Done sitting dogs

I have officially stopped accepting dog sits. I want to make it clear that I do believe that most pet owners are responsible. However if they happen to be part of the minority, it won’t matter so much if the pets are cats. But if you’ve ever tried to walk a dog who is completely untrained and uncontrollable or had to deal with an owner who asks you to let their dog roam and then makes you spend hours looking for it without so much of a sorry or thank you, you know what I’m talking about. Some people just don’t know their dog well and/or underestimate how they will behave with someone they don’t know suddenly being in charge. It’s also easy to underestimate how dangerous the situation can get when the dog in question is over 100 lbs. I love dogs but I don’t want to be (or feel) responsible for any person or animal getting hurt and I am no longer willing to take that chance.



Are you posting this to vent your anger, for responses or guidance?


We’ve only done one dog sit on THS & she was a very placid well trained 10 year old Collie whose owner went into very good detail about personality, routine & any quirks. My other sits are cats & repeat sits for the Collie I mentioned. Since being on the forum I’ve been much more aware when looking at sits with dogs to pick up as many clues about behaviour before even applying & reading sitter reviews carefully. Originally we felt our previous dog ownership experience was a good base but there’s a massive difference between your own dogs and those you have no prior experience of their behaviours or level of training. I totally agree it’s a huge responsibility- we regularly care for a dog through Borrow My Doggy Scheme - he requires a lot of attention & focus to the point that when we have him we would never leave him alone in the house, fortunately he travels well & is good on a lead. However I want more flexibility on THS when we are away so am really careful when reviewing dog sits to check they are not reactive, good lead walkers, can travel places with us and/or could be left for short periods.


Everyone has a final straw moment and it can often be triggered by a very a simple thing…. but is often indicative of an underlying build up of multiple layers of small things. We all need to able to say no in our lives to a range of things that impact us negatively but sometimes we need to say it loud and publicly so that we can see it in writing and to reinforce an important decision.
Setting boundaries for ourselves and maintaining them is a liberating personal power.
Well done :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I would say its just sharing my experience and maybe offering some advice to new sitters. I’m not angry. Just wiser than I was a few years ago. It’s easy to dismiss how dangerous an out of control bigger dog can be to both people and pets. I realize that I was naive about that and I’m hoping it might help someone to realize things I didnt earlier on.


So true and so beautifully said.


Just i saw virtually the same post earlier in the week, i presume it was yourself.
Seeing it again had me confused

I’ve sat roughly 50 percent dogs and 50 percent cats.

Some dogs were better behaved than others, but all sweet. The toughest ones were both year-olds and I won’t sit them that young again, simply because they require a lot of attention and that’s a lot to juggle with my telecommuting.

I’ve intentionally never sat dogs bigger than I can reasonably carry or control if triggered. That’s to keep them and me safe, and probably others, because if I couldn’t control a dog, maybe it could hurt bystanders or such as well.

I love dogs and cats and will continue to sit both, but only within my abilities.


That is very wise. There are plenty of sweet well behaved dogs and good consciencious owners out there. Unfortuantely it only takes one bag experience to make you think twice.


I’m glad you posted your experience. It’s a good reminder for me to not be swayed if a lovely sit turns up but there are flags I know to avoid.


Yes. I am also a bit hesitant with large dogs. Especially when they are rescue dogs.

But then there are the small and cute cat-sized dogs like Maltezers etc. That is a totally different experience. (If only for their rabbit-size waste…)


@Boulette I hear you. I stopped dog sitting about 2 years ago b/c dogs in general, but mostly loud, active dogs were too much for my nervous system. I had multiple large dogs who did not know how to walk on a leash, lunged feverishly at other dogs and barked uncontrollably at passersby or even the TV.

I also found that many dog owners did not have a yard and required minimmaly 4 walks or mini outings a day to go potty, which I also disliked.

So I don’t do dogs anymore for MULTIPLE reasons and I understand where you’re coming from. There are many wonderful & responsible dog owners, but in my experience (sitting since 2019) most of them are poorly trained, loud and high maitenance. Even 1 owner, when I had to “breakup” with them as sitting clients, she said her 2 large dogs also drove her crazy and she totally understood why I couldn’t sit for them anymore!

Yes, I want all animals to have a safe and happy home, even if that means no yard and maybe untrained. But, I don’t want to sit for them and that’s our right to decide :slight_smile:
Do your thing and you’ll be much happier! We love cat sitting!


@KellySue_Nate We have two sweet cats that would enjoy meeting you one day! :smiley_cat:


Thank you Christine. Thats how I look at it too. The bad experiences are the best teachers :slightly_smiling_face:

Absolutely. Its a different dynamic. With the smaller dogs you tend to worry about them. With the larger ones you worry about their surroundings more. As well as being concerned for their well being of course.


Thank you for the great reply, KellySue. Very well said. I think in the end we are grateful for what it taught us about ourselves and our own personal preferences and limits. It’s so great to have a place to exchange on such topics because it’s easy to feel guilty or inadequate in a sit that doesn’t go as we expected. And, understandably, most of us would not share our feelings about it with the pet parent. To each their own in the end. One thing I have also learned through my experiences is that as much as I love dogs, I would not want to own one at this stage of my life. It’s almost like having children and mine are all grown up and I have no desire to start over :smile:.


Yes! Every sit I do reminds me that, much as I love dogs, I don’t want one of my own. I actually think that anyone who is considering getting a dog should do a few sits first, as it’s only by living the day-to-day that you realise just how much input they require. I’m sure that some get by on relatively little, but in order to really thrive and live happy and fulfilled lives without developing behavioural issues, most need a lot of time and effort. The rewards are great, but I’m happy to enjoy those rewards in short stints! Currently enjoying some lovely rewards courtesy of this gorgeous little hound…


@Maggie8K I’m with you on the under-1-year-olds. I’ll also be avoiding any that were born after 2019 as I’m also noticing that dogs acquired during lockdown are not as well trained, which on one hand is surprising because I’d have assumed that the owners would have more time to train, but on the other hand there was less opportunity for puppy socialising plus maybe people unaccustomed to dog-ownership decided to get one (or more!)


I always ask if the dogs have been neutered/spayed as we had one sit where both dogs came in to season at the same time :weary:


I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case with dogs adopted during the pandemic, but I’ve sat mostly dogs who are older or whom were adopted before then.

I did sit a youngish dog who was maybe damaged during the pandemic. Her human said she stopped wanting to go on walks then, becoming scared. By the time I sat her, she was taking an anxiety pill daily and stayed home and in her backyard. It was a small urban yard, but she happily did her business and spent time looking for squirrels or such. She liked to have toys tossed and chased them indoors. And she was clearly very much loved and well taken care of.

Her human said I could try taking her out, but she probably wouldn’t want to go. Sure enough, I tried once and she heard another dog as we were on the outside stairs going down one story and she started shaking in fear and wouldn’t budge. I didn’t force her, so we ended up never walking during our sit. She was perfectly sweet and well behaved otherwise, though.

Her human would occasionally drive her to the beach for walks, but I didn’t have a car during the sit. Otherwise, I would’ve tried to take her. It was a shame that she didn’t like walking normally, because her neighborhood was prime for that.