This is my first post on my brand new blog I’ve started while seating on a couch with two lovely staffies we look after this weekend. I thought to myself that this is the perfect way to set it off! By appreciating the creatures that have filled my life with joy and excitement for the past few months. I have started dog-sitting business with my boyfriend in summer 2016 and we’ve not stopped till today. It’s definitely kept us on our feet 24/7 but also, brought loads of fun memories to our lives!
Since I started working full time in October, my part in the doggy business became limited to evenings and weekends, but I still try to contribute to helping Corey (boyfriend, as you can guess) as much as I can. I’ve started online Dog Training Course to better understand the psychology and research behind certain canine behaviours which certainly helped in better communication with our doggy visitors.
I wanted to show the appreciation of these gorgeous creatures by writing a list of my experiences of the past few months of being involved with dogs. So if you’re thinking of becoming a dog-sitter or if you’re simply interested in how this job looks like – check out the list 🙂
- Main thing is to focus on the attention to every dog that comes through the door!
Dogs coming to our home can sometimes be nervous about being left behind by their owner in this new environment. It is crucial for us to focus on giving them all the attention in the world (and a treat or two) to make sure they know we are their friends, and they’ll have a great time with us. At the end of the day – it’s their holiday too!
- Dogs need time to relax in a new place
That relates to the previous point – we try to keep dogs occupied all the time, to help them with the separation issues. Most dogs need about one or two days to completely relax and get used to being in a new place.
- Each dog requires personal approach That’s probably one of the best things you encounter as a dog sitter. Dogs are like humans in terms of personalities – they are all very different to one another! Some of them are introverts (we looked after the cross once, who was found by their owners in the cave in Hong Kong as a puppy – they decided to adopt her and she’s been with them for 10 years now. She’s lovely, but there is a reason why we gave her a nickname ‘Ghost dog’…) and extroverts (can’t get enough of staffies!).
- They’ll always try to steal your food
No matter how many treats they get, most dogs are on the hunt for food 24/7. Me and Corey have a system of watching out for our food. If one of us needs to get a drink, the other one is guarding. Sometimes even that doesn’t work!
- You need to be creative with play time
Some dogs are quite bored with their toys, or for some reason don’t want to play with them here, so we had to come up with out own games. Our favourite one is hide and seek. If you stand behind the door and don’t move – you can play this game for hours. I also go as far as baking dog friendly cupcakes!
- At some point, one of them will shit on your carpet
That’s just the way it is, guys. So deal with it.
- Weekend mornings are the best thing ever
My favourite thing about the dogs is when they jump around you all happy when you call their name in the morning. Few minutes of snuggles and walk time!
- Walks – sometimes great experience, sometimes just a duty
As everything that ‘has to be done’ it’s not always great fun. On a horrible day (and there’s a lot of them in Scotland) it’s not easy to force yourself to go outside, but otherwise, you will have to go back to the point 6. However when you pick up the lead and you see the excitement the doggies are spreading around – you don’t mind!
- Dogs learn your behaviours faster than you learn theirs
That’s true. All dogs we had so far learned the pattern of our lifestyles way faster than we figured out anything about theirs! After the first day of me getting up at 5am during the week for work, they know this is not the time to care – because they wont get food or walk until Corey gets up around 9am.
- Seeing dogs reunited with their owners is the most beautiful experience!
That’s when you see the real true love between the doggies and their owners. It’s amazing how dogs can smell their owners even when they’re just coming up in the lift! It’s such a heart warming picture when you see how deeply attached dogs can be to their owners and what a strong bound they can build together!