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Old 03-31-2012, 07:50 PM
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Default Dog Sitting a Service Dog?

My close family friends asked if I would housesit/dogsit for a month. The only thing is the dog is a guide dog, and while I love him, I'm sort of intimidated, scared, nervous of screwing him up somehow!!


Has anyone ever dogsat a service dog for someone before?
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:07 PM
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Yes and honestly, off duty and out of vest.. he was just a very well behaved regular dog

Is the dog OK with being left alone/being away from her? I would imagine guide dogs more-so than most service dogs are with their person ALL THE TIME so I would be more concerned with that than anything else

I've never dog-sat for that long (I was only with him for a day) but I would also perhaps ask what training things you should be keeping up with/if you should be using some commands or not using commands at all (just so you don't get the dog confused) and what he is/isn't allowed to do (as far as furniture, walks, general manners)

I'm sure you'll be fine, sorry I couldn't be more helpful
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:24 PM
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We watched my great grandpa's service dog for about a month an a half when he was in the hospital. It's been quite a long time but I remember the dog was pretty depressed the first couple days but after that he went into some crazy vacation mode.

We spoiled him gave him treats and he played with my brother and me every day for hours. When it was time for him to go back to my grandpa the second the vest was on he was back to himself and all business. So I don't think you have anything to worry about when it comes to messing him up lol
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:04 PM
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You should be fine.
Treat him like a "regular" dog, ask if there are any specific no-nos with him, follow those rules if there are any, and it should be great.
I have a SD and when she's "off duty" (she's a medical alert dog, so she's never entirely off duty, but still) I just treat her like a regular dog. Walks, hikes, play time, massages, being lazy and watching TV together, etc. She knows when she's expected to work, and I'm sure this guide dog does, too.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran101 View Post
Is the dog OK with being left alone/being away from her? I would imagine guide dogs more-so than most service dogs are with their person ALL THE TIME so I would be more concerned with that than anything else
Yeah, guide dogs are with their person all the time, but they're actually usually less attached to their person than other service dogs. Most guide dog training organizations don't really stress relationship building. (I've discussed this particular subject with trainers from multiple organizations.) Plus guide dogs are supposed to be pretty independent, they're supposed to follow environmental cues rather than cues from their handler; for example, when the handler says "walk forward" and there's something blocking the path, the dog is supposed to disobey the handler's cue.

Compare that with, for example, medical alert dogs, who pay constant, close attention to their person, looking for any tiny changes that cue him to a problem. These dogs would have more of a problem being away from their person.

But of course, good assistance dog trainers will practice separation periods with the dog for instances just like this.

Also if the guide dog came from an organization, remember that he lived in several different homes in the first couple of years of his life, so he should be quite good in a new home.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:17 PM
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As long as you follow their directions EXACTLY you should be just fine SDs should not have separation anxiety (doesn't mean they never do, but they shouldn't) and for the most part they should be well crate-trained or at least know that sometimes they have to stay home and not destroy everything.

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:34 AM
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He definitely has a STRONG attachment to his handler (typical GSD), which is partly why they are not taking him along. She will be training and racing most of the time, so he'll have to be crated a lot and he tends to stress when crated in unknown places.

Thanks for all the reassurance. I'm pretty excited about it!
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:42 AM
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Service dogs shouldn't have issues with SA, and if you keep the dog busy and don't break any cardinal rules that his owners have, i think you'll be fine! Service dogs are just dogs, after all.
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