Is it OK for Pets to Threaten Guests?

 |  Feb 16th 2009  |   1 Contribution


I am a housekeeper. I have a new client, who is
new to the area she has three dogs, two Yellow Labs and
a German Shepherd. The shepherd is trained and is
very aggressive. She comes over to me with a stiff
tail, barking, and acting like she wants to bite
me.

The owner doesn't want to introduce us
properly and seems oblivious to the way her dog
is behaving, she says to just ignore her. Is
there any way to make friends with the dog, or
should I just get a new client? The owner leaves
the room and even goes to a different floor of the
house while this is happening, I am not sure if
she wants me to be afraid of the dogs (I believe
they will pack up and attack me) or if she just
doesn't think they will bite.

Linda
Spokane WA

My advice is the same regardless of whether your client is in denial or actually wants you to be afraid of her dogs. Get a new client.

The person you describe is irresponsible at best, and evil at worst. It is incumbent upon dog owners to train and socialize their dogs properly. It's one thing for a dog to growl at an intruder or prowler. But threatening a person who has been invited into the house never is acceptable.

Perhaps the dogs will not attack you. But perhaps they will. Do you want to be the guinea pig in this experiment?

Furthermore, you are entitled both morally and legally to a workplace that is safe and free from intimidation. Your client's house hardly fits the bill.

I do not recommend that you try to befriend the dog or socialize it on your own. Based on your description, this could be dangerous. Training and socializing the German Shepherd is the responsibility of the owner. She has failed her dog in this regard.

Your best bet is to walk away from this situation. There are plenty of responsible dog owners in this world. Perhaps one of them needs a housekeeper.

Photo: Mocha's snarl is just for show.

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