Hubby and I have approached a local rescue organization to get information on fostering. As with all rescue organizations, they are desperate for foster homes - especially for larger dogs. We don't have the biggest house but we do have a fenced yard, are near two parks, are active and have a ton of love to give. Our pup Tucker is almost two and we have worked hard to ensure that he is a good dog that people enjoy being around (he's not perfect - he still pulls a bit and gets into a tizzy when people come over ... but overall a fantastic dog).
My questions are these: What are the challenges that can be expected? What are the joys that can be expected? Any words of wisdom for someone coming into fostering?
Any/all advice is welcomed!!
Thank you, in advance, for your help.
Patience, patience, patience!
I LOVE fostering. My husband, on the other hand, found it way too stressful. Understandably, since he never had dogs in his life until we got married. I found he was fine after the first coupled days, and the dog can settle.
Things to remember: It is a very stressful time for SOME dogs. Some do fine and the adjustment is very uneventful. This is a new environment, new other dog to get acquainted with (your dog), new rules, new toys, new bedding - EVERYTHING is different. Plan to be home for a full day with your foster. And just like a young pup, get them used to only going outside using one door. If it's a male, he may mark inside your house. My first foster dog panted for the first 24 hours straight - just very anxious. Other's settled in right away. Don't give any special privleges to your foster - same rules apply as you would with your own. You're probably also going to see some scuffles between the foster and your dog - it's totally NORMAL. Don't freak out and think it's not going to work. Both dogs are finding their "fit" in your home. It may be that your foster will take charge (even though it's "your" dogs home). That's okay, too. They'll find a way to work it out. May take some growling, mounting, etc....but give it time. I would also feed in seperate rooms until you know him/her a bit better.
And lastly - ENJOY!!! I loved having fosters at my house! All my dogs sleep gated in my family room. So, usually, the first night of having a foster, I slept on the couch in the same room. I liked to watch everyone's behavior.
Have fun and post lots of pics!!!
Brenda from Connecticut
I fostered for a while with lab rescue. The first few dogs were really easy. The last one almost did me in. He was an overly active one year old. He knocked over my buffet and broke an antique urn I had on top along with some of my good china. He ran right through my baby gates and destroyed them, he also ate toys which I only discovered after he vomited them back up (thank God). I was at my wits end and since Nellie was fairly young she joined in with his romps through my house. I ended up walking him a lot and then crating him for his own safety. Be prepared for dogs that have had no training (potty or obedience) and have LOTS OF PATIENCES.
Patience, love and understanding. It's very rewarding.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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