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Thread: Should I Be Fostering Puppies

  1. #1

    Question Should I Be Fostering Puppies

    I've posted a similar thread to this on my foster group's forum but haven't received any responses and I know I will get some honest answers here.

    I have been fostering puppies (5-12 weeks old) and I have started wondering if I'm the wrong person to have them. I work full time and can't spend a lot of time with the pups. My day is pretty much like this:

    5am wake up, feed pups, get ready for work, feed my 2 dogs and give them a bit of a cuddle, etc, turn off all electricals and make house safe (they are staying in the house while I'm at work).
    6:30am leave the house
    4pm get home from work - feed pups, say hi to my dogs and have a wrestle/cuddle
    4:30pm put my dogs outside, bring pups in to follow me around while I clean up, get dinner ready, etc
    5pm bring my dogs back inside, put pups back in their room so I can spend next 2 hours entertaining my dogs. I sometimes bring the pups in for a play during this time but bringing them in means putting my BC in the crate as she is grumpy so would attack them. Note: she doesn't do much anyway apart from grump out in the corner or my bedroom.
    7:30pm Go to bed (to calm Rottweiler down so she'll go to sleep).

    I want to be able to spend more time with the pups but I can't because I'm not willing to put my own dog's needs second to fosters (which I feel is complete fair).

    Is it unfair to these pups? (remembering that they are with me because they would have otherwise been put down). Do other foster carers put in the same effort they would if it was their pup? Should I just chill out a bit and try not to care so much?

    I signed up for this because I wanted to contribute to giving dogs a chance where others haven't, but I don't want to end up being the cause of them having problems from lack of socialisation as pups.

    Please, all feedback is welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tasmania
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    432

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    What's the alternative for these pups? Is anyone else coming forward volunteering to spend more time with them? I'm no expert on fostering, or on puppies, but I think it's great that you've taken them in and are looking after them and I'm sure they love any time you spend with them.

    It's better than being PTS, and the house training and socialisation they're getting through staying with you and your dogs must surely make them easier to rehome and better pets in the long run.

    So you can't spend 24 hours a day with them - at least they have food, shelter and a future.

  3. #3

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    It sounds like you have a good routine set up for them. Most pups go to homes where they need to settle into a household routine and may be left while family are at work and school for times during the day. I think your setup sounds like a great setting for them. As long as it's not too tiring for you that is!

    Learning boundaries and routine when they're young is always fantastic. They wouldn't get such structure and attention in a pound environment, it can only be beneficial to them.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Meegs and Natt, I just feel really bad because they're out there crying and just wanting some companionship and I know if it was MY pup I would give them a lot more. You're right though, it's better than being in the pound or PTS.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

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    I comprehend why you are feeling this way Mollinator.

    Yes, in an ideal world these puppies would possibly be better fostered by a person who works less and is able to spend far more time with them for human socialisation and training reqiurements.

    But it's not an ideal world, is it? If it was, these puppies wouldn't have had useless humans let them down and wouldn't have a need for a foster carer in the first place.

    Do not feel uncertain or sad about the limited amount of time you are able to offer them. Feel happy and proud of the time that you are able to offer them, and realise that whatever time you can put into them has ensured them life over death.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
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    I think the best way to tell is to ask some of the people who have taken a puppy from you.

    I like to expose puppies to household noise, people, kids, other dogs and as many experiences they are likely to come across as possible. At 6 weeks of age my puppies spend their days outside. You can't be following around a litter of pooping puppies in your house anyway.

    If you are doing that then there is not much to worry about.

    As others have said most households are dual income these days so puppy needs to spend time on it's own. While you are at work it's learning it's dog socialisation, bite inhibition etc from the other puppies.

    Good on you for taking on such a big job.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rural NSW
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    I am with the others. Love the ideal world analogy. Much better than them being PTS. Feel proud. If you feel that it is too much for you and you yourself are having second thoughts then it is ok to say no. Our own situations and circumstances come into play as well.
    I would not be doing it and I am home all day. I know my own limitations.

    Congratulations on doing a wonderful job.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    MAC - We always follow up with the new parents 2 weeks after the adoption to make sure everything is ok. The first person who adopted from me said the pup was an absolute pain, but I think that could just be the way she was raising it because it was really well behaved when it was with me. The couple that took his sister were raving about her saying how great she is. That pup of course got a lot more attention for the 2 weeks that she was my only pup.

    They're the only ones I've adopted out so far as I'm pretty new to this. I think it was all getting a bit much for me yesterday as I've been sick all week and don't seem to be able to just sit down and relax AT ALL and of course all the dogs (including my Rottie) wake up at 5:30am which means I do too.

    Oh well, it's Friday so I can chill out a bit for 2 days

    Just a quick question, is it better to continue the pups weekday routine on the weekends, or spend more time with them?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Sydney
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    I'd go for more attention. Some days my puppies would get little attention from me other days I'd take them out of their pen and they would all hang around with the other dogs, I'd doing gardens, hang out washing etc and spend the entire day with them. Every evening come dark they would come into the lounge room in their big C-Crate (well worth the investment) and deal with the other dogs.

    One thing people always say about my puppies is that they are right royal little monsters not frightened of anything or anyone.

    I gave them what I could when I could and they also coped on the days I couldn't. Dogs love routine, but making their routine as broad as possible is a good thing IMO. Mind you others differ in their opinion to me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
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    I too would say spend more time with them if you can, Mollinator.

    The average pet owner does spend more time with their dogs over a weekend, and this way the puppies learn that sometimes they will got a lot of attention, sometimes far less, and getting used to the differences will make them well-rounded IMHO.
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