FAQ 

Here we answer big & small questions about Houndr. If your question isn't here, don't hesitate to reach out at helpme@gethoundr.com. 

1. Connect
2. Sessions
3. Payment & pricing
4. Safety
5. City feed
6. Miscellaneous
 

1. Connect

How does Houndr work?

At the most basic level, on Houndr someone can ask for a hand with their dog and neighbours say they’ll help out. Rinse & repeat! 🛁 When you make a request you input basic details like when you need help and the pick-up / drop-off address. We go and see if any of your neighbours are happy to help. So we knock on doors for you, coming back with up to 5 people, at least initially, who have said a big yes to helping out. You never need to message people or do that asking, which can be awkward and time consuming. You simply pick one of those people, looking over their profile, including reviews. Once you’ve locked it in you can chat or even call using a masked phone number. From there you can sort out all the details. The whole thing can happen in a few minutes.   

On the flip side, we’ll ask you now and then if you can help a neighbour out. We’re all neighbours here! We all need a hand and tons of us are happy to help, we just need someone to ask / an opportunity. Who would say no to hanging out with a dog if they have a bit of time? It’s no big deal.
 

When should I use it? / Who is it for?

Any time! Don’t hesitate to ask for a hand any time you need it. Houndr is for all humans with dogs who need a hand sometimes / regularly. We think most of us try to do too much ourselves. People are happy to help if you ask them. It’s also for all those humans who don’t have a dog, but want to experience that companionship. They don’t want to walk your dog for money, they want to hang out with their dog like they would hang out with a nugget of their own. One of the biggest differences between Houndr and typical dog care is that this isn’t a job. Here people are just being neighbours. You need a hand? No problem, I can help. We think regular life gets a lot easier when we know we have people we can count on, and conversely people who need us!


Who am I going to get connected to?

You’re going to get connected to people nearby -- neighbours! But let’s be serious in cities we have a lot of neighbours. Most of us would have no idea who’s door to knock on, even if we felt comfortable knocking. We connect you to people who’ve said yes to helping you out when you need it. And yes they live nearby -- likely less than a ten minute walk away.
 

What information do you need to connect me to neighbours?

We get to know you a bit when you sign up, and then learn a bit more before we connect you to your neighbours. At bare minimum we need you full name, address, phone number, email address, and if you’re going to get a hand we need a credit card number and if you’re helping out we need banking details to pay you. We verify phone numbers, with our payment processor verifying other relevant details in order to accept payment or transfer funds. We don’t reveal this information to your neighbours, but we have it on file. It’s your responsibility to keep it up to date, remembering that humans are either taking care of your dog or you’re helping out with theirs. Be responsible and respectful. More on what information we share with neighbours below!


What’s a Circle?

A Circle functions like your favourites — it’s a collective of humans you trust the most with your dog(s), and as we build this feature out, the dogs you love to look after the most. (More on this soon!) We always ask your Circle before your other neighbours. This is your everyday support system! These are humans you can count on, and dogs who bring you extra happiness!
 

What if I don’t have a dog?

We need you! Your neighbours need you! If you love dogs, we think you should get your fill of cute dogs helping your neighbours. Click here to find out how Houndr works if you are just looking to hang out  recreationally with all the neighbourhood dogs. It’s like being the fun aunt / uncle.
 

How do you connect me to neighbours? Can I connect 1-1 with neighbours myself?

We connect you care of a request that’s made. Right now only dog owners can make requests. So you make a request and we knock on your neighbours’ doors, so to speak, and connect you with neighbours who have said yes to help. You can’t connect 1-1 with neighbours, including direct messaging. This is another thing that makes us different from other things out there. We’re very much a community, but a  community that’s rooted in action, in doing something nice, we like to say. You can connect with neighbours around the city broadly on the City feed, but not explicitly 1-1. We conect are of requests so we focus on asking for help and offering to help within a context.

 

 
 
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2. Sessions 

Why only 5 results?

