least of all Milo!

All the best, Vanessa