I've fostered 2 this year. The first was a temporary foster for about 10 days. He'd been adopted from the rescue, then dumped at the shelter. The shelter called the rescue since he was microchipped. Rescue person was out of town so I took him in until she got back and got him hooked up with his foster-to-adopt family who did in fact adopt him.
The second was a situation where he'd been previously adopted, then adoptors got a divorce, lost jobs and the house. I took him as a foster to adopt and then a few days later told the rescue he was staying.
So, no real advice except I think if it's a definite foster situation where you don't plan on keeping the dog, you have to keep that separation in your mind and just work on making him/her a better canine citizen with nice manners. Housebreaking, polite on a leash, good with other dogs, etc. Perhaps a few cute tricks to 'sell' him/her to prospective adoptors?
Can you enroll in an obedience class? That's something the rescue I've used will do.
Got one right now...a sweet Black Lab from our local high kill pound. She is healing from her spay now and will start heartworm treatment soon then will be listed through Labs4Rescue out of CT. I will keep her until her hw trt is complete and she is adopted.
I have fostered 30+ dogs, 1 kitten and 2 horses. There are lots of great resources online to help with any questions you may have.
My advice is to be patient and give them time to adjust. I always crate train the fosters and give them lots of play time (if they want to play/have energy to burn). Any tricks or skills you can teach them will definitely help them get adopted. Also, just treat them like your own pet...no pity! And bless you for fostering!!!!!!!!
LOL, SarahandSam....I am one of the few people in my group who is not a "foster failure". I think it is only because when I started fostering 5 or so years ago I already had 4 dogs of my own. I tell myself that having more than 4 permanent doggie residents would just be crazy!
I had my boxer's sister for a bit. Cried my eyes out like a small baby when I let her go to a new home. She got bounced around after that...we already had 2 Boxers in an apt. and couldnt take a third...never again. I get too attached to everything with a pulse.
I foster and have run the foster program for a humane society. I think the best tip I ever got was work on basic house manners and basic obedience skills.
If you are not affiliated with a rescue or shelter that mandates it, please make sure yourself that every foster leaves your home spayed or neutered. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure that this gets done!
I have to say that it is a very, very rewarding experience. I miss every dog once they leave my home, some more than others, but nothing beats making a great match and knowing that we have made a huge difference in the life of that dog.
I've done several....mainly dalmatians/dalmatian mixes. My first one is still here four years later....but the rest found new homes.
I've had really easy, sweet ones and there have been some hellions, ones that I was thrilled to see leave...and a couple that made me swear I'd never foster again due to the chaos.
As for tips...
Lots of exercise if you have a rowdy one....wear them out. My fosters always spent more time being in the crate than my personal dogs..simply because they need to be ready to live with someone else.
As the foster parent....make sure you work on commands, socialization, get to know the dog so you know important things to let the new family know....ie, gets fearful when....etc.
Socialization is big because most of these dogs have social issues, not all..but most.
Hi, my name is LBR, and I am a foster failure!
I picked up a boxer off the side of the road who had been left for dead. Having never liked boxers (sorry boxer lovers!) I was truly just fostering her for a rescue I called. She wormed her stupid ugly boxer way into my heart, and I kept her. Unfortunately I lost her to cancer about a yr later.
I'm a failure at fostering kittens too!!
My biggest issue is that I hate the idea of them slipping thru the cracks, or being bounced all over the place.
I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage
I've got one. A hound mix of some sort.. not the brightest crayon in the box (well atleast for me.. I've always had herding dogs.. aussie, corgi, etc) but very sweet. She came from one of the local shelters to our school program (vet tech) and was heartworm positive. So I offered to foster her until she finished that and will probably end up finding her a home as well so she doesn't go back to the shelter.
My corgi stays out in the house all the time, but foster goes in a large crate when we're gone for long periods. She does really well for awhile (like 2-3 weeks) but then at some point we'll come home and she'll have chewed on a bath mat or something so we just put her in the crate now. If it's just to the store real quick we'll leave her out. She stays out all night and LOVES sleeping on the bed.. although if for some reason she gets kicked off she will the sleep UNDER the bed lol. She's great with the corgi and really great with my 7 month old kitten.
My mother and I have fostered for about 10 years. We stopped counting after our 300th foster dog... The biggest tip I can give you is don't be afraid to let them go to new homes when the time comes. I know its hard to not get attached, but for every one you rehome, thats one more you can take and save.
I foster Mastiffs and have 2 permanent rescues, a Bullmastiff and a Presa Canario. We usually have 2-4 foster dogs as well. It is a lot of dog food!
It's super important to curtail the roughhousing if it gets aggressive. I know with ours all being 100-200 pounds it's terrible if we get even a little fight going.
We let them play but watch really closely for negative responses. Anybody that's food or toy aggressive gets separated and worked with carefully until they can play nicely. Learned my lesson with my second foster dog that you have to be firm even though it's so hard when they have tough backgrounds. I gave him too much freedom and not enough discipline, wound up with a serious bite to my forearm and thigh.
It's tough but super rewarding! Good luck with your experience!
Thanks for all the advice! Wow, some of you have done the fostering thing a LOT!
This foster dog is sweet with people, but a little bossy and frisky with my own dog, who is a few years older. They do play together a bit, without any problems so far, knock wood. He is not really one to stand up for himself- he's more likely to just walk away from her and curl up under the bed when he's had enough.
I was worried that I might get too attached to her, but I think my own dog would disown me if she stayed forever!
I just finished fostering a little Cavalier that was a brood bitch for a professional breeder for all nine years of her life. She is now in a wonderful home as of last weekend.
Like everyone said - make the rules clear from the beginning. My foster was crate trained from the first. She was very shy and utterly overwhelmed, but after the better part of the year with my bold dogs (and after a spay, antibiotics for rotten ears and a major dental to remove 11 rotting teeth) she blossomed, learned her housebreaking, and was ready for her new home. It was as hard as anything to give her up - but oh, my! The life she'll live with this new home!
Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom