In rethinking this whole "Foster Tip" idea, I realized that this information can be used by everyone who brings a new dog into their house - adult or puppy. Whether you keep the dog or are only a temporary home for it, these tips are all things you should remember. If you follow the tips suggested in my posts and as comments by other readers you will set yourself and your dog up for success.
So, what's Tip number 2? Well, this may start a wild fire on here but here goes ...
Give the dog a few days to grieve
When you bring a dog into your home, it is a new environment, right? People, sounds, smells ... all new. We all know this; but what is it that we often forget??
We are all guilty of planning for the future with our new dog - even if the dog will only be with us for a few weeks. We all do it - we think about the great times we will have with the dog, the training we will do, the bond that will form. (Do you notice that this is all about "us" the people and not really about the dog?)
What some people forget is that this dog had a life before coming to you. He had a family and a home (even if his home was a tie out in a backyard it was still his home - we may not think much of it, but it was his world). He loved them (no matter what they did or didn't do). Regardless of the history of this dog, he will need time to grieve and to be fair to him, you need to give him time to do so.
In the first week (5 to 7 days) you need to give the dog space. You should have the dog in and out of the crate multiple times throughout a day. Crate training takes time and LOTS of practice. Give him a stuffed Kong or something that is safe to play with if you feel uncomfortable leaving him in there.
For the first week, he should spend more time in the crate than out. Every few hours through the day you should take the dog out, go to the potty spot, spend some time (like 15 minutes or so) working on basics such as not pulling on the leash and sit. Take him for a walk if you know he is capable of doing so.
Depending on the dog, this simple exercise may be an awful LOT of mental stimulation for him. It doesn't seem like a lot to us, but for a dog from a sheltered background - the simple act of being handled, walked, etc is sometimes over-stimulating.
Only one person in the family should work with the dog for the first week (walking, feeding, handling). This builds a trust relationship with that person and don't worry - the rest of the family will get to build a relationship later on.
You must allow the dog to grieve as well as settle in to his new surroundings. Believe it or not, this initial period of not paying total and complete attention to the dog is more difficult on the people than it is on the dog.