External References for Sitters

Hi, I need a bit of guidance from sitters who have external reviews.
I sent an external reference request to someone for whom I have dog sat in the past. She received the link to write the review but responded that she can’t submit it without first becoming a member of THS. Is this correct? If not, what does she need to do to submit the review? Thanks!

Yeah, my friends said the same thing.

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We had three friends provide external references for us when we first joined THS and none of our friends were members of the site.

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Hi @Mary-Kay - I’m not aware that someone has to be a member to provide an external reference. Ours didn’t but that was many years ago. I will check this with membership services in the morning and get back to you.


@Katie @Annette thanks for sharing your experiences with external references.

@Vanessa-Admin it does seem a bit odd that a THS membership would be required for “external” references. From what my referee wrote to me, it seems as if there may have been a pop-up or something that prevented her from submitting the reference without first joining THS.

Thanks for your assistance! I look forward to hearing what membership services says.

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Update: My referee must have figured out how to post the reference without joining THS because it’s now visible on my profile. Once I hear from them, I’ll post any tips they share in this thread in case someone else’s referees experience the same issue.


That’s good news. I’ve also just had a reply this morning to confirm that a membership or email signup isn’t required as we thought. Will be interesting to hear your referee feedback. Thanks for updating us and for your patience. Enjoy the rest of your weekend :slight_smile:


Hello Mary Kay, why do you think you still need references when you have already 2 feed backs ? Very positive
I thought external references were useful when you begin ? As it seems better than having no comment at all.

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Hi @Provence ,
I didn’t have any external references for the longest time (I had probably 15 reviews at that point) but was asked for one before a sit a year ago. I think it has something to do with the verification process? Anyway, I’ve got one now and everyone seems happy…

So this external reference is from somebody who is not an owner (a friend for example who knows you well ) ? or an owner for whom you sat, but who was not a THS member ?

I’ve seen lately some sitters who give a link to their THS profile on another organization, with different feed backs of course.

Yes, our reference is someone we sat for but on another platform.

Hi @Provence, Thanks to all the information I’ve gathered from reading this forum, there are a couple of reasons why I asked for an external reference.

One was to complete the sitter verification process and get the 2nd ribbon on the THS sitter badge indicating that I’m fully verified. To do that, sitters are required to have an external reference.

The other reason for the external reference is that I wanted to show that I have experience dog sitting. Currently, I only have THS reviews for cat sitting.

Some sitters post character references. I didn’t do that because I included the link for my Airbnb profile. Since the Airbnb reviews are written by strangers, I thought those reviews would be more meaningful to a HO than a reference written by a friend.

The external references are marked with *** and the THS reviews are marked with stars.