Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

fostering dogs

kigndano
August 27th, 2008, 12:43 PM
should i look into it?

pitgrrl
August 27th, 2008, 01:09 PM
I think you might just find yourself in a world of frustration if you're still trying to work through some of the issues you're having with your current dog :shrug:

lm9012
August 27th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Kingdano:

I am not familiar with the issues you are having with your current dog. I can tell you that fostering can be truly rewarding as well as draining! Depending on the cases you get, the dogs may come with health issues, emotional problems and may require rehabilitation. So lots of patience and time is needed. Then there's a definite sadness when it is time to give them up. I hear it all the time, ' i couldn't get a dog, and then have to give it up'. So yes, it isn't for everyone, but I tell you, it is one of the best experiences of my life. And it's for such a good cause of course!!

Some of my dogs were breezes...no issues, no training problems, sweeties that I just had to feed and put a roof over their head, within a few weeks I'd get some interested adopters, interview them, pick who would be a best fit with the dog and get them adopted out..

Others came with health issues, I had one with three types of worms, another with fleas and a fake pregnancy, there was the aggresive 9 lb poodle that kept biting us, the underweight girl we rescued when a shelter caught on fire that wouldn't even walk the first few days she was so terrified, the girl that was abused AT a shelter and came to me with cuts, scrapes, a chunk of her ear bit off, and a chunk of her thigh bit off too.....:sad:

Every single one of them was adopted out into the perfect home..and they will forever be in my heart. The easy ones and the difficult ones were truly a gift to me, not the other way around. I loved taking care of them, helping them develop trust, and the feeling you get when you reunite a family with their new dog..ah, it's just the best feeling!

So..there's good points and bad. But if your heart is truly in it, there is always a shortage of foster homes. It can get frustrating when you work so hard to rehab one, get it adopted, and there's 12 more right behind it that need help, it's a vicious cycle...but I try to focus on the positive. When I get an email a few months later from the new family, with new pics! And i see how happy the doggie is now, knowing that what they went through, along with their time with me, a faint memory now...

So if you are able to open up your home, please do! If you already have pets at home of course you'll need to introduce the new visitor correctly, and make sure your pets are still getting attention..

I don't see it as a sacrifice on my part, I am grateful for the chance to help. It is an amazing opportunity! I hope you are seriously considering it.

hazelrunpack
August 27th, 2008, 04:45 PM
I have to agree with pitgrrl on this one, kigndano. Fosters can require a great deal of your time...some of them come with some pretty powerful baggage...so if you don't have the time to spend, it's going to be a huge source of frustration for you. :shrug:

Winston
August 27th, 2008, 04:45 PM
lm9012 that is the best explanation I coud have read! I couldnt agree with you more! its all that and then some! I havent been able to foster just simply because of our lifestyle and size of home but I cant wait to do it myself when the time is right! I try to help out a rescue now doing other things such as fundraisers and things..its what works for me!

Kingdano there are so many other ways to help to if fostering isnt a feasable option! You could volunteer at your local humance society or spca depending on where you live and maybe become a dog walker! you could teach the doggies manners needed and provide them with excercise and love all at the same time! just a thought!

Sometimes if you can help out transporting dogs that is really helpful too! I think anyway you look at it its a great experience!

Good luck with whatever you do! youll be just fine at it!

kigndano
August 27th, 2008, 07:16 PM
its true that it would be probably 2 times as much work as i do now.

not sure i could do that.

Frenchy
August 27th, 2008, 08:38 PM
If your dog has issues , I would tell you to not foster. But like Winston mentioned , you can volunteer in some other ways , walking dogs for shelters , offer transport to rescues , if you're good with computers , maybe offer help with rescues websites ... stuff like that. :thumbs up

Sylvie
August 27th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Fostering is not for everyone. I agree with everything that lm9012 has said about fostering. It is both a joy and heartbreaker. We are on our 10th foster. Some stayed as little as a couple of days and others were with us up to a year, depending on age and problems that needed to be worked out.

We have 3 of our own dogs who have been obedience trained. 2 have titles and one has had the classes but due to the fact she is not a purebred could not compete.:rolleyes: Without our guys being properly trained, we could not foster. The difference in our house when we have a foster is night and day. We have three almost perfect dogs and then we introduce a scared pupster to the mix. It is almost like having an untrained pup in an adult body. :eek: P.S. My husband is an excellent trainer, without him I could not foster.

So my advice to you is think hard before fostering if you do have issues with your dog. However, having said that the decision is up to you and anything is possible.:D I hope I have made some sense and that it will help you make your decision.

Winston is right, rescues need so much help in many ways. :yell: I hope not only you but many others will look into helping dogs in any way they can.

:sorry: I just started to ramble:o

Chaser
August 27th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Having just gotten into fostering myself, I would really recommend helping out in other ways if you are still working through things with your own dog. Chase is very far from perfect, but is in general well-behaved and easy to manage. Nothing really frustrating. But Kailey is a handful and a half, and Chase has learned all kinds of less than wonderful things from her. Having a new dog in your household can really throw off the first dog. They pick up on bad habits, and may react negatively to the chaos caused by the new arrival.

