Fostering a Dog

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Fostering a dog takes a very special person.  Meeting a dog that you know that you won’t be keeping forever.  Introducing a dog to inside living for the first time and watching the fear melt away.  The new dog is likely to be needy and shy at first; being there to give them a sense of safety and love (perhaps for the first time) is just amazing.

The first step is to decide what kind of dog you wish to foster.  If you love a particular breed, then finding dogs to foster will probably be easy.  (I am partial to Boston Terrier rescue groups.)  Realize that it may take weeks or months to find a forever home for your foster dog.

The second step is to puppy proof your home.  Each new dog should be treated like a puppy.  The new dog may not be housebroken and may have bad habits like chewing on shoes.

The third step is to get a crate or completely dog safe, a small area of your home.  This for when you must leave the dog alone.  A crate if used correctly can be an excellent training tool.

The fourth step is getting the foster dog.  Realize that you will need a great deal of patience at first.  Their behavior may be unpredictable.  The new dog may be scared.  Treat the new dog with love.  Keep your voice quiet.  Correct bad behavior gently.

The fifth step is to introduce the new dog to as many new experiences as possible.  Slowly introduce the new dog to kids, cats, and other dogs.  This is so that when you finally give up your dog to a forever home, you can pass on valuable information.  You want the forever home to fit the dog’s general personality and quirks.

The sixth step is to take the foster dog to at least two adoption events a day.  You are trying to find a forever home for your dog.

Realize that it may be difficult to give up your foster dog to a new family.  Very difficult.  Remember why you got into dog fostering.  You are letting this dog go to a good home.  You will then have room in your home for new dog that you may have rescued from a bad situation.  Unfortunately, there will always be other dogs to foster.

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