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Old 12-10-2013, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Green fosters" and their expectations

Let's talk about your favorite rescue's training program for new fosters.

Now that we're launching a new rescue, it's a question that's been on my mind. I have a handful of friends who foster who are all in their thirties, forties, or fifties, have had dogs all their lives, train together, and are great with dogs who have "issues." The key is the "train together" part -- they all get that dogs are moldable and progress from point A to point B with a plan and patience. And they all get the need for building trust with a dog, and taking things slowly.

It's the green new foster homes that worry me. I've seen a lot of them at the local shelter here. In this college town, they are typically early 20s. They grew up with a dog and love animals. They want to help save them. They've never professionally trained their own dogs, or been part of a training club, and are clueless about dog behavior. They emulate whatever their parents did to "train." ("No, no bad dog!")

I've noticed a pattern with this type of green foster at our local public shelter. They are so excited and thrilled at first, delighted to take a sad, miserable dog from the shelter and help it. And then within three days, they want to return the dog. Naturally, they didn't crate train it, turned it loose with their personal animals the first night, let it roam in the house unsupervised for hours....and bad things happened.

How do your favorite rescues keep new fosters on the right track? Is it in your foster contract? Do you have mandatory foster training?
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