We don’t think you need to weed through tens of results to find a nice human to help you out. We always prioritize asking your Circle (see above if you need clarification on the Circle 😀) first. We want to reduce the stress of choice or the exhaustion that can come from humming and hawing. And we want to make the decision quick and easy. Everyone on your list has said yes. No need to spend time asking. You just have to pick the human you’re happiest with given your request. Review profiles with reviews to help you get to know each neighbour better. If for whatever reason you’re not jazzed by the results, you can discard and we’ll keep knocking on doors to find you five new humans to choose from.


How long do the results last?

Right now they do not expire, but odds are you’re going to deal with your request / respond to someone else’s request within 8 hours. You can sort out a request and book a Session as quickly as a few minutes, though.


How long can you book Sessions in advance?

You can book 30 days in advance.


Can I message someone any time?

No. You can only message people within the context of a Session. We keep the chat option open for 24 hours after a Session ends though in case you forget something or have a question or comment or want to say thanks!


Can I / how do I extend a Session?

You can! Once a Session is booked you can access the Session and request to extend. Simply state how much extra time you’d like, and ask your neighbour who will agree or not. You can also extend once a Session has started! You can go about it the same way. Right now a single Session can only be extended once, though. We’ll likely fix this going forward, but it’s how it’s set up today.


What if I need to cancel?

Things happen, but all Sessions should be cancelled within 8 hours of its start time. Right now we don’t have a cancellation policy in place but it’s something that’s coming very very soon so get ready. The future rule will be that you’re charged a fee if you cancel within 8 hours of the Session. The fee will apply to either the owner or the neighbour helping out -- whoever is cancelling. And the funds will go to the person being cancelled on.

Cancellations are taken seriously. Everyone’s time must be respected, but more than this we want to keep the dogs happy! In the short term if we witness a bunch of cancellations we’ll contact that person directly and review whether they are a good fit for Houndr. We always have the ability to revoke your access to Houndr. We have values. We don’t tolerate bad actors. We don’t care if you’re paying us, we’ll kick you off if you’re not a nice neighbour. 😬  


What if I have more than 1 dog? Can one neighbour look after both dogs?

This is another feature that is coming quickly in the wake of launch. You’ll be able to add up to 2 dogs to your profile. The general rule mandated by the City is that no one can be in the care of more than 3 dogs at a time without a special licence.

So if you have two dogs, someone with one or no dogs can look after both. I someone also has two dogs they won’t turn up in your results. You also have the option of seeking a Session for each dog, and have them taken out separately. Houndr only permits you to have one active Session at a time. So if someone takes both of your dogs, know that they are not looking after any other dog on Houndr.

If you have 3 dogs, that’s tricky and we’re sorry you’ll have to wriggle around the dogs on your profile. The bad thing is that once you delete a profile all that data is lost, like reviews. This is something we’ll be thinking about in the future. Suggestions welcome!

Houndr’s purpose is not to create gigs for humans to make substantial amounts of money. Houndr is about helping neighbours. We want to make sure the dogs get as much individual attention as possible, keeping both humans and dogs happy.

The second dog is an added $5 to the cost of the Session. It’s a flat fee. We do want to keep it affordable for humans with 2 dogs to keep both of them happy.
 

How many dogs can I take out at a time?

Same rules apply as above. Houndr only permits you to have 1 active Session at a time. And no one can have more than 3 dogs in her care. So if you have one or no dogs, you can help a neighbour who has two dogs. If you have two dogs, you can only have one other dog in your care.

Again, Houndr’s purpose is not to create gigs for humans to make substantial amounts of money. Houndr is about helping neighbours. We want to make sure the dogs get as much individual attention as possible, keeping both humans and dogs happy.
 

What if two of us share a dog? Do we each make a profile for the nugget?

This is another situation we’re working on. There’s lots of us who share dogs. There’s two of us for example (hey it’s Mike & Amy!) and only one Liloo (our amazing chocolate lab). So we’ll each have a profile for Liloo so that each of us can ask for a hand with her. In future we’ll devise a system where her reviews will show across profiles and you can essentially add family members to your profile. But for now, there will be 2 Liloos on Houndr. Not the end of the world, but something we’re aware of.


