For four-year-old Staffy Toffee, it was clear that this dog with a heart of gold would need some extra TLC before she could find her new family.
Showing signs of fear around people and other dogs, Toffee was placed under the care of Animal Behaviour Manager, Dr Trepheena Hunter, and the Home’s behaviour team.
“When she first arrived, Toffee was scared and fearful of humans and dogs. However, after some calm, positive training her confidence started to improve.
Overcoming her fears, Toffee was quickly adopted into a loving family. But, sadly, the match was not meant to be.
“Shelter environments are very different to home environments and sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose behaviour problems without knowing how the dog copes at home.
“In her new home, Toffee began to show signs of separation anxiety and her owners, through no fault of their own, were unable to continue their work with her to help manage this. As a result, she came back into our care.
“Thankfully, the family gave us excellent feedback on Toffee’s behaviour and we were able to refine her treatment and training.”
After spending more time with the behaviour team to help her overcome her separation anxiety, Toffee was again available for adoption.
“Our job is to give the dogs in our care every chance of success in their new home by giving them some life skills and supporting our adopters.
“Working with Toffee was incredibly rewarding. Having come to us extremely fearful, it is wonderful seeing her transformation into the loving, gentle and confident dog she is today.”
With her friendly personality, Toffee quickly won over anyone who met her. For adopter Jodi, it was one of the Home’s volunteers who first brought Toffee to her attention.
“Hearing my friend talk about Toffee, I knew immediately that I had to meet her and arranged an appointment with the behaviour team to be introduced.
It was love at first sight. While she was a little timid at the beginning, it didn’t take long for the ice to break and I just knew we were going to be the best of friends,” said Jodi.
Since her adoption, and with support from the Home’s behaviour team, Toffee quickly settled into her new home.
“Knowing Toffee’s story before adopting her, I did understand she needed a little patience and understanding to help her anxiety.
With Toffee now a key member of the family, Jodi is thankful for the ongoing support she has received from the Home’s behaviour team.
“I am grateful for the hard work and patience the behaviour team have put in with Toffee. Without their understanding, I’m sure a lot of loving dogs with behavioural issues would miss out on finding their forever home.
“Their work is invaluable.”