Fosters are the true Heros!
Fostering saves lives! Fosters play the most important part of the rescue. Without a foster parent lined up we cannot save a dog in need!
The objective of fostering a dog is to work on socialization, potty training, behavior, and ability to walk on a leash while ensuring they are healthy and able to enter their new home with a smooth transition.
The most important tip SSBR can advise each foster family is giving your foster dog time to adjust to their new environment including; resident pets, new schedule, new home environment and new communication style. Major life changes can impose significant stress on dogs whether they are rescue or not. This can include anytime the dog’s routine is significantly changed, such as a change in home, addition of a new family member or pet, change in family dynamics, etc. During this adjustment period, the new dog may exhibit behavior that it will not otherwise exhibit after they adjusts to their new life. This may include having house training accidents, making serious efforts to escape including bolting out the door, jumping fences, digging under fences, attempting to avoid interactions with its new owners, and excessive barking among others. They may also have decreased appetite or an upset stomach.
We encourage new fosters to work through the usual training issues that may arise during the adjustment period.
The dog may be on its best behavior for a few days and then may show some negative behaviors, or these negative behaviors will immediately be present, or may not show any negative behaviors at all. Just remember, all dogs are individuals and it takes time to adjust to the new environment. A new environment with different smells, different noises, different people who treat them in different ways, including giving them different commands and allowing different behaviors. Your dog needs TIME to adjust.
One of the best thing you can do to speed up the adjustment process is to establish a consistent routine so your dog knows what to expect. This includes how many times a day you feed him, how many times a day you exercise him, when you put him to bed and when you let him outside. Part of the reason your dog experiences stress in the adjustment period is he does not know what to expect. A consistent routine can give him security and help him adjust quicker.
Be patient as your rescued dog adjusts to a new environment. The goal of fostering is to ensure the dog is healthy, socialized, potty trained, well behaved, and able to walk on a leash.
Introducing foster dog to other dog(s) in the home: Introduce the dogs in a neutral area; take resident dog on a walk 3-4 houses down from residence and naturally walk foster dog past resident dog. If there are multiple dogs in the household, introduce one at a time, starting with the least dominate “non-alpha” dog. Let the dogs sniff each other out. Encourage them to “Be nice.” Be firm in “No” if negative behavior. Do not confine dogs to tight spaces without supervision. Supervise interaction for several days before leaving them alone together, is advised.
Introducing the dog to people: Let the people know the dog is a rescue and how to behave around the dog. Don’t let them sneak up on the dog or play rough. Ask them to let the dog sniff their hand first before petting the dog. Have people use reassuring words with the dog “Good boy/girl” “Sweet boy/girl”, etc.
Potty Training Tips: Walk the dog through the house on a leash straight to the backyard. Take the dog out every 45 min- 1 hour for the first 24 hours. Use a crate anytime the dog is unsupervised. Keep food/water schedule, do NOT leave water/food out; monitor what goes in so you know when to take them out! Take the dog outside after each playtime and eating time. Always supervise outside times. Use key phrases “Go Potty.” Praise the puppy and reward with a treat when they go potty outside; SSBR highly encourages treat training. If you catch the puppy while the accident is in progress, give a firm “NO” and take the puppy outside immediately.
Feeding Habits: Its always good to set a feeding schedule with a new dog. If you are potty training, remove the food and water after 6PM each evening. Monitor feeding habits to check for food aggression and appetite. Do not leave food and water out outside defined schedule. PLEASE GIVE US 3-5 DAYS NOTICE IF YOU NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES.
Supplies Needed: Please understand that while we don't mind providing the supplies needed, it does take funds needed from saving additional lives, we are not an unlimited resource. We will ALWAYS provide approved vet care needed. If you need food or any supplies provided you must speak up as we are not mind readers :)
If you pick up your foster dog from a shelter please contact us for reimbursement of a martingale collar/leash. We wish for all fosters have a martingale collar.
We want to hear from you! Its important to take notes on the dogs mannerisms, interactions, eating habits, sleeping patterns, medical condition and potty training. Take pictures and videos that may be helpful in the adoption process. Keep all notes and pertinent information on your dog. If you are concerned about the dog for any reason, please notify SSBR immediately. This can include eating habits, medical concerns, aggression, etc.