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Is it right to be annoyed when pet owners deliberately don't mention behavior?

asked 2016-08-23 20:42:00 -0500

WARNING: If you don't want to read (perhaps over the top lol) venting then definitely skip this post ;)

What do you think about owners leaving out information before you housesit that could make the stay very difficult? Do you think it's understandable or rude? Or rather, does anyone want to vent, lol?

The owners emailed me a very detailed, professional and thorough manual that told me lots of things including nighttime behavior: 'they will try to sleep with you'; 'they like to snuggle' whatever; everything framed in a cute and easy way.

When I'm already sitting the pugs at their house, I send a photo of a pug to the owner and he says 'She's cute, she snores; she's just adorable.' So he randomly, casually brings up that she snores for the first time without prompting while I'm already there.

And the pug snored like a freight train (ear plugs did not help)... I have slept with major snorers and this was INSANE. I pulled all-nighters for most of the nights and napped a bit during the day as I was so utterly exhausted that nothing could keep me from sleep. During a moment of desperation during one of the nights, I put them upstairs and they pounded and clawed at the door until I let them in. They did the same right outside my bedroom door.

I mention to the owner that 'wow, stella snores! I need ear plugs ;)' and he responds 'haha yeah she does'

So at the end of the stay I (politely) tell them I couldn't sleep at all and wouldn't be able to take care of them overnight. They were sympathetic but like 'we've never had a problem! we've had many sitters and no problems.' And then said they'd touch base in a week to figure something out with me because we had confirmed another stay before I even sat for the pugs. And of course, she never reaches out and lets me know what's going on. Blegh, if you don't intend to use a sitter again (and they've sacrificed days of sleep for you) the least you can do is let them know that they're going to find someone else (for a stay in over a month) rather than string them along

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Oh, also, have any of you actually confronted an owner over withholding important info?

Sarah B.'s profile image Sarah B.  ( 2016-08-23 21:37:24 -0500 ) edit

My in-laws have pugs who are exactly the same. We call them "the pigs" because they are just nasty. Their snoring keeps us up, so we crate them on the opposite end of the house, but their owners let them sleep in the bed and don't even notice the snoring!

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2016-08-24 16:05:47 -0500 ) edit

Yeah, the owners have a 1 year old child so it's possible they're always so exhausted that they don't notice it. Still, this pug is 10 yrs old and I think they know by now that she is quite the snorer. The 'oh, but we've never had problems' implying I'm hyper sensitive/crazy or smthng is annoying

Sarah B.'s profile image Sarah B.  ( 2016-08-24 17:33:48 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2016-09-02 18:19:33 -0500

It's perfectly appropriate to feel upset. I always go through any behavioral issues with my clients. I keep having to get more and more specific since people always leave things out. There are quite a few dogs I will never sit again because of it. Not worth it. Never worth it.

I'm not a very confrontational person, however, so most of the time, I don't mention it. Unless I have issues like you did, then I ask what they do when their pet behaves like that.

Pet sitting is tough. It's a major learning curve.

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answered 2016-08-23 21:11:40 -0500

Phew, that sounds rough! My first overnight stay request went horribly. Like you've said, the owners seemed very affectionate towards their dogs and when I went for the meet and greet all seemed well. It wasn't until I tried to enter or exit the master bedroom where I was supposed to be sleeping that I learned that one of their dogs was EXTREMELY possessive of their room. He snarled, showed teeth, barked incessantly, and lunged at me with teeth barred anytime he felt that I stepped too close to their bedroom door. I alerted the owner of his behavior and that I didn't think I would be able to sleep in that room, and they were like "Oh, yeah, he has been acting out since we recently had our first baby." Didn't they think this would be important information to share BEFORE I began my sit? I ended up having to cancel the stay after the second night because the dog would no longer allow me to move around the house and would block both the front and back doors. I think you totally have the right to feel annoyed, because I think it is important to know/be aware of as much information about the dog(s) as possible to be prepared and be able to provide your best care for them and it is inconsiderate of the owner to withhold information, in my opinion.

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Gahhh that sounds terrible! I hope they didn't leave a bad review after you had to cancel the stay!!! That's always a concern

Sarah B.'s profile image Sarah B.  ( 2016-08-23 21:16:48 -0500 ) edit

Holy cow. I had a husky who was equally aggressive, and I'm pretty sure they knew he was like that and just didn't bother to tell me. I actually got bit several times with that one.

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2016-08-24 13:21:55 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2016-09-12 12:24:11 -0500

Don't feel you are overly sensitive etc. Dogs behave differently with new people and maany owners excuse bad behaviors.

I've had some dogs with seperation anxiety that were horrendous. One I had to end stay early because the dog would not stop barking. I tried everything the owner and rover suggested but nothing helped. I didnt feel guilty because 1. The owner knew this was non negotiable since I work from home and had seen my office. 2. I had tolerated this behavior with another dog and was stressed out to the max.

I've modified my profile each time but it seems like the owners always over estimate what their dogs can tolerate. Which is ridiculous to me because you should know your dog best not a stranger.

I do suggest making sure they can be crated happily and quietly for at least 4 hours. Also that you raise your prices because that weeds out alot of apathetic owners. Sometimes just having a conversion with the owner help you read between the lines. Meet and greets are good but they don't tell you everything.

You're not alone though. I personally have become super, super picky about the dogs I take just because of owners missrepresenting information.

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I'm SO glad I found this post as I was going to add a question of my own! I'm 2 days into a 7 day stay with a German Shepard puppy. I have kept him once before a couple of weeks ago and he was tough then but now he's a terror! He lunges at my face and bites and scratches when I try to but his leash

April H.'s profile image April H.  ( 2016-09-27 13:37:21 -0500 ) edit

On. I want to get some energy out of him. He will NOT walk on a leash without standing straight up and pulling. I did walk him this morning to tire him out - I thought. Nope. Came back and he was still running around nuts biting at my pants leg and snapping at me. This dog needs to be under control

April H.'s profile image April H.  ( 2016-09-27 13:39:21 -0500 ) edit

And fast as they have 3 small children. He will obey me for going in and out of doors or for his food. I have walked him, I have played endless hours of fetch, I'm exasperated! They already have me booked again in October! My arms are all scratched up and bleeding! Any suggestions??!!

April H.'s profile image April H.  ( 2016-09-27 13:41:08 -0500 ) edit

And of course they are on a cruise and unreachable.

April H.'s profile image April H.  ( 2016-09-27 13:42:26 -0500 ) edit

This is why I wish Rover would let sitters share reviews of dogs. I had a week long stay with A pup who seemed easy going up until it was time to come in the house. She'd run off, once I'd get a hold of her collar, she'd start yelping and and standing on her hind legs and even bit me.

Ceyzanne H.'s profile image Ceyzanne H.  ( 2016-09-30 11:44:34 -0500 ) edit

I contacted the customer and they were aware of this behavior but didn't bother mentioning it. I reported it to Rover and they followed up with the owners but they haven't been removed from the site. Unfortunately another unsuspecting sitter will get stuck with that pup.

Ceyzanne H.'s profile image Ceyzanne H.  ( 2016-09-30 11:51:09 -0500 ) edit

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