Dogs, I imagine, have a different view of house and pet sitting.
A knock! People! Hmmm… I don’t know you, you’re a stranger.
Why do you stare? Who said you could touch me? Hey, where’ve my humans gone?
What, you’re moving in? OMG, what’s going on here?
Do You Trust Every Stranger You Meet?
To the dog, the arrival of a pet sitter is like a hostile takeover with the home “under new management”.
The dog doesn’t know you and has no reason to trust you. After all, you’ve invaded – if not taken over – their territory.
Trust, space, and security are big-issues for dogs and that’s why house sitting a stranger dog is so unique: every dog behaves differently, yet all dog’s need to feel comfortable with you.
Dog Leadership for House Sitters is a blueprint for building relationships in just 2 hours with the dogs you sit. We teach “dog leadership”, a skill that builds trust between the sitter and the dog while you assume leadership of the pack. You’re safer, the dog’s happier and the house sitting experience is better.
Dogs: A Simple World View
Mother Nature created dogs to live in packs and it’s hardwired into their DNA.
A dog’s most basic and deepest primal need is to feel secure within the pack as a follower.
Every dog you ever house sit will view your relationship as sitter(s) + dog(s) = pack.
For a dog, the natural order of things is that they follow while another leads. To be clear, the dog expects you to lead.
When a sitter leads, the dog feels secure meaning they’re happier, calmer and better behaved.
When sitters don’t lead, dogs can become anxious or nervous, and that’s bad because all dogs believe that a pack needs a leader. The dog will assume leadership which is potentially dangerous to the sitter, other dogs and people you encounter.
Providing leadership promotes emotional security, pack security, a calm mind, and trust. It’s essential to the dog’s well being.
House and Pet Sitting – It’s All About Trust
Trust between the sitter and dog is everything, and it’s the sitter’s responsibility to nurture that trust.
Think about how a first impression can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Dogs are a bit like that too.
When we first meet a dog, we either nurture trust or promote anxiety.
With stranger dogs we use “purposeful interactions”.
Everything we do with the dog, especially during the first 48 hours, is with the purpose of building trust and nurturing calmness.
By putting a wee bit of time into building our relationship, the dog learns to trust and accept us as leaders. The dog chooses to follow, the pack has great energy and we make a good friend.
Dog Leadership for House Sitters
Dog Leadership for House Sitters our new course, provides you a blueprint for building trust with “stranger dogs” in just 2 hours.
Dog Leadership skills are not “how to teach dog obedience.” Rather, leadership skills build relationships and help promote feelings of security. Leadership is a way of being that dogs recognize and accept as “dog normal.”
Every dog wants and needs leadership. The beautiful thing is that it’s universal so that any dog, in any country, understands.
You learn to nurture trust and a calm mind while you take the leadership role – just like the dog wants you to.
When you meet a dogs most basic need, it calms them. When a dog is calm, it’s happy which means it’s better behaved, so your house sits are always more enjoyable.
Louise Read and her husband Tim are full-time house sitters and advanced dog handlers. They’ve raised, trained and handled dogs for about 65 years specializing in large breeds.
Ashley Harrison is a professional trainer and operator of Doggie Pile Dog Training in Edmonton, Alberta.
Together, we hope that sitters and dogs can be safer while forming closer ties and better friendships.