We’ve never used this site before as our dog and cats have always gone to kennels/ cattery but it’s recently closed.
My question is, am I likely to get a sitter with a deliquent dog ? Actually, she is lovely, but she has some annoying tendencies, being a collie. We would need someone who is aware of collie traits. She will lunge at cars or vans at times, trying to herd them . At other times, she takes no notice. She would chase sheep if she managed to get in a field, but thank fully this hasn’t happened since she was a puppy, now 8. She hates other dogs after a couple of bad experiences, squeeling like a banshee if they come towards her. She’s fine with dogs she knows. If she happens to be off lead on a walk and a surprise dog appears, she’s usually ok. But this means, we tend to walk in quiet spots, and turn away from on oncoming dogs, making sure she’s on her lead. It’s usually other owners that are the problem!
On the plus side, she’s endlessly affectionate, doesn’t suffer from anxiety so can be left. She’s no problem at night. She has good recall. If you throw a ball for her, she’ll love you forever.
Am I likely to get any sitters? We also have three lovely cats.
Sorry for the long post, thanks
A warm welcome to the forum and our wonderful community of experienced members.
When you do join, I would put in a lot of detail, as you have here, on your listings so that sitters know exactly what to expect. I really do believe you will find the right sitters to help you. We also have sitters who have experience with collies, so I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
I am sure you will get some comments from our more experienced sitters here too.
If you have other specific questions, do use the spyglass at the top right hand side, to search. The various threads have lots of valuable information.
@Julsie I am sure you will get sitters if you are as honest in your listing as you are here! We are sitters and for us its so important that owners accurately descibe their pets behaviour, disclosing anything unusual or that needs attention.
We’ve done sits where the dogs have, for example;
Exhibited strange/usual behaviour,
are agressive with other dogs,
chew everything in sight,
pull very excessively on the lead,
are on special medication,
near end of life etc etc
all things NOT disclosed before the sit and at times caused us unexpected stress!
My husband and I pretty flexible and adaptable but we do like to know what we’re getting into!! Its also respectful, and correct, to be upfront- we feel misled if there are nasty surprises-
and you are also more likely to get the right sitters- who can handle your dog well.
Some sitters actually choose more complex dogs or these simply have the right skills for them.
E.g my husband is a bit of a dog whisperer! We were told before a recent sit that one of the dogs would frequently jump the stair gate to get upstairs so they had an extra high barricade to help prevent this. We arrived (after the hosts had left) to find the barricade on the floor and the dog on her way back downstairs! Hubby got straight on the case and cast his spell over her! In the week we were there she never tried to go upstairs, not even if the gate was open! She was as good as gold! But it certainly helped to arrive prepared!
If we were to sit for you, with the info you’ve given, we would probably not let your dog off the lead at all on our watch- too risky without knowing her well- but if possible/available would happily use an extendable lead
Hi. I think as long as you are very upfront about the behaviors and fears she has, you will be able to find a sitter. In fact, disclosing everything will help you get a sitter best suited to deal with the issues. As Lokstar said, there are some sitters that are absolute dog whisperers.
If possible, I would suggest that the sitters can either not walk her (if you have a yard she can use) or have them keep her on a lead the entire time. Maybe have the sitters meet you the day before the sit and go on a walk with you, so that they can observe the behavior firsthand?
Yes, I would’nt like nasty surprises either! I did pet-sitting myself years ago and had a few.
If anything, I’m probably too honest and made her sound worse than she is! She’s fine off the lead going across the fields where there are some lovely walks. She is in heaven when having a run.
Thanks for your reply, you give me hope
Hi @Julsie, welcome to the forum. From your description, your collie sounds as if you have a border collie (I’m from the US and we usually refer to them as border collies). I have a border collie and we experience many of the same tendencies as you do. I am both a sitter and a homeowner, and in my welcome guide, I put all her little traits, such as the ones you mention, and I also include a link to a website that talks about border collies and their “delightful differences”. When I confirm a sitter, I send them my welcome guide immediately and I tell them that if they find anything in the welcome guide that doesn’t sit quite well with them, they can discuss it with me and we can come to a work around, or they are welcome to cancel with no hard feelings. I think you’ll find plenty of border collie lovers here on THS, but as others mention, it is important to be up front and communicate openly about your dog and what the sitter will experience while caring for your home and dog.
As @Lokstar mentioned, I too, would never walk your dog off lead for fear of losing her. With our dog, we have a fenced in yard and a frisbee or ball thrown out there can result in as many hours of joy for our dog as the sitter is willing to put in.
Firstly, I agree with your sentence above!!!
You have received some very positive responses, but, as an experienced sitter, I feel that I must add some reality.
There are so many listings with perfectly behaved dogs, that you are narrowing suitable applicants.
