Achieving Balance and Harmony

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Cesar Millan on the magic of fostering a dog

By Cesar Millan

Being fostered is a wonderful opportunity for a dog to prepare for his forever home. He will have more one-on-one time with humans, and he can experience more of the world around him instead of being limited to the confines of a shelter. It can significantly increase his chances of fitting in with his next family.

And of course, his foster parents can make sure his new family is the right fit by helping them to understand his energy level, any issues that are being worked on, and any special needs the dog has.

Fostering isn't just good for the dog – it can do wonders for the human as well! A dog needs daily exercise, and that helps us to get up, get out of the house, and experience simplicity. Dogs help you to appreciate the world around you. They smell the ground so intensely. They look at the trees as though they are seeing them for the first time. It helps us to remember the wonders that we take for granted. So if you're stressed or anxious, it goes away for that moment when it's just you and the dog. People say I do magic, but it's the dogs that do magic. In an instant, they can help you feel calm. They just come in and make it happen without a word.

But I think it's important that you don't form too much of an emotional attachment with the dog. Remember, you are preparing the dog to detach himself from you and live with another human. If not, it can be damaging to his relationship with his new family. He can move on, but it will just make it harder for him. The way I think this can be achieved is by switching dogs. They use this system to train dogs for the blind. If people stay with a dog for a month and then get a new one, the dog doesn't become confused. When he is in his forever home, he will know he is with his new pack! As a professional, I have to do this with dogs I work with. If I am going to help a dog that is not mine, I can't connect all the way. I need to let the owners finish it!

Stay calm and assertive!

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