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Dog Behavior, Training & Health Recommendations

If good training habits are created in the beginning, you will have an easier time of a well-behaved and balanced dog!

**Reading this contract is a requirement of fostering/fostering to adopt. When filling out the foster/adoption application, please initial the box indicating that you have read the following information**


Rehabilitating dogs and training people is to create balanced relationships between humans and canines



PupStarz Rescue needs to be notified immediately ​if the dog has become ill. This includes but is not limited to: lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, hernia, decreased appetite and water intake, sneezing, limping, missing fur, coughing, and seizing.

You are not allowed to bring your foster to a vet of your choice. PupStarz Rescue will not reimburse you for taking your foster pup to the vet of your choice.  If your foster dog has a medical problem, please contact PupStarz Rescue immediately and we will get you into our vet.  If our vet deems a veterinary visit is necessary, you will bring your pup to our vet in Park Slope. As a foster, you agree to transport your foster pup to our vet should veterinary care be necessary.  Medications may need to be picked up in the city or our Brooklyn location. 


We require communication within 24 hours of contacting you! We rely on our fosters to inform us how the Animal is doing within your care. Communication is a very important aspect of fostering. 



We are honored that you want to bring your foster dog on a journey with you! However, any travel with your foster pup needs to be approved by a PupStarz Board member. 


PupStarz Foster dogs must have a fitted collar. As a foster, you agree not to use a pronged collar or retractable leash.


As a foster, you agree to foster the dog until the dog is adopted unless arranged otherwise with PupStarz Rescue. These dogs can only escape the shelter life if they have somewhere to go.  It is not easy to quickly find a foster and unfair to juggle a dog from place to place.


Once PupStarz approves an adopter, you will be notified via email. The email will be titled "meet and greet."  You will also receive meet and greet guidelines in a separate email from our trainer. Please read over this information and let us know if you have any questions!  Once the home check is complete with the potential adopters, a meet and greet will be scheduled within two days at your address or a location of your choosing.



If you are fostering 30 minutes outside of NYC, you agree to transport the dog half way to the new foster or adopter if they cannot come to you.



Please do not leave food out during the day. Dogs should be fed at meal time. Leaving food out can cause lack of obedience, obesity, food aggression and picky eating.

Puppies should be fed three times a day.​ 

Adult dogs should be fed twice a day, morning and night. 

Previous food in the shelter or the pup’s last environment was most likely dry kibble.

  • Brands: Many ask for food recommendations. We recommend: Merrick, Wellness, Blue Buffalo, or Evangers - a mixture of wet and dry. If you would like to put your foster dog on a Raw Food Diet, please contract us! We recommend Honest Kitchen and Primal. These brands are not required.  Purina is known to cause stomach upset so please avoid. 

  • Please stay away from ingredients such as: soy, corn, and meat by product. These are all GMOs and not species appropriate.

  • Pumpkin/Organic Sweet Potato:  These contain fiber and better form the stool.  Both are great for diarrhea and also constipation.  A spoonful can be added to each meal. Please ensure that you buy plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix.

  • Raw Diet: If you are interested in starting your dog on a raw diet, please contact us and we will lead you in the right direction!

  • Raw Organic Coconut Oil is beneficial for dementia, cardiovascular, eye health and many other things.  It contains ‘good’ fat and is great if they are lacking essential. 

  • Please refrain from giving your foster pup bully sticks, rawhide, greenies, or any treats made outside of the US. These can cause intestinal obstruction and put the dog at serious health risks.

  • Bones: Antlers! Split antlers seem to be popular with the pups.


The KEY to a happy dog is exercise, discipline then affection at the RIGHT times.   Exercise is KEY!  If you do not provide enough exercise for your pup you will encounter unwanted behavior.  Every pup is different as far as level of exercise necessary.  Young dogs (regardless of size) need a lot of exercise!


Taking a dog for a leashed walk is the most important thing you can do to bond with a dog.  The dog should always be at your side (not in front of you), on a short relaxed leash. 

  • You should walk him a minimum of 3 walks a day (4 walks preferred).

  • A waist pack can be used to free your hands and keep all needed supplies

  • Poop Bags: Please clean up after your dog. No one likes to step in poop

  • Treats: HUMAN GRADE made with good ingredients.  We recommend Wellness’ PURE Line

    • Remember it just takes a tiny treat to create a positive effect on a dog.  If you engage their scent you will have their attention on you.  This is what we want! Eyes on YOU – The pack Leader!

