Petsitting Rules Regarding "Field trips"

GoingNowhere

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#1
I watched my roommates dogs the other day and she asked that I not take them anywhere. I was pretty bummed because I was planning to take them on a fun hike and I was stuck to neighborhood walks. She was worried that if they got loose on a hike that they wouldn't come back to me. That's fair enough, though they've only been visiting for a few weeks now, so I doubt that they'd know their way around the neighborhood to get themselves home if they got lost there anyway. Both dogs know me. One is scared of strangers, but she is easy to handle when out with just a bit of fear based barking. It got me thinking about "rules" that you give pet sitters that come to your house.

This only really applies if you don't board your dogs... but that said, I'm curious how persnickety people are about their pets when others are watching them.

If you have a friend watch your dogs, would you expect that that friend not take your dogs anywhere in the car unless it was a trip to an emergency vet?

If you have a stranger (or relative stranger) watch your dogs, would you expect that they not take your dogs anywhere in a car except in an emergency?

I won't lie - I was really bummed that my friend didn't trust me to take her dogs on a walk that involved a drive (they're fine in the car by the way). Had she been watching Boo, I would have given her free reign with just some recommendations as to the distance/terrain that Boo is physically able to handle. I may have also asked that she refrain from letting strangers pet her when out and about, but that would have been it besides the basic care guidelines (i.e. what to feed, how much, etc). I may not have been so trusting if it were a strange pet sitter coming to my house, but a friend who knows my dog? Certainly.

You all are some of the craziest (in a good way) dog people I know, so I'm curious to see if you all are as particular as my roommate when it comes to people watching your pets.
 

frostfell

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#2
I am INCREDIBLY controlling over my dogs, so I dont allow anyone to sit them. Makes for a no-vacation lifestyle, but then I cant afford them anyway. I dont even let other people hold their leashes or feed them. In retrospect, I have lived with a constant stream of strangers and room-rentals over the last 8 years, so it most likely stemmed from simply never knowing how responsible or careful with my precious babies they will be. I wonder if Ill lax on those rules if I ever got a stable housemate or husband. Nah, dont think so :rofl1:
 

Slick

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#3
I prefer they don't let Leo off leash in un-fenced areas, just in case. He does stick close and doesn't run off, but I don't want to chance it. Otherwise, taking him to the dog park or on leashed hikes is totally fine.

I had a highly recommended to me pet sitter take care of Leo for a weekend once, and one of the first things she asked was, "So, he would be totally fine for me to go on unleashed jogs with him around the neighborhood, right?" And I was like :eek: No. No please don't do that.

It's one thing if he is off leash on a field, but off leash right next to a street. I don't even do that. I know it was just a question, and she didn't end up doing it, but it kinda made a bad first impression for me, despite all of the other good things.
 

Izzy's Valkyrie

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#4
I left Tango with a roommate once and I knew she was going to take him to a mutual friend's house during a cook out. I didn't know she was going to take him all over town in a purse and inside stores. Apparently he was fine and people loved him but it made me nervous after the fact.

I wouldn't have people take Tango on a hike unless they brought a pack for him to ride in once he got tired but he's a tiny 3-legged dog. As long as I know about the trips and have veto power (NO DOGPARKS EVER) then I'd be ok with a sitter taking him out.
 
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#5
I really only leave the dogs with my husband, or we board them if we go somewhere together.

But I used to have petsitters/dogsitters a lot. I generally didn't want them walking the dogs or otherwise taking them off my property, but it was as much to protect them as to protect my dogs and my peace of mind. I didn't want them to have to be in the position to be dealing with situations or making judgment calls if something went wrong. And I didn't want it on their head/conscience if something DID go wrong.
 

JessLough

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#6
I've never had somebody ask me not to take their dogs out for fun things, other than one person who's dog was aggressive to men and DA, so they just didn't want to risk it.

The whole fun of watching Finnegan is to take him fun places :lol-sign: But, I guess it's a little different in that I've been there since he was a new puppy home.
 

