A "size" filter for dogs?

While browsing the forum, I’ve noted that quite a few sitters have mentioned their reluctance to accept sits with large dogs. Has THS considered a size (small, medium, large) filter for dogs?

I would happily care for a small dog but not a medium or large one. When I search the listings, I currently include the “dog” category in my searches and then visually scan each dog listing to determine the size of the dog. A size filter would save sitters who prefer a certain size dog a considerable amount of time. Additionally, it would help them find the size of dog that best suits their preferences and abilities, thus resulting in better matches.

As I’m relatively new to THS, I’d be very interested to know what others think. Thanks!

Hi @Mary-Kay
Welcome and yes a very good suggestion. I do the same as you and also put a paragraph in my profile that I prefer small/medium breeds and dogs that don’t expect to sleep on the bed :joy:. That said we are currently caring for a Labrador Retriever who is an absolute joy and so well behaved.

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Thanks for the warm welcome, @Twitcher. I’m glad that the Lab for which you’re currently caring is such a joy!
I’ve been tempted to apply for sits when a medium/large dog looks sweet in their photo, but I wouldn’t be a good match due to a couple of scary incidents with poorly trained dogs when I was a child. That’s one of the reasons I thought a “size” filter for dogs would be helpful. It would definitely reduce the number of tempting sits that I see so I wouldn’t have to exercise so much self-restraint. :sweat_smile:
Wishing you more special moments with the Lab!

I have wished for the same filter - along with others. I am not strong enough to walk a large, energetic, dog but I’d be happy to sit for one that was under about 40 lbs/18 kilo.

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@Mary-Kay @Angela-CommunityManager what a great idea especially as when some HOs list a sit they are very vague about the breed, size, characteristics of their dog(s) and sometimes the photos might show a view of the house, a beach or mountain view, the bedroom and shower but no photos of animals. It would help sitters quickly decide if they are going to apply or not. It might even be worth combining that sort of system with the breed involved (again thats not always clear) and mixed breed does not tell you anything where there are no photos; German Shepherd-Pug cross (OMG!), Yorkshire Terrier-Husky cross (LOL), Great Dane-Dartmoor Pony cross (Exit Left!). I hope your idea gets wings!

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Hi @carpediem thank you for tagging me in the conversation and @Mary-Kay this is great feedback.

One of the most important aspects of the sit arrangement is the matching of sitter to pet and vice versa. The sitters experience and ability and the pets temperament, size and breed … after all you may be a dog lover but one who loves relaxing with a sweet lap dog who may want a slow stroll around the neighborhood … sitting a Springer, who is in permanent go mode just wouldn’t work.

Therefore the more information about the family dog(s) including breed, age, size, activity levels and temperament is so important, that way the right sitters will apply saving everyone time.

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@Angela-CommunityManager @Mary-Kay thanks Angela so do you think this idea might be something THS could develop?

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The Product team take all feedback into consideration during discussions on site development and functionality, especially suggestions which could improve success and communication between members and the forum is a great vehicle for this but of course it is all down to prioritizing …

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Hi, and welcome. I had also thought that having a filter for dog size would be a good idea, as I’m drawn to smaller dogs. However, my most recent sit was with a dog that was much larger than usual for me, but was elderly. She had a gentle nature and temperament, and size was not an issue. I wasn’t about to share the bed with her, although I do with smaller ones. If there was a filter and I had used it, I would have missed out on a lovely sit. Although we all have preferences, sometimes it’s good to be challenged a little too. As long as we know our limitations and don’t take on more than we can handle, as that’s not fair to anyone.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts @ElaineInDallas @carpediem @Snowbird!

@Angela-CommunityManager One point for the Product Team to consider is that the listings for dogs far outnumber the listings for reptiles, fish, birds, etc. Thus, a separate category for “small dogs” would still be larger and, in my opinion, more helpful than the separate category for fish.

Additionally, having a separate category for large dogs may give their owners extra confidence that sitters who apply will know that they will be caring for a large dog.

Thanks for your consideration.

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Hi, @Mary-Kay , the fish category is needed because not everyone has a few fish that only require a sprinkle of food. For example, a koi pond needs regular cleaning, pH monitoring and temperature maintenance, as do tropical fish.

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@mars thanks for the feedback. It’s true, I neglected to consider the particular requirements of a HO with a koi pond or tropical fish.

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I wonder if “activity level” might be more important than size?

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@Myhnabird Interesting proposal but from what I’ve gathered from comments in other threads on the forum, some people prefer not to care for larger dogs because of shoulder issues that could be exacerbated by a large dog pulling on the leash and the risk of falls. So, in those cases it’s more about the strength of a large dog than the activity level. Personally, I’m very active and enjoy walking dogs in the mountains near my home. I wouldn’t, however, feel comfortable caring for a large dog because I had a couple of scary incidents with poorly trained large dogs when I was a child. As a result, I get nervous around them but I love caring for smaller dogs.

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@Mary-Kay @Myhnabird @Angela-CommunityManager yes this is at the crux of needing accurate information about what sort of dog, their size, their lead training or lack of etc that sitters need to make an informed decision to apply to a sit or not. If you have problems with shoulders, knees, hips etc you certainly don’t want to be dragged down the street by a big strong dog and a good fit avoids injury and ensures control of a dog keeping it and others safe. Its worth saying that new sitters with limited experience with dogs (and dog owners just as inexperienced) might need guidance from THS as to what is a safe and enjoyable fit for all concerned.

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