Fostering 101 – Introductions

Introducing Your Foster Dawg at Home

As soon as you park the car, the first thing you should do is … NOT bring the dog inside. First take the dog on a walk around your neighborhood, if you have a dog at home, introduce them OUTSIDE the home on neutral property. If you need assistance, an experienced MFDM volunteer would be happy to come to your home for initial introductions! Walking the dog allows the dog to not only understand and take in its new home but it appeals to their primitive need to explore new territory. The walk also establishes your bond with the dog as part of the pack and comforts a distressed or anxious dawg who is desperately asking for leadership.

Tuning in to dawg calming signals is especially important (and easy) during introductions. Dawgs are communicating with each other and with us more than you might realize, and listening to them can make all the difference. For more on calming signals, click here:

http://www.dogrescuecolorado.org/#!Your-dawg-is-trying-to-tell-you-something…/c1nry/A8C9BBBF-B437-41DA-B0BC-BF9CA80582BB

Meeting Other Pets & Kids

  • When the foster greets another dog, it is important that you embrace the role of a confident caretaker, but that you also take caution until you better understand their personality. 

  • Generally, the most polite way for dogs to greet each other is coming at one another in an arc, not straight at one another (it creates whale-eye).

  • Kids should practice the safe handling behaviors and calm petting techniques.

  • If the dog appears nervous around children, it is best to have the child sit down and wait for the dog to approach them

    • *We encourage you to use a spray bottle filled with water to gently and assertively declare boundaries. This can be especially helpful with energetic dawgs and tiny humans.

  • Supervise interactions with other pets and all other family members. Never pick up a frightened animal.

What to Do if a Dog Fight Breaks Out

  • Do not use your hands to break up a fight

  • Do not pull on the collars – dogs may redirect aggression and bite you

  • Throw water on the dogs – aim for the rear end and never the face

  • Bang on a table to distract the dogs or yell if absolutely necessary

  • If all else fails, get help and each person should grab the tails of each dog (you can “wheelbarrow” dogs with short or stubby tails) and pull them apart in an arc

  • Have the dawgs take space in separate rooms or kennels to calm down

  • Contact your foster coordinator ASAP – you must inform MFDM of the incident

Warming up to the new Home

Foster dawgs may take anywhere between 1 day to 2 weeks to adjust to a new place. The key to a comfortable transition is patience. Walk the dog consistently; give lots of praise when they are calm (do not pet them when they are experiencing stressful behaviors as this may reinforce the stressful behavior). Dogs that are experiencing stress are communicating it to you through calming signals. They might also exhibit:

  • Excessive Pacing/Panting/Yawning/Huffing/Puffing/Sneezing-try to distract them with a toy or go on a walk

  • Refusal to Eat-try sitting on the ground with the dog and hand feeding them

  • Refusal to Potty-bring them outside every hour and encourage them to potty, even if they don’t they will at least have the opportunity to sniff around outside

  • Acute Diarrhea-feed them a bland diet of rice and chicken

  • Tail tucked between legs and/or head carried low-speak in a soft voice and approach sideways with treats to encourage confidence, do not move quickly or hover over them

  • At My Fairy Dawg Mother Headquarters, we are passionate about finding each dawg the perfect furever home; but in the mean time, we couldn’t be more grateful for our foster families who open their hearts and homes to help these pups. To support our foster team, we hold comprehensive trainings to better prepare volunteers for the lifechanging and rewarding experience of fostering a dawg. If you are interested in helping save a life, please fill out a foster application and contact us with any questions! We’d love to have you on the team!

At My Fairy Dawg Mother Headquarters, we are passionate about finding each dawg the perfect furever home; in the mean time, we couldn’t be more grateful for our foster families who open their hearts and homes to help these pups. To support our foster team, we hold comprehensive trainings to better prepare volunteers for the lifechanging and rewarding experience of fostering a dawg. If you are interested in helping save a life, please fill out a foster application and contact us with any questions! We’d love to have you as part of the team! All foster dawgs are fully sponsored.

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