What is the best way to tell a pet owner that you don't feel their pet is a good fit for you and you don't want to book the stay?

asked 2015-08-28 00:12:05 -0600

What is the best way to turn down a booking if you don't feel as though the dog would be a good fit for you?

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If during the meet and greet a dog becomes aggressive towards any of my dog, me or the owner I immediately terminate the meet and greet by saying, "I am sorry but your dog is not a good fit. I can help you find another sitter in this area if you would like or I can give the number to Rover Support".

Noel S.'s profile imageNoel S. ( 2015-09-10 17:38:58 -0600 )edit

6 Answers

answered 2015-08-28 00:46:51 -0600

I very rarely turn people down because I have a lot of dog knowledge and feel confident handling a variety of doggie issues. For me, how I turn someone down would depend entirely on the reason I was turning them down. In general, I tend to lean towards taking the responsibility upon myself instead of blaming the owner or the dog, something like "honestly, I don't feel like I have enough experience to be able to make sure your dog has a comfortable stay. Sure, he/she would probably be fine, but I would rather he/she have a great time, and I don't feel like I can provide that." You can mention specific issues that you don't feel qualified to handle if you'd like to be transparent. In the end, it just comes down to putting your foot down gently but firmly and standing your ground. If you don't want to take the dog, then don't. I would prefer to offer a reason, but honestly you don't even need to. You can just say "I actually don't think I'm a good fit for your pup at this point. Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me."

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Hey Kathleen - Did you mean to post this as a comment? It sounds more like an answer with some good advice.

Jean D. & Ray P.'s profile imageJean D. & Ray P. ( 2015-08-29 13:11:23 -0600 )edit

Thanks Jean!

Kathleen D.'s profile imageKathleen D. ( 2015-08-29 14:19:19 -0600 )edit
answered 2015-08-28 01:20:56 -0600

Be honest and say that you don't feel 100% comfortable with the dog and for that reason alone you have to regretfully decline. You can complement the dog and tell the owner that due to the nature of the job and being alone with the dog, when it comes to these kinds of situations you have to stick to your gut feeling, it's nothing personal. Most people can respect that. If they can't, then even more reason not to book.

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answered 2015-08-28 07:35:13 -0600

Amen to Jean's point! Do not feel obligated to give a reason for declining the request. I have a hard time saying "No," and when I do, I feel I owe the owner an explanation. While courteous, it's not necessary.

When I decline, I always try to first say something positive about their dog. Even if we haven't met, I can say something like, "We've never had a Boston Terrier at the house before! That certainly would be fun!", before declining due to a scheduling conflict. If I want to decline because of the dog, I try to "fault" my program, not the dog: "my Program isn't the best fit for FiFi..." versus, "FiFi isn't a good fit for my Program."

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answered 2015-08-29 12:06:15 -0600

I don't think "blame" should even be considered Be honest and yes "responsible" and most of all Confident because you are the Business Owner. If a client wants their dog kept in a room by him/herself away from other large/small dogs and you are uncomfortable about it, tell them that it wouldn't be fair to "you dog" and refer them back to rover for assistance for a better fit. I have been in this situation and it doesn't work! Or, if their dog is high energy and needs a bigger backyard than what you have available. Sometimes you find out it isn't a good fit during the sit. Finish the sit. I keep the dog in mind and what is best for the dog. Not every dog - or pet parent - is a good fit for me. I am sure there is someone with rover... (more)

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answered 2015-09-10 17:06:37 -0600

I haven't been a rover sitter for very long, but the one thing I look for in a Meet and Greet is if my dog gets along well with the dog(s) I would be caring for. If they don't settle down after the initial "get acquainted" rituals, I'm not comfortable accepting the request. At that point it is easy to decline because the owners can see there is tension between the dogs. Since I've had a variety of dogs throughout my life I am pretty confident in my ability to deal with different dog personalities/traits and haven't come across a situation where I've had to decline for that reason. If you meet a dog that makes you uncomfortable or you believe is too much for you to handle, then I agree with Jean: just tell the owner you don't think you are a good fit for their dog at this point in time. If you feel you must give a reason, tell the owners of a high-energy dog that you are more comfortable with laid-back dogs (or vice versa). Make a statement that is somewhat generic but puts the onus on you and not on their dog.

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answered 2015-09-20 02:29:09 -0600

I have dogs of my own and if the owner brings a dog that is too large for my limits (but has said otherwise because I tell them ahead of time of my limits but some people are not honest) or if they are aggressive towards other dogs, we will not watch them. I just kindly tell them that I do not feel that their dog would do well in our home but that another Rover sitter might be better suited.

My first priority is to keep my dogs and other Rover dogs safe and if there is any type of issues, I will turn them down. Just be nice about it and most people understand. Those that have dogs that do not do well with other dogs often already know that and just want to see how their dog will do..."just in case".

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