What if I’m not home? How does someone collect and return my dog?

It’s up to you how you feel the most comfortable giving someone access to your home when you aren’t there. We are not responsible for this access. We can say we like  products like Sesame or August Lock for those of you in condos where it’s not legal to replace your lock with, say, a keypad. We use this tool ourselves, and feel like it’s been worth the pretty minimal investment. But it’s important for us to say that Houndr isn’t responsible for how others gain access to your dog. We recommend a direct handoff, but when that’s not possible, it’s up to you.

 

 
 

NICE
NICE
NICE

 

A support system that actually makes our days easier is 100% life changing. We've all become way too accustomed to just figuring stuff out ourselves. The reality is we need each other.

 
 
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3. Pricing & payment

What’s the Happy Dog Fee?

We charge a 20% Happy Dog Fee to dog owners for each Session + payment processing fees. This Fee contributes to everything from service charges to technology, new features, staff, content, collaborations, + all the other things we do / hope to do to make life in cities with dogs even nicer.
 

How much does a Session cost?

We value affordability and neighbourliness. We think we should be able to help one another out without charging an arm and a leg. And the hope is that humans with dogs will both get & lend a hand. Give and take is magic! Everyone deserves an affordable everyday support system made up of the humans around them. But for that to happen we have to come together. One aspect of Houndr is for dog care to become very affordable so that we can make sure our dogs live their best lives! We can say ask for help multiple times per day if that’s what we need or any time we need it, while we’re out doing other things. Dogs often get the short end the stick & we don’t think that needs to be the case anymore if we can come together as neighbours.

Here is how our pricing breaks out according to time —   

$5 for the first half hour.
5¢ per minute afterwards, equalling $3 per hour.
Max $20 for 10 hours.
$25 for 10+ hours  or sleepovers.

Plus the Happy Dog Fee (see above) and tax.

Second dogs cost a flat $5 fee per Session on top of the Session cost for 1 dog.  

 
How much will I make for a Session? / Can this be my new job?

Not that you’re in it for the money. But generally speaking you’ll make enough to cover your coffees ☕  or a nice bottle of wine from the Vintages section. 🍷🍷🍷 Netflix, Spotify, etc. Fancy! You make the cost of the Session less 20%, which we take as a fee to help us fund the service. Again, this contributes to everything from service charges to technology, new features, staff, content, collaborations, + all the other things we do / hope to do to make life in cities with dogs even nicer.


What if I don’t care about getting paid? I’d do this for free!

So we’re thinking about this a lot right now. What if you don’t need that extra money but want to see it paid forward in some way? Our intent is to partner with non-profits and relevant charities to have your funds donated! If you don’t need the money, see it go to a good cause.
 

When do I get paid?

Houndr issues payments every 2 weeks, plus our payment processor’s 7 day rolling schedule. (Because we’re in Canada & every service is slow to come here. Fun!) This basically means you’ll be paid every 3 weeks. It will be deposited directly into the bank account you have on file in the accounts section of your profile.


Who handles payment / how is this information stored? 

All payment details, whether bank account or credit card information, is handled by Stripe, one of the world's largest payment processors. So we don't hold this information. It's held by Stripe. Payment is always encrypted. You can find out more about Stripe's security policies here

 
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4. Safety 

What’s your policy on removing neighbours?

We take safety seriously, and don’t tolerate bad actors on our service. We will review cases where there has been a complaint, and potentially remove said neighbour from the service or at the very least serve a warning. This could be both the human or the dog. Please also take a read of our Community Guidelines. We want Houndr to be a safe place. Be a nice human please. And make sure your dog(s) is nice too. 
 

How do I file a complaint, send a comment or suggestion, or report a post?

You can send us an email at helpme@gethoundr.com. We'll get back to you as quickly as possible.  
 

How do you verify people?

