No dog walking?!

Newbie here.
Ive come across a few HO requesting sits, but saying there is no need to walk the dogs.
I love walking dogs, that is the appeal for me. To spend as much time with them as possible. Go on adventures together.
Has anyone else come across this?
NB…these are all in UK

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Yes, I have seen this too and it seems strange.
Unless they explain why, for example because they have a huge garden or extensive grounds around the property, it would probably put me off.
If you’re really interested in that sit, I would say ask the owners more questions about it. I’d hate taking care of dogs who don’t have a happy life… for example just staying around the house or a tiny yard.

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I have seen this where they have an an elderly dog or a regular paid dog walker

  • however some breeds enjoy walking all day - so definitely worth getting in touch with HO - although you can only do this by applying
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I guess there could be any number of reasons from safety issues to pure neglect. In our case, the dog will only have 3 short sniff walks per day during the sit. That may seem like very little to some people! But in our case there are some very good reasons for this.

  • We live in an area with lots of street dogs. During the sit, we don’t want the sitter to go to any street that we know is not absolutely safe. In our designated walking area, we know there are only couple of dogs, all friends with ours.
  • No walkable sidewalks.
  • Climate. We live in a tropical country, and the weather is really hot and humid. Long walks are really not comfortable (or safe) for the dog or the sitter outside the early morning hours.
  • Most parks and other places around here are not dog friendly. There’s only one park where we can go to walk with her weekly, but it’s over 30 minutes away by car. It’s easily a two hour trip altogether, or more, if the traffic is really slow, so, not very practical for most sitters.

I probably should have added…they are all in Uk🤗

We once looked after two cats and a dog in a fifth floor flat. The dog could have long walks in the nearby park, and one cat was elderly and not bothered… but the other was young and vigorous. We did feel bad for him.

We’ve had a couple of sits where the hosts said we didn’t have to walk the dogs if we didn’t want to, as there was room for them to run around, and they’d be ok for a couple of weeks. In both cases the dogs were quite strong and the hosts I think concerned they’d be too much, but that was okay with us: we love walking, and they both pulled less after a few days of hiking!

We have had several sits where we were not required to walk the dogs and in all honesty, I really liked that. There were many different reasons for this, and in no case was it due to any sort of neglect of the animal.

Some HO’s had very large properties–a few months back, we did a sit in Virginia with several acres of wooded property and the dog happily roamed around all day.

Some of the dogs were older and didn’t like going on walks–the HO said we could attempt to take them out if we wanted and we would try sometimes and they simply were not interested.

Some dogs had lower exercise needs, and even if they were relatively young and healthy, they didn’t seem interested in walks and were happy to just go out in the backyard and do their business. They would often get exercise in with a bit of playtime–chasing a toy,etc…

Like one HO posted above–the area they live in might not be safe for extensive walks.

If there isn’t a reason listed, apply and ask…don’t just automatically assume the owner doesn’t properly care for their dog. You might miss out on a good sit.


Oh, I would never assume the pets weren’t cared for…I merely posed the question.
No where in my question was this even intimated🤗
I think this may also differ in different countries :blush:

@MarieHuggins We have done several sits in the UK and have also seen listings where the dogs did not need to be walked.
One was as the dog was very reactive to other dogs so playing with it in the large garden would keep the owner’s mind at rest rather than walking it in public.
As others have mentioned checking with the owners as to why is a good start. We also love getting out and about on dog walks! but have enjoyed where they just play in the garden as well and sofa cuddles of course :smile:

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I’ve done several sits that have not had walking as a requirement - usually play in the fenced yard or take to the dog park (my car when close by or using the pet parents’ when I’ve flown to the sit). Sometimes specifically ‘don’t walk the dog’ because of health or behavior, sometime, you can, but playing in the yard is fine I just did a short sit with a Dobie who had a back problem and dragged his rear legs resulting in abrasions to the top of his paws - definitely played in the grassy yard, but no walking about.


I did a sit once last minute where I was asked to not walk the dog, just throw the ball in the backyard as the dog was highly reactive. It was sweet as could be to me but it went crazy anytime she saw a bike, car, dog, person, pretty much anything whatsoever that moved. The owners recognized walking the dog would be incredibly stressful for me and the dog. It was a bit of a bummer as it’s also one of my favorite things about housesitting, but after I saw the dog’s reaction to various things outside through the window I very much understood and respected the homeowners desires of course.

We did a sit in March (outside of THS) where they told us not to walk the dogs. We HATED it and felt so sorry for the dogs not to experience the smells of grass (their backyard was only rocks, no dirt or grass).

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Plenty of reasons why some people might not want you to walk their dogs - particularly if it’s a short sit

Elderly animals
Reactive to other dogs
Risk of getting lost as might chase cats/squirrels
Aggressive local neighbourhood dogs
Breed issues - not used to long walks such as frenchies or pugs and could overheat
Very poor leash control

Literally so many things you just have to communicate and speak to people to assess each individual situation


Not having to walk a dag can also make a sit more attractive - it can actually be a way to attract more sitters. One of the reasons I very seldom do dog sits is the need to walk most of these dogs up to several times a day.

I work freelance and don’t necessarily have a few hours a day lying around spare with an active dog to go and walk it multiple times, certainly if I also would like to see some of the surroundings and if those activities can’t necessarily be done with the dog.

E.g. I see plenty of sits that say: we walk the dog for an hour in the morning, then around noon…, in the late afternoon… , in the evening… And if such a sit is in the city, and public transport doesn’t allow taking dogs (I don’t have a car), that means I won’t have time to see much more than the local park

(Obviously if there’s no need to walk the dog/s, there should be a good alternative in place such as…large yard, local dogwalker, or it’s an elderly dog. I really wouldn’t like to keep a dog at home who would benefit from being out & about. I’ve walked lots of dogs in my youth and would take them for long rambles)

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Yes, the ones I’ve seen , dont give reasons. Best to ask I guess. However, some advise just using their grounds. As someone who worked in dog rescues for years and knows about canine behaviour, I understand the importance of dogs accessing different environments, smells, people and dogs.
Sniffs are so important, as you so rightly say.
I will make sure I ask before bypassing.
Is there a way to message HO without applying though?:blush:

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Thanks. Yes, i worked in rescue for years so aware of reasons.

Ive certainly started a debate!:blush::blush:

I love dogs and I love walking and I love sits that don’t require that the two be combined.

Three of my 10 sits didn’t involve walking the dogs. In each case there were 2 dog pals with pet doors and good-sized yards. The dogs were fit, healthy and happy. They got plenty of outdoor play & hang-out time with me and of course indoor cuddle time.

In each case the HOs and I talked in advance about why they preferred I not walk the dogs (mainly leash reactivity). The sits and the dogs were great and I love having the freedom to explore on my own.

You can’t message without applying; but what I have done in the past is apply but put in the message to them that ‘before I apply I have a question to make sure I’m a fit for this sit’ and let them know I’ll send a full application or withdrawal the application after I hear back from them.

This is all dependent on the situation. When we had our furbaby, there was no need to walk her as we had a one acre yard that she had free reign to run around and chase the squirrels and birds. She was much happier not being on a leash unless we took her to her favorite spot at the Whitewater Center, which had a one mile path around the rapids. There she was in heaven!

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