WBR foster carer’s own dogs play a very important part in the care of rescue dogs. Here are just some of the ways they help:
- a doggy friend can give reassurance to a dog until it regains trust in people
- they show, by example, what behaviour is acceptable
- they teach important socialisation skills to dogs that haven’t been around other dogs
Here, we introduce you to some of the four-legged WBR volunteers (click on the photos for a larger view).
Gentle Kyra (R) provides comfort to new fosters. When a dog arrives in care, it is often scared and exhausted. A calm and accepting companion can reduce the stress in the first few days after leaving the pound or other stressful situation.
Jake is 8 years old and was an only dog… until his owner volunteered to foster for WBR. He had socialised with other dogs in the neighbourhood but had never had little brother or sister at home. This wonderful gent has proven himself to be the perfect host. He is extremely patient and gentle with foster dogs. He has shown them how to play his favourite games. He has also shown, by example, how to travel in the car and how to behave in the house so you don’t get put outside.
Coco is a five year old Koolie. Sometimes she’ll pretend to be a grumpy old girl who isn’t interested in the fosters at all, but she secretly adores the dogs that come to stay, especially the puppies. Coco teaches the pups how to interact appropriately from a young age. She shows the foster pups how to play with an older dog, and when to leave it alone!
His owner says:
“He has been good buds with around 15 foster dogs of varying ages and I truly believe he has a way with them. He likes to be the alpha man and loves his girls so he chooses to foster them exclusively. I think most rescue dogs are calmed having another dog to help them along. Patch isn’t a push over, he also assists in training and showing them the way. He is a great foster Daddy.”
It may seem surprising, but some dogs who come to us don’t know how to play. One such dog is Sailor, who spent most of is life on a chain. Here, resident border collie Hunter shows Sailor how to play. We think he’s worked it out (although, we can’t work out which dog is Hunter and which one is Sailor…).
Buttons and Sammy
Buttons, a stumpy tail cattle dog x border collie, was her owner’s introduction to fostering. They loved her so much, they adopted her. She has proven herself to be an excellent leader, keeping foster dogs in check, yet is incredibly gentle. She teaches them how to play and is loyal to her family – both the two and four-legged members.
Sammy, a border collie youngster, quickly became inseparable from Buttons. Sammy is an amazing big brother to all the foster dogs. He helps with teaching them nice manners and how to walk on the lead. He also teaches them how to play fetch. Sammy loves all dogs, however he loves Buttons the most!
The foster packs
WBR is full of dog lovers. Some of them have more than one dog. Not surprised?
A group of dogs provides an important experience for foster dogs. It teaches them socialisation skills related to their ‘rank’ in the group and provides an opportunity to learn appropriate behaviours through observation.
Meet some of our packs.
“My pack quickly teaches the new ones where they rank in the group and what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not!”
Going above the call of duty, resident Peanut (L) shows fosters Maisie and Honey how to use a crate. A crate provides a foster dog with safe place to go – in a sense it’s like a den. A crate can also be used to keep a dog safe for short periods when they can’t be supervised. Many dogs are crate trained while they are in care with WBR.
“They are the perfect foster pack, they teach new dogs manners and good doggy etiquette. They also teach them how to share a bed with their human lol. In this photo is Harley (white), Dash (big black & grey), Billy (black & white) and Darcy (cattle dog) with Echo the foster dog, who has gone on to his forever home after receiving a good education from the pack!”
Each of the dogs below plays a very important role in the foster dog’s experience in their household.
“Snaggaz had small dog syndrome and rules the house. He teaches them how to behave inside and teaches them cats are friends. Nala, the cream Kelpie at the back, teaches them to respect other dogs. She will pull them into line if they try to steal food or don’t play nice. Croc, the other cream, is everyone’s playmate. He generally becomes the new dog’s friend first and helps them to settle in. Devil, the black and tan, teaches them to love water and play time.”