• BTRF Foster Carers’ Training Scheme

  • BTRF are very excited to have been selected as one of Burns Pet Nutrition's 'Charity of the Year 2020'. As part of this, they have agreed to support us by providing funding to finance our innovative new Foster Carers' Training Scheme which has been over a year in the planning. Burns' kind support means this scheme will now become a reality during 2020.

  • About the Scheme.....

    Sadly, many of the dogs that come into our care have existing behavioural issues to some degree - often the nature of rescue. One of BTRF’s prime objectives for 2020 is to increase the number of trained foster carers we have immediately available.

    Living with a foster family gives a dog one to one care that they may not receive in a kennel environment. It is quieter and less stressful to a dog where simply moving them from one environment to another can cause huge stress alone. Our whole purpose as a rescue organisation is to minimise this stress and help our dogs settle away from an environment they may have lived in for several years.

  • Being a foster carer is a commitment but also highly rewarding. We will put in place all the support that you need and you will be part of a great team who will be there to offer you training as well as help and advice whenever you need it, right through the fostering journey! And of course you will be given the option to adopt when your foster dog is ready to go their new home - this is beneficial as it ensures the dogs do not go through another move.

  • Benefits of the Scheme to our foster families

    • We provide full training to our carers, which will enable to them to help our dogs with behavioural or medical issues and to prepare them for the transition to their new homes.
    • We appoint specialist behavourists/ trainers to work hand in hand with the foster family to begin the dog’s rehabilitation process
    • Carers will learn about modern, science reward based dog training methods
    • Carers will be part of a supportive team who will be there to offer you help and advice whenever you need it, right through the fostering journey
    • Carers will have access to our Foster Carers' Support Facebook Group
    • We will prepare our foster carers emotionally, as it is often difficult to hand the dog over to a new home after an attachment has been formed
    • All costs of foster care will be reimbursed by BTRF
  • How the Scheme works

    • Interested participants will complete an Application Form
    • Our Foster Carer Liaison Officer, Trish Mahon, will make contact for an initial chat
    • The next stage if you are successful to this point, is a home check carried out by one of BTRF's appointed behaviourists. They will talk to you about expectations of being a foster carer - as well as checking boundaries and your home environment
    • If the home check is successful, the carer will be accepted onto the Scheme and will be enrolled onto the closest training programme venue to them (4 are being planned this year across the country).
    • The training programmes will consist of 3 afternoon training sessions, one month apart at venues around the country. Carers will need to attend all 3 sessions in the programme
    • The programmes will cover certain important aspects of modern, science reward based dog training methods and theory

    This will empower the carer with some basic skills to be able to work with the trainer / behaviourist appointed to them in helping the dogs prepare for their new home.

  • The training is designed to be fun but informative and you will be volunteering alongside an very dedicated team! Several members of the BTRF Team and current foster carers will be at the sessions to answer questions that you may have as well as sharing their experiences with you.

  • Where will the training take place?

    • The training programmes will consist of 3 afternoon sessions, spread out over three months
    • Four Programmes are planned for 2020 and will be run in 4 different parts of the country depending on demand
    • They will be classroom based
  • At the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions all out training programmes are being held online via Zoom. The date of the next programme of three sessions to be decided.

    Please contact our Foster Carers' Liaison Officer, Trish Mahon for more information.

  • What will be the role of the foster carer....

    The role of the foster carer will be divided into 6 different levels of care:

    • Level 1 - Carers able to take a dog in emergency to get them safe from their current environment
    • Level 2 – Carers able to take on a dog who may require medical care possibly including administering medication where needed
    • Level 3 – Carers able to work with a trainer with dogs in need of help with basic life skills training and care
    • Level 4 – Carers, possibly retired or working from home, and able to work with a behaviourist to help dogs suffering with separation anxiety
    • Level 5 – Carers prepared to work with our appointed behaviourist where they need help with mild behavioural issues
    • Level 6 – Carers with existing modern, science reward based experience of working with a behaviourist (or ideally are qualified dog trainers / behaviourists themselves) and who are prepared to work very closely with BTRF and the appointed behaviourist to help a dog with a bite history (that has been appropriately assessed before going into foster)

    The Application Form will ask the applicant to indicate which levels of care they feel they can offer.


    Please read this first before considering foster care:

    • We do ask that our foster dogs are not left for longer than 3-4 hours in the day and this should only be occasionally
    • Doggie Day care, in general, will not be appropriate for our foster dogs
    • Foster carers will need to attend one of our training programmes being offered in 2020
  • Want to know more or interested in applying?

    If you would like to receive the full Foster Carers' Training Scheme Information pack and an Application Form please contact Trish on trish.mahon@bedlingtonrescue.co.uk