Challenging Dogs Pet Care

Service Area and About

SERVICE AREA: Challenging Dogs staff is a pool of trained dog sitters and walkers who service a variety of areas in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. New staff are frequently added to service additional areas. 

Sitters and walkers are currently located in the Baltimore / District of Columbia area and in Richmond, VA. Most staff can travel up to 20 miles outside of their location. If you are located further than that, please contact us, we may still be able to help.  

Susan Aceti (the human in the picture) is the owner of Challenging Dogs. The poodle just likes to be held.

For 15 years, I shared my life with Molly, a black lab mix. She was my first dog and I adopted her at six months from a local animal shelter. I knew her history – that she had been locked in a basement for the first six months of her life, but I didn’t know how much it would affect her. I didn’t know that she would react to any new dog or person with a scary display of hostility. You can see more of Molly’s story here. I learned how to work with her to develop a calm response to the things that scared her and she lived a wonderful life with a few human and dog friends. Molly died in 2017 and I still miss her. But I decided to put off getting another dog and started a dog boarding business in 2018. Not having a dog of my own, I figured I could provide a place for owners whose challenging dogs couldn’t be around other dogs.

Soon I found myself constantly turning down requests for bookings because the nature of challenging dogs inherently limited what I could do. Usually, I could only take one dog at a time (unless they already lived in the same household). Out of this came the idea for Challenging Dogs Boarding and Daycare – to increase my capacity by contracting with a small pool of other sitters who would follow the same stringent guidelines I do: carefully helping fearful dogs in a positive, safe way and ensuring a comfortable safe space for them.