Effy is an 8 year old female Springer cross Pointer. She came into the care of SAUK, has had her vaccinations restarted, and is now up to date. Effy will sometimes lick her belly but will stop when told NO, to date while fostering the licking has not caused any issues. Effy is a little superstar, however, she is nervous about new people and situations, she shows this by growling and barking whilst also wagging her tail. She is cautious but once she trusts you she is all in and her new people will have a fantastic time watching her personality appear as she gains more and more confidence. We left a bowl of dog treats by the front door and asked guests to take one and give it when Effy has settled, this has created a positive association with visitors as the way to Effy’s heart is definitely via her tummy. (She loves her tuck).
Effy will sit, stay and give a paw. She also understands down. Effy will sit and wait for her breakfast and dinner to be put down, she is also very gentle when taking a treat from you. She is fantastic on the lead and does not generally pull, she does enjoy a good snuffle about on a walk but she does not stray far away from her person. Effy is house trained, since living with her foster Effy initially had to be walked out into the garden but over the course of a couple of days, she would take herself in and out as she had free access via an open door. As mentioned above Effy is initially nervous about new people and places. She will bark and growl at people due to initial anxiousness however she is easily bribed with treats as she is very food orientated and this behavior disappears quickly once she is sure of you.
Effy was successfully introduced to extended family when she had gained a little confidence in her foster home without any issues, the secret with Effy is to take it slowly and let her come to you when she has settled with you. Effy is always keen to go for a walk and excited when she sees the lead, however, she does not need excessive walking, whilst in foster she would have a snuffle round the garden first thing, and have her breakfast, once that had settled we would go for a 40 – 50 minute walk she is happily walking along the road and has since arriving developed a liking for the woods.
She will then sleep, Effy loves her sleep, in the evening she likes a short walk of 20 mins any longer and she is looking to go home. About 10pm out for a quick toilet break and then bed. She will once settle in, sleep quietly during the night. Effy likes a tennis ball but is not really interested/does not understand snuffle balls or lick mats, but may once she is really settled. Effy is a soppy dog who just wants to love and be loved, however, because she is nervous and will do the barking/growling thing at the beginning this does not come across initially.
She is in essence slightly socially awkward, but once she is settled and realizes you are her people Effy is like a little shadow and she will like to keep close and have lots of cuddles and belly rubs. We knew she had settled in when we saw the appearance of her very waggly bottom, she had always wagged her tail but it is a joy to see when her bottom joins in.
In essence, Effy just needs a bit of time to be sure of you, but when she is there is absolutely no doubt you will be in for the best ongoing treat. On walks Effy is nervous of other dogs, especially ones of the lead that are bound up, however, this is a work in progress, and on the advice of the SAUK trainer, we have been working on anticipating her reaction, turning walking away until she is settled and then trying again until she walks past in a calm manner.
We have seen significant progress with this over a short period of time and if continued I have no doubt as Effy gets more and more confident this will be seen less and less. Effy has seen cats in the garden and squirrels etc on walks, she appears interested and watches them but does not pull on her lead nor try to chase them. She has a low prey drive, does not chase birds, etc.
No guarding loves a tennis ball and will swap but not give up. Once you have got her trust there are no issues handling her, can wash dry paws, and pick her up, she’s very gentle. Due to her nervousness initially, Effy was stressed when being left alone, but once settled we have worked on her being left alone for long periods which has worked and she is now happy to be left for 1 – 2 hours without an issue, this again will improve over time. She will bark on your return but only because she is so happy to see you, we have been doing calm exits and entries.
Again once settled in after a few days she will sleep happily and quietly through the night. Effy had previous experience of children and once settled here has been absolutely fine with my daughter, but can be a bit unsure at the start if there is a loud shout or if she is approached suddenly. She will bark and growl on these occasions, given this, Effy whilst absolutely fine with children may suit a home with adults/children who have had previous experience with dogs to allow her to build her confidence with you, her new people.
Effy has been hosed down in hot weather and was absolutely fine with it, she stood still whilst being lathered up and hosed back down. She doesn’t have that magnetism towards water and mud that most Spaniels have so less bathing is required. Effy did very well at the vets, a little nervous but no problems and they loved her, she got lots of treats. Effy will happily jump into the car, however, she is not overly keen on journeys and will move around.
We have been working on this with lots of short trips and we can see a definite improvement, there is no reason to believe this would not continue. Effy is a hugely soppy dog with the sweetest nature once you get over her social awkwardness. She just wants to be loved and to love. She will need people who are willing to get past the short period of nervous barking/growling to see this, she just needs her confidence building and a bit of reassurance that she is where she will be staying and her loving nature will shine through.
Effy likes being next to you or in the same room as you during the day, she loves loves loves her bed and will spend a lot of time snoozing there. In the morning and evenings, she will come to you for a lovely belly rub and a fuss. She is a loving and affectionate dog who deserves an amazing home with her own lovely people.
Effy would suit a household where someone is home the majority of the time as she adores company, she will form a strong bond and will be a perfect house doggie.