Maxy24

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#7
Well Tucker's a special case because of the aggression, but when we have relatives watch him (since we only have relatives watch him) he does not go off property. When he was young and my aunt and uncle watched him I'd let them take him for leashed neighborhood walks and just reminded them that no one was allowed to interact with him. But his human aggression has gotten more severe and now he's dog reactive so no leaving the property (and always on leash in the yard, but we always do that anyway), I don't want them to have to deal with him reacting and plus it would lead to a set back in training. When my grandmother watched him we hooked a tie out to our front step banisters so she could just hook him and let him out. We were afraid if she was walking him on leash in the yard and he started reacting to something she might get pulled over which would result in her getting hurt and whoever he was reacting to getting hurt.


If I had a normal friendly dog I'd allow on leash walks on the neighborhood, but nothing off leash and probably not anything "new", just regular old neighborhood walks that he gets all the time. I don't know if the dog will listen, I don't know if the sitter knows how to respond if he doesn't listen, a dog that sticks close to it's owner isn't necessarily going to stick close to a sitter he has no bond with. Plus I'd really have to trust the sitters judgement if she was going to let the dog off leash or go somewhere with off leash dogs or lots of people because so many situations can come up and I don't know how the sitter is going to handle them. Some people wouldn't think twice about letting a random child hug or kiss their dog, some people push their dog into interacting with others when they don't want to, lots of people can't read dog body language and tell when they're nervous or over aroused. So unless I really, really know how that person handles dogs and LIKE how they handle dogs, I wouldn't want them bringing my dog into any situation where they're interacting with anyone.


When I dog sit for other people and they give me permission to let their dogs off leash I still rarely do it unless I know the dog really well or it's super old and laid back so I'm less worried about it taking off (and if it does I might be able to catch it). Even then I watch it like a hawk. Even watching Phoebe I use a leash if we'll be outside for a while. I let her off leash for regular in and out potty breaks (because she counts as old and super laid back) but if we're hanging out in the yard I put her on a tie out even though normally she's loose. It's just not worth the risk when I can hook her to a leash.
 

DJEtzel

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#8
No, no one takes my dogs anywhere unless they ask first and I approve specific things.

Meagan watched Patty when he was much younger and I allowed her to take him to daycare with her.

I trust her and another friend who watches my dogs occasionally to do whatever, but I would like to know about it first.

No one else better be taking my dogs anywhere. lol.
 

JacksonsMom

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#9
I mean, I guess it would depend. Jackson's a weirdo so he likely wouldn't want to go anywhere with somebody else anyway. The only people I leave him with are my dad/stepmom and mom/stepdad and even with them, the people he does love and lives with, he often does not want to get leashed/harnessed up by them. He does allow my dad - who is probably his 2nd favorite person to me. When I go away for days at a time (which is rare), my dad does sometimes walk him up/down the long driveway. He's taken him in the car a few times without me, and he is somewhat nervous w/o me, so he doesn't do it a lot. He's a good doggy granddad though! haha.

If I HAD to have a pet sitter come into our home for any reason, I likely would request they not take him anywhere.
 
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#10
There's only a very very select few I would even allow to watch my dogs and even then it would have to be pretty big for me to ask them [ie last time was a for a surgery a little over 3 years ago], but saying that...if I trusted them to do that, then I would trust them enough to handle the responsibilities that come with that.
 

Ozfozz

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#12
If you have a friend watch your dogs, would you expect that that friend not take your dogs anywhere in the car unless it was a trip to an emergency vet?
Car rides are fine permitting they are properly secured.
And I'd request that they don't go to dog parks, daycares, petstores or anywhere else that they'd be interacting with other dogs. Just because... And that they stay on leash if they are going hiking.


If you have a stranger (or relative stranger) watch your dogs, would you expect that they not take your dogs anywhere in a car except in an emergency?
If I were to board them with a stranger I would request that they do not leave unless under emergency circumstances.


