Open Hearts, Open Homes


Fostering is a wonderful experience for you and your family.  But how can you ensure your own dog feels as comfortable about fostering as you do?

Not all dogs make good foster siblings.  If your own dog is highly reactive to other dogs, a foster placement will likely not make the most sense.  For everyone's sake, we want a positive energy flow to happen.  If fostering is your goal, you will want to work to reduce any anxiety and reactivity that your dog exhibits when other dogs are present.  Fostering is work, but it is supposed to be positive for you, your dog and your foster dog.   

Before bringing Foster Fido into your home, your own dog should be fairly well trained.  It would be best if your own dog was reliable when it comes to basic commands like, "come", "stay", "sit", "off", "leave it" and "back".  More than likely you will be teaching these commands to Foster Fido and it will be confusing for both dogs if they are learning from you at the same time.  If your dog has his/her basic training down, he/she will serve as a model to your foster dog.  Foster Fido will look to your resident dog and more quickly pick these commands up. 

Foster Fido will also pick up the not so positive aspects of your own dog's behavior.  Prior to becoming a foster parent, give some thought as to what behaviors your dog displays that you do not want transferred to a foster dog.  Perhaps you want to work on these before Foster Fido moves in. 

Practice a feeding time with one of your dog's furry friends at your own home.  Ensure that both dogs are safe when you try this.  This practice run will give you an indication as to how your dog will react when food is present with another dog in his/her territory.  If your dog reacts poorly, you will want to work on the resource issues prior to inviting Foster Fido in for temporary residence. 

In order for the fostering experience to be rewarding and positive it is best that your resident dog is fairly easy going and ready to take on the role of a foster sibling.  After all, the whole family is part of the foster experience.  


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Written by hart at 00:00
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