Advanced Training Fosterer Volunteer FAQ’s

What does the role involve?

  • Providing a caring and safe home for our young dogs (aged 14 months upwards) whilst supporting their advanced training and helping them toward becoming Canine Partners.
  • We provide you and your household with knowledge and training, via induction sessions, webinars and one to one support from your staff point of contact, so that you feel confident to welcome one of our dogs in training into your home.
  • We educate you in maintaining the dog’s health and welfare needs as well as progressing what they have learnt as puppies, during their time with Puppy Parent Team. Examples of this are settling in your home, social behaviour with you and other family members as well as any other resident pets. Walking well on a loose lead and appropriate off lead exercise and coming back when called.
  • This can be quite a physical role handling our large breed Labradors, Lab cross goldies and Golden retrievers. These dogs can weigh 25-30 plus kg

Do I need previous dog training experience?

  • It is a bonus if you do, but not necessary. As long as you have an enthusiasm for dogs and their care our expert trainers will provide support and guidance every step of the way. You will also receive a Fosterer volunteer handbook and asked to attend an induction session to give you all the information you may need.

Can I foster a dog if I have a pet dog?

  • Yes! Your dog must be one year old and be up to date with their vaccination and flea/worming treatments. One of our trainers will come and complete a suitability assessment to ensure it would be appropriate for both your resident pet dog and our canine partner in training to live together harmoniously.

Can I foster a dog if there are children in our family?

  • Many of our Fosterer volunteers have children. We conduct an assessment to ensure your home environment, garden, and family circumstances are suited to having a canine partner in training living with you.

How long would I have a dog for?

  • Approximately 17 weeks which is the average training time from the start of fostering to the dogs training course with their new partner. We appreciate this is a long commitment but is beneficial to avoid confusion in moving our dogs around to different home environments. If this is too much of a commitment, we can arrange for you to care for a dog for part of their training instead, but we do ask that you commit to a minimum of four weeks.

Do Fosterer volunteers find it difficult when the dogs leave them to start their new lives?

  • Bonds naturally form and it can be tough to say farewell. Many of our Fosterer volunteers find it helps to think of the successful part they have played in the dogs’ journeys. Our partners sometimes choose to contact volunteers that have been involved with their dog. We provide bereavement and grief support and can put you in touch with volunteers to help guide you through this emotional period.

“You can’t help but feel a huge sense of pride when they complete their training and move on to become fully fledged canine partners. It can be hard to say goodbye but when you read the stories from their new partners about how they have transformed their lives, you know it is worth it.”, Gillian, Volunteer Fosterer.

What happens if I go on holiday?

  • We can arrange cover with another Fosterer volunteer. Some Foster volunteers have been able to take their foster dogs in training with them when going on holiday in this country. This is dependent on the circumstances and the dog’s stage of training, so you do always need to speak to the trainer first to ensure it is appropriate to do so.

What if I work full/part time?

  • Not a problem. The dog you are fostering can be onsite and having a day of learning and training during the working week. Dogs can arrive at the centre no earlier than 8am and be collected no later than 5pm Monday to Friday.

Would I need to travel the dog to and from your centre?

  • Each dog’s trainer will discuss his or her training plan with you. On average dogs are required at the centre three days each week. It is ideal if you have your own vehicle and are able to transport the dog to and from the centre.

Do I need to live near your Training Centre?

  • Preferably, you would live within 30 minutes of our National Training Centre, LE12 9SR.. If you are outside the catchment area, please get in touch anyway. We would love to talk about how we might make this voluntary role work for you and discuss our volunteering opportunities.

How much would it cost me to care for a dog?

  • Absolutely nothing. We provide everything the dog will need, from beds, bowls, food and toys right down to the poo bags. You are always welcome to purchase items for your foster dog if you wish to. We are also able to reimburse pre-approved mileage expenses when requested

Are there any other benefits to becoming a Fosterer volunteer?

  • Many of our Fosterer volunteers find it fulfilling to know they have been integrally involved in transforming the lives of people with physical disabilities.
  • Having the companionship and enjoyment of a dog in your life without the costs and lifelong commitment associated with dog ownership, increasing your knowledge of dog behaviour and training, and becoming a valued member of our charity, with the opportunity to attend social events and training sessions where you can meet likeminded people.
  • You will also receive an invitation to join our Official Canine Partners Community Facebook Group.

Want to apply to become an Advanced Training Fosterer volunteer?

Register your interest using the enquiry form below.

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