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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ'S

Crate Training

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

Two Hearts Animal Rescue is a foster home based rescue. This means that we do not own a facility, but house our animals in volunteers' homes. We are based, however, in Warren County, NJ.

WHERE CAN I SEE YOUR AVAILABLE PETS?

You may view our available animals here. Please note, we do our best to keep our adoption site as up to date as possible. If you are looking for a particular size/age animal, but don't see it feel free to contact us and we can keep an eye out for you. 

IS THE DOG I’M INTERESTED HOUSEBROKEN, GOOD WITH KIDS, GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS, GOOD WITH CATS, ETC?

We try our best to provide all the information we know about a particular dog on the dog’s profile page. Each dog lives in with a foster family so they get a good sense of the personality and needs of the dog.

CAN I MEET THE DOG BEFORE I FILL OUT A PRE-ADOPTION APPLICATION?

Of course. The best thing to do is to contact us. We will be able to tell you if there is an upcoming adoption event that the dog will attend or we can arrange a meet & greet.

I ADOPTED MY PET FROM YOU BUT AM HAVING TROUBLE WHAT DO I DO?

Let us know - the sooner the better! Small problems that start early-on become big problems as time passes. We have years of experience working with animals and probably dealt with your issue before. Let us help!

WHAT IF I WANT TO ADOPT MY FOSTER DOG OR CAT?

We can understand your interest in giving your foster dog a permanent home. They are often incredibly affectionate and are easy to fall in love with. Part of learning to foster is also learning to separate and to be honest seeing a foster thrive in a new home is really the most rewarding part of the experience. As such, it is our policy that first time fosters are are not allowed to put in applications on their foster animals. If you are not a first time foster you may put in an application. At that point, situations will be evaluated on a case by case basis - our goal is to find the best home for each of the animals that come to our rescue. Understand, however, there is a point during the adoption process where we commit to our adopters that they will get a particular dog. If that point has been reached with your foster then it is too late to submit an application. 

WHAT IF I AM FOSTERING AND NEED TO GO OUT OF TOWN?

No problem! Just let us know as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for a temporary foster home. Since we are a small rescue as much notice as possible would be appreciated so we can find placement for your foster.

WHAT IF MY FOSTER ANIMAL NEEDS TO GO TO THE VET?

Contact us so we know what is going on. Two Hearts Animal Rescue will pay for any necessary vet services from one of our approved vet partners.

WHAT IF I WANT TO HELP, BUT CANNOT FOSTER?

There is ALWAYS plenty of other things to do! ​We always need help with:

  1. Transporters (from the shelter, to and from the vet, to and from adoption events, etc.)

  2. Adoption Event Organizers

  3. Fundraisers

  4. Administrative Helpers

  5. Donations!

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Why Crate Train?

In the wild, dogs live in dens. When brought into your home dogs instinctually have tendency to seek out a similar space of their own where they can feel protected. Often if a dog does not find such a place, he/she may feel isolated and may curl under a table  or chair or some other less ideal location. By crate training you are giving your dog a place to feel secure in a spot that provides visibility and plenty of ventilation. You will also be taking advantage of his/her natural inclination to keep his home clean and will ease housebreaking stress. Finally, crate training tends to help with behavioral issues such as excessive chewing or barking. The most important reason, however, is that it will keep your dog safe, happy and more self confident.

Puppies vs Older Dogs

Crate training a young puppy is easier than an older dog primarily because they do not know any different. Very young puppies sleep a huge amount of time and if you consistently put them in their crate to do so they quickly learn it is a comfortable place to be. When you are introducing an adopted dog to a new home, however, it is possible to crate train them regardless of their age. It just may take a bit more time and patience. Remember this new dog to your home is still looking for his own personal space and if you provide a crate as a safe haven they will learn to appreciate it.

What are the steps to Crate Training?

1. Introduce your dog to his crate

To begin start by having your dog sleep and rest in his new home. Often natural desire for security and comfort will lead him/her back to their personal space.

