PUPPY SITTING TIPS
Upon leaving her dog with a sitter, one raiser always
admonishes her puppy: “Don’t chew up anything I can’t afford to replace!”
Whether or not the puppy complies depends a lot on how the pup is handled
during its stay at the other raiser’s home. A word to the wise may be in order.
When taking care of someone else’s dog, treat it like it’s un-housebroken and
destructive until it proves itself worthy of being trusted. Whether the dog is
eight weeks old or eighty weeks, it’s dangerous to assume it has good manners
or that its manners will transfer to your home. Sometimes the dog proves
trustworthy in ten minutes. Other times, a dog’s entire stay needs to be spent
on a leash attached to your arm when it’s not in its kennel. It all depends on
the age and temperament of the dog.
Most of our puppies are well mannered and therefore sitting experiences are positive. Nonetheless, these young dogs are still in the process of learning manners. Mistakes happen when they are under stress–and being in a new home environment where they aren’t sure of the rules, and don’t even know if their “parents” are ever coming back, definitely qualifies as stress. Common sense, honest communication, and a conservative approach from raisers and sitters goes a long way. Observing the following rules of etiquette won’t hurt, either. Happy puppy sitting!
The Dog’s Raiser
...should to take care of transporting the dog to and from the sitter’s home. The sitter is doing you a favor–make it as easy on them as possible!
...should supply adequate food for the dog’s entire stay, as well as toys, dishes, leashes, puppy coat, tie downs, a kennel (if needed), and anything else the sitter might need to handle the dog and make the pup’s stay safe and comfortable.
...must be honest about the dog’s temperament and habits. A forewarned sitter can be much better prepared to ward off disaster if the dog is likely to bolt through the front door, mark in the house, chew the carpet, or jump up in a restaurant. The sitter will not hold the information against you–they will thank you for it!
...must be prepared to help defray the cost of damaged property should the necessity arise.
The Dog’s Sitter
...must make every effort to monitor and control the dog, to keep it safe and avoid destruction to their home and property.
...is responsible for keeping track of the dog’s equipment and returning it in its original condition. That means not using the puppy’s leash as a tie-down if he’s going to chew it up, not leaving the puppy coat where it can be pulled inside a kennel and demolished, and not losing the Kong over the neighbor’s fence. When mishaps happen, the sitter should be prepared to replace the item, if needed.
...is responsible for taking the puppy to club meetings and continuing its training and grooming routines during its stay.
...should give an honest account of the puppy’s stay–both good and bad behaviors that were observed. Raisers can only work on behavior problems and training weaknesses if they know about them, and every raiser needs to hear the positives!