For Adopters: What to Do During a Dog Meet and Greet

So you want to adopt a dog? That’s wonderful!

At Dog Gone Seattle, we are always looking to match the right family with the right dog. Once we have ‘approved’ an application, the next step in the process is a meet and greet! This is an opportunity for you to meet the dog you are interested in adopting, and also for the case manager or foster to meet you. Consider this a “mutual interview” and please know that a meet and greet is not a guarantee of adoption. We need to feel good about the placement, and of course you do as well. That being said, here are some tips for potential adopters to help navigate meet and greets:



  1. Respect that the fosters are volunteers – Be on time, come prepared, come with all members of the household and all animals (if requested) and come prepared with questions.
  2. Be calm and take cues from the foster parents on the initial introductions – treats may be used for a shy dog. Never reach over a dog’s head, approaching from the side rather than face on is considered polite.
  3. Spend time interacting the dog, remember as much as you are “interviewing” the dog we are also trying to gauge the dog’s reaction to you. Take some time physically with the dog. If allowed, touch the dogs face, ears, body, tail, paws to gauge their reaction. Take note of sensitive areas. Take the dog for a walk on leash. See how the dog responds to you – Is it checking in? Can you physically manage the dog on leash?
  4. Ask lots of questions – you want to ensure a good match as do we! Ask the fosters about the dogs behavior, compatibility, energy level, food and appetite, health, any known behavioral history, any known behavioral issues, any known health history or health issues. What training has the dog had, what “commands” does the dog know, what are any observed “bad behaviors” — what routine is the dog currently on, what are the exercise needs. What is the dog’s status with house-training, crate-training, etc.
  5. Ask the foster what the ideal home for the dog is — this will open up a dialogue to gauge best fit.
  6. Remember as much as you may LOVE the dog that we are trying to find the best match for the dog as well, and please be understanding if we do select another family.

The above applies to meeting any dog you intend to adopt!

The below applies to dogs in our rescue, Dog Gone Seattle.

  1. Please note that a meet and greet is not a guarantee of adoption as we may have a dog meet several potential adopters to determine best fit.
  2. Whenever possible, we ask adopters to “sleep on it” to make a decision on whether they would like to proceed with adoption. This also gives us the opportunity to discuss the meet and greet with the foster family and take into consideration their input.
  3. Following a meet and greet, please follow up with us ASAP to let us know that you would like to adopt or — if it wasn’t a good match — so we can update our records accordingly.
  4. Finally, we appreciate your understanding and patience with our process, as we are a volunteer based organization!

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