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Hi, its my first time on this site so please be kind!

My neighbour has been unable to get back from a trip due to travel restrictions, so he asked me to look after his dogs for him. I’ve never had dogs before or anything, but he’s said that he will owe me in the future.

He is a mad dog person, and has two labradors, both female.

Yesterday the dogs were handed over to me, and I decided that I’ll be staying over at his house, as I don’t want dogs in my home. As I got into bed, both of the dogs kept trying to jump into the bed with me and it was a real struggle to get them off, so I shut the bedroom door and let them have the rest of the house.

I woke up at about 6.00, and when I went into the living room they began barking, and I noticed that their water bowls were empty so I filled it up for them.

About 15 minutes later, they were still barking and kept following me around,I don’t know what that’s all about and I was trying to get changed.

Then, one of them squatted down and took a pee right on the carpet,which was my worst nightmare - he said they were house trained but I guess this dog was nervous or something - do you know how to make her less nervous?

Any tips would be really helpful!

Super Moderator
1,659 Posts
The first thing is take a breath, these are strange times. You are a good neighbour to step up.

Then, try to get a routine. For example,

Get up and potty break
Fill water bowls
”You” stuff - whatever that needs to be
”You” stuff
Potty break
Water bowls
”You” stuff
Potty and bed.

The only things that I think are fairly fixed are potty right after getting up and right before bed.

Apart from that the rest is more flexible and your neighbour should be able to tell you how often and how much they are fed and how many walks (and length of walk) they get.

But if you can't walk them, or walk them for as long as your neighbour does, don't worry - you are helping out no matter how much or little you can do and I am sure he will be really grateful.

522 Posts
The barking is probably due to excitement. They could get excited because they get to see you or because they expect something like food or walks etc.

That’s probably also why they kept following you around and barking, they’re excited and they either want to be with you or expect something from you. Considering the accident later on it’s possible that they were eager to be let out to do their business.

Why one of the dog had an accident indoors even though she is housebroken can be, as you mentioned, because of stress. She might be affected by the strange circumstances and feel a little bit more stress than usual. However it could also be that she is housebroken but only if you follow her normal routines. Maybe she’s used to be walked later in the evening or right after she wakes up. Have you got information from the owner on the dogs routines?

Since this happen I think the best would be to take them out on a potty break the first thing in the morning. You don’t necessarily have to take them on a walk the first thing you do, just let them go outside to toilet.

There’s a lot of things you could do to deal with or prevent stress/nervousness, but it of course depends on the time and effort you can put in. In general, a tired dog is a calm and happy dog, if you’re able to exercise them they won’t have as much pent up energy which can be a contributing factor to stress. To prevent or deal with stress, more calming activities are better, like walks or searching rather then playing fetch as an example. But I understand that this is a strange situation and you might not have the time or interest to exercise them properly.

Otherwise I would just recommend to be calm around the dogs, don’t hype them up (as many do), just try to keep a calm energy.

Is there anything else the dog is doing that make you believe she’s nervous or stressed?

Then obviously, it’s best to talk to the owner also, ask about the accident, why they are barking, is she nervous etc? If you have any more wonders we can try to help but I definitely think the best would be to have a chat with the owner about your questions as well.
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