video- we got a new foster dog!


New Member
I haven't been on this forum much for the last week,I've been extra busy at home because we got a new dog, a temporary foster and are now trying to find her a new home.

It happened very suddenly, I got the call last Friday from a friend who rescues dogs that she just rescued another one and urgently needed a foster home. On Sunday the dog was brought to us.

She's a cute little Chow, found on the streets of Denver without a collar or microchip. A nice family found and took her in and for a couple weeks tried to find out if she was just lost but no one else came to claim her and their landlord said no dogs allowed. They had no choice but to take her to the pound, that's when my friend stepped in and rescued the dog and then we got her last Sunday.

In many ways she's opposite to my german shepherd so it makes for an interesting home situation! She's very mellow and laid back in doors. She's extremely affectionate to people immediately. They say Chows are aloof with people, but she isn't, she practically collapses with joy when meeting new people. This is complete opposite to my german shepherd who has stranger-aggression issues we've had to work through.

But on the first meeting with my german shepherd (in the park) she was extremely fear-aggressive to him if he came near her and kept lashing out at him.

Now it's Day 6 that she's been with us and she has really settled into our household and become so much more comfortable around our GSD that they can be together in the house and yard. He still tries to play with her and sometimes she will accept the play invitation and start running around the yard with him but then suddenly revert to freaking out at him so we have to manage their interactions carefully.

She was already housetrained when we got her, thank goodness. But other than that, she had zero training. Not even "sit" or "come". (we tried talking to her in other languages in case her previous home was non-english speaking, but still no luck.) She had no name so we named her Peaches because she's all fuzzy. I've started doing some clicker training with her.

We are looking for a forever home for her in Colorado (which is where I live) so that we can do a home visit to check out prospective owners.

I'm not sure how to go about interviewing interested adopters. I have friends in rescue, but this friend who found the dog is not working with a group, she and I are on our own as far as getting people interested in the dog and then deciding whether or not they are suitable. So I'm rather unsure how to go about this.

How do I screen potential adopters? I've only had Peaches for less than a week, but I feel responsible for her and I wouldn't have agreed to foster her if I wasn't completely committed to ensuring she gets into a suitable forever home. I just don't want her to be abandoned again or mistreated, so I want to carefully inspect anyone who is interested in her.

Here's a video I made of her that I've sent out to e-mail lists. (I tried to embed the video but it didn't work this time...?)

Jean Cote

Staff member
Hi l_l_a! I fixed your video so it will play embeded now. I had to direct the media player directly to the .FLV file. :)

Great video by the way! I like your editing it makes it interesting to watch and it is full of action. Great stuff. The dog seems to love working with you even though you say she's never been trained. Perhaps it's those treats??? HaHaHa

I wish you good luck in finding a new home for her, do you know her age?


New Member
Thanks for fixing the video link, Jean!!

Thanks for the compliments too!! I've learned a lot from watching people's dog videos here on DTA!! And also from watching other YouTube dog videos that people here have posted links to.

We don't know her age. her muzzle is just starting to grey a little so I guess she's around 5....? We literally know nothing about her since she was simply found on the streets.

yeah she know no commands at all, not in english at least. Nor spanish, nor cantonese, nor mandarin...(the languages we tried on her!!)

the tricky thing with training her is figuring out what motivates her. She wasn't food motivated until Day 4. Up until then, I could hold out chunks of sausage and she would sniff and turn away. It also seemed that it took over 150 clicks (spread out over many sessions) before she learned that click = treat, either that or she just wasn't interested in the food even though she was eating it. But I chalk that up to stress since she's been with us less than a week and was not comfortable around my GSD in the beginning. Now that she knows "sit" she's starting to offer it when she wants something, yay! Trying to teach her manners with it now. She loves toys. Well she loves bullying my GSD too now but we don't let her do that! :)


Experienced Member
l_l_a;8632 said:
How do I screen potential adopters? I've only had Peaches for less than a week, but I feel responsible for her and I wouldn't have agreed to foster her if I wasn't completely committed to ensuring she gets into a suitable forever home. I just don't want her to be abandoned again or mistreated, so I want to carefully inspect anyone who is interested in her.
Nice video. He/she looks like a very nice dog and deserves a good home.

