Which do you Prefer to Foster, Puppies, Adults or Seniors?

This post is part of the series Fostering Dogs: Questions Answered

Other posts in this series:

  1. Fostering Dogs: Most asked Questions About Being a Foster Dog Family
  2. Fostering Dogs Question: How do you let your foster dogs go?
  3. Fostering Dogs Questions: How do you handle all of those dogs and foster dogs too?

Fostering Dogs Questions Answered:

Which do you prefer to foster, adults or puppies?

That changes often I think.  Or at least who I foster does.  We started fostering only adult dogs, at least 6 months of age or older.  Then we got a litter of puppies.

The last few years, it’s alternated.  One year we had mostly adult dogs.  The following it was litter after litter of puppies.  The next it was older dogs and others with health issues.  This year it seems we are back to puppies.  But we are also fostering two senior dogs, and one adult dog.

But which do I prefer?  All of them.  They each have their benefits and downfalls.

Fostering Puppies – the Cons:

 

Fostering Puppies
Fostering Puppies – The destruction…

We’ve learned lots about fostering puppies this year.  Fostering Puppies: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  Fostering Puppies: Lessons Learned.

 

They are messy.  Puppies are noisy.

They require lots of work and cleaning.  And destruction repair if they’re not in a playpen.

They, also require a lot of training and socialization.  And did I mention the cleaning?

Puppies also bring with them the puppy/kennel smell.  No matter how often I scrub, launder and bath everything, the smell persists.

Fostering Puppies – the Pros:

They are so sweet and make us laugh constantly with their playful puppy antics.  Those little raccoon growls they have, are the best!

Kisses and cuddles are a big plus of puppies.

Fostering Puppies
Fostering Puppies – The sweetness

They settle in much quicker.  The adjustment period for most puppies doesn’t really exist unless they come to us a bit older.

 

They are also confined to a playpen for the most part, and not under foot.  At least at our house, they are now, we learned our lesson. Thus I’m not tripping over even more dogs.

Puppies get adopted quickly, as soon as they’re old enough to have their rabies shots and spay/neuter surgeries.  So you know when they’re leaving, give or take a week or two.

Nothing is better than coming home after a bad day and sitting in the puppy pen.  Letting them use you as a jungle gym and chew toy all in one.  Sister does this almost daily after school.  They have her laughing and smiling within minutes, even after a really bad day.

Getting to watch them grow, and develop their own personalities.  Although they often change when they’re separated from the rest of their litter.

Fostering Adult dogs – The Cons:

Fostering Adult Dogs
Fostering Adult Dogs – Sweet, traumatized Ziggy.

Not all adult foster dogs are housebroken.

 

Or trained.  Our one current foster, Maddie – a 5 yr old Yorkie, likes to jump gates.  She doesn’t listen.  She door darts.  Etc.  Luckily, she has a special relationship with Chewy, and he brings her back when she gets away from us.

Adult foster dogs don’t always get along with the permanent residents here.  There are the occasional personality disputes.

Sometimes we have them for months, other times they have a quick turnaround.  So you never know how long you’re going to have them.  The ones you think will get adopted quickly, sometimes don’t. And vice versa.

You sometimes have to break adult foster dogs of bad habits learned in their former lives.  Along with regular basic training duties.

Fostering Adult dogs – The Pros:

Fostering Adult Dogs
Fostering Adult Dogs

Sometimes you get lucky and they are housebroken and trained.

 

Their personalities are set.  After the adjustment period, you get to see the dogs true personality.  It makes them easier to place in forever homes.

Their size is set and you aren’t terribly surprised when they just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Adult foster dogs are easier to train, especially if they get along with our already trained dogs.  Kind of a monkey see, monkey do thing.

Fostering Senior dogs – The Cons:

Elderly foster dogs often have medical issues that require lots of care.  Daily medications, special diets, etc.

They tend not to be able to hold it as long as the younger dogs, and thus need more potty breaks.  Or the use of the dreaded puppy training pads (pee pads).

Senior dogs are much harder to place in forever homes.  So they’re often with their foster families for longer periods of time.  Sometimes until the end.  And that’s really hard.

Fostering Senior dogs – The Pros:

 

Fostering Senior dogs
Fostering Senior dogs – Our sweet Grammy

Nothing is sweeter than the love of an older foster/ rescue dog.  They are so grateful to be in a safe home and have a loving caregiver.  And they show it so well.  Watching them open up to you after they get comfortable is amazing.  It’s hard not to fall in love with them.

 

They tend to stick around longer, and then you’re not spending so much time teaching new dogs the rules.  We like longer term fosters here.  It’s a lot easier to keep to our routine, and not so many adjustment periods for both the permanent residents and the other foster dogs.

Senior foster dogs are rarely destructive.  No damage to the house from them, except the occasional potty accident.

So I guess we don’t really have a favorite type to foster.  We love them all.

This post is part of the series Fostering Dogs: Questions Answered

Other posts in this series:

  1. Fostering Dogs: Most asked Questions About Being a Foster Dog Family
  2. Fostering Dogs Question: How do you let your foster dogs go?
  3. Fostering Dogs Questions: How do you handle all of those dogs and foster dogs too?

Continue reading this series:

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