How To Handle A Difficult Dog: Pet Sitting Business Tips

Table of Contents

Any pet sitter has encountered a dog that is more difficult to manage than usual. If you work in the pet-sitting industry, you will have to deal with challenging pets on a regular basis.

The following recommendations and tips may be useful while pet-sitting a nervous dog.

  • Handling and dealing with difficult dogs
  • Meet the owner
  • Ease your mind
  • Make yourself appear less threatening
  • Make use of treats
  • Make it clear to the dog that he or she is in charge
  • Conclusion

Handling and dealing with difficult dogs

Understanding the behavior of the dogs you handle is essential for stress-free management and handling. With that in mind, keep in mind that a difficult dog is likely to be anxious, and there are different ways to alleviate their anxiety.

Meet the owner

First, ask the owner about the dog's past; are there any specific items he or she is afraid of? Perhaps other dogs or certain situations? Some animals (such as rescue dogs) may be scared if they encounter someone carrying a broom. Understanding what makes a particular dog frightened will assist you in gradually building trust with him or her.

Dogs may get worried because they are unfamiliar with the surroundings and the humans. Don't rush the process of familiarization; instead, take it one step at a time, such as by meeting the owner outdoors on walks or paying a visit when the owner is at home.

Ease your mind

You can make the experience more enticing to a fearful dog by spraying your legs with a dog pheromone soothing spray beforehand; there are several options available online.

Alternatively, when you go for a walk with another dog you know to be friendly, personable, and well-behaved, you can reassure a nervous dog. (As long as you know the dog you're sitting is at ease among other people.)

Make yourself appear less threatening

When meeting a new dog, be careful to bend or bow down to their level. Make indirect eye contact by looking down and away from the animal. Make a fist so they can smell you and gain confidence. (Using a relaxed hand keeps your fingers from being bitten accidentally.)

If everything goes okay, reach beneath their chin, shoulder, or side of their chest to begin caressing. Never grab at their head to rub it; this might frighten them.

Make use of treats

Of course, the way to an anxious pet's heart is through their stomach—treats like little pieces of food will always win friends. Instead of expecting the dog to come towards you to retrieve the morsels, choose small chunks—the smellier the better—such as tuna or chicken breast—and throw them away from you.

You could wind up sitting on the floor, surrounded by the delicacies you're presenting, but that's alright. Allow the dog to explore on its own without touching or patting it as it eats; allow him or her to enjoy the rewards without feeling constrained by you.

Boost Dog's Confidence

If a dog is very anxious or frightened, simply sit on the couch and read a book or magazine while entirely ignoring the pet; even if it approaches you, the dog will become accustomed to your presence and feel confident and more comfortable with you after a while and at its own pace.

Never follow a dog in its own home; always allow it to make the first move. Make it clear to him or her that they are in charge and that you are not a danger.


When operating a dog sitting business, you are certain to come across some challenging dogs, especially if they were rescue dogs in the past.

Knowing how to calm difficult pets is part of your job and necessitates a basic understanding of animal behavior, not least because many dogs become frightened when confronted with unexpected individuals in an unusual location or surroundings.

The strategies and recommendations we've provided may assist you in breaking down some of those unavoidable obstacles and managing even the most anxious pets.

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