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Things I Learned While Dog-Sitting

Author: Nicole Stewart | Date: January 13, 2017

As a dog trainer whose days are centered around dogs, dog behavior, dog knowledge, and sometimes, dog poop, the last thing I want to do is take dogs into my home. It’s not relaxing and always takes about 3 days for things to normalize, but when a friend with a 9 month old mini Australian Shepherd tells me that her dog sitter is pulling out at the last minute, I really don’t have an excuse. It’s what friends do, and I should be good at it given my profession. So, I did. I said yes.

The plan was for Friday to Sunday. Three days, two nights. I can handle that. Right? RIGHT?


So, here’s what I learned:
  • Everything I’ve told dog owners about prevention and management is true. It sets everyone up for success.
  • Everything dog owners have told me about prevention and management being a pain in the ass is true. You really just need to acclimate to a new way of living with gates, crates, and leashes, and sometimes, you just don’t want to.
  • You do get used to the prevention and management tools mentioned above, and it does make things easier.
  • 10-year-old dogs, don’t always welcome a “friend” into their homes.
  • We won’t be getting a puppy anytime soon.
  • Socialization – meaning exposure to everything in your human life, not just dogs – is key and, every so often, all you need.
  • A well-socialized dog whose attention you can get makes up for a lot of things.
  • Smaller dogs are just easier. When they pull, when they poop, when they do just about everything.


And that’s the truth.


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