Payton Nicole (Nikki 20-029A)

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Nikki is a puppy who came to RAGOM through a commercial breeder who was retiring. Nikki can get scared from noises and so any children in the home should be age 8+. She needs a home with another medium to large confident dog to show her the way and a fence to keep her safe. She is high energy and will follow everything that blows in the wind but also will run to find safety if she hears loud noises. Nikki needs a family that is patient and committed to ongoing training as she learns about her new world.

At a Glance #20-029A

Golden Retriever Born: November 2019
Female 46 lbs

Status: Adopted


Nikki is a puppy who came to RAGOM through a commercial breeder who was retiring. Nikki can get scared from noises and so any children in the home should be age 8+. She needs a home with another medium to large confident dog to show her the way and a fence to keep her safe. She is high energy and will follow everything that blows in the wind but also will run to find safety if she hears loud noises. Nikki needs a family that is patient and committed to ongoing training as she learns about her new world.


Sunday, June 7, 2020

We're so happy to share that Nikki found her forever home with the S family this week. There will be lots of love coming her way from her new mom and dad, two sisters and her RAGOM fur sister, Ivy.

She was so excited to see them again on adoption day that she just couldn't stop herself from showering her new dad with a few kisses. As we said good-bye, my resident dog, Paddy, couldn't help himself from getting in on the center of the picture to get a little love and give his blessing on Nikki's new life.    

Her new name is Payton and she's already following Ivy's lead on where the comfy spots are in her new home.  Wishing her a wonderful life with her new family and so grateful for the opportunity to have fostered this joyful, sweet girl!

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Gotcha Day!
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Nikki and Ivy

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Nikki has been with us for about 2 months and we learn more each day about what she’ll need in her future forever home. Although she can be a confident girl inside a home, she still has fear when it comes to loud or sudden noises when outside or being exposed to new things.

She feels very safe in my yard but will still run to the door afraid if she hears a dog barking in the distance or a loud car goes by. Paddy and I work to redirect her in the yard with treats or a toy when this happens and she’s been making some progress.    

It will be important for her forever family to have a fenced yard that provides good running room and stimulation so she can burn off energy and also clear her head. She may also do better with a chain link fence where she has a line of sight to where sounds are coming from vs. a privacy fence where she can’t process things as well.

She truly loves running outdoors or just hanging out taking in all the fresh air but will need help working through all the new things she will encounter. Nikki also loves to run to the fence when the neighbors are out to get love and pets so she does very well with people. A dog park is not recommended for quite some time based on Nikki’s fears and training needs.  

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Nikki enjoying the sun

It is RAGOM’s policy for us to always use two leashes when we have a foster dog. We also ask that all new adopters continue this practice when they adopt to help through the initial transition and to keep their new dog safe.

With Nikki, we’ve learned that using a harness and gentle leader works best on a walk. It provides more control as we work through things she might fear on the walk and helps to support redirecting her.

We walk twice a day and have been doing a mile in the morning and another one later in the day. We’ll continue to lengthen the walks as she feels more comfortable with her surroundings. She is a very smart girl and knows the turns to get home and where our house is on the block.

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Nikki and Paddy walk time
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Nikki – a little training during our walk

With the recent “stay at home” order, we kind of lost sight of practicing car rides with Nikki so she can feel comfortable in a car and learn the routine of getting in and out safely. She was on a longer trip last week and did fine in her plastic crate but was reluctant to get in and out of the car.

We’ve also been practicing having her ride in the back seat with Paddy on short trips to the park for a walk. I think she’ll figure this out in time and enjoy it but right now she likes to start the trip hunkered down by Paddy. She’s always more relaxed on the way home and maybe even is enjoying it a bit.

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Nikki and Paddy car ride practice time
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Nikki starting to get the hang of this car thing

Nikki continues to do very good with potty training and will ring the bells when she wants to go out both for potty and play. She’ll turn 6 months old on May 5th and we believe she may be a pretty good-sized girl when she is full grown.

Right now, she is a little over 46 lbs and due to her length, I needed to upgrade her to an extra-large plastic crate so she could stretch out at night to sleep better. She can be relentless at times with inside play and wrestling with Paddy, so she’ll need another large confident dog that is open to play but also can help give her a correction or two if needed.    

In her forever home, Nikki will need continued training both class-based and on a daily basis one-on-one with her family. Since she is such a young pup and busy girl, she’ll need to have a mixture of activities in her life that include walking, training, playing and socialization.

As a pup she lost the ability to be exposed to the world as we know it for the first 4 months of her life and she has some catching up to do. It sounds like a lot of work but when she lays down and cuddles with you at the end of the day it is all so worth it.

Nikki will be scheduled for spay surgery when the hold on elective spay/neuter surgeries is lifted and then will be ready for adoption.

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Nikki watching for critters

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Nikki just turned 5 months old today and the last month flew by. The good news is that she has a family that is interested in adopting her, however, the process is on pause with the recent hold on elective spay/neuter surgeries and our MN “stay at home” order. We all want to do whatever keeps everyone well and we’ll be ready to resume the process when it becomes safe again.

Nikki is growing fast weighing in at 40.5 pounds and working hard to learn about her new life. She may be a little shy to meet people at first but then quickly learns how wonderful it is to be the center of attention and I think she really likes children.

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You’re more my size here

We’ve been working hard on walking twice a day so that Nikki learns how to walk on a leash and can get used to all the new things she may encounter. She approaches new things very cautiously and often will whimper a bit trying to pull towards home. This would include everything from objects like garbage cans, a loud car, etc. to noises like roofers pounding or sirens.

Paddy is helping to show her the way and having treats handy or pausing for a little love definitely helps to make the walk fun for her.   

Nikki has been wearing a harness and knows when it comes out that it’s “walk time”. She sits and tries to help with putting it on by lifting a paw to put it in the harness. Most of the time she misses hitting the opening – but it’s so very cute to see her try so hard!

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I smell treats in that pocket
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Taking a little love break

Nikki did have some exposure to storms about a week ago and was definitely afraid, however, found her safe spot in the back of her kennel and hunkered down until they were over. I was glad to see she could find a safe spot to feel better and that she wasn’t afraid to go out in the yard afterwards. 

She is one busy girl and is constantly taking toys away from Paddy, jumping on him to wrestle or teasing him with a toy to play tug of war. They play hard and she may take a small break – but then she’s back at it again.   

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Taking a pause from play
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Tug of war

You probably have noticed that she’s looking more grown up in the pictures and is turning into one beautiful girl. Along with that sweet look, she is a strong girl with some quick moves and lots of unpredictable running zoomies coming at you. Paddy and I always have to be aware of where she is, what she’s doing and what she might be thinking next to get into. It keeps us on our toes, but it’s all so worth it. We love seeing when she learns something for the first time or just settles in for a little love. 

As we all are on pause a bit in our lives, stay safe.  Nikki, Paddy and I wish you well and we’ll keep the updates coming...

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Paddy and Nikki posing here

Monday, March 16, 2020

Meet little Nikki – don’t let the “little” fool you.   This girl is a powerhouse with lots of energy and very strong.  My resident dog, Paddy, can attest to this! 

Nikki joined our home on March 1st and initially was very uncertain of standing on different outside surfaces, moving on a leash and walking into the house. By the afternoon of that day, she was running with her leash in tow, picking up toys and following Paddy into the house.

It was like a switch turned on in her brain and she realized the new world that had opened up to her. We quickly learned that she is very treat motivated which has definitely helped us through her first two weeks.

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I think I like this ball thing
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Like this running thing too

We’ve completed her first visit and our “little” Nikki weighs a whopping 33 lbs. I’m thinking she’s probably gained a few pounds since that visit and we’ll have another weight check on March 23rd when she has a follow up visit.

She’s received her initial vaccines and also is completing treatment for roundworms. During her vet visit, it was noted that she had dermatitis, probably from a lot of mite bites, and we’ve been giving her a bath with special shampoo once a week. Her scratching is greatly reduced and her skin is clearing up nicely.

Our little girl is definitely teething and you can tell biting hard on things helps to relieve some of the discomfort. Rope toys, Nylabones and soft puppy toys have been helping the teething but have also been great for play. She plays keep away and tug-of-war with Paddy but also is good at just tossing them in the air and pouncing on them herself for a little fun.

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Feels so good on my teeth
Nikki and Paddy playing tug of war

Her appetite is great and she hasn’t turned away any kind of treat. She will pick up everything in the yard to try, whether it’s a rock, stick or something strange that was hidden under the snow – so she definitely has to be watched.

She also will run to the house if she hears a dog barking which scares her but it seems can be redirected back into the yard with treats so I’m hopeful this will pass with training. In the house, she seemed afraid of her shadow on the wall – but when she saw it wag back at her she just started barking like let’s play!

Nikki sleeps in a crate at night and has done a great job with potty training. She doesn't give any signals yet on when she has to go out but a regular schedule of outside trips is working well for her. We just started training her to ring the bells when we go out - so more to come on that in her next update. Her crate has been dry every morning for the last week and she has been sleeping through the night.  

This girl is high energy and so inquisitive. Who can blame her with a whole new world opened up to her – she doesn’t know where to start and doesn’t want to miss a thing!

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Nikki blasting off

If you’re ready to blast off on this journey with little Nikki, she is waiting to hear from you. She is scheduled for her spay surgery on April 6th and will be available that week to go to her forever family.