All in all I'm really impressed with how well Chase has managed, and it helps that they became such fast friends. But Kailey's presence has definitely thrown him off somewhat, and we're not only investing a tonne of time training her, but have also found Chase has required quite a few "refresher" courses himself! Now we are planning our second dog very strategically based on fostering, as we have certainly realized you couldn't do it with just any dog. We'll be considering a dog's potential as a foster brother first and foremost when we (eventually) adopt a second pup.

I would wait a while before pursuing fostering. Let your dog mature some more, keep on with the training, and when you reach the point where you realize having him has suddenly become ridiculously easy and low-maintenance, then it's probably the right time to seriously consider it.

MIA
August 27th, 2008, 11:09 PM
I love fostering but my dogs are all well trained and a stable pack so they actually help when it comes to fostering! They teach other dogs how to exist in a pack, play, eat with other dogs etc.... It is a lot of work, especially if you don't have things sorted out with your dog, I wouldn't do it, as you need your dog to be 100% with you or things could go badly.

My favorite thing to do really was to pick up dogs at the shelter and take them to the beach! Not all shelters allow this but one of the ones close to me did and I would take my dogs and the shelter dogs (ones that were able to go) and it was a hoot, they had the time of their lives. I also liked taking treats to the shelter and grooming dogs, or giving them a nice bath. Also collecting blankets and toys are nice for shelter dogs.

rainbow
August 28th, 2008, 02:58 AM
I think you might just find yourself in a world of frustration if you're still trying to work through some of the issues you're having with your current dog :shrug:


If your dog has issues , I would tell you to not foster. But like Winston mentioned , you can volunteer in some other ways , walking dogs for shelters , offer transport to rescues , if you're good with computers , maybe offer help with rescues websites ... stuff like that. :thumbs up

I agree with pitgrrl and frenchy. :thumbs up Cash needs most of your time right now so it's best just to volunteer at a local shelter. :)

lm9012
August 28th, 2008, 11:39 AM
Well I'm getting a bit more of a feel that you may not have a fully trained dog at home Kigdano...and yes I agree with everyone. What your situation is at home comes first, and even the most trained dog can get bent out of shape when a new dog comes along. So you have to work on making the new dog feel safe and secure, and loved, and training it if it needs it, then still reminding your current pack they are #1 and your love is still there for them too!

Albert is fully trained and super obedient. Yet like clockwork..within a week of EVERY SINGLE new foster coming in that boy left me a 'present' right next to the crate of the new dog! This is a dog that has 'held it' as long as 12 hours, and always lets me know if he really needs to get out, gets his proper walks every day, etc...yet, he's gotta leave me a pile of 'you know what' letting me know he is not happy with our new visitor! :laughing:

I work with a rescue group that saves dogs from high kill shelters..some dogs do need a lot of work, but there's others that are perfectly fine, and get adopted immediatly. More often, they do require a little work. We all know dogs like consistency, and are creatures of habit..so an adjustment needs to be made. Someone mentioned that your dog can pick up habits from the new dog..that is so true. If you got a foster that's being potty trained, and starts marking in the house, your dog may start too....since he smells it he'll figure 'oh it's ok to do it in here too now?' If the dogs are on different diets, you need to worry about them not getting into each other's food, stealing treats, toys or chewies from each other...etc.

All in all, I don't want to discourage people. Foster homes are NEEDED desperately everywhere..but yes there are so many ways to help. Even just donating $20 for gas for the next transport with your local rescue group can make a world of difference. OR if you know of a shelter, I'm sure if you offered to just come and play with the dogs for an hour they wouldn't tell you no! Check with rescue groups, often they depend on foster homes, and when they are short they leave them at a kennel. We are always encouraged at my rescue group to take the time to visit the dogs, or we pick them up on a Saturday and take them to adoption shows and handle them for a few hours and just give them attention. Mia...what a lovely idea about taking shelter dogs to the beach! I know that would make any dog's day! THat was so great of you!

Every little bit helps, and if you can make a difference with just one dog..it will bring much joy to you, I promise!

kigndano
August 28th, 2008, 03:07 PM
truthfully my dog has been amazing the last few weeks since i introduced the walking stick on our walk.

the walk used to be our only issue. now its probably a care-free walk 80 percent of the time - only when in close range with other dogs do i still get some tenseness.

i just block his path with my walking stick and move on.

we are on flat buckle collar again too.

other than that he is a very well behaved guy, everyone is always amazed at how calm he is for a 1.5 yr old doggie.

i think its cuz i keep him tired out with walks, training sessions, play time etc.


but i do appreciate all the advice regardless.

aslan
August 28th, 2008, 03:28 PM
kigndano, good to hear cash is doing so much better on walks. I can't remember if you've said whether or not he has some doggy friends. If not that would be my next step. Get him used to other dogs around him and playing with them. Then consider fostering.

kigndano
August 28th, 2008, 07:08 PM
yea he has had dog buddies before.

lots of random ones and then two that hes played with many times.

one of them was almost every day for a few months, a big german shepherd dog back when cash was a pup and then recently my buddy's boxer pup (4 or 5 months i think)

pitgrrl
August 28th, 2008, 08:23 PM
one of them was almost every day for a few months, a big german shepherd dog back when cash was a pup and then recently my buddy's boxer pup (4 or 5 months i think)

Has he had any interactions over the longer term with adult dogs while he's been an adult?

