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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm one of the masses that must work for a living and need to leave my dog alone during the days that I'm in the office. My girl is not quite six months yet so I have a dog walker that I really like come in to walk her. My dog seems to love her. However, this took some trial and error with other walkers to find this one. My dog hasn't seemed to be adversely affected, but it stressed me out to no end having strangers handling my dog, and not following my instructions (long story).

Which leads me to my current angst... substitute dog walkers! When my regular can't come in, a substitute is sent by the service. Usually I will plan to be home to meet and greet the new walker with my dog the first time. However, I just got a text saying my walker had to take her own dog to the vet and a replacement will come at the last minute. Mainly I am concerned with how my dog will react to a stranger coming in, leashing her up and taking her out.

On one hand I'm worried she'll be afraid or stressed, but I also don't like the idea of her getting used to random people just coming in and having their way with her. I'm feeling rather tortured here, as I don't have any other options for dog walking (no family/friends available). What is other people's experience with this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A sub with no meet and greet? dang. I am surprised that the walking service's insurance would allow that. A stranger could get bit. Let us know how this plays out.
Yeah, I'm not(!) happy about that but unavoidable since I was already at work an hour away and the regular walker had to get her dog to the vet. A bite scenario may be more of an issue as she gets older and more territorial. But to be on the safe side since my puppy is crated, I gave instructions today that if she acted fearful, stressed or aggressive to leave her in the crate and let me know so I could leave work early.

Fortunately... I just watched on the puppy cam... she barked once or twice then started wagging her tail and got all excited to go for a walk. So, while I'm happy for that reaction, I'll likely ask them to forego the walk next time and just bail out of work early if I can. Don't really want her getting used to strangers coming in.
 

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As someone who was a dog walker... I would be so uncomfortable going into someone's house without meeting everyone first! I would be hesitant with how the dog would react, I wouldn't know how to do things or what rules/routines the owner has, and I would be worried that if someone broke in after I left, I would get the blame. So many reasons this isn't a good idea! Also, how do they get in? Do you hide a key or something?

Hopefully things work out for you and you have a backup plan for next time.
 

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As someone who was a dog walker... I would be so uncomfortable going into someone's house without meeting everyone first! I would be hesitant with how the dog would react, I wouldn't know how to do things or what rules/routines the owner has, and I would be worried that if someone broke in after I left, I would get the blame. So many reasons this isn't a good idea! Also, how do they get in? Do you hide a key or something?

Hopefully things work out for you and you have a backup plan for next time.
I would not be happy to be in your position. Can't you find a retired neighbor or find someone near your house that can help you out.
 

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Tough situation, I'm glad it sounds like it worked out this time! If it were me, I'd contact the service provider and let them know in no uncertain terms that a last minute substitution will not be tolerated again! It doesn't seem like it would be difficult for them to arrange for you to meet more than one of their walkers, so that if when it happens again, the sub allowed to walk your dog would be someone familiar to both you and your dog. If they can't do that, I'd look for another service provider!
 

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If this was your normal dog walkers hand picked sub, I am sure all will be fine. I am sure the sub has been given all the needed info.
 

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Stranger coming to your home. When you are not home. Approaching your GSD. Putting him on leash. And walking away with him? :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

Are we really talking here about GSD? I can imagine, that 99% of GSD would eat that stranger for a dinner in this scenario. It has to be one really really really sociable dog. :nerd:
 

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Stranger coming to your home. When you are not home. Approaching your GSD. Putting him on leash. And walking away with him? :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

Are we really talking here about GSD? I can imagine, that 99% of GSD would eat that stranger for a dinner in this scenario. It has to be one really really really sociable dog. :nerd:
I can imagine that 99% of owners might like to think their dogs could/would/should... but no, 99% of gsd would not.

My hope would also be that at 6 months old, a stable well socialized gsd that’s accustom to this routine of no perceived threat... would be fine.

This walker was upfront. I respect that. In the future you can plan to handle things differently when given such information.

