Why doesn't Rover let Sitters share info about dogs?

asked 2016-07-04 11:40:40 -0500

I had to stop taking care of my very first client's dogs because they peed in the house. I simply showed her the damage and said "I just can't do this any more."

I sure wish Rover allowed Sitters to share information about the dogs. I know that Owner moved on to someone new just like she had moved on to me from someone else whose house is covered in her dogs' piss.

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Seriously. I've decided to close my house to new clients (repeats only) because I'm sick of the owners not telling me everything about the dogs and having my place trashed, or humped continuously or just unable to leave my house because of the severe anxiety of a dog.

Angela G.'s profile image Angela G.  ( 2016-07-05 11:29:18 -0500 ) edit

Hey guys.. I currently have two dogs in my home along with my own from a booking on Rover.. the owners totally disregarded telling me how their dogs really were and we couldn't do a meet and greet because they were from out of state my dog just got attacked by theirs and now they won't answer...?

Morgan M.'s profile image Morgan M.  ( 2016-07-09 19:33:16 -0500 ) edit

Thank you for starting this thread. I am taking care of a dog that the owners said had just finished her heat (which is untrue -or they are clueless). I let the dog sleep in the bed with me - she is a Jack Russell & super sweet but I woke up to blood spots all over. Hope the blood comes out. Bummer

Marlo S.'s profile image Marlo S.  ( 2017-01-02 12:58:53 -0500 ) edit

Hydrogen peroxide takes out blood. Pour it straight on; let it sit. Pour more until it comes out.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2017-01-02 15:03:15 -0500 ) edit

Yup H202 sure will take out blood. And everything else... including the carpet's COLOR. But thanks for the info.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-01-02 19:46:56 -0500 ) edit

I was wondering -- can we start a thread somewhere (Facebook, or anywhere else), where we can make our own archives of our experiences with other dogs? A way where other sitters can search the name of the dog, or location, and read our reviews of them. How can we do this?

Sara R.'s profile image Sara R.  ( 2017-01-02 21:00:31 -0500 ) edit

Ooops, I automatically think of my own linens, which are white and the hydrogen peroxide doesn't affect them. Google blood stains on colored fabrics for an alternative.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2017-01-02 21:25:40 -0500 ) edit

9 Answers

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answered 2016-07-04 13:32:21 -0500

Because Rover is in the business of making money. Facilitating the sharing of information about dogs' behavior is not in Rover's best interest. Unless a dog is violent or dangerously aggressive or the owner is crooked or otherwise perverse/dangerous, Rover has no motivation to assist the sitters who use its platform. Remember, we are all independent contractors and don't work for Rover. Rover would assume that, eventually, there will be a sitter out there who can deal with a problematic dog. So, yes, the owner will continue to try out new sitters and may find one who can deal with the dog adequately.

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This is how it seems. We don't even get compensation for our stuff being ruined, but the clients do. Rover takes a CUT from our services! The least they can do is work with us to make the experience good for everyone!

Angela G.'s profile image Angela G.  ( 2016-07-05 11:30:30 -0500 ) edit

Fyi if your items get damaged you CAN ask them to fix/compensate you for that. I had a dog with separation anxiety that ripped apart my door. The owner was apologetic and immediately got their contractor guy working on it. After that one, I marked must be kennel trained to prevent future issues.

Serina R.'s profile image Serina R.  ( 2016-07-05 16:46:47 -0500 ) edit

I have been compensated for things in the past, like a dog chewing up my dog's bed etc. I also demand dogs staying at my house have to be up to date on their flea and tick preventative cause they are really bad in my area. I will buy it myself and they can pay me back.

Ale E.'s profile image Ale E.  ( 2016-07-24 19:18:52 -0500 ) edit

"...who can deal with the dog adequately" Dogs that are let out every hour and walked two or three times a day then come in the house, look straight at you and squat?? There is no "adequate" way to take of that short of crating them... which is exactly why it would help to share info on certain dogs

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-01-02 19:50:21 -0500 ) edit

There will be some sitters who don't care or who have facilities for such dogs.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2017-01-02 21:29:52 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-11-14 18:20:20 -0500

I've been in that boat as well. I used to get really angry about it, but now I've taken the "Be prepared for anything" motto. I have crates set up in my home and the dogs area always crated if I cannot watch them (If I have to leave the house). I have belly bands/reusable diapers for the dogs who mark/have accidents often and baby gates to keep dogs separated that hump or bother the other dogs. I have a crate in my living room that's the "time out" crate, so if someone is getting too worked up they can hang out in there until they chill out. I always make sure to feed the dogs in their crates so there is no chance for a fight over food/stealing food. I test them with toys and food when they first get to me to see if they're a resource guarder.