 

2. Be encouraging and gentle

Take things slowly. Don't force the dog into the crate. Your dog may be shy or back out slowly at first, this is normal. If necessary toss a treat into the the crate and offer praise. Don't close the door, let your dog go in and out on their own. Once any fear has subsided, restrain him at the door with your hand. Have the dog stay in the create for a few minutes. Continue this process, gradually increasing the time as you go. Consistently praise your dog and offer small rewards.

3. Closing the Door

After a few days of short training sessions doing this, your dog should become more comfortable and it is time for the next step. This time restrain your dog at the opening with the door. Again with lots of praise and perhaps a small reward. As your dog seems to get more comfortable with the door being closed, you can slowly get further away. Remember to always praise and recognize calm accepting behavior. Eventually your dog should sit quietly and sleep with the door closed.

4. Housebreaking

When removing your dog from their crate after a period of time always take them immediately outside. Remember we are utilizing the dog's natural instincts to keep his home clean - this includes your home as well as the crate. You want to encourage your dog to "go" outside so if you bring them there when the need is most present, he will more likely make that connection. Let your dog out of the crate and teach him the route to the door (so do not carry him), praise him at the door and take him to the part of the yard you want him to use. When your dog does pee/poop outside praise him again. If for some reason he does not "go" in a reasonable amount of time and you bring him back in, place him back in the crate and start over. If you do not and allow him to wander freely in your home, odds are he will find some alternative place to go.

If you are training a puppy - remember young puppies need to "go" about every 2-4 hours. The goal is to teach them a schedule, such as after feeding, after napping, before bedtime, first thing in the morning, etc. You are teaching the puppy a schedule that will last them a lifetime and become instinctual as well. As your puppy gets older (4-6 months) you can gradually leave them in their crate for longer periods of time because they can "hold it" longer. Before you know it your dog can be in his crate all day, if necessary, until someone arrives home.

Do's & Don't to Remember

DO buy a crate large enough for your dog when he grows up. If it is too big for when you are starting out you can use a divider panel to make it smaller until ready for the additional space. If the crate you start out with is too large at first, he may pee/poop in another corner from where he sleeps and housebreaking will be a challenge. By using a panel to make the crate appear smaller you will use the dog's natural instincts to stay clean. The ideal amount of space your dog needs is enough to lie down. Since your dog will not wish to "go" where he lays he will let you know when the need arises to go outside. As your dog grows you can move the divider panel back until you are using the entire crate.

DO get your dog used to the crate gradually.

DO supervise your dog anytime he is loose in your home. This allows you to address behavior as it happens. Chewing, barking, indoor pee/poop and other behaviors are ll dependent on your direction. If left unsupervised, your dog will chose his/her own direction and schedule.

DO provide soft, washable bedding in the crate so that it is warm and comfortable. You want it to be as cozy as possible. Wash the bedding frequently to keep it clean and free of fleas or any other unwanted visitors.

 

DON'T let the dog out of the crate while they are crying. It will be difficult, but Do NOT give in. If you do it will only serve to reinforce their crying and barking so they get the result they want, out of the crate. Being inconsistent will likely train your dog to be a screamer in the crate and that’s not what you want.

DON'T put "housebreaking pads" or newspaper in your pet's crate. These are items for elimination and we are trying to take advantage of the dog's natural instinct NOT to go in his home.

DON'T force your new dog into the crate. Plan on taking your time the first few days to get him used to his new surroundings.

DON'T leave your very young puppy in his crate all day. At 8 weeks a puppy can hold his bladder at most 5 hours. By 5-6 months a puppy should be able to "hold it" for an 8-hour work day, but that doesn't mean that emotionally they should.

DON'T let your new dog roam through your house unsupervised. Watch carefully so when he sniffs and circles (in indication he is about to go) you can quickly and gently guide him to the door and outside.

DON'T punish your pup by pushing or forcing him into the crate. The crate should be his safe place. You do not want it to be associated with anything negative.