To those who foster or who have fostered.?

I have a question about fostering. I am fairly new to it, matter of fact I am fostering my first dog for a rescue I havebeen voluntering for.
We have had the dog for 2 months. (Pico)
Through training and lots of patience we have taught the dog to sit, stay, lay, walk on a leash, crate trained, house trained…the list goes on. This dog is very good.
Here’s my problem:
I have a dog, Skipper.
Theyare both around the same age and until just recently did not rely upon each other. They played together a little but other than they they were just aquitances.
Now they have been spending more time together. They go everywhere together. If Pico gets a bath Skipper wants to jump in with him. When they do their business they are together, they try to sleep together and when skipper gets scared because of storms he often times runs to picos kennel and wants in.
At first my husband and I found this cute, but now we are worried.
So finally here’s my question:
How do you ensure that your dog does not get too attached to the foster dog. I know that it is good to let them socalize, but is there too much socialization?
Is it okay for your dog to become attached?
Will he get over it?
any suggestions would be great. thanks.
The rescue I volunteer for does not have a problem getting pets adopted out, it just took a while for him to be "adoptable."
he will most likely get a home during our next 2 events.
I hate to keep adding details.
We have thought about adopting him ourselves, but if we did that then we could not foster, so that’s out of the question.

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16 Responses to “To those who foster or who have fostered.?”

  1. dogperson says:

    I would not worry about it. The dogs will get over it once Pico moves on to his own home. It does show that Pico may be happy in a home with another dog. The bigger problem when I fostered dogs for a period of months, is the dog becoming too attached to me. I know many times the dog has too many behavioral problems to adopt out right away, but it is hard on the dog to be bounced from a home, a foster, and then another home. Again, the dog will adjust, but it’s important to be sure the new home is a forever home and the dog doesn’t get bounced again.

  2. Shanna says:

    My dogs seem to get very attached to the fosters, but when they go, it’s like nothing happened. We have 3 of our own so they keep each other busy, so maybe it’s different if you only have one of your own.
    They kind of look around the house like, where’d they go? But then they move on.
    It’s me that’s a babbling, crying mess when they go. I cry for about a day or two, but then I get over it and I’m ok. It’s really hard to see them go because you really start to care for them. I think my husband and I are the ones that have a hard time. The dogs seem to do just fine.

  3. barkyvonschnauser says:

    Once you start the foster process (dogs in and out of your house) your dog will learn what’s going on. Always make sure the foster dog is a "guest" in the eyes of your own dog. That will help your dog keep a sense of stability in your home.

    And try not to get too attached yourself. I cried and cried everytime a foster went to their new home.

  4. kisses come in fives/vet student says:

    I too have fostered, and I anticipated that bonding might become an issue before hand so I tried to prevent it from day one:
    what I did was separate the dogs at all times except for 4 or 5 hours a day
    the few hours a day that they were together allowed them to be properly socialized without the risk of them becoming dependent on each other
    If skipper and pico have bonded as much as you say they have then you may want to start giving them time apart everyday, to ease them into being separated
    start by taking them on separate walks, and in about a week try to have them sleep in separate rooms
    you said that pico will be adopted out soon, it is important to ease both dogs into the transition of living apart because, if they truly have bonded, then they are both at risk of becoming depressed when pico moves out
    I’m currently in the process of moving (going away to college), and I cannot take my dog with me, so I’m in the process of giving my dog to my landlord and getting my cat used to being without my dog…I was concerned about how my cat would adjust without my dog the same way that you are concerned about how skipper will adjust without pico…I’m trying to make the transition slow for both of them and so far it seems to be going well
    good luck

  5. Bassetnut says:

    I guess the best thing for next time is to make sure that the foster and your dog also have plenty of individual time as well as together time. So sometimes only one goes with you in the car, or for a walk, or visiting, or to training.

    It’s not so much of a problem here because I have so many dogs that they don’t get that attached to and reliant on one individual. And they’re used to dogs visiting and then leaving again.

  6. Jennifer T says:

    I have five that ar mine, so they tend not to get attached to each other much. They do seem to bond with the family more. But we all know that if you keep ’em all, you can’t foster any more, so parting isn’t too hard.

  7. Barb R says:

    I have fostered for many years and had the same concerns in the beginning. However, what I learned is that having your dog for a companion and getting along so well together is a big plus for both dogs. It helps socialize them for the new home (for the foster) and for future foster dogs (for your dog). It is always hard to let them go and for me it never really gets easier. But I do it because I know that every time I get one to the point where he or she is adoptable, and I have found the perfect new home for them, then there is another waiting in the wings that needs the same love and care. For every one you successfully place, you have saved not only his life, but the life of the next one to come along. The dogs will be fine after your foster gets adopted. Dogs live in the moment and in rescue, the sad truth is that there is never a shortage of dogs who need foster care. Thanks for getting involved and best of luck with your fostering. I have found over the years that no matter how much I do for my fosters, it can never compare to what they give me in return and I feel extremely blessed to have had each one in my life.

  8. sunnyday_17 says:

    I’ve had a few fosters of varying breeds but I own 2 Italian Greyhounds. There is no way to keep the dogs from bonding if they are in the same home and get along. When the foster goes to his/her new home your dog may mope around for a few days and not want to eat but he/she will bounce right back. The current foster dog I have is a pregnant Chi. She and her pups are very much going to be a long term foster and has bonded to my dogs. They all 3 like to cram in a little intermediate size Petmate wire crate, very funny to watch! You can’t keep them from bonding and the fact that they are bonding is a good sign for the foster

  9. Gringo says:

    I have been fostering dogs for years…..many years. My situation is a little different because I have more than one dog of my own. I also am usually fostering several dogs at a time. I have 6 fosters right now.

