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I am new to fostering but not new to dogs or training. That said what are your training goals for foster dog? (a typical no major issue dog)

So far I have tried to instill some basic manners (sitting before being fed and coming in a door, walking nicely on a leash, etc). And because a dog could get adopted at anytime, what are the first things to work on? I'd like to work on things that will make the dog more appealing to potential adopters. Any suggestions?
 

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Here's what I work on with fosters:

Come
Sit
Down
Stay
Leash Walking
Off (the furniture, people's bodies)
Focus
Choosing appropriate things for toys!

If they can go to their new homes with those understood I figure they've got a great foundation!
 

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When we had fosters, we would work on the very basics: good manners around the house and people (not jumping up, getting off furniture, etc.), walking on the leash, sit, down, stay, and come.
 

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To the above lists, I would add house and crate train. Also try to socialize with different people and sounds around the house and in the neighborhood.
 

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For us it's priority one: crate training and housebreaking, playing well with others, off and leave it

Then basic manners: Don't pull on the leash, no jumping, no counter surfing.

Then training: Sit (and stay), watch me, down (and stay), come

Usually that's all I have time to do and of course they can get adopted somewhere during that process but normally I've got the first two down and have trained sit and watch by the time they go. I've taken a couple through obedience classes when I felt like they needed the extra work or their breed made the standard higher (typically rambunctious Rotties).

If we're talking puppies, then I'm more focused on socialization with people and dogs and then housebreaking.

I think the two things that appeal to adopters the most are a dog being housebroken (and you can list that on Petfinder) and then for when they meet the dog walking nicely on a leash and not jumping up.
 

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Housebreak, housebreak, housebreak. Also crate train, but people really want a dog that is already housebroken. #2 is basic manners, not jumping up, begging, or countersurfing. People also want a dog that doesn't pull on the leash. After that, typical obedience stuff like come, sit, down, stay, etc.
 

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We provide all the training mentioned above however we don't really advertise it. We tend to decline applicants who insist on a trained dog. Our experience is that people who are unwilling to provide basic training for their own dog will dump the dog when the first problem arises. Also, the fact that the dog is housebroken in the foster home does not guarantee that the dog won't have accidents in a new environment and with a family with a different schedule. We had problems with accidents arise when a dog from a foster home with a fenced yard was moved into a home without a yard where the exercise was leash walking. The dog that never had accidents in the foster home would have accidents in the home without the yard and we would get yelled at for listing the dog as housebroken. Also, the dog may respond differently to commands issued by the person who trained it and earned the dog's respect and a stranger. We ask the applicants the question why they chose a particular dog. If the answer is that they chose it because the dog is housebroken, we will not pursue the application. We will only place dogs with families that are willing and committed to provide basic training, regardless whether the dog needs the training or not. We obviously start the basic training with every dog.
 

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Everything Bow Wow said plus crate training, at a minimum, and house breaking, time permitting.

My first rescue I only had for a few weeks, so it can be difficult to spend as much time as you would like with resuce dogs.

One more note, I have never been disappopinted with a rescue dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the great information. MomtoBeauand Riley has some good points, I hadn't really thought of the training as being detrimental(the advertisement of).
 

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These are really good points. We don't advertise the obedience either for the same reasons (and in my experience people will undo the training you've done pretty quickly). We do mark housebroken on their Petfinder if they are but we discuss that with adopters and explain that the dog may still have accidents and they need to be prepared for that.

I have no problem with an adopter saying that they'd prefer a housebroken dog because they're working and don't have time for a puppy or whatever but I also want to hear them say that they understand there may be accidents and there will be an adjustment period and they're okay with that. If they're going on about their new carpets or indicate that they expect the dog to be perfect out of the gate we do not adopt to them.

The obedience we do is mainly to help them show well at adoption events and meet and greets and just to get them started with the whole training concept than as an advertising thing.
 

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I just wanted to make a quick comment on MomtoBeauandRiley's response about dogs that are housebroken at a foster's having accidents in the adopted home.

We see this often - actually, this usually happens. I caution all adopters to expect this until they and their new dog get into a routine, learn the dogs signals, etc.

But I've run into a couple cases where the dog is 'shy' about pottying on leash. I have a fenced yard, so the dogs can go in a corner to do their business if they want. Then they go to a home where they are leash walked and now they don't want to go on leash.

Hope I'm not changing the subject, but has anyone else had dogs who are shy about going on leash - esp. pooping?

Terry
http://www.echodogs.org
 

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Originally Posted By: nh_terry Hope I'm not changing the subject, but has anyone else had dogs who are shy about going on leash - esp. pooping?
Terry
http://www.echodogs.org
Yup. I have had one who was real shy about it. He went for a couple of days without pooping when he first came here. If we encountered a passing car and/or people walking on the far end of the street, he would stop "mid-stride"
and we had to then find another more private place....
Never had problems marking territory all over the place though
 

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Quote: Hope I'm not changing the subject, but has anyone else had dogs who are shy about going on leash - esp. pooping?
Most definitely!

I know they're controversial on here, but this is when I think flexi leashes can be very useful. There are some dogs who really don't seem to want to do it on walks and who don't want to do it right up next to you. I've found taking them to the designated spot on a flexi and standing there stationary while they sniff around and get comfortable can be a good bridge between going off leash and going on a conventional leash.
 

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Housebreaking and cratetraining are #1. Because my yard is so small, walking nicely on a leash is pretty much #2. Then basic manners.

We require all adopters to take professional obedience (petsmart classes don't apply) and they must send us proof that they have signed up for classes within a month of adoption. The rare exception to that rule is some senior dogs or if the person is a professional trainer. During our pre adoption interview - before the home visit is done - we discuss that dogs may have accidents in their new home and what would they do if there was an accident. Then, if they don't have dogs already we see how they react to a strange dog in the house during the homevisit.
 

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Not off topic at all. My most recent rescue, Paris, would not go on leash. However, she never had an accident in the house. I let her off lease on day three, she went potty and came when called.

I know rescue groups, at least mine, are concerned about letting a rescue dog off lease. But on my end so far, so good.

As an aside, I have adopted Paris. She is 4 1/2 years old and a wonderful dog, initially described by a shelter as aggressive and mean.
 
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