Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Review: How to Foster Dogs (temporary dogs, care, problems/solutions, rescues/shelters)

EverythingDogBlog #173: Foster Families Needed - Yours?

How to Foster Dogs: From Homeless to Homeward Bound, by Pat Miller (Dogwise, 2014, 158 pages, $14.95)

Not sure you have what it takes to take on a dog - or another dog? Haven’t had a dog since you were a child when your mother probably ‘did it all’? Never had a dog but would love to get one? Want to learn about dogs?

Fostering may just be your answer.

You Want to Foster, But. . . . 
The dog world needs more foster families and yours may be just right!

You will have all the help you need if you research rescue/shelter organizations to find the right fit, gain some knowledge via books like How to Foster Dogs: From Homeless to Homeward Bound and from experienced people, and keep at it by asking the right questions for you.

Temporary Dogs

Foster is also a stellar reference for the experienced foster family, answering questions you may never have thought to ask.

Superb Organization, Easy to Read

Foster begins by defining the term, fostering, and by detailing the types of organizations one can foster for (or foster with), as well as the benefits for you and for dogs. Foster then delves into the various kinds of shelters and rescues and how to select one whose philosophy matches yours and which offers a continuing education and support program for foster families.

“Bringing Your Foster Home”

Don’t know how to get ready for your foster dog, how to introduce him to your canine, feline, and human family as well as his new routine? Pat Miller is here to help, and to give solutions for when things go wrong. She also includes sections on socialization and the all-important record keeping.

Feeding, grooming, veterinary care, exercise, training (and training tools) are covered in Chapter 4 while the final chapter will help you say goodbye – if the foster-dog foster-family match doesn’t work out or when you, bittersweetly, turn your foster over to his forever family. It’s OK to say goodbye.

Prevention and Solutions

Chapters 5-9 discuss common issues that fosters (and all dogs) may have – and how to help those dogs. From common problems like barking, escaping and house soiling to the more complex behavior issues of fearful dogs (“Finding Courage”), and topics such as aggression and separation anxiety/distress (“Home Alone,” a dog’s worst nightmare).

Miller defines and offers solutions of management and training but she begins the ‘problems’ chapters with refuting the fallacy of dominance and the myth of the alpha dog, a much needed discussion in every dog book, for every dog family, in every dog class. Miller was one of the first to help the dog training community heal the damage the ‘dominance’ philosophy has caused to dogs and the bond between them and their people.

Who is Pat Miller?

Dog trainer and horsewoman Pat Miller got her start in California shelters decades ago and has made a successful business career with animals. She has a knack for jumping on the bandwagon and making a new dog sport or activity more popular by learning about it early, then teaching others and writing about it.

Must Read

Foster is a must-read for all shelter and rescue people, all foster families and even new dog people! But, it is not just a book to read once: rather, keep it handy for the life of your dog. “Ready, Set, Go!”

Read more about it: DogWise is a superb source of EverythingDog – simply the best publishing company and bookseller for dog people. Reach them at

Caveat: This book was sent to me by the publisher for review. This article first appeared on on 10 June 2014 and the other Maryland Patches.

No comments:

Post a Comment