Thats a tough task, finding the right new owners. Unfortuneatly I don't have much advice on that , except for a few tips...
When I got my rescue dog, the foster woman checked me out with questions, she also knew we had another dog already and asked about her ( checking what sort of life she had ), she also gave us a 21 day cooling off period, if we decided not to keep the rescue, or the rescue wasen't fitting in, we could take her back without feeling obliged to keep her.
The foster woman also asked for our phone number so she could check-in every so often.


New Member
thanks for the suggestions Dat. We've had a few inquiries about her already, and I've made a list of her "issues" or what needs work on - as no dog is perfect - as well as some more videos of her at home to show people how she is typically in our house. Some people want a docile dog, others want a more lively one so I've been sending video links to those who are seriously interested and have passed through the first round of inquiries. So far one lady has met her in person, and another couple are tentatively scheduled to meet her. I'm hoping the matchmaking process is not too difficult....!


New Member
when we rescued our dog the people insisted that we provide a vet's reference as she knew we had had a dog and cats previously. We were too far away for a home check but we also had to provide lots of pictures of our home and garden as well as providing telephone numbers.

However, I also believe that Peaches will choose her owner as Duke chose us rather than us choosing him. You will know when its right for her I'm sure.

Well done for fostering her. BTW your GS is really beautiful too.


New Member
I think she is a Chow cross, but she's very sweet! Chows are a bit thick (the first dog I trained!) and so that's probably why it took you so long when training click=treat. She's also very into her toys which is cool to see. :)

I think that, when screening potential owners, go with your gut! If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. :) I think, also, if you visit individuals in their own home, you will definitely get a good feel of their lifestyle and how approach Peaches is for them.


New Member
Thanks for the suggestions Josiebell and Leema. So far one lady has met Peaches in person and the two of them really hit it off, but she is exploring other pet adoption options too so it is not by any means settled. Another couple were interested in her as they already have Chows and love the breed and Peaches reminds them of their previous dog, but for various reasons I have recommended that she go to a home without other dogs. So we're probably crossing them off the list already. then another couple have inquired but my friend (the one who rescued the dog) is handling the initial communications with them so I can concentrate more on Peaches and managing my two-dog household!

My husband took her to the vet for a health examination and to get her shots. The vet said that, judging from her teeth, she may be as young as 2 years old.

Also turns out she is already spayed and seems in good health. We think she really was someone's pet, but she was just found wandering the streets without collar/tags and without microchip, and the family who found her spent weeks trying to locate her owners to no avail. As far as we are concerned, she was homeless. Colorado is one of the worst hit states for foreclosures in the national housing crisis, and lots of pets simply get abandoned or left behind in the empty houses when their owners' homes get foreclosed. (My father in law, who runs a locks company and gets called by real estate agents to put locks on these foreclosed houses, often sees dogs and cats simply left behind in the abandoned houses, it's so sad.) So maybe that's what happened to Peaches too. Either way, she is now ours until we find her a new home.

Leema: do Chows usually have a high prey drive? she seems to have a very high prey drive but only in certain circumstances, sometimes it turns on and sometimes it doesn't. And when it does turn on, it's intense. We don't think she is a full chow, she looks more like a german spitz to me except for the color...?

Josiebell: thanks for the compliments for my white GSD, I'll pass it on to him! :)


New Member
lla - good luck with all possible adoptees. You obviously know what is best for her, but I wouldn't pass off someone with dogs already, especially chows! Chows are quite a snobby breed and don't normally care about other dogs, and don't normally have much of a prey drive (of course, this also depends on how you bring them up). Peaches may initially be concerned about the other dogs, but if they're anything like the chows I've spent time with, they won't care and will continue on with their own business. :)

Chows are not common in Australia. We don't see chow mixes because there's not enough chows to make mixes! However, I understand in the USA they are a popular breed - and, unfortunately, a breed that has made it into the hands of people who like to have an 'aggressive' animal. The being the case, I wouldn't be surprised if the temperament of chows here (almost exclusively registered, ethical breeder bred) is different to the chows there (lots of mixes and lots owned by 'tough people' ;)).

The main give away that Peaches is a mongrel is her face. This is a chow face:

It's all fat and squashed!
Peaches' is more elongated. I would suggest she is crossed with perhaps a german shepherd, belgian shepherd, or collie... I'm not sure how the inheritance of coats works, but she might even be parented by a smooth-coated dog.

German spitzs are midgets. :p I think she's a bit big to be a mix of these, but y'know, anything's possible.
Another possibility would be a samoyed x something with a dark coat (shepherds?).