What to do when a dog is being aggressive with me?

I am currently sitting a family of three dogs, all was fine the first two days. Now one of the males is attacking his siblings. I attempted to corral him in a playpen but he climbed right out. I then moved him to a crate where he spent 1 hour screaming and clawing to get out. I went to use the restroom and in two minutes he destroyed my crate, got loose and urinated on every piece of furniture in my living/sitting room. Aside from that, he is now aggressive towards me, and challenges me every chance he gets. He has bitten me once already. I sent a message to the owners asking for suggestions but have yet to hear back. Had anyone else had a dog that turned aggressive towards them. If they can't offer some suggestions that work, would I be justified asking them to find someone to come and get him? He's in my last crate, if he destroys that, I don't know what I'll do with him as he marks EVERYWHERE. They are here until the 3rd!!!

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Sounds like it might be time to get their vet involved. Sudden behavior changes are often indicative of a medical problem rather than just a behavioral one. He may have suffered a seizure or have an injury that is not obvious or have an infection that is causing him significant pain and affecting how he perceives his environment.

Either way, you're justified in asking the family to make other arrangements. You have to take the health and safety of everyone in your home into consideration, and realize that even if it's inconveniencing the owners, doing what is best for you and the dogs is more important. He is clearly not relaxed and happy in your home, and is posing a threat to the other dogs and yourself. If the owners don't respond in a timely manner to you, their vet may be able to help with this also. Call them and explain the situation and see what they suggest.


You need to call the Rover team first, befor you contact the dog's vet. This is an "emergency" situation and Rover's procedures are to get in contact. Also, don't you have the owner's phone number? I'd call them immediately, especially if you need to get their vet involved since they will likely need to approve it. I won't attempt to diagnose the situation, but you need to contact Rover ASAP as well as the owners.


Yes! Forgot to mention contacting Rover. Do this! :)

I've just spoken to the owners. Get ready for this reply.... "Oh he acts like that when he is in pain, he needs his tramadol." NOWHERE on any paperwork or verbal conversation did they ever mention this poor dog had pins in two legs and required daily pain medication. So I'm off to his vet to get his pain meds. *Sigh* I guess I have a new question, how many of you sitters have had owners "forget" to mention important health/behavioral issues??

Incredible how blase some owners can be about not only somet hing that important for a sitter to know but also about how the destruction of your home/property. While I've never had an owner forget to tell me something that significant, it does emphasize the importance of getting complete information during the M&G via your dog info sheet/questionnaire. Mine specifically asks whether a dog is on meds or requires them. In this instance, one would need to be filled out for each of the three dogs. Time-consuming? Yes, but as you can see, vitally important. Glad to see that you did get it all sorted out and hopefully shouldn't experience this again.

I agree. I always ask and my paperwork also specifically asks about not only medications, but allergies, physical restrictions, fears/anxieties, any instances of aggression/resource guarding etc. Of course all are marked "none"...except he's afraid of the vacuum...?? I didn't even know the old Lady was deaf until they dropped off. :-(

Then you've done everything right and were as thorough as anyone could be. I hope they tip you big time for the trouble they've caused. :-)

He's had his pain meds and is resting quietly and nicely with his brother in the playpen. Seems to have no interest in getting out as the door is wide open. Time will tell. He seems fine with regards to me. Of course I will not let my guard down but if he stays like this we can manage till the 3rd!

Poor dog. That's not just unprofessional behavior to you, that's cruel and potentially dangerous for their dog. I can't imagine leaving that information out at the expense of my dogs' comfort. I'm glad he's resting comfortably now, and as Karen said, those owners owe you big time.

This is unbelievable! There really are people who shouldn't be dog owners. That should have been the first thing they should have informed you of at the M&G and on the questionnaire. So sorry you are going through this. She needs to compensate you for damage to your property and trip to the vet.

I agree with Frances. The owner needs to compensate you for the damage to your property and trip to the vet. It could have been worse. Their "forgetfulness" put not only this poor dog at risk, but the other dogs, you, and anyone else in your household...


Do you have a backyard for them to play? Do you walk them or play "mind" games with them? It sounds like boredom is setting in. Take the "aggressive" one out for a walk in the neighborhood first, then come back and take all of them for a walk. I am always checking Pinterest under the dog section to get information and ideas. There are some great article and training information sited. Pinterest is free to sign up. Just make sure you do some research on home made treats. Some people post home made treats with ingredients that isn't good for dogs, such as Chocolate chip and the sweetener that is in gum. WEBMD also has a section for animals so check out each ingredient. One site that I recently shared with my customers is Found on Good Luck.