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Fostering dogs....

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Gilly and Jess, Apr 14, 2011.


  1. Gilly and Jess

    Gilly and Jess PetForums Senior

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    Has anyone got any advice for me on fostering dogs, before I take the plunge?

    I've had Jess for a couple of months now, and I feel she's rather lonely at times. She really, really enjoys the rare opportunities she gets to run around with another dog when we're on walks, and I've been considering getting another.

    I know it sounds awful, but I can't afford to fork out another near £100 I spent on Jess, I blew my christmas kitty on getting her, and I'm very happy that I did. She's lovely company and she's settled in really well. Training going well, kids love her, she absolutely adores my eldest who takes her to the beach for a good run out regularly.

    I've found a kennels and rescue centre near me who foster dogs out, and I'm considering going to pay them a visit soon.

    My son's girlfriend brought her dog round one day, an old dog who is really reaching the end of her life now sadly, and Jess was a little bit growly with her. Kept picking up her toys and taking them out the way, wasn't too sure at all.

    What's the best approach to this one? I'm open to any advice for and against....
     
  2. Milliepoochie

    Milliepoochie PetForums VIP

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    I know exactly how you feel with the urge for the second dog but not sure whether to take take plunge.

    We klooked into fostering throguh WoodGreen Animal Shelter. We sent in the application and had the call to organise the home visit BUT in the time between me aplpying and abeing accepted for a home visit we got Makita :D:D

    But I did start a thread asking people about fosstering and there are plenty of people on this forum who replied and do foster and find it very rewarding but alot of people seem to fail and end up with a sencond dog none the less, be warned hehe.

    How old is Jess if you dont mind me asking? I would only be weary if your current dog is particularly young as it will be very hard work. A dog from kennels may not have many manors, may not be house trained etc etc etc and it maybe very hard to handle with a young dog as well.

    My girl would of bee two by the time we were considering fostering, um but we failed before we even started so Im not the best example. :)
     
  3. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    i foster on a regular basis for my local rescue and have found it rewarding, challenging, upsetting, uplifting, damn hard work, and it is easily the best thing i have ever done in my life.

    i was interviewed by the lady who runs the rescue and a home check was done. i had the advantage of already being a trainer so i tend to foster the more nervous, sometimes aggressive, but generally distressed dogs who come into rescue and rehabilitate them ready for rehoming with my own laid back approach to life in general.

    before you contact the rescue with a view to fostering please consider:-

    is your own dog fully socialised, vaccinated and dog friendly?
    is your dog non food aggressive, non toy aggressive etc?
    is your dog at least to basic obedience level in training?
    do you have enough time to dedicate to another addition?
    how would you cope with a non housetrained foster dog?
    how would you cope with introducing the new dog?

    any good rescue will match a potential foster dog to your home environment just the same as any breeder would check you out for ownership of one of their puppies (anyone who is genuine would anyway).

    be honest with the rescue organiser...if there is a particular breed you think you couldnt manage,,,say so and give your reasons.

    also make sure you know from the outset if the rescue provides food, leads, veterinary care, transport etc for your foster dog. most do but i know of several independant ones who only supply food!!!!!

    another thing to consider is insurance. what if your foster dog were to jump up an old lady and knock her over causing injury and then she sued you? would you be able to afford to fight the court case - pay a compensation fee?
    third party insurance is a must for all fosterers....just in case!!!!
    Cliverton Insurance are the recommended firm for people working with dogs from breeders, show, working, to dog walkers, dog sitters etc. worth a look on the website. peace of mind is only a few quid a month away!

    hope all this helps - good luck if you decide to go ahead...keep us posted.
    gilly
     
  4. Gilly and Jess

    Gilly and Jess PetForums Senior

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    Jess is 6 years old now, and I would say she's at least basic level of obedience. She has excellent recall off lead now, down and stay are becoming second nature. She's fully housetrained, and if friendly with all other dogs unless they show aggression towards her, then she tends to show her teeth and growl a little in defence of herself. I've never had her go for another dog, more the other way round. She'll stand still, lie down, roll over, or just plain sniff another dog.

    Her reaction to Sammy, my son's girlfriend's dog, does make me wonder whether she may be toy possessive. How would I teach her to not be, if that's the case. I've only had that experience once, she didn't lunge at Sammy, just growled, picked her chew up and walked away with it. Perhaps I could borrow a neighbours dog on a temporary hourly basis for a little while, to try and get her over that?

    I'd not thought of insurance and such like, I must say. That worries me, I wouldn't be able to afford that kind of thing I don't think. You see, there's something that's a little bit of a drawback that I hadn't considered. I'd be opting for a small or medium dog, about the same size as Jess. I'd be unsure of whether I should go for male or female, Jess is spayed, so male wouldn't be a problem. I've got lots of thinking to do haven't I? :D
     
  5. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    Might be worth checking if the rescue cover the liability insurance while the dogs in your care, some do with stipulations to minimise risks while in your care.
     
  6. Gilly and Jess

    Gilly and Jess PetForums Senior

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    It's a question I'll add to my list before I go see anyone about it. I'm not going to jump in head first, for a change, lol, I'll give it serious thought before I decide. Any other suggestions/ideas welcomed in the meantime.
     
  7. L/C

    L/C PetForums VIP

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    I think if it was me I might wait a bit longer. I think I'd want to have a new dog around 6 months before adding a second (permanent or foster) if there are no other reasons why you should add a second (i.e. dog is not happy as an only dog).

    We added a second dog 4 months in as it was that or return Ely to the rescue but it was hard work as we were dealing with his existing issues and then any others that cropped up as he settled in more and integrating another dog. Luckily our 2nd is pretty bombproof and so balences the neurotic headcase out a bit but it was still a lot of hard work.

    How long exactly have you had Jess? I take it she is a rescue? You might find that her personality will change as she settles in with you more so it might be worth giving it another couple of months and in that time getting her used to having doggy visitors in her house.
     
  8. Gilly and Jess

    Gilly and Jess PetForums Senior

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    That's a very valid point. I've only had Jess about 2 months now, not very long in the grand scheme of things. I've had neighbours dog out with her tonight and she wasn't a bit of bother with him, but obviously that's not on her own territory, it's outside.....I think you've hit the nail on the head. I'll likely discover a few more idiosyncrasies with Jess in a few months time.
     
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