There is often a huge difference between what a dog will tolerate from a pup/as a pup than they will in as a fully mature dog with another adult.

My own dogs, for example, will put up with pretty much anything from puppies, but bring a fully mature male dog their way and it's a whole different ball game. If you are considering fostering, figuring out what combos will work for you and your dog will be important. Can you take only pups? Pups and females? Submissive males?

Winston
August 28th, 2008, 09:00 PM
I agree pitgirl! I couldnt foster a pup I dont think! Winston would be horrified! last pup he met he kept trying to get back in the house! didnt want anything to do with it!:laughing:

Frenchy
August 28th, 2008, 09:08 PM
The only foster I had problems with was a 6 months old golden :evil:. He was dominant and was never trained. Had to move to another foster home after one week , even my Bailey :angel: couldn't stand him ! :evil:

luckypenny
August 28th, 2008, 10:31 PM
If you are considering fostering, figuring out what combos will work for you and your dog will be important.

You're absolutely right Pitgrrl. The dynamics between dogs are so important to consider. Puppies are what mainly works for us. We haven't had any problems with friends who have mild mannered senior dogs either, but pushy young adults would be a nightmare. However, when we just had Lucky, any dog could have stayed over. Since two females joined the pack, that's no longer so.

kigndano
August 29th, 2008, 08:03 AM
yes i have thought about the interactions between my dog and the others, and it is a great point.


i was thinking i would bring cash with me before i took on a foster, to see the initial meet and greet.

and i would prefer a pup to foster vs an older dog. and more submissive of course, being that my guy can be a little testy with dominant looking doggies.


great advice guys.

the company i am talking to does a meet and greet at petco once a month, so next month i am going to go check the dogs out, just to see what they are like.

BenMax
August 29th, 2008, 09:42 AM
To date I have had 63 foster dogs. In fact it is rewarding but I only foster dogs based on my dog's temperment. If you have a dominent dog it can hinder the progress of some fosters coming into your care. At times a dominent dog however will help a shy unsocialize dog 'shake' out of this behaviour - it really all depends.

Good rescues will actually match up your dog with a foster that requires assistance.

The only thing about fostering is that you need to commit to this dog coming into your home until adopted. It really is not ideal that a dog is moved again to another foster home if it does not work out. Many rescued dogs do carry bagage - I usually dedicate most of my time to their needs and sometimes have no choice but put my own a side. Training is something else that must be considered which that in itself can be difficult if you are trying to juggle helping a dog with behavioral issues and training on top of that.

I have been fostering for years. I can say that I enjoy and will absolutely continue to do so until I am 6 feet under.

Good luck with your decision. If you do decide to foster - then you know you have all these people that will help you through the process.

Sylvie
August 29th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Wow 63 fosters. That is awsome :thumbs up

Good luck in fostering KD. I think it is great that you are considering it. If I can help in any way, be glad to:D

BenMax
August 29th, 2008, 11:34 AM
Wow 63 fosters. That is awsome :thumbs up

Good luck in fostering KD. I think it is great that you are considering it. If I can help in any way, be glad to:D

Awesome or crazy. To me it is a way of life. It has really helped me in understanding all different breeds and different behaviours based on predominent breed within the dog. It is great to read about breeds but to actually work with them is really what gives you the experience when understanding behaviours and how to help the dog out to become the best he/she can.

Fostering is the best way of giving back since I really do not have a huge income. I would love to financial support a rescue or shelter however I cannot. Fostering definately satisfied me two folds.

Frenchy
August 29th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Yeah, stick with opposite genders if you want to make your life easier

No , gender doesn't have anything to do with this , you have to look at dominant/submissive. Although I'm a newbie at this compare to BenMax (63! :eek:) I had twenty something fosters up till now. And you have to look at the dog's temperament , not the gender. :shrug:

BenMax
August 29th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Frenchy is correct - opposite gender is not a pre-requisite. The temperment of YOUR dog is.

Frenchy - I know for a fact that you have had some doosies - so maybe your 20 is equivalent to my 63! BTW - out of the 63 I ended up adopting one just recently.

Frenchy
August 29th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Frenchy is correct - opposite gender is not a pre-requisite. The temperment of YOUR dog is.

Frenchy - I know for a fact that you have had some doosies - so maybe your 20 is equivalent to my 63! BTW - out of the 63 I ended up adopting one just recently.

Don't tell me you ONLY adopted one of your fosters so far ? :cool:

I kept 2 :p

BenMax
August 29th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Don't tell me you ONLY adopted one of your fosters so far ? :cool:

I kept 2 :p

I ended up with one. Only 125 lbs lighter than what I was looking for - but just fell in love....what can I tell you. It appeared that I needed her as much as she needed me - now we are one!

So much for sticking to my rules.