Are you thinking about adopting or fostering a Labradoodle from a rescue organization or becoming a foster? What could be kinder and more rewarding than giving a poor, abandoned Labradoodle a happy and loving home for the rest of his life?
Adoption saves lives. The problem of homeless dogs is genuinely depressing, particularly in the USA. The sheer numbers of kill shelters are hard to comprehend. According to Pet Statistics published by ASPCA, each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) in the states.
The situation leading to a Labradoodle ending up in rescue can be summed up in one phrase: unrealistic expectations.
In many situations, families went into dog ownership without fully understanding the time, money and commitment to exercise and training it takes to raise a dog. While they may have spent hours on the internet pouring over cute puppy photos, they probably didn’t read any puppy training books or look into actual costs or regular vet care, training, and boarding.
With doodles, many are going to families that never had a dog before because of allergies. The marketing of doodles as “hypo-allergenic” or non-shedding has caused a general misconception that all doodles are non-shedding, or will not cause allergies to flare up.
The most common reasons for re-homing are that the doodle:
- has too much energy and is knocking kids over and jumping on people.
- is growling or nipping at the kids.
- chews or eats things it shouldn’t.
- needs way more time and effort that the owner can or prepared to give.
However, there is a ray of sunshine for some of these dogs. Every year, thousands of people in North America, the UK, and countries all around the world adopt a rescue dog, and the stories often have happy endings.
- 1 Things To Consider Before Adopting a Labradoodle
- 2 Fostering a Labradoodle
- 3 Fostering Puppy Mill Survivors
- 4 How To Prepare For Foster Dogs
- 5 Pros & Cons Of Fostering Dogs
Things To Consider Before Adopting a Labradoodle
If you are serious about adopting a Labradoodle, you should do so with the right motives and wide-open eyes. If you are expecting a perfect dog, you could be in for a shock. Rescue Labradoodles can and do become wonderful companions, but much of it depends on you.
Labradoodle are people-loving dogs. Many of them in rescue shelters are traumatized. They don’t understand why their beloved owners have abandoned them. In the beginning, they may arrive with problems of their own until they adjust to being part of a loving family home again. Ask yourself a few questions before you take the plunge:
- Are you prepared to accept and deal with any problems – such as bad behavior, shyness, aggression, or making a mess in the house – which the doodle may display when he initially arrives in your home?
- How much time are you willing to spend with your new pet to help him ease back into healthy family life?
- Can you take time off work to be at home and help the doodle settle in at the beginning?
- Are you prepared to take on a new addition to your family that may live for another ten years or so?
Think about all the implications before taking on a rescue dog. Try to look at it from the dog’s point of view. What could be worse for the unlucky Labradoodle than to be abandoned again if things don’t work out between you?
Adopting a rescue dog is a big commitment for all involved. It is not a cheap way of getting a Labradoodle, and you shouldn’t consider it as such. It could even cost you several hundred dollars. You will have adoption fees to pay and often vaccination and veterinary bills, worm and flea medication, spaying, or neutering. Make sure you are aware of the full cost before committing.
Many rescue Labradoodles have had stressful lives. You need plenty of time to help them rehabilitate. Some may have initial problems with housebreaking. Others may need socialization with people as well as other dogs.
If you are serious about adopting, you may have to wait a while until a suitable dog comes up.
Fostering a Labradoodle
If you are not sure about adopting a doodle for a long time, you can become a foster home for one of the rescue centers. Fosters offer temporary homes until a forever home becomes available. It is a shorter-term arrangement but still requires commitment and patience.
And it is not just the dogs that are screened – you will probably have to undergo a screening by the rescue organization to ensure you are suitable to foster a doodle. You might even have to provide some references.
Fostering Puppy Mill Survivors
Puppy mill dogs have never had an actual home. They are entirely unfamiliar with human contacts and life outside of their small cramped cages. Sadly, many of them have never felt the ground or grass beneath their feet. They often suffer from muscle atrophy and need to learn how to walk.
Dogs from the puppy mills are also unfamiliar with human interaction, love, kindness, the concept of play, and house manners. Most of these dogs were starved, physically abused, neglected, and have had little or no veterinary care. That is why they tend to be frightened, unsocialized, easily stressed and have difficulties with the concept of house training.
