"Green fosters" and their expectations - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-10-2013, 01:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
Magwart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,399
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?
Magwart is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
misslesleedavis1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: -
Posts: 3,635
Default

I always tell potential fosters that,

- the new dog probably has many issues
- the new dog most likely has food agression
- when introducing your new dog to your dogs do it off property
-the new dog will most likely cry all night if in a crate
the new dog with most likely get into garbage or chew if he is left unsupervised
- the new dog will take off because it has no idea who the **** you are
- i hope you like cleaning up poop because your new dog is most likely not housetrained

I like to employ the negatives about fostering and give no false hope. there are also many positives i tell them about! i just dont see a point in holding back.
misslesleedavis1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2013, 10:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
Remo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 2,533
Default

We have a system where we assign a "mentor" (i.e. experienced foster home volunteer) to each new foster home. That way they have a specific person to go to for help/questions.

We also have a foster home manual on the volunteer section of our web site that also provides guidelines/information.
__________________
Yours in GSDs and rescue,

Lea

Good Dogs for Good Homes
Virginia German Shepherd Rescue
www.shepherdrescue.org
Remo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
The Rescues Rule Administrator
 
JeanKBBMMMAAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,881
Default

Foster mentors help.

I like the idea of training though - a 2 hour class would be a great way to start. Cover what to feed/not, when to call for vetting permission, paperwork, adopter relations and followup, behavior, stages of the rescue dog, grooming basics. Okay, maybe 2-2 hour classes!
__________________
IMOM is...
JeanKBBMMMAAN is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
misslesleedavis1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: -
Posts: 3,635
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remo View Post
We have a system where we assign a "mentor" (i.e. experienced foster home volunteer) to each new foster home. That way they have a specific person to go to for help/questions.

We also have a foster home manual on the volunteer section of our web site that also provides guidelines/information.
I love this!!!! we have fb connections and support, but not a mentor! awesome fabulous ideas
misslesleedavis1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2013, 10:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
Merciel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,575
Default

Mentors help.

I have a foster wiki that I send them all a link to: WAGS Wiki (I wrote that almost two years ago and haven't really looked at it since, so it might be horribly outdated by now, who knows).

We also try to give first-time fosters the "easy," highly adoptable dogs who are likely to be placed within a couple of weeks even if they have no training and the foster has even screwed them up in some small way. Puppies and small-breed dogs without behavioral issues almost always get adopted within two weeks around here, so they're usually good starter dogs for new fosters.

Other rescues in our area have mandatory volunteer orientations before you're allowed to take a new pet home as a foster. One of them runs a two-hour session and the other is a pair of two-hour sessions split over two separate weekends. I think that's a great idea if you have enough personnel to make it work, but it's not feasible for my rescue because there are only a couple of people who could teach the class and nobody wants to do it. (I'm one of the possible candidates and I don't want to do it, so I can't blame anybody else there.)
__________________
ARCHMX TDCH Pongu the Insane, CD-C, RE, RL1X6, RL2X5, RL3X2 (GSD mix, b. Apr 2010)
Crookytail the Tigerwuff, RL1, ITD (Akita mix, b. Jan 2011)
Merciel is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2013, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
sit,stay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 3,230
Default

Mentors help a lot. I discovered that a new foster might not feel comfortable calling the office with what they considered "little problems" or "stupid" questions, but they were much more likely to open up to an experienced foster parent mentor who called and checked in with them every couple of days initially.

Also I think it helps to assign their first three foster picks. Those people who don't have much experience training dogs (or in some cases, living with dogs at all) tend to pick the really tough cases. Which, in my experience, is the last thing they need to start off their fostering life with. I like to pick the easy ones for them, so they can gain some experience and feel good about it.

I think that offering as much support as possible also helps to make it a success for everyone. Training classes, etc. are a great way to focus efforts and I think it is a great way to grow a cohesive group of foster parents.
Sheilah
sit,stay is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2013, 12:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
LifeofRiley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,271
Default

Wow! Lots of great responses.

I think the mentor idea is a great one. I have never fostered with an organization that had a formal mentorship program, but I benefited a lot from informal mentoring. I have found that small organizations that have a lot of adoption events provide a lot of opportunities for the type of informal mentoring that has helped me.

I also think it is really important to have a Foster Handbook with general information as well as key contact info for the various issues that may arise. The best experiences I have had (as a foster home) are ones where I know exactly who to contact if a health issue surfaces, etc.

Finally, I have found that a one-on-one in-person orientation is better than a general mandatory training. By in-person orientation, I mean meeting-up with the coordinator at an adoption event prior to beginning volunteer activities to talk through guidelines and procedures together... this happens only after a foster application has been accepted.

In my experience, the formal (and mandatory) training sessions I have been a part of are not tailored enough to any specific volunteer role to be particularly useful... in other words the sessions cover all forms of volunteer activities at a shelter/facility. Truth be told, I think some of these facilities make these sessions mandatory only to filter out those who are less committed vs. trying to give attendees useful information for the volunteer role they will be taking part in.

Last edited by LifeofRiley; 12-11-2013 at 12:05 AM.
LifeofRiley is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2013, 01:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
LifeofRiley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,271
Default

Magwart,

Also, as you are starting your own rescue, I think one thing that is often overlooked in terms of upfront foster training is paperwork management/reporting - intake/transfer, vet check, vaccinations, application checks, adoption forms, microchip.... what are the reporting standards - what needs to stay on file, what is given to the adopter, what needs to be sent to the State and what companion documentation is required, etc., etc.

Last edited by LifeofRiley; 12-11-2013 at 01:23 AM.
LifeofRiley is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2013, 02:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 8,879
Default

I am a new foster mom and this is is how it went. I filled out application, they had me come out Saturday(I chose to bring Midnite), they gave me food, the dog, and crate and I was on my way. I do kinda know someone involved in the rescue, so I'm not sure if all fosters are introduced the same way. On Monday I got an email to sign a waiver and a copy of the handbook. No one ever called to see how the dog is doing or how I'm doing for that matter. They haven't updated any info on him on their page, they have lots of dogs/cats now. I have no problem with the dog and he can stay as long as needed, but I feel a lack of support. I have no clue if he is suppose to be getting heartworm medicine, what adoption events if any I am suppose to go to,etc. I was told I can trim his nails and to contact them with any questions. I can see how someone that isn't familiar with dogs or fostering can be overwhelmed. They didn't even go over the waiver , it just states that basically they aren't monetary responsible for damage, injuries, or death...that is scary.
__________________
Misty- Samoyed Mix
Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- German Shepherd CGC, TC
Midnite-German Shepherd CGC, TC
Brennan- Golden Retriever CGC
Batman- Husky/Greyhound
llombardo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:23 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Retriever Breeds Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum