View Full Version : behavourist I'm scared

12th December 2006, 10:40 PM
I'm a bit scared as today is our session with behavourist, I have so much riding on this emotionally as the dogs not getting on with the pup has left me a bit of a reck and I'm hating myself a lot for what I have done to these dogs to make them like this, fearful, worried, unsocialable.
I know there have been other factors on the way but I really blame myself and hope I can fix it. The hardest thing is me staying calm and positive and this has been the battle all along with everything, I thing they take on my fears and concerns a lot of the time. Phewwwwww. Deep breaths. Now I'll reach for the rescue remedy and give this my very best positive chanting stuff and hopefull kick a@*e :xfngr:

Joanne M
13th December 2006, 01:28 AM
Good luck. Let us know how it goes. *Breathe*

13th December 2006, 01:31 AM
Dont' stress too much. Dogs dont hold grudges and they forgive you before you do anything to them. They just love you. end of story.

Going to the behaviorist will help you know what to do, so you're on your way to making the situation better.

13th December 2006, 12:10 PM
As Tara noted the first thing is to stop blaming yourself. You haven't contributed to this; many dogs find a new dog very difficult to cope with and pack behaviour is very, very common. Dogs also pick up on your own anxiety so it is really important to just focus on the future and what you can do to help, not worry about what happened in the past and whether you made right or wrong decisions. Your two generally sound fine but a bit fearful and you just need some guidance; there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the dogs. :) However if you are anxious when the pup is around, the dogs pick up on the fact that the puppy is an issue for *you*, and therefore should be an issue for *them* -- they take their cues from you -- so it is very, very important that you relax and look forward to having some fun training the dogs and not worry about the puppy. Also let the trainer know your anxieties as the trainer will want to address those too. :) Good luck and training should be fun!

18th December 2006, 11:38 AM
How did you get on, Luvzcavs?

20th December 2006, 08:34 AM
It has taken me a while to respond as I have been a bit down about it all.

It was ok, not the lifeline I was quite hoping for with regards to the interactions with the puppy but a very good start.
I kind of got confirmation on a lot of things I suspected about why they are behaving in this way and I also got tips and guidance on how to start to correct the problems. Most of this I already knew but did not want to have to do or acknowledge. A lot of it is to do with my lack of adequate leadership and to fix this I have to do a bit of tough love stuff. Not so many pats, not always on the furniture, ignore when I come home for a while etc etc. This sort of breaks my heart but I have to tell myself they are not happy dogs because of this and try and focus on the bigger picture.

:( I have to say and this may sound negative and silly as I do want to put the work in and fix the problem but not at the expense of my loving relationship with my babies. I do not just want a dog, to me a cavalier is not just a dog. It is my baby , I'm not over the top like you see on TV I don't give them anything they want or dress them up and stuff but I do shower them with kisses and loves at every opportunity and that has to stop. :cry*ing:

The trainer is a nice lady, very knowledgeable and understanding so I feel over time we'll get there but I fear it is going to be a long long process for a few reasons.

20th December 2006, 10:43 AM
To be honest I'd really recommend getting some of Ian Dunbar's books/videos and Dee Ganley's manuals -- www.siriuspup.coom and www.deesdogs.com. The trainer's approach is pretty traditional and is all about dominance. Banning a dog from furniture per se is not going to retrain the dog. Teaching the dog to respond to you, wait politely, and know when you say 'off' that it is time to get off the furniture, is. Banning dogs from furniture, going thru doors first, not 'losing' tug of war, are not what I would prioritise. But learning to ignore is important -- it is telling the dogs they need to be calm and polite before you interact with them.

I think it would help a lot to understand better what is going on and why the dogs are not responding, as this seems to be what the trainer is seeing. That's why I suggest reading some other trainers who take a slightly different approach. Allowing dogs to do anything and always have their way does make for jealous and impolite dogs -- the exact same way it makes for rude children. It also makes for unhappy dogs -- dogs just like kids are far more comfortable knowing who t olook for for leadership and knowing what their limits for behaviour are. Keep that in mind -- you are not *punishing* the dogs, you are giving them a behaviur structure they badly need for THEM to be confident and happy.

All training is slow and demands time, so don't feel bad about that -- there are never quick fixes (jusrt as bringing up great kids takes constant effort and time). But you'll get there! :)

Cathy Moon
20th December 2006, 12:18 PM
Just an idea, this is probably what I would do - try her suggestions for a set amount of time, perhaps one month, then evaluate the situation and decide what to do next. It is possible that they will calm down and become your dream-doggies, then you can re-introduce your affectionate behaviors. :flwr:

20th December 2006, 12:53 PM
I think Cathy & Karlin are right, these things take time. Make a decision on what you are going to do and then stick with it. Once things have calmed down you will hopefully be able to give your babies hugs and kisses again.

Ignoring them for a while when you come in is very important especially when there is more than one dog involved. Jealousy can be a huge factor in why they misbehave and they may tend to "play up" just to get more attention. I also think its important to give each dog individual attention every day. That way everyone gets what they want and it also teaches the dogs to wait and be patient until their turn.

I'm a big believer in positive reinforcement and I do give my dogs a pat and tell them they are good if they are sitting quietly but I never disturb them if they are asleep. Try not to get them too riled up when you do go over to them, just give them a quick pat, say hello, then walk off.

Your dogs are beautiful and will respond to you, it just takes time. I hope you're feeling better :flwr: