Clover is a SPECIAL NEEDS DOG – requiring ongoing anti anxiety medication to help reduce the impact of her triggers, especially reactivity to unknown dogs when out and about. She also requires a home experienced with nervous/reactive dogs to provide Clover ongoing training and positive experiences.
Clover is a desexed female kelpie cross, aged about 6 years (although her grey face makes her appear older).
When Clover came into ARF care at the end of 2019, she was anxious, overwhelmed and worried about just about everything (leaves moving, shadows, flying birds, long grass, wind, people and dogs, plus any and all noises). Clover has undergone intensive rehabilitation and training, reducing her nervousness and increasing her resilience. However, out and about on lead, she still retains a level of reactivity to her triggers, especially when sighting an unknown dog. Clover reactions, including barking at her triggers (things she finds scary or is unsure about), are based her experiences – reacting this way makes those triggers and scary things ‘go away’. Clover requires ongoing training, together with new and positive experiences, to ensure she continues to improve her socialising skills and her confidence.
Clover is a low energy dog despite her kelpie genes and is happy lazing around the house, the backyard and the garden. She knows ‘sit’, ‘lie down’, ‘crawl’, ‘beg’, ‘shake (a paw)’ and ‘wait’. Clover is house-trained, uses the doggie door, and happily sleeps inside, all night, tucked up safely in her crate. She doesn’t dig, only chews bones and shows no interest in jumping the fence. Clover enjoys car travel and will jump into (any!) car if a door is left open.
When the harness and leash appear, Clover is always very excited and performs an adorable wiggly happy dance, before sitting quietly and patiently whilst her ‘safety gear’ goes on. She walks to heel and is a pleasure to take on ‘walkies’; Clover currently enjoys one or two 30-45 minute walks a day.
Clover’s favourite things are snuggling, human attention, an ear rub and kind word, a soft place to sleep in the sun … and playing’ bitey-face’ with her foster-brother dog. Clover doesn’t know how to play with toys … and experiments continue to find ‘the thing’ to ignite her inner puppy.
Clover is gentle and friendly with people she knows but doesn’t like the sound of squealing or whining children. She enjoys the company of quiet and respectful children over the age of 5. So far, she has adored dogs she knows, and will curl up with them for snoozes. Unfortunately, Clover is overly-interested in cats and wants to chase them; so she is NOT suitable to be rehomed with cats. She has not been tested with other animals.
From Clover’s foster carer – Clover has come a long way, learning to relax at home and in the backyard. She will almost certainly retain some level of anxiety so her new home must be understanding, consistent and mindful to help her practice her ‘best-girl’ behaviours daily. She has blossomed into the most attentive and affectionate dog I have cared for. When we work together daily, it’s very gratifying because Clover just wants to please, and is rewarding as she begins to demonstrate ‘normal’ canine behaviours. She’s learning that walks mean seeking and following wonderful scents, and great new experiences. For example, this week, Clover met and was astonished by the ducks on the nearby waterway.
Because of Clover’s special needs, successful adoption requires a home:
- committed to daily medication (approximately $40/month) in addition to the cost of associated vet checkups
- experienced with nervous/reactive dogs together with relevant rescue/behavioural/training skills
- prepared to work with Clover daily to retain and improve her resilience and confidence, so new experiences are fun
- with another calm dog.