It sounds like a lot, but now that it's all in place, it has made my life and the lives of the owners/dogs SO much easier. I only have a fraction of the problems I used to have, and with a solution handy I don't get so upset about a dog who marks :)

I do also feel like it's a 3-point problem as well. The dog, the sitter, the owner all have a hand in any problem. The dog may be a jerk, the owner may gloss over or hide issues, or the sitter may not be diligent. The dog may also exhibit behaviors in the sitter's home that they would never do in their home, so the owner honestly doesn't know that they are there. I see that a LOT with the dogs who have never been boarded before. They come to expect certain things, and when those certain things don't happen some dogs don't take it well. Or they want to see if they can push boundaries with a new person. Or they're just so convinced their owner is never coming back they are beside themselves and freaking out.

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answered 2016-07-04 13:04:29 -0500

At some point a dog owner would disagree with a sitter's depiction. Then Rover would have to arbitrate claims of slander or vindictiveness, "taking sides."

There's a lot of gray area involved. For example, some sitters [apparently] take the dog owner's assessment as verified truth (and then proceed to leave the dog unattended -- complaining that the room was destroyed). I've always believed you don't trust a dog until that trust has been earned. So, while there might be truth to a dog being problematic, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the worst examples don't involve the sitter's contribution. (Too much freedom, unverified trust, not taking proactive steps like gating the dog in a safe area after seeing it pee -- to minimize the "everywhere" complaint that would be applied to the dog's reputation if sitters could publish reviews of their guests.).

Rover's Terms of Service (9.7) explicitly states sitters are entirely responsible for damage to their property. There is no "unless the pet owner misrepresented...." So, IMO, that calls into question how a dog could pee "everywhere." Maybe it wasn't the dog's exclusive fault.

I don't think my view on this topic is particularly popular here. But, that's how I look at it.

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I let the dogs out constantly. I have a patio door right off our living space. The dogs would be outside for an hour or more and have been walked. They'd come back inside and within less than an hour we'd see they had made a stain on the carpet. Only place to "secure" them would have been the garage

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2016-07-04 18:38:25 -0500 ) edit

"At some point a dog owner would disagree with a sitter's depiction." I'm talking about a way to share info just amongst the sitter themselves

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2016-07-05 19:28:03 -0500 ) edit

How would you enforce that info being limited only to sitters? (Prevent dog owners from becoming sitters? But then, what if another sitter in your area shares your sitter-only assessment?). I don't believe you've thought this out completely. It would be a lot of drama (differences of perception).

Mark F.'s profile image Mark F.  ( 2016-07-05 20:53:34 -0500 ) edit

I wish there were a way we could share our notes with one another, but the real drawback is owners who are also sitters. Or just sign up as a sitter to see what people say about their dog.

Lindsey T.'s profile image Lindsey T.  ( 2016-07-08 11:16:32 -0500 ) edit

You can definitely keep it just among sitters, in the same way Uber drivers review passengers and keep it among themselves. It was Uber or Lyft, I believe. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Sara R.'s profile image Sara R.  ( 2017-01-02 21:06:58 -0500 ) edit
answered 2017-01-02 14:04:53 -0500

Maybe we could start a facebook page or something for rover sitters, by city. That way we can beware of certain dogs. I also had this issue. Owner said dog is fine in the bathroom with her bed. I even put her rawhide in their with her. Nope. She tore up my entire door. I ended up running into a sitter at the park. She had 7 random dogs so I figured she was one. Found out the dog has issues with 4 other sitters in the past and was very popular in the sitter community. I do think its crucial that we know to beware of a certain dog. Especially when its constant. I used to think that was what the reviews were for when Rover would ask me to review a dog. I dont even take the time anymore because if they were useful Rover would ban that person who has over 20 bad reviews of their dog.

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answered 2017-01-03 18:23:36 -0500

YES. We need access to dog and owner reviews (similar to Uber/Lyft as others have already suggested). If owners can view ratings and stories on sitter profiles, we should be given the same opportunity to make informed decisions about who we invite into our homes. Usually a meet and greet is enough, but testimonials would even better prepare sitters.

I would specifically like insights to be shared about experiences with owners (good and bad). I have a 5 star rating and have watched over 40 dogs in a six month period. I have had nothing but great interactions with owners, and only a few minor incidents with poorly behaved dogs. On Sunday, I had my first terrible experience that left me reeling.

An owner came to pick up his dog after a stay and recorded a video of me on his cell phone, without my consent and on my property, during the entire duration of the pick up. It was bizarre, inexplicable and left me feeling beyond uncomfortable and stunned.

I called Rover Support to report the incident and get advice on what I, or Rover, could do to educate the owner that this was inappropriate. I was also looking for support from Rover to stand behind me as one of their sitters. The representative was sympathetic and agreed this was "peculiar behavior," but didn't offer me any real support at all. I asked if they would consider contacting the owner directly and ask him to explain his actions. Rover Support refused, stating it would only escalate the situation/problem. They also said if I wanted to discuss my discomfort and question the video, I would need to contact the owner myself.

Rover Support also told me to have better judgment during future meet and greets. I didn't appreciate that "advice," as that is Rover pointing the blame finger at me. I wrote a one star review of the stay, detailing my entire experience with the owner and dog. I sincerely hope Rover finds a way to make my testimonial available to other sitters in our area. I don't want this to happen to me again, or anybody else.

