App to Track Daily Walks

Something we’ve never encountered has just been brought to light in a HO listing and we were wondering if anyone has ever experienced this:

"Must LOVE our animals and enjoy walking with them twice a day early morning and evening. We use an App to track daily walks. Walking X and Y twice a day (30 minutes) is essential. "

Just curious if other sitters have ever been (knowingly or unknowingly) tracked by an App or how this works?

There are other flags within the same listing, perhaps why only 4 days out and no applicants.

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If the homeowner is tracking YOU with their app, then that’s beyond a red flag. But perhaps they mean “please track the distance you walk our dogs with your fitbit (etc) so that you know they’re walking the correct distance”.

It’s definitely a little weird, though, and probably the reason they’re not getting applicants.

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I assume they mean that they use an app when they’re at home and themselves walking the dogs to track if it’s +/- 30min…

Bit freaky if it’s not :smiley:

It would be interesting to know.
If the sit is of interest, I would just inquiry about it.

Interesting! A quick Google search turned up lots of info about « Fitbits for dogs ».

Here’s a description of one: So how does it work? You attach it to your dog’s collar and track them via the app. You can mark safe spaces like your garden and know the moment your dog leaves one and the moment they return.

There’s also an exercise and activity tracker – including a calorie burn counter – that has users hailing it as the “Fitbit for dogs”. You can even compare how much exercise your dog does to others via online leader boards which are grouped locally and by breed.

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One to avoid! The world gets weirder and weirder

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On a positive note, the reviews that I read for several « Fitbits for dogs » said that they’re a good way to keep track of a dog. This brings to mind the dog we recently cared for who had done a runner from his dog walker the week prior to our sit. At the time, he was quite a distance from home. In this case, the GPS tracker could have been used to locate the dog. Fortunately, the dog was found by some caring people who quickly telephoned his humans to let them know that the dog was safe.

As for a HO using this device to track the daily walks while they’re away, I guess it falls under the same category as security cameras. It’s good that they mentioned it in their listing so that prospective sitters can decide if they’re alright with the walks being registered via a device.

That would be a hard pass from me. I don’t want anyone tracking me in any way.

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I saw a listing last year like that where they said they would be tracking how long you walked with the dogs and gave the amount you needed to walk daily. :sweat_smile:

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@ArjunaTHS I’m tagging you in this thread because it seems that it would make sense to have a box for HOs to check if they use a tracking device to record dog walks. As you’re currently working on the amenities section of the website, this might be a good time to add it. Thanks for your consideration.

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On the other hand, including that in the THS site implies that they condone sitter surveillance.

I agree with @Mary-Kay that it should appear somewhere – not sure where though, and hope @ArjunaTHS will consider it. I also see @Katie 's point that maybe owners will think it is condoned if THS includes it. But at least if a prospective sitter knows this, they can either choose not to apply or else apply and discuss it with the owner prior to accepting the sit. I might apply and mention that I would be happy to put the collar on when the dog is out by him/herself but request to leave it off while being walked by me.

I’ve had two sits that used GPS collars on their dogs. The dogs at the second sit did not require walks because they had many acres to run around on. The GPS just showed the owners where the dogs were at night as they ran around. The HO let me download the app so I could see but it didn’t work on my phone I presume because the account belonged to the HO. I was totally fine with this and thought it was a great idea.

My first ever sit had GPS collars and inside cameras in the living room and den. I was a newbie and thought this was just something I would have to accept in this line of work. I wonder now if this was just “insurance” for the HO who was taking a chance on a new sitter with no prior reviews, although I did have excellent references.

I knew I was being tracked as I walked the dogs, I accepted it and almost felt like I was being graded on my performance, so made sure I walked the prescribed distance or longer. This was not a pleasant feeling. I guess I did OK because they wrote that I was outstanding in their review. It was a very short sit and I would not be willing to be tracked now.

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We’ve done one sit where the young dog had a GPS tracker on its collar. This was due to him having escaped from the garden previously, and also having unreliable recall when off the lead. The HO said she used an app to see where the dog was if he were to run off, and that she could give me access to it.

As it was a short sit (just a weekend) and the first time he had been looked after by anyone else we ended up agreeing that we’d keep him on the lead. I was happy that the tracker was being used to keep the dog safe and, looking back, I’m sure there was no intention of checking where we were or how far we walked. That might not be the case with every HO though.

I’d love to see my friend’s failed sheepdog’s data on a doggie fitbit - old habits die hard and she constantly runs around us in circles of varying sizes! I wonder how many miles she covers in comparison to us?

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