Nervous pooch

Hi, we have 3 dogs, one of which is very nervous and needs someone with lots of experience. Does anyone else have a similar requirement? How do you introduce your pets to sitters as this will be essential in our case?

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Great question and as a sitter I’m very interested in the suggestions having had to deal with one very nervous dog who refused to come into the house for 48 hours. Thank goodness he had a huge secure garden to wander around in.


Hi @Claire-R as @ElsieDownie says this is a great … and very important … question. Including all of the information in your listing regarding your dog’s needs and your expectations is key to having the right sitters apply. There are sitters with the experience your pet needs for its well being and your peace of mind.

There are helpful articles on the blog. You will find our community member’s advice and input extremely helpful. If his anxiety is extreme asking your vet’s advice is advisable also.

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I have done a few sits with nervous dogs. One in Yokohama, I was asked to arrive 2 days before the family left, which gave me and the dogs plenty of time to bond. If a dog can see a sitter interact with you and your family in familiar surroundings it is more likely to accept the sitter quite quickly.
On another short sit in Vietnam, I wasn’t able to spend long with the owner before she left, and told me a previous sitter had taken 2 days to get the dog to come out from under her bed! However, I just sat on the floor for a couple of hours and eventually the dog came to me and very quickly realised I was a friend.
Letting the sitter feed the dog rather than just leaving instructions, or showing them is another, maybe obvious, way to let a dog know you are going to be a friend.


Just thinking about what I wrote above. Some sitters may feel uncomfortable spending so long with the Homeowners and Homeowners may feel uncomfortable being in their own home with a stranger for a couple of days.
I never felt like that, and I don’t think the owners did either. I don’t do house sitting for accommodation only, or to be a tourist. The pets are a big part of why I do this.
If it is the best way to help an owner and pet to be there a couple of days early, that’s fine with me. If it is not ok for some sitters, then it is the wrong sit, there are others.