What To Do When Doggie Sitting a Friend's Doggie

I know that I am a "push-over", but I just agreed to doggie sit my friend's dog while he is away over Thanksgiving.  How can I make sure that Wolfie isn't going to go "Cujo" on the dog?

The good news is if Wolfie doesn't have a history of being unsociable with other dogs, you have a fighting chance of making this work.  With that said, you can't just throw them in the same room and hope for the best.  What you must do is to initially socialize the dogs and then establish boundaries (Hey!  Don't use my toothbrush!).  Here is what you do:

  • Before your friend's dog comes over to stay, have his dog and Wolfie meet several times in a neutral territory.  Have them both on leashes and allow them to sniff and exchange doggie pleasantries.  Take them for walks and even play catch with them.  This builds up  a social understanding between the two dogs regarding their individual levels of assertion and respect.  This is important when you bring them into your home.
  • When your friend brings over his dog to your house, have the dogs meet outside and let them sniff and play for a little while.  Now, take Wolfie inside to the family room.  Make sure he is on a leash.  Have your friend bring in his dog into the family room on a leash.  Let the dogs sniff and walk around.  Drop the leashes and have everyone "just hang out" for about 30 minutes.  If the dogs show any sign of aggression, correct them and have them sit by their perspective masters for a minute or two before releasing them again.  If Wolfie is over-possessive with any particular toy or object, it would be a good idea to remove them during your friend's dog's stay.  
  • If everything is fine after about 30 minutes, it is time for your friend to be on his way.  Don't have your friend make a big thing about leaving.  He should just get up and leave.  
  • During the stay, remember these simple rules:
    • Feed the dogs separately.
    • Never leave the dogs together, unattended for the first few days.
    • Never leave the dogs together if someone is not going to be home.
    • Be sure to let them out and have a good amount of supervised play time every day.
    • Never allow your friend's dog in Wolfie's crate, on Wolfie's bed, or in your bedroom.
    • If your friend's dog has a potty accident in the house, be sure to clean it up immediately using an enzyme cleaner or vinegar & baking soda.
    • Give equal amount of attention and love to both dogs.
Follow these simple rules and your friend's dog's stay should be happy and uneventful.  And remember that now, your friend owes you!  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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