Who is your pet sitter? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Who is your pet sitter?

Do you ever live your pet for long hours or even a few days for work or travel. I have never had to do this but now work is calling elsewhere and i'll have to find someone responsible to take care of it while i am away. I am seriously stressed about it because am thinking about all that the person has to do including walking Sammy around etc. I am not sure who to trust. Any ideas or tips?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 09:55 AM
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As soon as I moved to my new house I googled Pet sitters in my area.
The first one I called came out met my dogs and talked to me about herself and her own dogs.
She has been a blessing. She has a key to my house.
I starting calling her only when I was going to work late and would ask to stop by and walk them for me.
Now I use her when I want to go away.
It works out great, the dogs are in their own home she stops by 3 - 4 times a day and walks, plays and feeds them.
For me the pet sitter/walker is a great option.

My only concern was finding someone not afraid of the shepherd, but she walked right in and spoke his language.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 10:14 AM
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There are professional companies out there.

As for me, someone who owns a GSD comes and looks after him .
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 11:16 AM
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I am lucky that family lives close by and can let my dogs out when I work long hours. They also watch my 3 girls if I'm out of town, and while I know that they would watch my GSD too, he is a busy boy so I leave him with his trainers. He stays at their house and loves it - I'm not sure he notices that I'm gone.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 12:35 PM
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I'd start building your "list" before you plan to need it (kudos to you for thinking ahead!)

The list of people I trust is short. I'm fortunate to have immediate family in the area that have experience with (and own) large breed herding dogs, they're first on the list. Both of my dogs' breeders have left an open invitation to board or care for "their" dog at any time, if needed. Since they're both fairly local to me, this is great for peace of mind - I know they would be carefully watched and treated as family.

Second on the list is a close family friend that loves her dogs like family, and has known both of mine since they were puppies. My dogs are familiar and comfortable on her property, and with her dogs, and we visit regularly. We are both each other's "Emergency Contact" when she chooses to board her dogs, or goes out of town. I have her vet's info, she has mine, and we both have a spare set of dog tags with each other's info that we use on our dogs' collars if pup-sitting for one another. I'd recommend getting these made ahead of time, if you travel and won't have your regular phone turned on or available.

Third on the list - there is only one neighbor that I trust as back-up (she's a good friend), and my dogs know her well enough that they will let her into the house without issue if I'm not home. We trial-tested this ahead of time twice, just to make sure. She works from home and is my emergency backup, in case I have car trouble or get stuck somewhere and the dogs need a bathroom break. I've only needed to ask her for help twice in six years, but it's comforting knowing she's there.

I know that good boarding facilities exist, but they still make me nervous because I've heard some scary stories from friends. I only boarded my dogs once (wedding, out of the country, family and close friends were all along for the ride). There weren't any issues, and if necessary, I would use them again. I just prefer in-home, 24/7, care for my own peace of mind.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 02:11 PM
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I'd rather use a professional kennel/boarding facility than a pet sitter. I'm picky about how my dogs are handled. My neighbor pet sits professionally but I have the way I handle the dogs at the house. I don't want them screwed up by other people's handling.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 02:54 PM
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I generally have family or very close friends care for my dog. When we have larger family vacations (and no dogs allowed) I use a relatively local boarding kennel. The lady who runs the kennel is someone I have known for over 10 years, and I used to train horses with her husband. They run a fantastic, small-size kennel.

Being concerned about how your dog will be handled while you're gone is completely valid. If you know people with dogs, see if they have any suggestions for you. I dog- and horse-sit for a variety of people quite regularly, and I've only been recommended to them by word of mouth. Once you have someone lined up to take care of Sammy, set up at least one time where they will come over and you can show them Sammy's routine, as well as give them any rules for handling, or even tips for dealing with any behaviors that are specific to Sammy. As some examples: one of the dogs I take care of never gets kenneled at night, but there is a set routine for door manners before she goes out to potty; another dog is very well behaved in the house and has obvious training, but because of her breed and natural instincts she must ALWAYS be on leash if she's out of the house.

Having rules in place (even written down for your sitter to refer back to) can be peace of mind for YOU and for them.

- Kayla

Dover von Ziegeln Zage (GSD, 3 yrs)
Dutchess Lena of Black Lake RATI (Keeshond, 12 yrs)

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 04:16 PM
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I agree with middle and take the Hooligans to a professional kennel with an excellent reputation for boarding vs using a pet sitter. The kennel I use offers several levels of play time, walks in the woods, etc. in addition to a grooming facility. The owners live on the kennel property and when I requested that one of my old guys have access to the outside part of their kennel run until 11PM it was no problem. And the bonus is the guys are always happy to go there, no one ever hangs back or refuses to go into the office area or back to the kennel or grooming areas (I used a couple kennels up in Maryland that my dogs put on the breaks when I attempted to take them back a 2nd time ... I always left and found another place where they were happy to go).

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