Greenwood / Phinney Ridge (Seattle) Sheepadoodle Homeowners and Housesitters Readying Home for Sitters

Scott just retired, Lisa will also within the next year. We’ve done international Airbnb, and have both hosted and surfed using Couchsurfing. We have a four year old female sheepadoodle named Ada.

Ada-related things I’m worried about for sitters include barking (loudly!) anytime she hears someone near our house, and unexpected lunges when on leash and surprised by a person, other dog, or squirrel. Any suggestions on how bad these behaviors are for sitters, and/or how to improve them?

Thinking of starting really local (in our neighborhood) housesitting just a few days at a time to see how it works, then later have others sit our house for a few days while we’re sitting others local, to see how trying to coordinate this works. Once we’ve figured that out we can start thinking about longer term sitting farther afield.

if you have critiques or suggestions please let us know!

How clean do I need to make our house before it’s OK for sitters? Should I arrange a deep cleaning service?

Last place we visited together - Atlin, British Columbia. This photo shows cross-country skiing on the 90-mile long lake ice:

Where we’d like to go next? Oaxaca, Mexico? African safari? Argentina?


Hi. You are already showing what a considerate homeowner you are by soliciting info in this forum. Many sitters will be really happy to know about your dog’s behaviors in advance. I’ve seen a number of posts where owners mention that their dog is reactive to other dogs or people, and how they handle it (anything from just blocking the dog’s view a bit while walking to walking the dog super early in the morning or late at night, to decrease the likelihood of running into many others out walking). If you mention it in your post, sitters are able to determine if they can handle it. Maybe a few sessions with a dog trainer too? Same for the barking. And you might mention if it is prolonged or just a few barks to notify you of someone in the area. We’ve had dogs that alerted (the Amazon delivery, mail etc.) with one or two barks. And we’ve owned a Chihuahua that barked for 10 minutes when the doorbell rang. As long as you are up front about it, sitters can make their own decisions.

Agree with everything @Harris2 said - and when you interview sitters, be sure to talk through your concerns with them to ensure you are both comfortable with how they’ll handle your pup. Mention the weight of your dog so they have a sense of how big/strong the leash pulling might be as well.

We had a strong ~65lb pitty mix on a sit that also lunged at other dogs/deer but if we used this lead with her, it was no problem and she just lunged once and then would settle because it stopped her:

Re: clean- we prefer clean sits, but I wouldn’t say at a “deep clean” level, but more at a “bi-weekly cleaners” level if that makes sense? The same clean you do before you have guests come over. (All surfaces/floors dusted and swept, bathrooms clean, rugs vacuumed.) In particular with COVID, that sense of clean has been even more important. We’ve appreciated having sanitary wipes to give surfaces a wipe down before we leave for the homeowners as well.

Welcome! I don’t have too much to add.
Your planning seems excellent.
I’m actually sitting in you general area in a few weeks - a week on Vancouver Island, then a week on Whidbey Island, then down to the east bay in Calif for a week. I like stringing sequential sits together.