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

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!

14 Comments. Leave a comment


    Great article. We had a pup for 17 years. Now 2 years later we are adopting another pup. I wasn’t sure how to act when we meet him for the first time. Thank you for the clear instructions.

  2. liz

    I would like to know what are the red flags for the the people who are bringing the puppy to my home for a meet and greet to adopt the dog. Is this normal for the foster parent coming to my home for meet and greet?

    • Jenny DB Nordin

      Not necessarily, at least for our organization, the meet and greet can be at any location – the foster’s home, a neutral location or your home. For restricted breeds or dogs with behavioral issues we do a home check but that is separate from the meet and greet. If the meet and greet is happening at your home, try not to stress to much. Just understand we’re trying to ensure the dog is going to have a good life with you. We’re not inspecting the dust bunnies, or lack thereof.

    • JoAnn Oram

      As a foster I prefer the first meet and greet in our home. It is where the dog is currently most comfortable and at ease. This helps the potential adopter see the dog at his her current “best” and without undo stress.
      A follow up at adopters home is nice but even more important is a meet on mutual turf with future dog siblings.
      That’s just my preference.


    Thank you for the suggestion for the meet and greet. With all being stated regarding. We understand that the foster parents will be making their final decisions on not just my family, but a few families to better insure the best likely home. Knowing this is helpful for me, to not get excited because of no guarantee of adoption, but will be possibly tough on younger members of families with the process. All good. Thank you.

  4. Karyl Lawson

    Thank you for this very helpful information. This will be my first experience with an official adoption other than my former dog’s breeder who had us go through multiple stages with the puppy. Great info.
    Thank You.

  5. Jamie

    Are the meet and greet events only for those who have been approved through the application already or can anyone attend? After reading through the comments I feel like they may be different.

    • Jenny DB Nordin

      Adoptable dog meet and greets are open to the public and you do not need to have submitted an application to attend. Private meet and greets (which is what this post refers to) are by appointment with the foster/case manager after your application has been approved. Hope that helps clarify!

  6. Carol Velazquez

    Your information is comprehensive and greatly appreciated.
    I live in Wenatchee would I still considered since I don’t live in the Seattle area?

    • Jenny DB Nordin

      Yes absolutely, you would just need to be willing to come to the Seattle area for the meet and greet.

  7. Yvonne

    Had a great meet & Greet with Big and Allison. Hopefully he will get to visit me at my house next! Love love love him!!!! Was exactly what I thought he’d be! Cross my Fingers!

    • Jenny DB Nordin

      Thank you for your interest in Eddie, hopefully you received a response from a case manager to your adoption application.

  8. Kasha Martin

    I would like to meet Eddie tomorrow anytime or Friday anytime!

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