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Wow. That is creeeepy.

Sara R.'s profile image Sara R.  ( 2017-01-04 17:27:01 -0500 ) edit

Beyond. So disturbing!

Katie M.'s profile image Katie M.  ( 2017-01-04 17:29:55 -0500 ) edit

Classic case of Rover supporting Owners instead of Sitters. We are the Chattel, the Owners are Almighty.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-01-04 23:01:58 -0500 ) edit

Lack of support is disappointing and doesn't make any sense for the business model. Rover wouldn't exist without the great sitters that many owners value and rely on. Why isolate sitters, or worse, drive them away by not coming to their aid when in need?

Katie M.'s profile image Katie M.  ( 2017-01-04 23:20:32 -0500 ) edit

Katie M: WELL Said!! I just don't get why Rover Support treats us as nuisance instead of partners... which is what we are.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-01-05 16:37:39 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-11-08 02:49:55 -0500

I agree! I have had about 10 doggie guests in my home until I had one recently booked for three nights. I had to call her owners not even three hours after she got dropped off to come get her. I was told she is left alone all day while they are at work, so if she was left alone, it would be no problem - that dog completely scratched up and damaged my bedroom door and chewed part of the door frame. I am not going to get reimbursed for that, but it left me paranoid now. The first thing I did was see if there was anywhere on Rover where sitters can talk and compare stories and maybe give their own experience on dogs they have cared for. It's too bad Rover doesn't encourage communication and exchange between their care givers.

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answered 2016-07-05 10:58:22 -0500

Yes, I wish we could, to warn other sitters. Is it against any rules if we did do that, like on here or somewhere else?

I just had a dog stay with me 2 days ago and he was terrible! The owner wasn't able to make a meet and greet work due to work schedule, but I figured it'd be fine since it was only for 1 night. As soon as they came to my house his dog peed on my front door, while still on the leash, in the owner's hand. And only then did he tell me that he'd had another sitter tell him that his dog liked to mark his territory all over the house because there was a dog living there. I have a dog too, so...Aside from that, he said the dog was house broken and not aggressive at all. I let the dog out every house or so and even then he peed all over my laundry room. I had to put him in a crate at night so he wouldn't pee on anything and he got very aggressive when I tried putting him in there. I had to have my boyfriend do it and the dog even snapped at him. Now I'm kind of debating if I even want to be a sitter anymore after that experience...

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That's nasty! I'm sorry you went through that. I would recommend *always doing a meet n greet for future clients. I also changed my profile to say only kennel trained after one dog ripped apart my dog with her SA.

Serina R.'s profile image Serina R.  ( 2016-07-05 16:48:49 -0500 ) edit

I'm sorry to hear that! I've had that too where I reconsidered dog sitting. I agree with Serina that insisting on a M&G is essential. Also I don't take dogs that are not crate trained. It's made a HUGE difference for the better.

Christiana G.'s profile image Christiana G.  ( 2016-07-06 20:03:49 -0500 ) edit

It's easy to want to pass on a meet & greet, but it will really save you some (but not all) headaches! The owner should understand this. They should appreciate your being thorough and requiring one. If not, you probably don't want their business anyway.

Lindsey T.'s profile image Lindsey T.  ( 2016-07-08 11:18:48 -0500 ) edit
answered 2017-01-02 11:14:34 -0500

To be honest, my dog is a completely different animal when he's not with me. I honestly don't even know who he is with other people. I've heard different things from different people.
Some say he is timid and misses me terribly, not eating, etc., others say he's the life of the party.

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answered 2017-01-02 11:06:20 -0500

I always assume "the worst" when it comes to housebreaking or separation anxiety. I now have 6 dogs (plus my 3) at my home and I tell the owner they must be properly kennel trained for their safety at night and in the rare times I have to leave. I agree with the private shared reviews! I had a few dogs a couple of months ago that were adults, probably 6 or 8, that marked all over my house. I ended up having to pen them off in a smaller playpen with other like size dogs, they tried to attack me when I reprimanded them for peeing and tried to usher them outside. It's hard because I feel like if I was honest with the owner they would think I'm not letting their dogs out enough, when in reality I'm letting them out every 30 minutes during their first day here. And the "reprimanding" was a sharp "NO", then ushering them to the back door.

I feel like you as a customer are rated on Uber or Lyft, so why is Rover any different? Luckily I feel like most small damages created by my tenants are typically paid by the owner. Example - your dog ate my pillow, comforter, scratched my door and I need paint...

One thing I will 100% not tolerate are dangerous dogs. I have a big black mouth cur/pit mix and he is very well behaved. if your dog consistently demonstrated dominate or aggressive behavior I immediately call Rover and let them know what's going on.

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I completely agree! We should be able to rate and leave comments for the cutomer as well!

moniece n.'s profile image moniece n.  ( 2017-07-02 17:36:27 -0500 ) edit

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