Foster Rules

Omg you brought a rescue dog home, now what?! 


The following rules were created to help you and your foster dog become successful in their journey to adoption. 


🐾Be calm, exude zen, be confident.


🐾Open your foster dogs crate in a secure backyard, or inside of a house. Let them come out on their own, even if it takes an hour or two. 


🐾Allow them to sniff their new surroundings, and wait for a pee and poo


🐾Attach proper fitting martingale collar, and all 

proper ID tags and GPS unit if applicable. 


🐾 Feed your dog small amounts, frequently for the first two days as they probably haven't had food in a while


🐾No talking. No touching. NO EYE CONTACT


🐾 Let your dog rest in their crate. Please do not be all up in their space. If your dog came in late, crate them for the night. Otherwise, a few hours of solid rest will really help regulate them 


🐾 Remember, stress levels in your dog will not settle for weeks on end. 


🐾Crate training is a must. If you have a shy dog, you may need to keep your crate closer to the main living space to ensure socialization.


🐾Don’t set a timed schedule in the beginning. Your dog will need a while to decompress.


🐾No need to rush walks, some dogs aren't ready, have never been on a leash, or have had really horrible experiences with leashes.


🐾Walking isn't about how far you go with your dog - it's about the quality of the walk. Don't move if your foster dog pulls, and always have treats on hand to redirect them to a loose leash 


🐾Walk the same areas over and over again to ensure your dog knows where their new home is, and so they can spray their scents everywhere - a very good path if they run off. 


🐾Use the leash to guide. It is recommended that every new foster dog remain on leash, both inside and out, for a minimum of 14 days. A leash acts as an extension of our arm, and this will help prevent  having to reach for their collar which can be frightening to most new dogs - and will prevent you potentially getting bit. All new dogs are also flight risks, and 

having a leash on helps for added safety.


🐾Go about your business, do not pay attention to the dog for the first 3-7 days.


🐾After 3-7 days, you can start paying more attention to the dog as a reward, they have to earn it.  


🐾Use the crate during the day when home, and when you are not,  as it can become a safe place, as well it helps to create independence.  


🐾Calmness in the house, always. Initial period of low noise and low distraction levels. You can increase overtime, however there is a balance in pushing boundaries and letting them come to it on their own.  


🐾“Ignore” the dog, let the dog come around on its time, not yours. They also need to earn your attention and affection

Respect distance when asked.  


🐾Give proper body language, keep your composure, no fear, uncertainty, doubt, or feeling sorry for the dog. Shoulders back, head up, you are the boss.


🐾Consistent corrections to appropriate levels (i.e. Must match the crime) and without emotion. If you need a moment to collect yourself, crate them.  


🐾Dogs will start showing their true self 7-10 days, first issues will start to present.  This is when having all of your rules and boundaries established comes into play! 


🐾NO furniture. Bed or couch. In the dog world, elevated positions like the couch or bed mean leadership.  


🐾Approach sideways or present your back to the foster dog. (Less intimidating)  


🐾Keep your hands below the foster dogs head. (Never reach over)  


🐾When you pet/scratch your foster, start low on their body and go up slowly. (Start from the chest or side and work up to around their neck and head)   


🐾When using hand gestures, never fully extend your arm, don't extend more than a 90 degree angle. (This is intimidating)   


🐾Redirect negative behavior; make the foster dog change their mind, give options- offer them a toy or treat 


🐾Aggression is not always aggression. Sometimes it is bossiness, separation anxiety, other anxieties, over excitement and reactivity. 


🐾Absolutely NO dog parks. 


🐾When you feed the dog, this should be a calm time. Have the dog sit and wait patiently while you get the food ready. Make sure they wait for a go ahead to eat. Crate feeding is a must. Ensure your dog eats inside of their crate or in a closed separate room


🐾Do not let the dog go in or out of the door before you. This also applies with stairs. 


🐾Keep home animal to foster dogs separate or limited contact for the first 3 days. No rush to introduce them, do it when the foster dog is comfortable. Make sure to keep the dog on a leash during the introduction. Make sure both animals are calm when being introduced, after a long walk or a good play session. Nose to bum. They will let you know if they are ready. If they back away, do not try again until the next day 


🐾Establishing leadership and rules from the beginning is important. You must be nice, but also fair to the dogs. Assertive but not aggressive. Some simple but good rules to follow are; to stay calm in the house, no barking or crying, food is off limits unless time for a meal, and no rough play indoors. We want to help these dogs gain manners, and be the most adoptable! 


🐾Training sessions available for dogs with behavioral issues (usually takes place in your home, or the kennel, for approx. 1 hour. At no cost to yourself.)  As a foster, we expect you to be able to handle things like leash skills, basic commands, manners and basic redirecting behaviors. 


🐾Please under no circumstances should you have your foster dog off leash during the first 2 weeks, even in fenced areas foster dogs have been known to jump fences 6 ft tall, and most should not be fully off leash unless extensive training is done.)  


🐾Fosters with child(ren):  NEVER leave the foster dog and a child(ren) unsupervised.  We expect you to ensure your children are not hurting the foster dog in any way, including climbing on them, putting their face up to the dogs, keeping the child(ren) away from the foster dog while they’re eating.   


🐾If a foster is ill, keep an accurate log of details such as; signs, symptoms, circumstances -when, where, what and how much was eaten, how many meals were skipped, how many bowel movements, the consistency, colour, times, what precipitated the vomiting, the colour and consistency of any discharge, etc.  This information will be helpful to diagnose, treat and monitor recovery


🐾Some kittens are timid having had no human interaction. These kittens will require consistent and positive interaction, touch, play and human contact to ensure they become domesticated and not revert to the feral state of those in the wild. These kittens are “special needs” and require an additional level of commitment, so consult a Coordinator for tips on raising these little ones.  


🐾 Be aware of what houseplants are toxic to cats, as the ingestion of a toxic  house plant, can cause fosters health to decrease rapidly, or even worse, result in death.  


🐾THC is highly toxic for your pet. Please keep all products in a safe container, as well as monitor the ground for leftover bits on your walks 


We know this is a lot of rules, however, when people have deviated from the rules, it's failed, and we have had dogs end up with bite records because of it.


We beg you, please follow these rules, as silly as some may seem. Safety is our #1 priority - yours and the dogs.


You'll be surprised at how aware you become of your own movements and actions! Thank you for your interest in fostering with 4Champ Animal Rescue. Without fosters like you, we are unable to save as many animals from really horrific situations. Thank you for being a part of our pack!