I’m just after some advice from people who have fostered dogs before.
Some background about us:
Myself and my husband adopted a 2 year old staffy x mastiff by the name of Diesel around 8 months ago. Diesel is your typical staffy who loves people! His previous owners unfortunately failed to socialise him properly (with dogs or new experiences) or provide him with any basic obedience, so the last 8 months have been pretty interesting for us! We employed the help of a professional dog trainer to guide us through the basics to ensure we would end up where we wanted to be and I’m happy to say that Diesel has come in leaps and bounds and we’re so proud of him (he definitely isn’t perfect though!!). Unfortunately we are still not in a position to let him off the leash at parks or beaches but I’m confident we’ll get there eventually with enough patience (from us) and practice. When we’re out walking and he sees dogs, he immediately becomes extremely alert, tense and starts pulling at the leash to get to them, but never barks or growls or anything like that. We did let him off the leash when we first got him, down at the beach and he took off to play with a couple of border collies and was absolutely fine (though their owner wasn’t impressed as she was topless haha, my husband didn’t complain when he had to drag Diesel away!!), it took a while for us to get him back that time though, hence why we now don’t let him off because if something more interesting is happening (like topless ladies) he isn’t likely to listen and come back! I also remember that when we got him from the shelter he was in a kennel with a smaller female staffy and didn’t appear concerned by it, though I realise the shelter environment can change their behaviours. I think perhaps the leash enhances his behaviour when other dogs are around, and because we don’t let him off the poor guy probably doesn’t have a hope, particularly when other dogs approach him and he reacts unfavourably because he is the one who is restrained.
So I come to my question, which is have other people fostered dogs with a resident dog who as above is somewhat uneducated when it comes to being social with other canines? Myself and my husband are really keen on helping out our local dog rescue by becoming foster carers but obviously want to make sure that our resident dog doesn’t get his nose too out of joint, as he is our first priority. My first concern is that Diesel will not accept them being around, which could make life pretty miserable if it takes the organisation time to find an alternative carer for the foster dog. But perhaps that is true with any dog match, maybe even well socialised dogs take a dislike to some other dogs for no apparent reason! Based on the research we have done we would be somewhat selective about the foster dog, meaning we’d prefer it were a female and smaller in size than him, but not so small that he would hurt her as he is fairly large at around 27 kg and is about as boisterous as they come.
Whether we decide to go ahead and give it a go, or not… who can share some stories and/or advice about being a foster carer?