We verify people by their phone number, and Stripe, our payment processor, also verifies by name, address, date of birth, and banking information, as well as by credit card information. We have some oversight of profiles, and will look at any complaint filed against a profile, but leave it to you to look at the profile photos, description, dog profile (if someone has a dog), and all reviews to determine fit. We also highly recommend you meet up in a public place in advance of a Session with anyone you haven’t met before to make sure that person is a good fit for your dog. This also gives you an opportunity to give that person a full rundown of what to expect from your dog and let your dog meet this person. You will also use your spidy senses to make sure you feel comfortable. Identity verification is one element of verification, but ultimately it’s also critical your dog like person or you like someone’s dog.

During a Session we provide a platform for chatting & offer a masked phone number anyone to use to get in touch. You’ll also know in walking distance how far someone is from the requested pick-up / drop-off address, and have their first name and last initial and access to any information on their profile including all reviews, good or less good. If there’s additional information you think is relevant to have before a Session we believe you should ask for it, and it is up to the other person to disclose it. We think the best way to both get to know people and assess fit is in person. Houndr is a platform for building relationships with your neighbours. As much as we want to create a safe environment, we also know there are things we can’t determine for you.


How do reviews work?

Any Session that happens is reviewed. At the end of the Session both the owner reviews the neighbour, and the neighbour reviews the dog and by extension the owner. These owners are visible afterwards. You can’t hide a review. If you have a complaint about a review, i.e. you think someone left a false review, get in touch and we’ll likely  look into it -- helpme@gethoundr.com . We know how important review are for a service like Houndr. It’s an important way of building trust.


What if something goes wrong? Is there insurance?

At the moment we do not have insurance though are in the works of securing it. It is up to you to insure your dog and your home, where appropriate. We are here to connect you to neighbours, but it’s up to you to select the right person for your dog, provide all the necessary information someone needs to know to take care of your dog, flag any potential issues or concerns, be honest about your dog’s temperaments, and take all precautions when taking care of someone’s nugget. If something goes wrong, immediately contact the other person, and if related to the heath of the dog, take the dog immediately to the vet listed in their profile or the nearest one if that makes more sense. The dog’s safety is one of the most important things.

If something goes wrong, please contact us at helpme@gethoundr.com and we will help as best we can resolve an issue, but ultimately it is between you and your neighbour.
 

What do I do in case of emergency?

Contact the dog’s owner first followed by the veterinary clinic listed in the dog’s profile immediately. Always prioritize the dog’s safety. Our Terms of Service support you pursuing veterinary care for the dog in an instance where you can't get hold of an owner. We also recommend making sure you have the owner's phone number stored just in case.  

 

What should I write in my profile?

We intend for profiles to provide information about us as neighbours more generally. Who are you? What are you all about? Why might we want to meet? We’re all neighbours here. It’s not meant to be a sales pitch about why you’re the most qualified to take care of a dog. Our feeling is that we have pretty awesome neighbours, we just don’t know them. Wouldn’t we like to know more about these people living around us? Maybe there’s a great connection in our midst! That being said, be safe about what you disclose publicly.

 

What should I write in my dog’s profile?

Your dog’s profile should be a reflection of your dog’s personality, what she likes to do, her tendencies and issues, and any information someone might need to take care of your dog. Someone should be able to tell if your dog is a good fit for them to take care of by reading it. If you were to have a conversation with someone about your dog and explain how to take care of her, what would you say? It should be an easy access point should someone have a question about your dog while looking after her so that you don’t always need to think about saying everything possible in a conversation before a Session or make a neighbour worry if they can’t get hold of you. This profile can grow over time as you think of things or neighbours ask you questions.

Things to consider: demeanor, spayed or neutered, favourite toys, favourite activities, walking behaviour or leashes / harnesses, behaviour at the dog park, best parks to go to, off-leash tendencies, dogs or breeds she may or may not like, how she plays, what she eats, treats she likes / are approved, any medications, any medical issues or other issues like leash aggression or separation anxiety. You definitely need to flag more serious issues because you’ll want to find a neighbour who is comfortable dealing with those. What is your dog like indoors? Does she need a crate, willl she eat your shoes or recycling or jump on counters or chew plants? Does she like to snuggle? What makes your dog the most comfortable? You just want people to be prepared to look after your dog. We know that the more time someone spends with your dog the easier it is to take care of her, but it’s important to put relevant info out there so you don’t have to worry about her when you’re not there.  

