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September 15, 2022

With our latest foster puppy (DREAM) in the house for a full week now, here's an update and real-world foster puppy example of how parts of our foster puppy set up actually work. Written and video updates ahead, including the #1 skill I taught my own dogs that keeps chaos to a minimum. Plus, live video of baby DREAM! Don't miss it! 


Oh, and I've been busy and didn't have time to deal with my hair. Hence ... the messy pony-bun. 

foster puppy example

Foster Puppy Example - How Our Set Up Works in Real Life

Here is an update to the video and post we did recently how we prepare the house for foster puppies. Maybe helpful to show you decisions we made based on those earlier preparations — specifically in this foster puppy example.

I basically took most of a transcript of this video below for the text, if you'd rather just read about it below. 

DREAM is absolutely the sweetest little thing. Housetraining is going great. She's just a really good puppy. We feel so lucky that this first week has gone remarkably well even with her little broken leg and all that she's been through.

STAY TUNED! We also ordered a DNA kit. I have some theories, so in the next few weeks or so, we should know what the DNA test shows. Normally, I wouldn't go to the effort. I've never done it for any of the other 18 foster puppies we've had, but since she is going to be here for a while her fractured leg heals, I figured it would be worth it  and interesting to find out what her breed makeup is.

As you will see, she's very sweet and snuggly. And we just think the world of her.

The video clips show some decisions we made about where she sleeps, and how we keep her safe during the day, if she needs to be alone for a while, and stuff like that. Hope these tips are helpful:

Foster Puppy Examples 

Wire Crate for Overnights

We chose a wire crate setup, so she's directly across from Tori, and she can see all of the other dogs overnight so she doesn't feel lonely or scared or whatever.

foster puppy example - wire crate

X-pen Corral for Daytime Containment

Don't miss sweet DREAM going into her corral when asked!!!

Notice from last week's video about how we prepare the house for foster puppies. I talked about how I roll up the area rug that typically here and put up this plastic X-pen, with potty pads and everything. 

Normally, I would not have a bed this big for other types of foster puppies, but with Dream and her broken leg found she was not laying on the smaller beds with less padding.

To be honest, she really does not need the potty pads, so at some point I'm probably just going to pull those out. Her house training so far has been really really good, so she really does not need those. 

But we still use the pen for like after dinner or while feeding everybody else. This is just a nice safe place for her to be — not that she hasn't been integrated for the most part with our crew but, this works pretty well to keep her safe:

  • at mealtimes
  • when I'm busy such as walking the dogs, etc
foster puppy example - x-pen containment

She's a really really good puppy and has adapted to everything we've asked her, so even though her poor little booboo leg is in a cast she's been relatively easy to take care of this last week or so.

She sits nicely with me on the sofa after dinner and hangs out likes to watch movies and stuff, so she's been a good couch buddy too.

Daytime Hangout

So far, I'm only really letting Clover be in my office loose with foster puppy DREAM. Stix could come in, but he gets kind of crabby at her. She is very sweet, but she's very sort of in your face in terms of the way she interacts with other dogs.

In the video you can see that. Clover will snarl or grumble at her if he's being too annoying, but I just don't ask Stix or Tori to put up with that.

foster puppy example - puppy playing bitey face with adult dog

While DREAM can be loose in the house with everybody for short periods of time, when it comes to my office or like when I'm in here working, if I'm going to have anybody in here at all, it'll be Clover because she handles it well and she really does love this puppy. 

Number 1 Skill for Adult Dogs With a Puppy in the House

I wanted to show you one skill that I caught my adult dogs that comes in incredibly handy when we have a foster puppy in the house for any length of time. What you're going to see is me, use our verbal cue for that means go in your crates. If I say that word, then my three dogs run and get in their crates. It keeps the chaos down to a minimum when I can do that.

So particularly in the early days, when we first have a new foster puppy, if I need to take that puppy outside or do something with the puppy, and I just really don't want to have lots of feet thumping around and lots of running around and all that, I can use this verbal cue.

My dogs get out of the way. I close their doors, and it's just easier if they're contained. I can do what I need to do as a foster puppy. They can get used to the foster puppy being around, and it just it just makes things easier.

Did You Say "Boxes"?

Notice that the verbal cue is "boxes," which I know is kind of a silly thing. Honest to pete, it comes from when I had my first dog as an adult. She was a Dalmatian that I adopted after I finished college, and she slept — NO JOKE — in a U-haul cardboard box because at the time I was young and poor and couldn't afford an actual crate.

That verbal cue has continued through all these years and all these generations of dogs and actual crates now that I can afford actual crates, so that's why it's a weird word. Anyway, this is a really useful skill to teach your dogs, if you haven't, especially in a multi-dog household. I highly recommend it.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

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