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What are the special qualifications needed to become a sitter?

asked 2014-11-20 18:13:36 -0600

I am interested in becoming a member of the rover.com community to be a dog sitter, but I would like to know if I need any certain qualifications, degrees, or special skills other than loving and caring for dogs?

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answered 2015-08-28 09:11:13 -0600

Like the folks above, there isn't a specific degree, certification or prerequisite to using this site as a sitter, aside from being 18. You will find all types of people on this site offering their services: some are extremely experienced and have been doing this for years, others have only worked with animals in a medical setting and not pet sitting, others have zero experience aside from owning or loving dogs themselves. I think being 18 is the only real requirement.

Like Laura R. said, there are many things that you will learn about what you like and don't like, as well as what you can tolerate in a furry guest in your home (or in their own home). That said, this line of work probably isn't for everyone - and I would recommend not quitting your job to do Rover right away. While there are some people that can absolutely live off of their Rover funds and make a living that way, I don't know that any one type of experience on Rover is "typical" - and much like any other service, there are great months where business is booming and others that you might not even get a request.

There are many things that help Rover sitters be more successful: e.g., having patience with new dogs that might be suffering from separation anxiety while their parents are away, handling the cold well while they wait for their guest pup to go potty, knowing the right questions to ask at a meet and greet (if they even do them at all, as some don't).

As for me, I quickly learned that I loved this line of work. I do have a career outside of Rover, but as my boyfriend said, "it's great that you get paid to do something you would probably do for free!". If you are interested, your best bet will be to take the plunge: join & offer your services. You'll learn most of it as you go along, and that's also probably the best way to figure out if this is for you!

Best of luck with all of your future endeavors!

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answered 2014-12-03 12:49:18 -0600

Christina,

While there aren't any specific requirements or certifications, it's by no means easy or a good fit, even for the most avid dog lover. The link Jessica posted is a great starting point, but there are a lot of things you don't learn about sitting until you try it.

One of the first things I learned is that there's a HUGE difference between loving dogs, and loving dogs staying in your home. You get used to the quirks and habits of your own dogs, and you tend to train out the behaviors you find most annoying. Other people have done that, too, but they don't necessarily find the same things annoying. So you learn a lot about your own preferences really fast when you wind up with a dog that is very mismatched with your lifestyle. Of course, knowing what works and what doesn't work for you is necessary for being a good sitter, so you'll probably have to go through a couple of those experiences before learning all the right questions to ask owners and what kind of adjustments you have to make to your lifestyle to make dog sitting enjoyable for everyone involved.

If I were to do it over, I'd borrow as many dogs as possible to stay with me for a night or two. Sure, I'd watched dogs for friends before, but these were dogs that I knew very well and who were very comfortable with me. Borrow dogs you don't know as well, and if possible, ones you've only met once or twice, as will be the case with most of your Rover dogs. These dogs will give you a taste for what it's like to live with the dogs of strangers - you'll learn all the things you need to move to a higher shelf or put away entirely. You'll learn how ridiculous it can feel walking multiple dogs who aren't used to walking with each other. You'll learn what cupboards you need to secure (and the joy of cleaning up puke, poop and whatever else after a dog shows you exactly how easy it is to get to the Costco bag of dental bones). You'll learn that some dogs cry ALL NIGHT in a new location, some dogs SCREAM with excitement every time you pick up their leash, and some dogs can never, ever stop playing with your dog, even when your dog is exhausted and just wants to sleep. And you'll learn all the quirky, weirdly specific questions you need to ask potential clients before deciding if a dog is going to be a good fit.

But after a few of those really weird and enlightening experiences you'll find a rhythm and you can meet a lot of awesome people and dogs, and make some good money doing it. Good luck!

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answered 2015-09-02 14:13:54 -0600

This is an answer from the perspective of a dog owner looking for a sitter... I am looking for someone who is friendly towards me and my dog, a good communicator, excited spend time with my dog, has a fenced yard for exercise and safety, has experience hosting various dogs in their home, is patient and understanding with my dog, spends most of their time at home while dogs are under their care, allows my dog to maintain it's regular routine (ie/ crate vs no crate, dog bed vs person bed, potty breaks, etc).

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answered 2014-11-21 13:28:36 -0600

Hi Christina,

Here is a link to learn more about becoming a sitter on Rover: http://www.rover.com/become-a-sitter/...

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answered 2014-11-28 02:02:06 -0600

Basically, you must have "experience" with dogs, have a lot of time for them, be patient, and always stick with their normal routines.

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answered 2015-08-28 00:41:48 -0600

Essentially anyone over 18 can join Rover, no special degrees or certificates required. I do think there are skills that will serve you well for dog sitting - professionalism, flexibility, understanding, timeliness, honesty, persistence, calmness, etc. I also underestimated how much time I would spend trying to get the best pictures to send to the dog owners, and it's important to send pictures every day. If you send a picture of the dog lying down in the living room every day, I assume that's not as good as getting a picture of the dog outside with a big smile and side tongue from hiking, playing, or going to a beach, etc. There are levels of sitters in terms of quality. It's important, in my opinion, to have all the qualities I mentioned (at least on some level) if you want to be a great sitter with lots of customers.

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answered 2015-08-27 19:35:10 -0600

Do you enjoy being outdoors in ALL types of weather, waiting for a dog to do it's business? Do you mind handling poop & sometimes having to wipe an animal's behind? Can you find something lovable about a dog that you would never consider adopting yourself? I think everyone has their limits of what they can handle.
I found my limit was a black & tan coonhound who was beautiful, but never stopped howling all day and half the night. I only got 4 hours sleep! I had to return him after one night instead of the week I initially intended.

Keep good notes from the Meet & Greet (Research the questions you should ask). Treat them as if they were your loved ones. Research all the safety information you can.

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