Hi, my name is Patricia and I come from Spain, my boyfriend Lars is Dutch. I am 36 years old and I have had dogs since I was 11, all of them German Shepherds, not the easiest breed if you are a first time owner, but fantastic when you know how to handle them!!! We currently own two shepherd mixes, Kiva, and Shake, they are both adopted. Kiva wasn't the easiest dog ever, she came with lots of fears, she wasn't friendly with dogs, humans, kids...she made us work our ass off!!! But it is very rewarding to see the social dog she has become! Shake, however, is the easiest dog ever! He is good with all humans and all dogs. Monday to Thursday we work (office hours, but due to Covid-19, from home at least till September) therefore, if you would like us to take care of your dog on weekdays, we would like to first do a weekend test. We can do exceptions with dogs that we know and/or with dogs that are used to be at home alone during working hours.
We have experience with shy dogs, nervous dogs, dog to dog reactivity, resource guarding, food aggression, etc, etc. If your dog is good with our dogs, we are ok if he doesn't like other dogs on walks. One important thing is, because we both work, we are unable to take care of dogs that do have separation anxiety. Even if the anxiety is under control in your own home, a change of environment can make the dog be back to his/her old usual. We have a webcam on when we are away, and we do not like to see the animal suffering. If you need a sitter during the weekend though (from Thursday evening) that would not be an issue. About our house, we live in a quiet neighborhood (Houten), big house with big garden and a "dog room" with a doggy door that gives access to a fenced part of our garden, so when we are not at home, dogs can safely choose to be indoors or outdoors (or both). A truly professional setting in a home environment!!
We have a couple of off-leash areas nearby and a fenced dog park 5 min walking distance. Also, 10-15 min biking we have the forest. Weekends we take the dogs for a short walk in the morning, at midday we organize a packwalk in Utrecht (or near), that is a couple of hours walk and play with a group of dogs, and in the evening we do another short walk. If your dog is more active than that, we can bike or give extra walks. We also have brain games at home and well, Kiva is pretty good at exhausting any dog :p :p :p If your dog is older and doesn't need a lot of exercise, we can also adapt to that: our dogs are non stop outdoors, but indoors they are very chill and they respect the space and wishes of the guest dog. In our home we have a quite structured routine, walks, feeding etc happens more or less at the same time. We have rules such us waiting politely for food, waiting politely to be leashed, etc. Our experience is that when our two dogs follow those routines, the guest dog ends up copying it :D . Routine also makes the guest dog adapt faster, he knows what to expect and when. Also, our dogs are used to have benches to go to when they want peace, and we always place one for guests to use it if they want to. With us benches are safe places, not places to "store" a dog. We make sure that all dogs have positive associations with it (for example, we feed the dogs in or next to the crates, and we give them snacks in there too). In addition, we have a few safety rules: we do put a collar to all our guests with a tag and our phone numbers, also at home. This way if the dog would escape he will always have a tag. Also, we do not make loose any new dog, we use long leashes (10m) instead. This is because your dog might be very good at listening to you, but he might not listen to 2 complete strangers, especially if the dog is fearful. While in long leash, we do re-call training, and when we are confident that the dog will listen to us, we are happy to walk off-leash. Of course, if you prefer the dog to always be leashed, not a problem for us. Do you want to book us? No problem, but before agreeing, we would like to meet you and your dog. We prefer to meet you during our packwalk (even if you still do not have short term plans to travel). This way we can see how is your dog, and how does he/she interacts with others. If you have two (big) dogs, we can look into having both with us, but if we cannot, we made an agreement with another Pawshaker (and friend) that we trust: we can have one, and she can have the other one, and we will organize ourselves in a way that, at least during the weekend, and as much as possible during the week, we will walk all dogs together. You can find her profile in Pawshake (Tails on Trails with Viki & Ryan). Both Viki and ourselves share our visions and passion for dog care. Even more, she is, together with us, coorganizer of the Packwalk Utrecht. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Regards
We are a bit biased as we know Patty from group dog walks we go on together. She has always left us with the distinct impression that she cares deeply for dogs, and is very knowledgeable. This meant that when we were looking for a dog sitter she was our first pick.
It turns out that our instincts were completely correct. Patty was very interested in knowing about Mac and the areas we had concerns about him with in her house. She then slowly worked up to those boundaries and figured out what would be a problem and what wouldn’t.
Mac had a wonderful time playing with her dogs, and many adorable photos and videos were sent. I’m positive that we missed him more than he missed us while he was gone.
I don’t know when we will next be leaving Mac behind during a trip but I know that Patty will continue to be our first contact for someone to watch him.
Onze honden hebben het heel erg naar hun zin gehad. Dit was de allereerste keer dat ze ooit uit logeren gingen. Dankzij de vele filmpjes en foto's konden we zien dat alles goed ging. Alsof ze er al jaren komen. Ook met Shake en Kiva ging het super.Heel fijn. We maken zeker nog een afspraak voor een logeerpartij.
I am not a dog trainer but I read everything related to dog training, I follow FB groups, watch videos, etc etc. Also I have trained my own dogs to a level above the average pet owner
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