How does your dog react? Does he like your foster?
I think he is sad. I don’t want to hurt my dog bringing in another dog.
My dog wouldn’t stand another dog here.
Does my dog love that I foster? Does he like all my foster? …Loaded question with a loaded answer. Before I begin on the how-to, I would like to stress on 2 things: I foster because of my resident dog, B and I can foster because of B.
He is my inspiration for fostering. I love mine enough, to share some for those less fortunate. So if you love your dog (or cat or bunny), how can you let another one suffer?
That said, I recognize that it isn’t rosy and if you are having trouble making them get along, you are not alone. I know you are worried that your dog, the foster and you are all sad. But there are ways to overcome the issues:
- It is important for your resident dog to know they are just that–your resident dog; your forever one. It is not that you treat the fosters badly but in your actions and talk, explain clearly what each dog’s place is.
- Separating their food bowls, water bowls and toys often make it easier.
- When I first bring the foster in, I walk him a lot and tire him out, then I get him to meet B and then sometimes walk them together. When we are all tired, we go back and I gently lead the foster to his/her crate. Then I squat in front with B and give tiny treats to both of them. B learns to associate "new dog" with "treats" and foster learns that the crate is where he gets treats
- I crate my fosters a lot especially at night. My dog’s sleeping spot is next to Mommy and foster dog sleeps comfy in his own crate/ bed. That gives the foster definition of his own space and B is comfortable knowing he is the special one and will always be.
- Don’t get me wrong, I don’t recommend isolation (unless needed). I give them ample play time, but this separation of space and crating also helps me avoid my dog getting too attached to the new pal who will be going home tomorrow. This also helps address jealousy.
- Lastly, if you have another human in the house who is willing to help you, let them! It is important your resident dog feels that he is not losing out on special you-time. Maybe your partner or friend can walk the foster some times, when you can spend some quality alone time with your resident dog. This one did wonders for me, thanks to my husband.
Don’t fool yourself with only collecting tips, by the time you have fostered 1 or 2 dogs, you will have plenty of wisdom of your own. Research your own experiences and you will find things that work for you and your dog… and they might be unique; so relish and share your experiences. Fostering should be a destressor, not otherwise.