Think the dog I'm watching is mistreated, anything I can do?

asked 2015-06-23 18:47:23 -0600

I'm watching a Rover dog at my home and from the dog's behavior and the interaction I had with his owner, I'm sensing some mistreatment. The dog is a large breed, young and full of energy and yet he is kept in a too-small crate for too much of the time. When trying to put him in the crate myself he seemed very afraid of the crate in the sense of, he's probably used to getting stuffed in there for too many hours. He also seems fearful of being touched. He crouches at your hand going to pet him which makes me think he may have been mistreated. When interacting with the owner, he seemed rather short-tempered too. As a dog lover, I just want to do what's right for this animal and I want to make sure he's in a safe and loving home. Is there anything I can do? Also, the owners kept calling the dog a "she" when he is VERY clearly a "he". Eek!

** Friend wrote this on my profile; however, still a very real situation. She is a rover dog sitter as well.

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4 Answers

answered 2015-06-24 13:07:27 -0600

I understand the sitter's care and concern. I'd caution the friend's reaction to what she perceives is mistreatment may not be. Please indulge me as I play devil's advocate, starting with the gender issue. Is it possible that the pet-owner does not have fluency in English? (I've encountered many people who have difficulty with language, especially when they know more than 1). Regarding the crouching, there are some dogs that are simply skittish of their very loving families and sitters, for no reason at all. I've seen this firsthand. Maybe something happened in the past (including possibly an accident or at a prior home or even visit elsewhere, but maybe not, maybe just feeling vulnerable due to size). Regarding the crate, perhaps there is more information about it. Is it possible that's not the regular crate, but just one they brought because it's more compact, figuring a sitter would not use it much? Could there be another reason the dog avoids the crate that the sitter is unaware of? Is it possible that the sitter does not know all traumatic events of dog's past? That said, I think the short temper exhibited and small crate size warrants discussion with Rover for advice and possibly the owner, but it will need to be approached from a win/win position, like Michael suggested.

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answered 2015-06-25 18:45:16 -0600

Please have your friend call the Rover support team to talk about it. 888-453-7889.

It sounds like he could be going through what is called a puppy's "fear period". https://www.berkeleyhumane.org/files/...

He may also not have been taught that a crate is a good place, most dogs don't naturally take to being confined, they need to be trained to associate the crate with awesome things, like a kong stuffed with frozen canned food or peanut butter.

There are probably local resources for evaluating the dog, like animal control or a local shelter, but I'd definitely talk to support first.

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answered 2015-06-23 19:21:38 -0600

In my humble opinion, all you can do is pass on advice and if the owner seems to think his dog is a "Misbehaved" dog just try to get across to him that a happy healthy dog will bring more happiness into their lives. Other than that do your best to shower "HER" with lots of love and let her know that you are there to love and take care of her.SMH

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answered 2015-06-23 23:05:56 -0600

T'he bit about the owners mistaking their dog's gender is a bit frightening. I would contact Rover for a solution or even your local animal control center. I'm not sure there's much that can be done if there are no physical signs of abuse but it is most definitely worth a try to see if there if you can do anything to help. Good luck! :/

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