5 Things Your Dachshund Sitter Probably Isn’t Telling You

I’ve been a Dachshund sitter for 10 years. While I occasionally watch other small dogs, I choose to specialize in this specific breed.


Well, there are many reasons, but it’s primarily because:

  • I’ve been a Dachshund owner for over 20 years and I am obsessed with the breed
  • Dachshunds and have unique behaviors and characteristics that I understand and cater to willingly
  • I understand that Dachshund owners often treat their dogs like their “babies” and expect an almost human level of care.

Dachshund owners are often very apprehensive about leaving their dog with a sitter and are nervous that their dog is doing ok without them while they are gone.

I get it. I’ve had to leave my Dachshunds with a dog sitter on occasion when I travel.

Frankly, it’s excruciating. 

I waffle between worrying they are having a terrible experience and causing a lot of frustration and envisioning them happy, frolicking, and enjoying every minute of their “sleepover”.

The reality is somewhere in between. I know this because I have watched around 100 Dachshunds over the years.

I like to think mine are special. That they are better adjusted than most. That they are perfectly behaved and don’t let a different situation throw off their routine.

But I know that is a bit delusional. 

I’ve had dog sitters report that “they were great” when I know my dogs. 

Honestly, they are not even great all of the time at my own house with me. Ha, ha.

While I totally get the desire of dog sitters to give owners the impression that their Dachshund had a great time and a seamless experience – because who wants to leave their dog where they had a bad experience last time? – I also think it’s very important to be honest and set realistic expectations.

So there is a reality check on some things that your Dachshund will likely experience at a dog sitter’s house that your dog sitter may be leaving out of the conversation (likely omission, not deception).

Yes, Your Dachshund is Stressed When You Leave

While some Dachshunds are only anxious for about 15 minutes, most are stressed for the first few hours, or even the first day, they are away from you.

That’s normal, especially if you spend the majority of your time with them, work from home, take them with you wherever you go, or they have separation anxiety.

The worst case I’ve experienced lasted almost a week. But the Dachshund gradually became less stressed each day. 

It wasn’t that the Dachshund was a nervous basket case the whole time, he just didn’t completely settle until about 7 days in.

Your Dachshund May Not Be Playing With Others

I get it – I like to envision my Dachshunds playing and having a grand ol’ time with the new friends they meet at the dog sitters.

Or maybe you’ve seen videos of dogs playing with each other at your dog sitters house, so you assume that your own dog has “joined the party”.

The thing is, the inclination of a dog to play is unique to their personality.

Some dogs don’t play with other dogs at all, some will play only if the other dog’s play style matches theirs, some won’t play with another dog until they’ve been in the same house with them for at least a week.

Because sitters only watch a dog for a week at a time, many Dachshunds are people oriented and aren’t inclined to play with other dogs, the chance that your dog is playing while you’re away is less than 50%.

In my experience, only about 20% of the dogs that I watch regularly engage in play.

Your Dachshund May Not Eat For the First Day or Two

When a dog is stressed, they are unlikely to eat. Even if they are extremely food motivated.

About 30% of the Dachshunds I’ve watched turn their nose up at the first meal that I offer them.

Because there are multiple dogs in the house, I can’t leave the dish of food down for them to graze so I pick it up and offer it to them again later.

If a dog still isn’t interested in eating the second time that the meal is offered, I try to make it more interesting.

I may try to hand feed them. 

It’s surprising how many dogs will take food from my hand but not eat it from the dish.

I may add some sprinkles of dried lung, liver, or meat-based dog treats that their parents sent with them.

If they still won’t eat their food, I offer real-meat treats throughout the day so they at least have something in their stomach.

Almost all dogs will eat on the second day they’re here because they’re hungry.

Your Dachshund May Change Their Potty Habits

Whether it be due to stress, or confusion about a new house layout or yard, some Dachshunds won’t go potty for the first day, even when I know they need to go, or they may have an accident in the house.

It may sound gross – and I’ve been asked by owners how I would feel if their dog peed in the house – but I don’t care if a Dachshund has an accident in our house.

I mean, of course I do but I have also accepted that it will happen. It’s not a big deal and I just clean it up.

In most cases, it’s partially my fault anyway.

The signals a Dachshund gives when they need to go out can be very subtle. And they can be very unique.

Until I have spent some time with a dog, I may miss their cues that they need to go out.

And since my house is new to them, they may not understand where the right” door to “signal” at is located.

We Can’t Follow Your Exact Routine

One of my “specialties” is following a Dachshund’s normal home routine as closely as possible.

But that isn’t 100% possible.

My house is different. My routine is different. 

Because I have 3 Dachshunds of my own, I am managing 4-5 Dachshund personalities at a time.

I can’t point out every detail that will vary but some common ones are:

  • If your Dachshund free-feeds at home, that won’t be possible at my house because I can’t leave food down all of the time.
  • If you send your Dachshund’s favorite toy, they may not get to play with it because 1) I don’t want any fights over it and 2) I don’t want the other dogs to destroy it.
  • Their normal meal time may change, because I have to strike a balance between my schedule, when my own dogs expect their meals, and when you normally feed your dog.

While it’s likely that your dog sitter will do everything they can to keep your pup’s routine the same, especially since that will make their job easier, do know that everything can’t go exactly the way that you do it… and your dog will be ok.

Final Thoughts

Like I said, your Dachshund sitter likely isn’t leaving these things out to be deceptive.

It’s just that there are many reasons these topics may not come up or that the sitter wants you to feel like your dog’s stay was easy and enjoyable.

I get that. I always lean towards a “good report” when I talk to owners after their Dachshund stays with me.

However, I also think it’s important to be honest and transparent about a dog’s experience so that an owner can make a more informed decision in the future or address any issues that came up.

In the end though, there is probably nothing that a knowledgeable, experienced Dachshund sitter can’t address so that your pup has a good experience.

In other words, know that there will be an adjustment period for your dog and the sitter, but that your dog will be totally fine while you are on vacation.

Every pet owner worries about their dog when they leave them with a sitter, but they secretly hope that their dog is having a great, easy time. The truth isn't always that rosy, and many dog sitters gloss over any issues, but as a dog sitter myself, I think it's important to be honest and transparent.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.

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