Circle Tail's Foster Family Program

From happy go lucky puppy, to trained assistance dog……’s takes a team!

Foster families are vital to Circle Tail's mission. Every day our foster families make a difference in the lives of their foster dogs. Foster families contribute an essential service by providing a means to house, train, and nurture Circle Tail assistance dogs-in-training.

Circle Tail’s foster family program is designed to place a puppy or dog between the ages of 14 weeks and 2 years with various families and/or individuals in order for the dog to receive individual attention, love and care, socialization and obedience training. With the close guidance of Circle Tail staff, fosters carefully socialize pups and dogs, teach manners and reinforce basic and advanced obedience. Volunteer foster families must be willing and able to devote time each day to oversee the complete care of the dog including: feeding, grooming, socialization, and exercise as recommended by the staff.

The joy of fostering a service dog in training is combined with much responsibility, especially because the dog's job will be to assist an individual with a disability to live a more independent life. Dedication, responsiveness and consistency are necessary for the fundamental training that guides a rambunctious puppy into an upstanding canine citizen and useful companion to a person in need.

Fostering these wonderful dogs is an important, rewarding and memorable experience!

Our prison training program:

After about 6 months of age, pups/dogs are raised and trained in a Correctional Facility in Ohio. These dogs come back to Circle Tail routinely for a few weeks or months for socialization. Foster Families are an integral part of this process, as they are needed to provide socialization to the dogs in home and in the community as well as to reinforce the obedience training they received in the prison program. Foster families are the dog's link to the outside world, providing Circle Tail trainers valuable feedback on how the dog behaves in public, the dog's willingness to work, etc.

Want to be part of the foster family team?

In order to be a part of our fostering team, we do require that you meet these guidelines:

You must be at least 18 and have no more than 2 pet dogs in your home. Your dogs must be at least 1 year old. Cats are welcome.

You will need to attend obedience training classes and follow the Circle Tail training, manners and socialization guidelines.

We prefer that you have a fenced yard, but some exceptions can be made. Our dogs are not to be off leash unless in a secure fenced area. You cannot take Circle Tail dogs to dog parks.

We ask that you provide toys and treats. Circle Tail can provide food, collars, leashes, and crates as needed. Veterinary care is also provided by Circle Tail.

If you can take your Circle Tail dog to work, that is a plus!

Here’s how you can get started fostering:

Persons interested in fostering a dog must first attend a volunteer orientation at Circle Tail. Check for the next volunteer orientation on our calendar or email us at

Circle Tail will provide assistance with basic training and house training. Foster families are required to regularly attend obedience classes held at Circle Tail.

After volunteer orientation, if you feel that becoming a foster family might be right for you, let us know and we will be happy to discuss the next step. Thank you for your interest in the Circle Tail foster family program!

Foster Family FAQ’s

Foster Webpage

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