What owners pretend and the reality

"Our dog is good on recall " i had been told. Well not with me, so i’m pretty anxious to let her unleashed as i was supposed to do.

“She goes sometimes to our neighbour’s garden” the owners warned me.
She also jumps over the fence, she managed to push down, and i found her once on the road. A dangerous one…
She goes to the neighbour’s garden to meet another dog but when the neighbour’s gate is open, again she goes on the road…
Never the owners had told me it could occur, the neighbour I met told me they knew their dog was jumping over the fence! Why haven’t warned me?

I’m the anxious type, I prefer to stay with her in the garden now and play ball or to lock her inside. While i read (reading outside means she could vanish while i’m absorbed by the novel…)

Truth is essential.

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Hi Candide
A long leash while in the garden helps. Long enough so she can also go into the house if it’s too hot :hot_face:
We did a sit where a dog had tendencies to escape & they had a long leash tied to their pagoda. Worked a treat & enabled us to relax.



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Don’t get me started……
This is one of the very few gripes I have with owners. Just tell us the truth and we either accept or reject your sit. The big one for us is the distance or time the dog walks. How many times have I heard”oh, they’ll walk for miles” and after half a hour the dog is exhausted! “His recall is excellent”, yeh I’ve just spent 40 minutes looking for him in the park. “They’re excellent with other dogs”. The dog owners in the park tell me to keep a distance because of the history between the dogs.
Please, just tell us the truth.

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Recall might be great with the owners, but not with a completely new person. We often need to retrain + bond first with a dog so he / she will listen to us as well. Not sure if you’re really overly anxious, we would not let a dog out of our sight if we knew that he / she has easy access to the road. You can try the long leash, but we have also been in a similar situation and the dog would bite through the leash.

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@Candide
In the US we have community dog parks - completely fenced in, double gated - but in the UK, the few that I’ve found you have to pay for!
One of my first sits was in an Edinburgh row house with a back garden - Chester, a beautiful flat coat retriever.


I was told his recall was good on walks but never tested that out.
I was also told he would remain in the back garden-thick hedges on both sides and a fence at the back but no fences to the garden on one side-was assured that I could let him out to the garden.

Well the neighbors had recently rescued a pair of retired greyhounds and Chester set out to visit. Went under the ‘impassable’ hedge. The hounds were indoors but Chester sat at the window staring at them. I got him home, but no more unsupervised back garden time!
tom

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:laughing:

Yes, sometimes owners arent prepared for how their pet might react in new circumstances. (Like @toml 's experience with new dogs next door.) Ive recently told the story of my small parrot who had two pet-sitters - she would happily bathe with one but not the other so went a week without bathing (when it would normally be every 4 days or so). I hadnt foreseen that problem!

Sometimes the owners are just, er, optimistic…

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My dog (pug) would happily walk 3 times a day with me… 20 mins or so each walk My listing indicated such.

My first ever sister contacted me to say she coukd not get the dog to walk, Brakes went on and she wouldn’t move… they had to resort to taking her out in the car to unfamiliar places to get her to walk.
I now make it clear in discusons with applicants the walks may or may not happen. They are free to go on walks and leave the dog behind.

I don’t believe most homeowners are being less than truthful when they state certain things about their dog. They behave that way for them, but may not for others; and that may not be known ahead of time.

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A [dog] the owner claimed “is really no trouble at all.”

Edited/redacted per THS request.

In sum, this is a prime example of a case where I wish I could have left an honest review (AKA “feedback”) but the HO would retaliate and that would be it for me and THS.

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I think re-call can vary between owners and sitters for some dogs but actually it comes down to how well trained they are! I gravitate towards sits with working gundogs for a pretty guaranteed obedience experience! I can say though that the time waiting for a homeowners dog to come back when you call (compared to your own or one you know well) feels much longer than it actually is,
especially when the dog is out of sight!! :smile:

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I just don’t let dogs off leash except in their own secure yards…and sometimes, not even then. I don’t take them to a dog park either…it’s just too stressful and risky. I guess I would have to rethink that if the sit was really long but for a few weeks or less, not happening.

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Maybe it’s just me but I tend to over egg the pudding, ‘he may do this, he may do that’ even if he’s only ever done it once!
I ask sitters to keep him on his extending lead even though his recall is better than a lot of dogs we meet when out.
I would feel so bad for the sitters if something happened on their watch & they then had to break bad news to me!

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Yes ! We are cautious for the first couple of days, gradually allowing dogs more freedom as they get to trust two strangers. Never had a problem with this approach, even with rescue dogs with known behavioural issues.
We are always amazed how quickly bonds can be formed and how trusting animals can be.

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Keep doing what your doing. It’s great to get the full story no matter how trivial you think it is.

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Animals will push boundaries like children when mum & dad go away. See what they can get away with :laughing:
If I’m on a sit and the behavior is not what I have been advised I let the owners know straight away, X is escaping, X is terrorizing the neighbours cats etc Then I politely add it into my review.

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@Candide I totally feel with you!

This is what I read in the Welcome Guide:

Personality

  • Calm /
  • Happy /
  • People Friendly /
  • Confident
    She is generally very friendly and likes cuddles and attention. She likes playing in the garden and something chasing a ball but won’t bring it back.

And this is the reality:

Personality

  • Mischievous /
  • Stressed /
  • Snarls and growls at some people /
  • Bossy and the pack-leader
    She is sometimes friendly and then demands cuddles and attention. She likes playing in the garden and something chasing a ball but won’t bring it back. True. She will try to bite you if you attempt to take her ball away. And her favourite play: She loves BARKING in the garden, day and night, to the neighbours’ dismay.
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Reading all these posts makes me feel so glad I am a catlady even though it limits my house sits by so much.

The last house sit I had, the dog barked and lunged at me when I came it. The owner had just got him from a rescue and he was still being trained. I am glad the HO brought him along to their vacation.

Dogs may be different with owners and sitters though. Since one of our earliest sits where owners said dogs will walk off lead in an adjoining field, and we then spent over an hour digging one out of a rabbit hole, we just don’t let a dog off lead when we are taking them out. One thing we look for in a sit is a garden that is secure, or a nearby beach, so that the dogs can have a great time off lead, chasing balls etc, but we just don’t risk losing someone’s precious dog anywhere else.

@anneka Totally with you on the fenced gardens, but out of curiosity: are you not worried dogs might run off on the beach? I am so nervous taking dogs to an off-lead beach, I hardly ever do it, because, in my mind’s eye, I can see myself running like a crazy lady after a very fast dog at a place without borders!

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And it’s too bad, because many dogs are great to sit, but a few less-than-forthright dog owners have made me leery.

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We would know the dogs well by the time we take to the beach, whether they return to a call or will chase and bring a ball back, and haven’t lost one yet. If you’re nervous about the dog running off then keep them on lead, but personally I love to see dogs enjoying running free on a beach and, depending on the area of course, less chance of losing them than in a field or down a lane with trees. :slight_smile:

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