Misbehaving for Pet Sitter

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Boxer Insane
I have been using the same Pet Sitting Business for about 2 years now and have always been very happy with their service. The woman who owns the company covers several towns in our area and has a bunch of people who work for her. For a long time we had the same person who would come by at lunchtime every day, and let Finnegan and Nessa out into the back yard and hangs out with them for 30 minutes. There was never any problems that I know of till recently, that particular person no longer works for the pet sitter and we now have a new person coming by every day at lunch, I have not actually met her but she is the sister of the girl who owns the business and we have spoken on the phone.

She is having problems with Finnegan, he doesn’t listen to her, he won’t come back into the house when called, he spends a lot of time barking at her and jumping on her excessively.

Finnegan used to bark at me and my husband when he wanted attention but we have since taught him the QUIET command and he knows this behavior doesn’t work with us, but he is trying it now with the pet sitter and as for the jumping he rarely tries to jump on me or my husband and responds well to OFF he will occasionally try and jump on visitors but nothing excessive and normally I am there to make sure of it, so this excessive jumping is definitely not a normal behavior for him.

She leaves us notes every day to tell me what they did etc so for the last couple of weeks I was getting the impression she was having a hard time with Finnegan so I left her notes with some tips on how to deal with him, but those tips are not working for her. I have the impression she is very intimidated by Finnegan and he knows it, which is why he is being a brat.

I have made plans to be home this Friday and to meet her there and spend time with her and the dogs together to see if we can figure things out.

Another things I should mention is that I believe this girl is very small in stature so that combined with being nervous of Finnegan just doesn’t help.

Should I just tell them that they need to send one of their other employees, someone who is used to dealing with big dogs and is not intimidate by them ? I could also change and use a totally different Pet Walking Company but till now I have never had problems and I know they are trying their best so I don’t feel the need to change company in fact I prefer to deal with an owner who has been looking after my dogs for a long time and knows there issues etc

It just makes me nervous, I know she is trying her best but this behavior is not normal for Finnegan and the situation just makes me nervous about what could happen. I will not make any decisions till I meet her on Friday.

Just looking for suggestions as to what you guys think.

Adelle, Finnegan, CGC & Nessa, CGC
Boxer Buddies Rescue & Adoption Inc.


Boxer Insane
Was she introduced to the dogs before she started taking over the duties? The dogs could be very confused about why their friend of two years no longer comes around and this new stranger is in her place telling them what to do.

If the sitter can, have her come over when y'all are home and interact with the dogs. May it clear to the babies that this is someone whom they need to listen to.

Andie :)


Boxer Insane
She was introduced to the dog by the owner of the company who has filled in on many ocassions and knows the dogs, but was not introduced by the regular person who used to come by - I believe they parted ways on bad terms so that was not possible :(

I plan to spend time with her and the dogs this Friday so hopefully that will make a difference.



Boxer Insane
That's a tough situation. I think you'll have a much better feel for how to go when you an actually meet the pet sitter and get a better idea of whether she's comfortable with the situation and willing to work on it or if she's intimidated. As you know, if she's intimidated, Finnegan will pick up on that and the problems will just get worse, but if she's comfortable and just needs some hints and advice for managing him, it might work out fine.

If you aren't comfortable after meeting this pet sitter, talk to the owner and explain that you have appreciated their service and would like to continue doing business with them but you aren't comfortable with the current employee. Their reaction should give you a pretty clear picture on whether to stick with them and try a different employee or try a different company.

Good luck!


Boxer Insane
To me, (and i will be the first to admit i am not an expert) but it seems like BOTH the sitter and Finnegan need to learn some behaviours. If she is a pet sitter and is afraid of large dogs, isnt that like a babysitter that is afraid of children? IMO even if you get finnegan to listen, is the sitter is still intimidated by him, then you will always have this problem. So, here is my advice :D (take with grain of salt, please) i would definitely spend time on fri with both, assess BOTH of them and how they interact, if the sitter still seems intimidated by your baby, maybe since you have a good relationship with the owner of this company, you could call for a meeting with the the owner, sitter and yourself and maybe politely (and tactfully) discuss this intimidation problem, i am sure that all three of you would be interested in "fixing" this problem and boxers are the BEST dogs to help people overcome large dog intimidation. My sister is TERRIFIED of all dogs, she still gets a little nervous around kate when she is being her normal wild self, but my sister said that if she ever had to get a dog, a boxer would be her choice, she even takes katie out for walks when we visit. This might be a great learning experience for all!

Good Luck!


Boxer Insane
See what your thoughts are after meeting the sitter, but it might be better off for Finnegan if you request a new person.

I can not leave my dogs with my mother in control as they walk all over her - nothing bad, they just do what they want (things they don't dream of with us or other people). Now, my dogs are extremely well trained, so I figure it's Mum, and at this stage in life I'm fairly sure she is untrainable :D She is not at all intimidated by them, just way too soft with her 'granddogs'.


Super Boxer
I think that id the sitter is willing to work on HER issues and if you really end up liking her after friday, you should give it more of a chance. The bad thing about giving up on the sitter is it may teach Finnegan that if he misbehaves he can get people to "go away". There will come a time where he will have to learn to behave around someone who is intimidated ( perhaps a child or elderly person) and you won't have the option of just switching, Hopefully after shpening some time with the sitter you can teach her how to have the upper hand!! Good luck!
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