Dog seeking compassionate, patient family who can help her gain confidence
Meet Callie, an 8-year-old retired breeding female who was given up by a commercial breeder. Callie is a sweet, affectionate, low-energy girl who loves to gather dog toys and other things (flip-flops, dish towels, bath rugs, TV remotes, etc.) and “nest” with them on her dog bed. She is not destructive with any of these items, she simply likes collecting and laying with them, and when told to drop it or leave it, she will.
Callie is being fostered in a home with two other goldens (a male and a female), three cats and two rabbits, and gets along with all of them. She basically ignores the cats and rabbits and finds comfort in the companionship of the dogs. They do not play, but they do hang out together in the house and run together in the yard. We are not sure how she would do with young children.
Like many former breeder dogs, Callie can be timid and has her quirks. She is considerably overweight at her current 75 pounds but has lost weight since going to her foster home. She is very picky about what she eats; it took her foster home a while to find the right combination of kibble and wet food to entice her to eat, but she is eating well now (though in restricted portions to help with weight loss). She also is not very treat-motivated (there’s only one treat she enjoys, and she quickly loses interest in it), which makes training and counter-conditioning a challenge. Her go-to for rewards for good behavior is attention from people. Callie absolutely loves, loves, loves attention – from her foster parents and people who come to visit. Here’s what her foster mom has to say about this:
“Callie seeks out attention and love. She is definitely the most affectionate golden I have ever met and that says a lot! Callie absolutely loves to be pet and kissed on. She pushes her way right up to you for all the love and affection. “
As to Callie’s quirks: She is terribly afraid of wearing a collar, harness or leash. Her foster home has been working on this with her. She pancakes when any of those items are put on her and will not move (this is fairly common with breeder dogs; many simply were never exposed to these things). Her foster mom has been using a light string around her neck; Callie hits the ground when it’s put on, but then she doesn’t notice it – she is rewarded with pets and loving. Because of this behavior, her foster parents have to carry her in and out of the vet for appointments. Getting her into cars can be challenging too, but if her front feet are placed on the floorboard of a vehicle, she will assist with getting lifted into it. She will not sit or lay down in vehicles and is a bit unsteady in them because of the movement.
One other quirk is that when people approach Callie head-on at a normal or quick pace, she becomes frightened and heads toward her safe place. However, walking around her or near her does not bother her, just the frontal approach.
Callie also needs assistance with stairs right now because of her weight. She can go up stairs on her own as long as someone is behind her; coming down is more challenging. So, her adoptive home will need to be able to assist her on stairs. This should improve with weight loss.
Callie’s forever home will need patience and creativity to help her with these issues, and will need to be able to lift her, possibly for the rest of her life. But the rewards that come with adopting her should more than compensate for these things. That’s because Callie is such a lovebug and “very chill and laid back,” her foster mom says.