Update Foster Puppy Example | Champion of My Heart

With our newest foster puppy (DREAM) in the house for a full week, here’s an update and real foster puppy example showing how parts of our foster puppy setup actually work. Written and video updates ahead of time including the #1 skill I’ve taught my own dogs that keeps mess to a minimum. Plus, live video from Baby DREAM! Don’t miss it!


Oh, and I’ve been busy and didn’t have time to do my hair. Hence… the messy pony bun.

Example foster puppy

Example of a foster puppy – how our facility works in real life

Here’s an update on the video and post we made recently on how we prepare the home for foster puppies. Perhaps helpful in showing you decisions we made based on those earlier preparations – specifically in this foster pup example.

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

DREAM is absolutely the cutest little thing. House training is going great. She’s just a really good puppy. We are so happy that this first week has gone remarkably well despite her small broken leg and everything she has been through.

STAY TUNED! We also ordered a DNA kit. I have a few theories, so we should know what the DNA test shows in the next few weeks or so. Normally I wouldn’t bother with it. I have never done this with the other 18 foster puppies we had but as she will be staying for a while I figured it would be worthwhile and interesting to find out what breed her makeup is.

As you will see, she is very cute and cuddly. And we only think the world of her.

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

Examples of foster puppies

Wire box for overnight stays

We chose a wire box so she’s right across from Tori and she can see all 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 cute DREAM going to her pen when asked!!!

Notice from last week’s video how we prepare the house for foster puppies. I talked about rolling up the typical rug here and setting up this plastic X-pen, potty pads and all.

I wouldn’t normally have a bed this big for other types of foster puppies, but with Dream and her broken leg, she found she couldn’t sleep on the smaller beds with less padding.

In all honesty, she really doesn’t need the potty liners, so I’ll probably just pull them out at some point. Her house training has been really good so far, so she really doesn’t need it.

But we still use the pen, for example, after dinner or while we feed everyone else. This is just a nice safe place for her – not that she isn’t mostly integrated into our crew, but this works pretty well to protect her:

  • at meals
  • when I’m busy, like walking the dogs, etc
Example of foster puppies - X-Pen containment

She is a really very good puppy and has adapted to everything we asked her. Though her poor little booboo leg is in a cast, she’s been relatively easy to care for for the past week or so.

She’s nice to sit with me on the sofa after dinner and likes to hang out to watch movies and such, so she’s been a good couch pal too.

Daytime hangouts

So far, I only really let Clover loose in my office with foster pup DREAM. Stix might come in but he gets a little grumpy towards her. She is very sweet, but in terms of the way she interacts with other dogs, she is very pushy.

You can see that in the video. Clover will growl or growl at her if he’s too annoying, but I just don’t ask Stix or Tori to put up with that.

Foster puppy example - Puppy playing snappy face with an adult dog

While DREAM can be loose with anyone in the house for short periods of time when it comes to my office or when I work here, if I have anyone around at all it’s Clover because she’s good with it and she really loves this pup.

Number 1 skill for adult dogs with a puppy in the home

I wanted to show you a skill I’ve caught in my adult dogs that is incredibly handy when we have a foster pup in the house for an extended period of time. What you will see is me, use our verbal cue for that means get in your boxes. When I say that word, my three dogs run and get into their crates. It keeps the mess to a minimum if I can do that.

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

My dogs stay out of the way. I close their doors and it’s just easier when they’re contained. I can do what I have to do as a foster puppy. You can get used to having the foster pup around and it just makes things easier.

Did you say “boxing”?

Note that the verbal cue is “boxing,” which I know is a pretty silly thing. Honestly, it dates back to 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 I was young and poor at the time and couldn’t afford a proper box.

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

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