Many puppy mill dogs have grown accustomed to eating non-edible substances and feces because they were never appropriately fed. As a foster, in most cases, you will be providing these unfortunate dogs with their very first experiences of being a normal dog. Like any other dogs, some doodles do come into rescue shelters with “baggage.” A foster home should always be prepared for anything and have a basic understanding of the techniques used to help dogs adjust in the transition of finding their forever homes.
How To Prepare For Foster Dogs
If you cannot spare the time to adopt and adoption means forever, you might want to consider fostering. Now you may have questions like, What do you do when they arrive? How do you make them happy and comfortable? So, let’s jump into it.
Before the dog arrives, you want to know as much about the dog as possible. Sometimes especially with the rescue, the shelters may not know anything about the dog. But if they do know anything, then you need to get that information. You will want to know,
- If the doodle is good with other dogs?
- Are they good with children?
- How are they on walks?
- What are their daily routines?
Knowing all these can help you prepare in advance because you don’t want to be taken by surprise with anything with this dog when he arrives. Also, you want to make sure that the dog will be an excellent fit for your lifestyle before he comes.
Clear Your Schedule
For the first couple of days, I suggest that you clear your schedule. If possible, take some time off work. Try to be with the dog as much as possible. You don’t know how it will react when you leave him alone. He doesn’t know where he is or who you are. You are the one consistent thing that will be in his life for the next little while. So you want to set up that bonding experience right away.
Stock Up On Supplies
Make sure you got and pick up all your supplies before the dog arrives at your house. As I mentioned before that you don’t know how the dog will react. The worst thing that can happen to you when the dog comes to your home and starts freaking out, and you will have to leave him alone to go to the pet store and get supplies. You want to make sure that you have everything like food and water bowl, bed, toys, food, and treats in advance. With a lot of rescues, the rescue centers actually provide you with those items, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about them. Make sure that you ask them beforehand.
Let The Dog Come To You
When the dog arrives at your house, the biggest thing you need to do is let the dog come to you when he is ready. A lot of us are used to these happy go lucky pet dogs who always have a comfortable life, and expect them to jump in your lap immediately. That’s not always the case with the rescue dogs that you will be fostering. Because you don’t know the relationships, these dogs had with other people. They may have terrible relationships with people, and they may not connect with you right away in that sense.
So let the dog do its things for the first day. It may be hiding underneath the couch for the entire first day. Don’t try to bring him out, cuddle, or pat him. Just let him come to you when he is ready. I promise you that he will. Just keep showing that you are a happy and friendly person, and the dog will catch up on that.
Be a Good Leader
One of the most important things to do is to show leadership right off the bat. It is the opposite of teaching the dog, who is the boss. Dogs respond well to friendliness. You will need to be a good friend to him, and the dog will respond to you very well. So, when you are setting up leadership, you need to make sure the dog has a structured routine. Dogs crave structure and routine. They need them to feel safe and happy, and they need to know that the leader is setting up that structure. Set up a time for the day when the dog will need to go for a walk and have his food. Keep them as consistent as possible.
Pros & Cons Of Fostering Dogs
- Fostering allows more space in the Rescue shelters, which means that more animals can be rescued.
- It allows us to understand the nature of the dogs, which helps to place them in their perfect forever homes.
- It helps to ease the dogs’ transition from the shelter life to their future homes.
- Fostering a dog can be a trial run to see if you’re ready to adopt a dog because it gives you the experience of having a dog without the financial and lifetime commitment.
- When you have a dog, you’ll get more exercise because you’ll be walking more and you’ll have constant companionship.
- One of the best things about fostering is that you will receive full supports from the rescue. They provide the supplies, pay for vet care, and also offer guidance. So, you won’t be alone in this
- Often you don’t know specific behavioral quirks that a dog has before they arrive at a shelter. You may not know how a dog is going to act in a home versus a shelter.
- You do not know how long your foster dog will stay with you. Sometimes it can be a week, months, or even a year.
- The chances are that your foster dog will have little to no training and might be scared of their new settings, so there will be a transition time where you need to be patient.
- Lastly, saying goodbye is really hard.
If you haven’t been put off with all of the above then you are ready to foster a rescue labradoodle.