Foster Home DOs and DON'Ts

Foster Help

Before your foster dog is ready to be placed into its new home, there are quite a few things to do:

  1. Get to know your dog so that you can tell prospective adopters all about your pup, such as how this dog reacts to children of different ages; how this dog reacts to cats; how this dog reacts to animals when it’s outside (birds, squirrels, etc.)
  2. The first thing to work on is the housetraining issue; even dogs that were labeled as “housetrained” will regress a little when they encounter a major change in their environment
  3. Constantly supervise the dog when it is loose in the house and crate or confine it when it isn’t possible to supervise; once it has settled into your home, you can start to allow it to have free roam by testing it for an hour at a time and then extend the time if possible and you want to
  4. Training issues should not be pushed in the first week or so, but then slowly introduce basic commands such as “sit,” “come,” and “stay.”
  5. Allow the foster dog to interact with your own dogs, supervising closely at the beginning and slowly allowing them more time alone together, if possible and you feel comfortable about it
  6. Become aware of special issues of the foster pup such as being emaciated and having food aggression, fearful of loud noises, fearful of people of a particular sex, etc. and try to help the dog try to overcome these issues, if possible.  Sometimes a professional trainer needs to become involved with the dog and its issues
  7. Try to work on problems that are least acceptable to most pet homes: destructive chewing and jumping up on people; once again, a professional trainer may need to be consulted
  8. Try to socialize your dog by getting it out as much as possible and expose it to new people and new situations (the exception, of course, is with puppies who have not gotten their complete round of shots)

One thing is for sure: if it weren’t for foster home volunteers, we couldn’t save the number of dogs we do every year. Think of it as when you foster a dog and then place it successfully, you are saving TWO lives — the one you placed and the next one that is waiting in the wings for you to welcome it home!