Before a shelter dog selected for our psychiatric service dog program meets their future handler, they have to complete a very important step in the process: socialization and training under the care of a volunteer foster family for 12 weeks. These special fosters are crucial for preparing future service dogs for advanced training with their permanent guardians. Over the course of three months, service dog foster trainer volunteers will practice a list of short and fun training exercises every day, attend two weekly, one-hour training classes at Joybound’s Walnut Creek headquarters, and help their foster dog master basic manners like crate training, alone-time behavior, and potty training. Setting this solid foundation allows future handlers to dive right into advanced training when they are matched with their new furry companions.

Interested in fostering a future psychiatric service dog? We’re always looking for passionate animal lovers who want to join our network of foster families.

Service dog fostering offers a great way to care for a pet without the long-term commitment of adoption and get the whole family involved with volunteering. Foster hours can even count towards becoming a professional dog trainer. Joybound provides all the supplies you need.

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