Your first day with a foster dog is an exciting new start to the next chapter of their journey! In the first 24 hours of bringing home a foster dog your role is to be his or her advocate and the best way you can do that is by managing how you introduce stimuluses to your new foster dog. Controlling the environment and any potential triggers for your dog is the best way to earn his trust and build a relationship with him.
In most cases, your dog will need time and space to for decompressing his first day – many dogs have come off of long transports (multiple days traveling via trucks or even airplanes) or have spent countless hours in an overstimulating shelter environment. Block off the entire day for his rest and relaxation. Don’t plan an outing or invite lots of new people or other dogs over to your home to meet him. Instead, reserve the first day for letting him slowly acclimate and explore your new home at his own pace and establish the crate as his ‘safe place.’ In the case of energic or excitable dogs, taking it slow will help establish calm as the normal, expected behavior.
For some of us, there may be an instinct to immediately cuddle or coddle our new foster dog because we are so excited to finally spoil and treat them with all the love they deserve. The issue with jumping straight into affection, however, is that for some dogs it can enable any underlying separation anxiety. Save cuddling and strong signs of affection, including access to the bed or couch, until once you have established a clear, basic way of communicating with your new foster.
Understanding 3-3-3: The Rule of 3 is a great way to keep yourself to a plan of acclimating your rescue – whether he is your foster or newly adopted dog.
The Complete Dog Fostering Guide with Jess of @101Fosters
How to Become a Foster Dog Parent
Advice for a First-Time Dog Foster
Tips for Bringing Home a Foster Dog
How to Introduce a Foster Dog to Your Dog
How to Make Crate Training a Foster Much Easier
5 Tips for Feeding a Foster Dog
Fostering Puppies Tips: 5 Things You Should Do
Don’t forget, if you are fostering puppies, you are required to pay puppy tax in the form of cute photos and videos. If you can, consider fostering a mamma dog and her puppies!
Jess was recently a guest on Bark Building’s Fostering & Adoption 101 Virtual Chat, which is now on YouTube.