At A Glance

  • Age: 10 years, 8 months
  • Breed: Golden Retriever
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: N/A
  • Status: Adopted


In addition to LOVE this dog has the following requirements:
Entered Foster Care Fence Kid Friendly Another Dog Cat Friendly
8/9/2015 Optional
Ages 10+
This is the most recent information available; however, it may change as we learn more about the dog.

Meet Sophie, RAGOM’s newest beauty! Sophie was lovingly surrendered by a family who loved her so much and wanted the best for her and they felt that a different environment might be better for her anxiety. I know it was not an easy decision for them, but we have promised them that we will find the perfect home for Sophie, one that fits her needs perfectly. Sophie will be 2 years old this fall. She’s spayed, up-to-date on vaccinations, and microchipped. She is a gorgeous light-colored purebred Golden Retriever. She has been around kids of all ages and done great with them, although she does sometimes jump on them or knock them down with her enthusiasm. We think she would do ok with kids of any age, but due to her anxiety, it’s probably best that she be adopted by a family with kids 10 and over, only because of her anxiety to noises.

Sophie is currently on anti-anxiety meds. One is a daily medication that she should continue with for some time, especially while she transitions to a new home. It is a medication that she will need to be weaned off of if the adoptive family and their vet feels that she will do ok without the medication. It is possible, however, that she will need to be on this medication long-term. The other medication she was previously on was an as-needed, faster-acting medication that, after discussing it with my vet, we decided to try her without it, and she’s done really well. We actually didn’t notice a difference in her anxiety when she was on this medication vs when she was off of it, so we are no longer using it.

The anxieties we’ve seen with Sophie include pacing and heavy panting when she is nervous. Most of it is when she is outside, and usually then only if there are loud noises such as loud traffic. She has paced a little in the house, but not as much as the first few days. Now she’s happy to lie on a dog bed and chew on an antler or find a toy to play with. She was not affected by the fireworks that have been set off the last several nights (we have been inside and outside when they went off). We have had a small thunderstorm go through and she didn’t have any issues, but it’s possible that she might be affected a little more with a large thunderstorm if it was really loud. When she’s anxious, she’s not at all destructive, she just pants and paces. She will come to me when I call her, and she wants to be close to me when she’s scared. We have been working on being in our yard and being relaxed (and being rewarded for being relaxed). Sometimes she’s so nervous with the noise of traffic that it takes her a while to go potty outside, so we’ve spent an extended amount of time on some of our trips outside waiting for her to go. Other times, she goes right away, even with when traffic is loud and busy. We live on the main road through town and our front yard is fenced, so she is close to the traffic and noises. So far, she’s actually done really well; we are so proud of her! She does get a little nervous in the car, but we've found she does better if she's not crated and allowed to sit in the back seat. She does pace and pant, but it is improving. We have been working on taking short daily car trips to get her used to riding in the car, and I think it's helping. She's learning that car trips mean going fun places like the park! Anxieties that we have NOT seen from her include: Separation anxiety (yay!!). She is able to go an entire workday at home without any issues. We currently crate her, but in her previous home, she was given free roam for up to 6 hours without any issues. No storm anxiety or issues with fireworks, either. Ideally, her forever home will be in a quiet neighborhood with minimal loud traffic and noises to scare her and quiet places for her to go on walks.

Sophie does get nervous when walking in town (with traffic and strange noises). We have found that she does much better when we walk on the trails through the local state park than in town. We are using an Easy Walk harness for her, though she could still learn some leash manners. She does have a lot of training knowledge, though we would strongly recommend an obedience class with her not only as a refresher, but also to help with the bond between her and her adoptive family. I have tried her on a long 30-foot leash to see how she does, and she has done a good job at staying close to me. I would not trust her off-leash until she’s bonded with her adoptive family and has her recall down 100%, but she does come 99% of the time when I call her (with the safety of the long line in case she doesn’t want to). Having a tennis ball with me is definitely a huge incentive for her, and she’s also very treat-motivated! The only other thing trainingwise that she needs to work on is jumping up on people when she meets them and her excitability when she meets new people. She just LOVES new people and wants to say hello! We have been working on this by turning our back on her when she jumps up and not giving her the attention she wants until she is sitting nicely. It’s a work in progress, and her adoptive family can expect to continue to work with her on this.

Sophie had her vet visit and is very healthy! In the past, she has had intermittent soft stools, but we have not seen that here. She met everyone at the vet clinic and loved everyone! She was quite the social butterfly there. She has done well for a bath, wasn’t a big fan of getting her nails trimmed but allowed me to do it, and had no problems with me cleaning her ears. She is a gorgeous girl and was very well taken care of, so there wasn’t much for me to do in the grooming department!

Prior to coming into RAGOM, Sophie had gotten into a few scuffles with a small white dog at daycare, where she had been going since she was a puppy. Because of that, she was no longer allowed to go to that doggy daycare. At our home, she has had no issues with either of our two Golden Retrievers, one of which is a very energetic 8-month-old puppy! They have played and chased each other around the yard at times, and other times Sophie completely ignores them. She has let out a growl to warn my puppy when he came too close to her closed kennel (where I feed her) and he respectfully backed away. She then walked away and all was well. I think with the proper introduction, Sophie would do well in a home with or without another dog. She would enjoy playdates if her forever home did not include another dog. Sophie has almost met cats for the first time since arriving at foster care and she gets along fine with them! One of ours is very brave and on her second night here, he curled right up on the dog bed with Sophie and took a nap with her!

Sophie grew up without a fence and was used to being on a tie-out in the yard. At our home, she has gotten used to having a fenced yard (4-foot picket fence). She would do fine with or without a physical fence in her forever home; however, with her anxiety, we do not recommend an invisible fence as the veterinary behaviorist that she saw felt any shock collar or negative reinforcement like that would be detrimental to the progress made with her anxiety.

A few more positives that we know about Sophie:

  • She’s housebroken! She can go a full workday without accidents. As with any dog, when they move to a new home/environment, it is possible that they could have a few accidents and she has had one here, but we have had zero issues since.
  • She seems to like her crate – it’s her “safe” place and she happily goes in there in the morning, knowing she gets a treat for doing so! She also respects baby gates.
  • She has free roam of the house at night and she usually sleeps on a dog bed in my bedroom at night.
  • She LOVES people! Sometimes she is a little nervous meeting new people, but then she realizes they love her too and she gets excited to have met new friends!
  • She is a very loving and sweet dog! We have quickly fallen in love with her, and we know her adoptive family will too!
  • Her previous family trained her to run on a treadmill to burn off extra energy, especially when she was too nervous to go for walks outside. Unfortunately, we don’t have a treadmill, but it would definitely be something that would be cool to see!

If you feel like your family could be a good fit for our wonderful Sophie, please contact your placement advisor!

Sponsor Sophie

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