Fosterer Volunteer FAQ’s

What does the role involve?

  • Primarily, providing a caring, safe, home for a dog whilst they go through their advanced training programme.
  • We provide all the knowledge and training you, and any other members of your household need, so that you feel confident to welcome a dog into your home.
  • A trainer works with you to ensure the dog continues to progress what they have learnt as puppies, such as settling in your home, not begging for food, responding to basic cues, coming back when called, and walking nicely on lead.

Do I need previous dog training experience?

  • This is a bonus though not necessary. Our expert trainers are on hand to provide support and guidance. You would also receive a Fosterer volunteer handbook.

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

  • Yes, if your dog is over 12 months of age and passes our pet dog suitability assessment.

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

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

How long would I have a dog for?

  • You can choose to have a dog from the start of their training until they begin their training course with their client; approximately 17 weeks. If this is too much of a commitment, we can arrange for you to care for a dog for part of their training instead.

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 clients sometimes choose to get in touch with volunteers that have been involved with their dog too, if our volunteers wish to pass on their contact details.

“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 will arrange cover with another Fosterer volunteer. If going on holiday in this country, it might also be suitable for you to take the dog with you if you wish.

What if I work full/part time?

  • Not a problem. We can arrange for the dog you are fostering to be on site during the working week.

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. This generally includes needing the dog on site for at least three days each week. It is ideal if you can drop off and collect the dog, though we can arrange to do this if needed.

Do I need to live near your Training Centre?

Preferably, you would live within 45 minutes of our Southern Training Centre and 30 minutes of our Midlands Training Centre.

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.

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

  • Absolutely nothing. We provide everything the dog will need, and reimburse 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.

Whoops - 0 errors have been found, please correct the field(s) marked with an exclamation mark and re-submit the form.

Please enter your message.

Your information

Please enter your title.

Please enter your first name.

Please enter your last name.

Please enter your street address.

Please enter your town or city.

Please enter your postcode.

Please enter your email address. Please enter a valid email address.

Please check that your e-mail addresses match.

Please enter your phone number.

Data Protection

We will use the personal information collected on this form to process and communicate with you about your enquiry.

Canine Partners respect your personal information and your privacy and we will not sell or share your data with other organisations.

We may use your contact details and information on how you support or engage with us to provide information we think you will find interesting. To find out more about how we manage your personal data, please read our Privacy Policy at caninepartners.org.uk/privacy.

To hear about our life-transforming work and ways to donate and raise funds to support us, please let us know how you would like us to contact you:

You can change how you hear from us, including telling us if you do not wish to receive occasional direct mail or calls from Canine Partners by visiting caninepartners.org.uk/keepintouch or by calling 01730 716 010.