In addition, I never apply for sittings with more than 2 cats and other sitters may feel the same.
You may see from other threads, that the location and house is so important and that is something else that will be taken into consideration from a sitter’s point of view.
When joining, there is a period of time where you can request your subscription to be returned if you do not find a sitter. I do not know the details but this may be a way forward for you. You should be able to find the details on the site, otherwise one of the moderators will be able to assist. I note that @Therese-Moderator has already read your thread.
I honestly think you’re going to be fine. A big turnoff for quite a few sitters are dogs that can’t be left alone, making it very difficult to explore the local area when the dog can’t be taken with everywhere. Sounds like that’s not a problem for you.
Border collies…yes, they have their quirks. I used to walk a collie as a teenager - got used to the peculiarities. I’m sure plenty of others on this site as well. In the country I live in for example, border collies have become very popular. And honestly, I’ve seen plenty of sits advertised with much more demanding dogs on this website.
Re cats - someone here said they don’t apply for sits with more than 2 cats. That’s an interesting one. Plenty of Home Owners on this site with 3 cats, sometimes more. And yes, I personally don’t find it very different to look after 2 or 3 cats. The most I’ve done was 7 cats at a time in a small apartment, but Ok…that was a bit much!
On the homeowner side, I haven’t had any issues getting sitters with a difficult dog! Mine sounds a tad older and slower than yours, but she’s still dog reactive and reserved with people. I make sure to state that up front in my listing, and I always have a video call with prospective sitters to talk more about what behaviors to expect from my dog and the parameters of her personal space/triggers.
It’s so important that a sitter knows what they’re getting into, and I do err on the side of honesty and making her sound worse than she really is. So far, everyone has done very well with my dog, and it has seemed like some sitters actually really enjoyed her! I think you and your delinquent will do just fine
If only all home owners were as honest as you about their dogs, so thank you for that & I’m sure that will be a great help in attracting the right sitters. She sounds lovely & as someone else here says, the fact that she can be left at home with no problem is very attractive!
Go for it!
Hi @Julsie - You are describing exactly the dog we are currently sitting. He is a lovely dog but does have his traits that we were told of before we accepted the sit.
Just be honest when you write your listing so that you get the sitters that are happy with her and her ‘ways’
Personally, I love border collies and I’m experienced with their behavior such as trying to herd cars. And in my experience, owners of dogs who don’t like other dogs tend to get sitters, because naturally, the dog probably wouldn’t like a kennel very much. So I believe there are many sits out there with dogs with similar behavior. If I found a sit with a similar dog to yours, and it was overall a good sit, I’d definitely be interested. So yes, I do believe you could get sitters
Personally I no longer do any sits involving dogs partly because of issues with dogs similar to what you describe. However this is pretty much solely because these things were never disclosed and you discover later that the dog that loves being walked off-lead also loves not coming back and running away, the friendly dog actually jumps up at everyone and tries to bite them and weighs 50+kgs and the needs occasional pill dog is completely incontinent.
I would suggest disclosing everything plus your strategies for managing the behaviors. Perhaps not requiring any off-lead exercise just to be careful.
There are people out there who like collies and their weirdness.
@Julsie I read your description of your dog and thought “That doesn’t sound too bad”. We have housesat for dogs with most of these behaviours. Several who were reactive to other dogs/bigger dogs/fluffy dogs/tall men/men with wheelbarrows. One was reactive on the lead but not off lead, even with the same dogs. A couple of escape artists who we kept on a lead. I haven’t personally experienced herding cars, but have regularly been herded on a walk by my friend’s rescue failed sheepdog! (She is scared of sheep, but happy to herd chickens!) All of them were lovely affectionate dogs and we’d sit for them again.
So I think there will be enough sitters out there who won’t be put off by a few quirks or breed traits, so long as you are upfront about them from the start.
@Julsie Hi! Welcome! We had a Border Collie when I was young. I loved her and all of her personality. I think all animals have their own personality. I think you will be able to find a sitter. If you set expectations in your post, as you are doing now, your sitters will be able to plan and enjoy the stay with your pets.
Because I love all animals, it is mainly the dates, home, and area that help me decide if I want to apply for a sit. I hope you find a sitter quickly.
Hi julsie. I am very new to this site, but from what you wrote i would be intrested and ok with your dog. I think if you wrote your ad like you have this question then all would be good. You would still have to make sure the sitter was confident with your pup of course. Best of luck to you
Hello @Dogfather and welcome to the Community Forum and it’s lovely to see you joining in the conversation
If you are a member of TrustedHousesitters you can also add your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your profile on here by following the attached link, should you wish. This will enable others to offer you helpful advice and feedback.
If you are unsure how to do this or have any questions please do not hesitate to ask, we are all more than happy to help.
I also attached this thread which you might find helpful.