Rover dog not adjusting well?

asked 2016-07-06 14:07:39 -0500

I try to be selective about the dogs that I sit and am very upfront with potential clients about my schedule (I work a full time job and the dogs are alone most of the day, they must get along with my dog and be okay alone).

I had a meet and greet with a potential client, they agreed that their dog would be fine with my lifestyle and our dogs seemed to sniff each other then went off to do their own thing. All seemed to go well so we booked the stay which just started this morning, He is really misbehaving, not at all what I observed at the meet & greet and the opposite of what the owners told me he is like. They told me their dog would be okay alone for most of the day, he never barks, and that he loves other dogs. However, I have been listening to him howl on my doggy camera all day. He lunged right for my dog as soon as the owners left and I had to crate my own dog, which is upsetting her. I now have two howling dogs at home that do not get along while I am stuck at work. Even when I am home, he is aggressive towards her and I have to put myself in the middle to protect her. This stay is two weeks long, and I am desperate for suggestions!! I cannot put my own dog (or myself) through this stress for two weeks and I imagine my neighbors will be complaining about the howling very soon.

The current situation is that my dog is crated in the bedroom with the door closed, and the guest dog has free roam of the living room/kitchen. The owners told me he cannot be crated or else he will howl more and cannot be limited in a crate due to arthritis. My dog is howling because she is upset that she can't see the other dog and he is howling because he is both alone and because hears her howling. I cannot leave them in a room together for fear that the guest dog will attack my dog.

Any suggestions on what to do? How to tell the owners? Any options I have?

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Can you confine the dog to the kitchen or another room with a baby gate so that your dog doesn't have to be crated? Using the most exterior room can also help with noise and potential neighbor complaints.

Lindsey T.'s profile image Lindsey T.  ( 2016-07-08 11:10:58 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2016-07-06 15:04:31 -0500

""" the guest dog has free roam of the living room/kitchen. The owners told me he cannot be crated or else he will howl more. """

To me, a dog that can't be crated would be a red flag concerning the owner's depiction of it as getting along with other dogs, not having separation anxiety, etc. I may be in the minority, but I can't imagine leaving a dog I don't know (and one that is already not living up to the owner's perception) to roam the home unsupervised. So, the ability to be crated would be a requirement for me (if I needed to leave the dog unattended). If a dog can't be crated, I would wonder why when it's supposedly so well-adjusted in every other way. (I'm not saying the owner lied to you. Just that they haven't seen their dog in your environment, and if it objects to a crate, it's probably not as stable/balanced as the owner thinks it is within their limited frame of reference.).

I would call Rover and see if they can help you find a sitter in the area who can provide the level of supervision this dog requires. I'd contact the owner to see if they have any preferences (a neighbor or relative that dog has done better with?).

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Thanks for the suggestion Mark! I forgot to mention in my initial post that the guest dog has arthritis and cannot be limited to the confines of a crate. I realize now that I must make this a requirement for future clients!

Charlotte E.'s profile image Charlotte E.  ( 2016-07-06 15:17:26 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-07-06 16:46:22 -0500

This is the unfortunate part of our jobs as Rover sitters! Have you messaged the owner since the pup arrived to let them know about the issues? Hopefully it's just the 'first day jitters', and after a day or two of acclimating the dog will be better! Perhaps he needs more exercise in the mornings before you leave, and a puzzle or toy to entertain him when you're gone? Tonight I would spend lots of time socializing him with your dog, exercising him, etc. and hopefully tomorrow will be better. If it still hasn't improved by the weekend, I don't think it would be out of line to contact Rover Support and see if you can't find a better sitter for the remainder of his stay.

Could your own dog be left out of a crate with free range of your bedroom? I always hate 'punishing' my dog for a boarder's bad behavior, but at least I know how my dog will react! Also given this dog's aggression so far, it may be best to keep the dogs separate when you can't supervise. Since the guest dog can't be crated, you could purchase a gate/play pen and set that up for him. That way he'd have space to move around, but couldn't get at your dog.

I hope this is just a bad first day for your boarder and things get better! Good luck.

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