Caring for dogs is similiar in several aspects to caring for children. There is the liability issue, the imprint issue (whatever we do with the dog is imprinted), and sitters need to know best care protocol. These issues can be attained in training schools designed for handlers, trainers, researchers, and behavioralists. I would love to be more enlightened and even certified as a dog behavioralists to understand, anticipate, and manage dogs in my care. It would be nice if Rover created a scholarship program, as an incentive, for its sitters to recieve training in centers in their immediate areas.
For example, did you know that in agility that dogs sometimes go into killer mode when nearing the ring and a loose dog, finishing his cycle, is still running? Dogs that have never shown any aggression whatsoever have been known to do this. This same innate behavior occurs when dogs are playing together, like in a dog park, and one dog believes another is prey or immediate competition. This is one reason I introduce dogs one on one, limit groups by size, personality, and activity.
It would be Awesome if something like that was offered to long term rover hosts with great staying power.
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