Friday, 6 July 2012

My Foster Experience

Handsome Heff - Dan's current foster boy!

By Dan A. 

Being a foster for rescue dogs is a rewarding experience. I have fostered many dogs for Manitoba Mutts and it has taught me a variety of elements regarding their behaviours and tendencies.

Being a foster has taught me:

1.  The very shy and/or nervous dogs usually turn out to be very affectionate and caring dogs once given steady meals and a bit of attention. The key is to be very patient with them and not force anything quickly.

2.  Getting upset at a dog does not solve anything; the nervous ones will have an accident on the floor. You need to talk to them slowly and give them lots of eye contact. You would be surprised how much they really do understand. Remain calm and be assertive.

3.  Dogs need rules and leadership from their foster person or family. They usually behave better if they now what is expected of them and have a schedule. I feed my dogs the same time everyday and try and put them to bed the same time every night. I bribe them with treats to get them to go in their kennel by tossing a treat in their kennel and they run in to get it. Food is the best training tool.

As a foster, I am still learning and hope to master the following:

1.    How to walk two large dogs at the same time without going for a run...

2.   Figure out how to stop Heff from climbing my five foot chan link fence and going into the neighbour’s backyard. With Heff weighing in at 80 pounds it is hard on the back having to lift him over the fence and drop him down back in my yard. However I guess I did learn that Heff only knows how to climb once side of the fence! 

I have learned much from my fosters and have a lot more to learn. Hopefully I can show my fosters how to be good family dogs so that they can enjoy a healthy, happy life.

No comments:

Post a Comment