 

What information about me do you disclose to other neighbours?

Again your neighbour will have your first name and last initial, any photo or description you provide of yourself and, where relevant, your dog, the pick-up / drop-off address, how far your home is in minute walking distance, and a masked phone number. We think it’s important to be able to get in touch with both neighbours in a Session so you’ll have both an in-app chat & this phone number to call, but we don’t disclose any irrelevant personal information. We value your privacy. It’s up to you what information to share beyond what we share. And what we do share is deemed necessary for a Session to take place. We also hold more personal information about both neighbours. So should something go wrong you can get in touch with us. We have more information that we can use to get in touch, including name, exact address, phone number, payment information, and email address.

 

5. City feed

How do I file a complaint or report a post?

If you want to flag a post or notice behaviour that violates the Community Guidelines, email us at helpme@gethoundr.com for us to review. We review posts on the City feed regularly but extra eyes on this space is helpful.
 

What shows up in here?

Anyone in the city who signs up for Houndr and posts will have their post show, organized based on time posted. Other neighbours can like (add sunshine!) or comment on others’ posts.


Why post?

Posting is another way to get a hand from your neighbours, except you get to access neighbours around the city. Here you can find a bigger community, whether you have a question about taking care of your dog, need a recommendation, want to meet up, or share an experience.


How do I make a post?

On the City feed, tap the big plus button. Here you’ll add a title and describe your issue / question / proposition / experience. Add a photo if you like, then hit “Post”!


My post got deleted / isn’t there anymore. What’s going on?

If we believe your post is in violation of the Community Guidelines we will hide your post & get in touch via email about it.

 

 

 
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6. Miscellaneous 

What’s Houndr’s ethos?

Houndr is all about neighbourliness. Remember neighbours? Remember knowing who some of these humans are & knowing that if something came up / you needed that proverbial cup of sugar you could knock on a door? That’s ultimately what we want to get back to -- neighbours being neighbours. Maybe you don’t need to hire people for everything, constantly engaged in these transactional relationships. Maybe we can lend a hand & it’s not a big deal & we can say thanks with the equivalent of a coffee or a decent bottle of wine. Maybe we can get to know people a bit, not like we’re best friends, but like humans who live near each other. We think regular life can be much nicer if we know we have this support system. It just so turns out that a lot of us need a hand with our dog and bunch more of us don’t mind helping out. In fact a whack of us don’t have dogs and really wish we could hangout sometimes with a dog.

 

What’s the name mean?

Hounding = searching & finding. Houndr is the place where you find who you need when you need them, whether that’s someone to help with your dog or a nugget to hang out with! And we make it happen fast, knocking on doors so you don’t have to. Hund also happens to be the German word for dog!

 

What’s with the hot dog?

It’s a dog!!! Ha! And it’s meant to be fun because having a dog and spending time with dogs in the city should be fun! But more than this, here, just as everyone is a neighbour, everyone can be represented by the hot dog, whether you’re human or canine. It’s egalitarian, ok?
 

What’s with all the abbreviated words & emojis?

We want to talk to you like a neighbour just as we hope you’ll talk to one another like neighbours — in an informal and approachable way. How would you text a friend? Add the gifs & emojis! Don’t treat each other formally or as though you’re engaging in some impersonal transaction. This is a friendly place. We want cities to be friendlier. We want neighbours to get to know each other and wave to each other on the street. Stop and say hi! We need to build up some familiarity with each other! We think emojis and abbreviations help to break the ice and set the right tone.
 

Is Houndr available in other cities?  

Houndr is currently only available in Toronto, but we will expand to other cities soon. 
 

What about cats & other pets?

Coming soon ish! 🐈 🐢🐇 🦄 We're on it, though. 


Can I recommend friends and neighbours?

Heck yes!!! In future we'll have a referral program so that you can get a little something from us for sharing Houndr with others. For now, run it old school through text, email, social media, etc. We sure appreciate it. The more of us here, supporting each other day to day, the happier the humans and dogs will be.