    Some of my own will form bonds with the foster but they are pretty accepting of when the foster dog leaves. To them, the most important thing is that I am still here. As you become more experienced (have more fosters come through your care) your dog will adjust quicker as well. He will seem to realize that this is a temporary playmate. There will be no long lasting trauma to Skipper.

    We find most of our foster homes eventually ‘flunk Foster 101’ and end up adopting one of their fosters. If you do this, promise yourself and your rescue group that you will continue to foster for them. Foster homes are so hard to find and keep.

  10. catherine k says:

    To leave you to foster a dog for two months is not ideal for your dog or the one being fostered.A dog who has been alone then gets used to company so when you have to let the foster dog go you could have issues with your dog not eating etc because he is fretting for the other one. I would start ensuring they have opportunities to do things seperately, try feeding them sepreately and occasionally walking them each on a one to one basis.Your dog appears to be quite needy and such types do tend to fret more when they are parted from their friends.

  11. Kristin B says:

    Well, although I’m not fostering a dog for an official rescue organization, I am fostering a dog for someone who is unable to take care of her right now, and the dog will be surrendered back to him at the point in his life when he’s ready.

    It’s inevitable the attachment animals get to each other, my first dog, Virgo, got very attached to my boyfriends dog, Bubba Rai, when we were together, and upon spliting up for a while, you could tell she was a little down in the dumps to not have her friend around anymore. Although, she was rather resilient, and got over it in a few weeks. Dogs have a little bit shorter of attention span, and she learned to deal without him faster than I learned to deal without my boyfriend.

    Now that we have this foster girl, Ruby– Virgo and my newest addition to the family, Bryce, accepted her into the pack immediately. She’s a part of their family. Now the only hard part is keeping ME from getting attached!!!

    You won’t be able to keep them from liking each other, it’s a good thing!!! And when the time comes to separate them, you’ll have to deal with a sad pooch for a while, but perhaps provide him a special toy the week of Pico’s absence, to take his mind off of losing his friend. I fully suggest socialization to the max, don’t limit it, because Pico will be suffering from the lack of it.

  12. JR says:

    Mine don’t usually get attached they get used to.

    Mine get more upset that I take the fosters to adoptions. They don’t care that they don’t come back they are only concerned with they went with mommy.

    You can always adopt him yourself. I ve done it several times. But remember the more you keep the less you save. I am just now starting to back off so many fosters. I was determined that no matter how many I kept I would still foster the same as I have. I dont’ want to do that. My old girl isn’t doing so well and I will never be able to make that final decision on her as long as I ave fosters.

  13. ibbibud says:

    It’s okay for the dogs to become attached and they will do okay once the foster moves on. My son cared for my dog for me for several motnhs last year during an illness of mine. They bonded and are best buds. She came home and was just fine, made friends with the cats here and the farm dog. The other dog comes for visits and they are friends again. Neither is upset or depressed when the other vanishes again. They just have the ability to form friendships and get enjoyment out of their environment. It’s a good, healthy thing. It also shows you that you can foster more dogs and your guy will be a part of the program.

  14. CAT says:

    im going to star this i like to know myself we never could that is why we have so many pets we took in 5 kittens to hand feed mom was killed i have 3 my son has 2 we took in 2 dogs an old man passed away we still have them 5 years latter took in 2 birds still have them we could never rehome them after we have them

  15. Shadow's Melon says:

    I’ve considered volunteering to foster, so I will be interested to see the responses here from those who have done this.

  16. rescue member says:

    I have been fostering for years and there was never a foster that we did not love and want to keep.
    We have adopted 2 we considered too damaged to be adopted, but have rehomed many, many others to great forever homes. It is always hard to see them go – for us far harder than for our own dogs. While many times the foster bonds with one of our dogs (we have 4 now) and may even look for the foster when he is gone, the dogs get over it and accept that some were just visitors.

    It may be a little more of an issue for your dog, since you only have one and he probably is delighted to have a companion. I don’t know your situation, but can you not adopt one dog so that yours is never alone? What would prevent you from fostering then? Two dogs should not keep you from fostering – once you get more familiar with fostering, it becomes easier all the time. We have had as many as 8 dogs, our 4 and 4 fosters, and I frequently keep fosters a long time, up to 8 months should they need that long to get to where they can happily go to their forever home – or until that "perfect" home comes along – I am very picky about that obviously, and will keep a foster as long as needed (forever in the case of 2 ).

    Dogs are social creatures normally and love having a companion. The difficulty is if there are personality clashes (alphas), but that can be overcome too – I have an extreme alpha male, but he knows to accept, or at least tolerate other males by now.

    What you are doing is truly compassionate, I congratulate you on taking on the task of socializing and training a foster so that he can go to a good forever home, and it sounds as if you have done an excellent job of it, far better than many foster homes have time or ability to do, but your dog obviously needs a friend, so why not adopt one more? Even if you don’t, your dog will be happy to bond with the next foster you get – dogs don’t really pine for very long, they get on with the business of living. It is usually the humans who feel the parting with their fosters more, that’s why so many people tell me "oh, I couldn’t let a dog go after he lives with us". I always ask them "but you can let a dog die in a kill shelter rather than foster him?"

    Your dog will be fine, just keep fostering, it gets easier as you do it, and it is so necessary to save all the homeless animals out there.