House Sitting with Dogs? Be Ready for Surprises.
House-sitting with dogs often comes with amazing surprises. The bundle of energy that “never stopped moving,” or the “protector” who would lose her mind if anything came close, or the nibbler who always grabbed with his teeth.
Often, a house sitter will arrive at a sit to find that the dog’s behavior is different from the owner’s description. When you’re house sitting with dogs, the best thing to do is to give the dog exactly what it wants: leadership.
Dog Owners: Excuses Not Reasons
Owners will tell you the dog has a favorite toy that “he just won’t give up” while others will say that the dog is “always so excited to see you” when you get home. As a house sitter, you’ll hear all sorts of explanations for a dog’s behavior and in almost every case, the owner is wrong.
Dogs jump up because they don’t respect the human and dogs that don’t share toys are usually “protecting their kill”. When a dog does these things, they’re telling you about their life and state of mind.
Possessive dogs may bite while jumpers may injure you or another person, and if you’re house sitting with dogs, you can expect and demand different behavior.
Set Your Rules to Have More Fun.
Sometimes, the dogs we encounter are amazing, while others have poor manners and are difficult to share space with.
Does the house sitter have a right to change the way the dog behaves? Yes, you do, and I’ll tell you this: dogs always adapt to changes in leadership.
Within the house and pet sitting community, there’s a school of thought that we shouldn’t “change” the dog.
You’re not changing the dog, you’re asking them to behave differently. The truth is that when the owner returns, the dog will act the way the owner allows. That’s the secret to handling dogs, they behave exactly the way you allow.
We don’t allow a dog (of any size) to jump up or use their teeth and we always ask the dog to sit for food and treats or before they come inside or go outside.
It’s Not About Power – It’s About Security
The most primal need a dog has (beyond food & water) is to feel secure in a pack. If you look at house sitting from the dog’s point of view, the “pack” is the sitter(s) + the dog(s).
All dogs want to feel secure. Dogs feel most secure when the human provides them with leadership. When you lead a dog, the dog learns to trust. When a dog trusts, the dog chooses to follow.
Dog leadership is about developing a relationship of trust between yourself and the dog. When you trust the dog and the dog trusts you, dogs do a remarkable thing: they become calm.
Why does it matter if the dog is calm?
Because a calm dog is a happy dog, and I love happy dogs.
Learn How to Lead Dogs:
Dog Leadership for House Sitters is a course created by full-time house sitters, advanced handlers and a professional trainer.
Dog Leadership for House Sitters teaches you how to move from house sit to house sit and quickly build a relationship of trust with a dog who doesn’t know you.
Our blueprint for leadership shows you can build trust between yourself and the dog quickly. In fact, you can build trust and a good relationship in just 2 hours.
Learn more at Dogleadership.ca