  • Walking Times:

    • First walk: A 20 minute ‘relief walk’, then morning feeding

    • Second walk:  After breakfast. This is a longer walk. This walk can eventually progress to playing in a dog run or off leash. Do not attempt off leash walks or dog parks until you can be sure the dog will listen to the ‘come’ command!

      • You must tire the dog out before you go to work. Separation anxiety can be a factor when you first get your dog.  If you tire the body, you tire the mind!

    • Third walk: As soon as you get home,

    • Fourth walk: Before bedtime.



All dogs in the care of PupStarz rescue are up to date on vaccinations for their age. Puppy’s immune systems can be very fragile. If they are under the age of 16 weeks and have not been vaccinated for Rabies, they are susceptible to illness because of their underdeveloped immune systems.  Because of this, we ask that any puppy under 16 weeks or a puppy that has not received their full vaccination series, be handled with caution.  The following must be avoided:

  • Dog parks

  • Walks

  • Puppy play groups

** For potty training, please:

  1. Pick your puppy up and carry them outside

  2. Set them down in the place you would like them to potty

  3. After they have used the bathroom, reward them for their good deed and pick them back up

** If you would like to assimilate them to the NYC hustle and bustle, you are able to carry them around.



Separation Anxiety originally stems from abandonment. The biggest mistake that people make is say goodbye and make a big deal before leaving the house. 


Dog behavior is different than human behavior.  Dogs understand the world in terms of where they sit within the pack.  Humans are also part of the pack and need to establish themselves as the Pack LEADER.  The Pack leader’s job is to create a Calm, Assertive, balanced environment for a dog, so that a dog does not take on the pack leader role, which leads to unwanted behavior.

  • When leaving to go to work or leaving the house without the dog. 

    • There should already be a designated one room/space, which is the dog’s den.  Dogs feel more secure in a smaller space. We would recommend the kitchen with a tall baby gate. 

    • The room should be puppy proofed of anything they could chew, swallow or hurt themselves on.  The den should have a puppy pad, fresh filtered water in a stainless steel bowl. 

    • A comfortable bed and a Kong filled with human grade treats or an antler for chewing. 

      • We DO NOT recommend bully sticks, greenies, or rawhides. These items do not have the greatest ingredients and can get lodged in their digestive system causing bloody diarrhea and intestinal obstruction. 

Before leaving the house:

  • You should IGNORE the dog for 15-20 minutes (as well as when returning).

    • This is not a mean behavior.  You are creating ’no big deal I’m leaving the house’ energy. No drama means they will not stress when you leave!

    • Ignoring means: No talk, No touch and no eye contact. Try as best you can to keep your insides/emotions balanced. You need to be calm, assertive pack leader.  If we bring them weak energy, we keep them in a sad and negative state and cannot move them forward. 

    • This should be the same when entering.  Ignore your pup for 15-20 minutes.  Take your coat off open the mail, and complete other tasks.  Once calm, you can give your dog all the attention they want.



Please go through all of our training links and videos. 

Training Guide:

Puppy Manual:

We recommend you watch:


We feel that Cesar truly understands dog behavior, which is very different than human behavior. For more tips on training, please visit


Clicker Training: For more information on Clicker Training, please visit

We love combining Cesar’s understanding of dog behavior and how we as human’s need to have calm assertive energy.  Clicker Training encompasses how our energy directly affects a dog and their behavior. It is easy, effective and rewards positive reinforcement. The strategy is to click when the dog is displaying a positive behavior!  Whether that is listening to a command, ignoring a dog that they usually bark at, or even making eye contact with you.  Right when a dog does the wanted behavior – Click and Treat! 




Please let us know immediately if your foster dog is coughing. Kennel cough is the equivalent to the common cold. If kennel cough is not taken care of, it can progress to pneumonia.  



Your foster dog should not be sleeping in the human bed at night or on the couch with you.  The human bed is the greatest reward you can give a dog.  They need to earn this reward by displaying good behavior from training.  This also creates a good boundary and establishes you as a balanced pack leader. 

The sleeping arrangements we do suggest is that the foster dog sleep in his own dog bed or crate, next to your bed in the bedroom.  Good boundaries should be kept to minimize unwanted behavior.  In addition, an adopter may not want the dog in their bed and this habit is very difficult to break.

The dog should NOT sleep in a separate room.  Dogs are pack animals. Secluding them to another room during the night will cause unwanted behavioral concerns. Please place a dog bed in your room.



If you are going out of town or have an emergency, please notify us immediately so we can find another PupStarz Foster to watch your pup. Any sitter/boarding facility watching your foster pup must be approved by PupStarz Staff. 


If you have any questions, remember to email us at

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