I see a lady at our hiking/dog park each morning unload a van full of dogs onto the trails off leash. There have been times that it would be incredibly easy for someone to snatch up one of these dogs at any point in time as she doesn't always seem to have the best eye on them. It makes me very uneasy.
 

HayleyMarie

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#13
It depends on the people watching them. Also my dogs are not bolters and stick close. I have friends in my town that Pan and Teagan see as family so I have no issues them taking them on hikes and jogs. Actually I had someone watch our dogs last week. The dogs stayed at our house, but the friends would come feed them and spend some time with them. My super active friends whenever they would go jogging or hiking would pick up the dogs on their way out.
 
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#14
I dog sit for several of my breeder friends.

I absolutely will not remove their dog from the property. And please do not ask me to either. Unless it is an emergency.

If I go into your home, I do not look around, I go directly to the dogs and I take care of them and I leave. Most are in kennels, so I let them out into the yard, in whatever order you tell me to, if I have a question on whether or not I can tell your dogs apart, they do not go out together. If I worry that they may not get along, they do not go out together.

I have one person with 7 Bernese Mountain Dogs and there are a couple that I cannot tell apart unless I count freckles on the nose. Then another with 9 Standard Schnauzers.. nope can't tell them apart either. Not when I only see them every few months. I have another with 12 Siberians, but I oddly enough, can tell them apart.

I do not put any on leashes, unless specifically asked to. If you tell me they eat this amount of food, that is exactly what they are fed. If anyone does not eat or has funky poop you get a note about that as well. They do not get treats unless you show me which treats the dogs get. I do go over every dog every day for hot spots, I make sure nobody is limping and I also will check if anyone is coming into heat if you tell me they are due. I play with them in the yard or kennel building, or basement, wherever they are kept at during the day.

The people I keep for though are breeders and they have very good setups. I do double check fences every day before I turn any dogs out. I have developed relationships with several of the dogs and they get super excited when they see me at shows.

I always sweep the floors in the kennels and clean up anything before the owners get home. If I have to use the kitchen, I clean everything down that I possibly touched. I absolutely HATE to have to go looking for anything, like garbage bags, or spoons or anything. I feel like a creeper digging around in someone's underwear drawer even if I am only looking for a spoon or ziploc bag in a kitchen.
 

Equinox

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#15
Depends on who's watching him, but usually...

If you have a friend watch your dogs, would you expect that that friend not take your dogs anywhere in the car unless it was a trip to an emergency vet?

If you have a stranger (or relative stranger) watch your dogs, would you expect that they not take your dogs anywhere in a car except in an emergency?
Yes, that would be my expectation and request for both friend and stranger. I do not want most people taking my dog off of my property. My roommate, whom I've known since middle school, has asked several times now to take my dog out for runs/walks (especially at night) but I tell her no every time. She has dog experience, but I would still worry about what if's.

Now, if it were my dog's breeder or my friend who owns his sister or someone like that, I'd let them. But for most people I am very, very firm on him not leaving the house/yard unless it's an absolute emergency.
 

meepitsmeagan

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#16
I have a few select people who are "approved" to watch my dogs.

#1) Danielle. She has come over to let them out/train whatever when we are away. I'd trust her to take them anywhere. She knows my dogs, she knows how I handle my dogs and what dogs are comfortable with what situations.

#2) My co-worker/friend, ErinMC. She is normally my go-to dog sitter. She's currently only ever watched Rider and Harlow (as well as both fosters when they were in the picture). Rider can be off-leash with her no problem. Harlow cannot. They could both go to work with her and hiking on lead if she wanted. At this point I probably wouldn't let her take Tulsa to work just because it isn't a situation she really fits well into anymore.

#3) My mom. Everyone on leash and at home.

#4) Josh's parents. Only ever watched (and ever will watch) Harlow and iirc never overnight. She can be offleash in their yard, car rides allowed with visits to clients but cannot be offleash there or meet other dogs.
 

amberdyan

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#19
I would board Hugo if my 1 best friend wasn't available. She's the only one who I'd really trust and I'd give her free reign to take him where ever. She knows him and his limitations.
 

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