Your backyard is actually a lucrative private dog park – if you say so

My dog ​​had little interest in the agility course with hoops and poles for jumping. He just wanted to play fetch with a squeaky pink plastic hippo he’d found in a bucket. But I imagined that if Madame Rabon was close enough for regular visits, I could make the effort to teach her to perform circus acts.

Sniffspot positions itself as an alternative to the local dog park or even the leisurely walk. For nervous or anxious dogs, playing with other dogs can be stressful and unpleasant. For a few dollars, a dedicated pet owner can secure a private dog park and expose a bored dog to new smells and experiences. “It’s very rewarding for a dog to be in a new place,” Adams said.

The biggest challenge many users face is actually finding a Sniffspot to use. Availability is still inconsistent and concentrated in Seattle, where the business started (a quarter of all bookings are in Washington state). The growth had been purely word of mouth, organic growth, it’s just something people need,” Adams said, adding. “To say these things take off like a rocket, that’s not really how these things happen.”

But for dog owners like Genie Leslie, 34, a Seattle-based writer and screenwriter, Sniffspot has become a regular routine. Ms Leslie lives in a townhouse with no yard space for her dog, Darcy, to run around. Darcy, a lifeguard, is reactive with people and other dogs, which often makes the afternoon walk stressful.

Hanging out in someone else’s yard “is honestly more relaxing for us than being with her on a leash, because we don’t have to deal with her reactions,” Ms Leslie said. Recently she found a 10 acre site about 40 minutes away. At $20 an hour, she and Darcy commute once a month for a two-hour visit. “She can run, play, test out some basic agility equipment, and even put her paws in a stream,” she said.

Renting out your property to an endless rotation of visitors is not without pitfalls. Last year, a guest who booked Ms Rabon’s property brought the dog – and seven human guests. The group played music, ordered food for delivery and extended their visit by nearly an hour. When Ms. Rabon finally asked them to leave, they left behind all their trash. “They were looking for a place to party,” she said.

About Gene Schafer

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