Before Your New Foster Arrives
A little tidying is a good idea. If there's going to be any territorial issues they'll appear in the first few minutes of your lab's arrival. So run around and pick up all the dog toys and put them in a closet. Let everyone get acquainted and make sure they're getting along before adding toys to their play.
How Do I Introduce My Foster Dog to My Family?
Introduce the Dogs
If you have another dog in your home, let them meet outside and in a neutral place if possible. A neutral spot is not your home. Consider having them meet up the street as if it were a new dog in the neighborhood and then walking together to your home.
They can get their sniffing and meeting done in their own time. A new foster dog may appreciate the opportunity to run around your yard and get to know it in his or her own way. They may have some energy to burn when the first arrive as well which means that a romp with your dog may be a great way for them to get to know each other and become relaxed so that they'll both be on their best behavior when they come in the house.
Your foster dog may appreciate some time to explore your home on their own; without the companionship of your forever dog.
Introduce the Adults
The best way for an adult to meet a new foster is to just let it come to you. Most new fosters are going to be interested in learning their new environment first and will sniff, sniff, sniff their way around your home. When they're ready they'll head to you.
Try to settle yourself first. Maybe take a seat on the steps so that your new lab will be on your level when he or she is ready to say hi. When they come to you, put on your best doggie voice and offer lots of praise and love. Still be cautious. No hugs...just petting and tummy rubs until you know more about your dog. Lots of dogs don't like too much face time and staring so be careful until you know the dog's likes and dislikes better.
Introduce the Children
If you have very young children Lab Rescue will not ask you to foster a dog that has any kind of an unpredictable nature with children. We usually have no idea of a lab's experience with children which is why they get approved for children aged 10 and up. Most labs love children but their very size and loveable nature may mean that they knock your children over.
Do not leave your new foster dog alone, unsupervised, with your children for the first few days.
You need to have a good sense of the foster's personality before you leave them alone with your children.
Give Your Foster Dog Time
Your foster lab may have come from a shelter or one of our partner vet hospitals. They're probably a little stressed and your patience will help them settle in. One seasoned Lab Rescue foster parent refers to the three day rule. A foster will have settled in and will be showing their normal labby personality within three days. Try to give them that time and help them be as secure as possible while still establishing the rules for your home.