Ellen is the host of Country Pasture Getaway, one of Sniffspot’s most popular sniff spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great sniff spot host.
Last year, when I first considered offering my field as a sniff spot, I was apprehensive. I had a ton of questions and I worried a bit about the dogs and people being on my field. I wanted responsible people who respected my privacy and my dogs. David helped a lot by talking to me about liability, how the app works, and how much control I had. So we plunged in! And we are really HAPPY with the results!
People who come to my sniff spot out in the country have made a commitment to their dogs. Every person I have met is really invested in having the field clean and safe for their dogs. What makes it work?
- I try to respond to a request for a reservation within a couple of hours. People are trying to plan their calendar around weather, work and dog, so I try to respond quickly. Address, and directions of where to park are included.
- USE THE CALENDAR! If you have a friend coming out and don’t want to have a Sniffspot visitor at the time, block off your time. Remember to block out vacations or days when you need to work on the field/play area. If you just need a day to zone out, just block off the day on the calendar.
- I meet every person the first time they come out. I like doing that….I can show them where the water spigot is, explain the difference in fencing and point out the stupid mole holes! It’s great to meet people and get an idea of what they are looking for. Some of the dogs have been highly reactive, so it’s been great if they come and not even see my dogs. Some owners have asked me to allow one of my Wolfhounds to play with their dog. I use my best judgement and have had a few of the visitors end up being great play buddies.
- We have stainless steel water buckets for your use. Extra toys and a chuck it are right by the gate. The water hose is stretched over so on hot days you can even spray your dog down. We have a picnic bench in the field for people to sit at if they like.
- I try to make people feel welcome, but I don’t spend very long with them…maybe 3-5 minutes. After that, they get to enjoy the field.