Is your dog shy around new people? Do you worry about how you can help your shy dog bond with a dog walker or pet sitter before leaving him or her in their care if you work away from home for extended hours or travel?
To help ease in the care of dog sitter or dog walker, some dogs need additional time to build a bond. By spending extra time to help build a bond, this will bring you peace of mind and comfort to your pup before your dog walking or dog sitting visits start.
Check out our 8 step approach to help your shy dog bond with their dog walker or dog sitter.
- Identify the traits in a person that would make your dog feel most at ease and comfortable. For example, does your dog do better with an alpha personality or with someone who exudes soft calm energy? Also, ask yourself if your dog would prefer a male or female sitter?
- Then find a dog walker or pet sitter who has the energy and personality that would best mesh with your dog. If you need help on how to find a pet sitter, you may like these articles on How To Find A Pet Sitter and What To Look For When Hiring A Pet Sitter.
- Set a complimentary consultation to meet with the dog walker or dog sitter in person to make sure they are the right fit for you and your dog and review all the details they will need to give your dog the best care in your absence. The sitter should have you complete a detailed profile for caring for your dog and your home either before you meet or at the consultation.
- If everything goes well at the consultation, set a minimum of three to four thirty minute practice visits for your dog sitter or dog walker to come over before the actual dog sitting or dog walking visits start so they can start to build a bond.
- At the first one or two visits, have your dog sitter or dog walker hang out with you and your dog in your home so your dog knows they can trust the sitter in your presence. At these visits, have the dog walker or dog sitter offer treats to your dog and/or prepare their meal.
- At the second or third visit, join your dog walker or dog sitter on a walk. When you first leave the house, you will want to hold your dogs leash. During the walk, you can give the leash to your dog walker or dog sitter while continuing to walk with them.
- If everything is going smoothly, at the next practice visit, have your dog walker or dog sitter come over when you are not home. If your dog isn’t ready to walk with the sitter yet, don’t push a walk but allow the sitter to spend more time with your dog.
- During the practice visits or at the last one before the actual dog walks or dog sitting visits start, ask your dog walker or dog sitter to leave a personal article of clothing by your dogs favorite toys or bed with their scent on it as a reminder of them.
By following the above steps, your dog should start bonding and building trust with your dog walker or dog sitter so when the actual visits start they won’t be so shy or afraid. If the bond does not appear to be happening after the first two visits then ask to meet another sitter.
Do you have a shy dog? Do you think our 8 step approach would be useful to help your shy dog bond with a dog walker or dog sitter? Do you have any other suggestions to add?