Hi - is this becoming more usual these days? We have just finished our fourth consecutive sit with multiple dogs (ie more than one) who do not have a walk at all. In all fairness 2 out of the 4 sits did have very large gardens but two didn’t and I felt so sorry for the dogs but couldn’t have walked them as no leads etc. Has this been anyone else’s experience?
@anniepa yes I have had a few and sometimes its down to the owners anxiety about losing their dog, dog theft, perhaps issues with the dog they have not told the sitter about etc. I have had a few unpleasant experiences as a result including dogs very stressed and continually barking, having to watch and stop bored dogs destroying carpets, furniture etc and on one occassion spending two hours (before giving up) cleaning dog poo from the garden (and it was large) so that I could at least play with the dogs and help them burn off some energy! The same dogs seemed well used to shitting in the house and most of the carpets were stained and I had to clean up after them on most days. This sit was for four days and that was quite long enough thank you very much! As I have said in previous posts, some HOs do not deserve and should not keep dogs and I am sure the bulk of HOs who do walk and care for their dogs and property would agree with that.
@anniepa oh i meant to include within that that some HOs seem to have such ‘busy’ lives where work (be it away from or at home) and children and social engagements, occupies most of their time and walking the dog is almost an after thought and a quick 15 minutes around the block at the end of the day for a dog that has been cooped up for hours. As a sitter there is nothing nicer than exploring with a dog on a decent walk where they have the time to stop and sniff, greet other dogs and people, and know more about the surroundings beyond four walls. One of the things I hate to see is a dog being dragged around the streets because the person wants to get back to something that has more importance. If you get impatient with your dog I would suggest you look at all the other priorities and trim them down.
Yes it happened to us on few occasion. Once it was 3 very energetic german shepherds. It was in town but with a large garden where the dogs could run freely and play. The american OH ask us to to take them on walkies as he used to go running with them and he said they were too energetic to just walk. So we plaid a lot with them in the large garden. And that was fine.
The other times were both in the french countryside. We were staying in large properties (more than a garden, we had park, meadows for the lamb, a small lake, etc.) where dogs could run and they were perfectly fine being left on their own for few hours. I think in that properties I could go walking 1 hour without leaving the fenced garden. Dogs seemed to be very happy. Maybe it is better for them to be left freely in a large garden than just walked on a lead ? I don’t know…
I must say, being french : I was very astonished to discover how long English people could walk their dog ! I found it great and I really enjoy doing it. I walk a lot and I love walking long distance so I’m very happy doing-sitting. But I would say it is common in France to consider leaving a dog in a garden is enough. I think lots of french people leaving in a house with garden would only walk their dog during week-ends.
I don’t know if french sitters would agree with my observation ? Do english people settling in France have noticed that about their new french compatriots ?
Oui, Françoise-et-Youn, je suis Française and I agree with you.!
Merci @Maryse ! Happy to read another frenchy on this forum !
And happy to read you feel the same as far as walkies are concerned. It really surprised me when I realized that while starting dog-sitting.
@Françoise-et-Youn yes for most breeds and considering that not that long ago most breeds were working dogs, just to leave them in a small garden or yard and only walked at weekends, that is not good for a dog. The large park type property you describe is good as long as it is properly fenced and they cant get out on roads or amongst farm animals, horses etc. Thats great you like long walks with dogs…you have arrived at the right place and all the best to you.
It also depends on the dog’s health (maybe hip issues) or if their yard is big enough, there is no need. Our furbaby does not go for walks as she has a one acre yard she freely roams each day.
@long1016 @Françoise-et-Youn yes you are right and of course dogs that have health issues or are so old or with dementia where walking them would be cruel, a garden or yard might be all they can manage.
Thank you @carpediem !
Yes I love walking : one of my job is writting walking guide !
I was delighted last month to be able to walk 13-15 km eah day with a OH dog who enjoyed is as much as I did : it was really lovely ! The other dog was much older and had frankly enough with 3 or 4 km so just one hour. Fortunately I am dog-sitting with my husband who is not a good walker so they were both happy not having to follow us on the rocky costal path of north Brittany !
Yes @long1016 this is why I alway ask to OH :
- When you say you walk him for one long walk a day, what do you mean by “long” ?
For some people long is 30 mn / 2 km walk / for me long is 20 km 4-5 h walking : so we have to make sure we speak the same langage ! This is why it is great to have an afternoon with the OH where we can talk and experiment at least one walk together.
I must say I looked for a labrador 2 years ago in Cornwall, she was the best walking companion I haver had. Still thinking of her very often. When I have a dog of my own some day I want him /her to be the same as Pickle was
@Françoise-et-Youn ahh a fantastic place to walk…Brittany is one of the jewels in the crown of France…even if it is a republc! Its nice your husband had company of the other dog while you did a longer walk…win win all around!
@carpediem yes lovely sit. I think we were lucky we were both of us because the 2 dogs had really different needs : not easy to please both of them !
I must add actually there are lots of listing in Brittany : have a look and come along fellow sitters : breton coastal path is waiting for you…
… and you can buy my walking books to find the most appealing walks in Brittany
@Françoise-et-Youn yes I would second that Brittany is one of the nicest parts of France; just my opinion. I did a number of Workaway placements there a few years ago and some sits looking after goats and other farm animals…had some fantastic seafood…visited the famous Valley of the Saints and was invited to some amazing Fest Nost concerts…the celtic tradition is still very strong and the Breton bagpipes are one of my favourite instruments.