I had a housesitter once who apparently fell ill (which was the story she gave after being questioned)... it was my neighbor who called while I was away for over a week and said that an older woman had been seen walking my dogs for several days (my sitters mother who I had not met). I had an 85lbs “edgy” female gsd and a 17yr old fragile mixed breed... no, it was not ok for someone I hadn’t met or been made aware of, to care for my dogs. She was seen at least 4 days. I deducted 4 days from my sitters pay. She was not happy. At all!! ** kanye shrug **

Anyway, I say all that to say - it’s not uncommon for dog walkers (especially the franchise type) to have multiple walkers or assistants. Some are honest, some aren’t. Yours is :)
 

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I second everyone who doubts your dog, who is a GSD, would let a total stranger into the house, get him out of the crate, then walk him outside and back and everybody's fine and dandy. If it does happen, then you're very lucky.

What I would do in your situation, is find another sitter (1 or 2) as back ups. Do the introduction and everything properly as you did with your regular sitter. Thus you don't get screwed if your regular sitter has emergency whatsoever. Always have back ups.
 

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This is a good thread even with people to come to the house to watch dogs while away. I would think anyone would need to meet the sub and they would have to come into the house and meet the dogs. I can not imagine a stranger trying to enter the house.
 

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I wouldn't be too quick to assume what any dog would do with someone entering the house when you're not there, even among breeds not known for their guarding instincts. I'll never forget getting a 9 AM emergency phone call during a meeting in another city. It was the grad student whom I'd hired to housesit while I was away. John was well known to and (up until that point) loved by my 18 month old IW, Fergus. However, Fergus didn't think that John should enter the house when I wasn't there and was quite emphatic in expressing that opinion (i.e., charging and slamming the door, growling and barking furiously until John sensibly retreated down the driveway). Ordinarily a quiet dog, Fergus created so much ruckus that the neighbors came over to see what was wrong, which prompted calls to the police and finally to me in the meeting.

Ya never know...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As someone who was a dog walker... I would be so uncomfortable going into someone's house without meeting everyone first! I would be hesitant with how the dog would react, I wouldn't know how to do things or what rules/routines the owner has, and I would be worried that if someone broke in after I left, I would get the blame. So many reasons this isn't a good idea! Also, how do they get in? Do you hide a key or something?

Hopefully things work out for you and you have a backup plan for next time.
I have keypad entry on my backdoor and back gate. My walker has her own code, so if I change walkers I can change codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If this was your normal dog walkers hand picked sub, I am sure all will be fine. I am sure the sub has been given all the needed info.
Yes, this was the situation. The sub also works for the service, my walker picked her, and she was given specific instructions. Fortunately all was well in this case.
 

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Yikes that is a very tricky situation.... Would it be possible to get to know two sitters and have them rotate who takes the dog out every day? Like Susie on Monday, Jane on Tuesday, Susie on Wednesday, etc. ? That way the dog gets used to both people and you always have a back up in case one of them can't make it? I was asked to check on a friend of the familys dog a while back, didn't know the dog very well, it was aggressive to people in general and a fighting breed. Boy was I not prepared. I walked in the kitchen and luckily they had a gate up but that thing wanted to eat me. I ended up finding a skewer in the kitchen, smearing some peanut butter on the end of it and was able to use that to trick the dog into the loop of the leash and then I yanked its butt outside lol. As soon as it was outside it calmed down and we went for a nice walk :grin2: . Where are you at by the way?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Stranger coming to your home. When you are not home. Approaching your GSD. Putting him on leash. And walking away with him? :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

Are we really talking here about GSD? I can imagine, that 99% of GSD would eat that stranger for a dinner in this scenario. It has to be one really really really sociable dog. :nerd:
I know, right? :) Well, she's does like people and is still a puppy. I'm hoping she will become more territorial with un-announced strangers, which I anticipate happens as she matures, but it's one of the reasons I don't want her getting used to strangers coming in like this!
 
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