View Full Version : Timid Cavalier

Kristin in Roseville
19th January 2007, 01:55 AM
We have two Cavaliers.

Sammy and Davis (all we need is Jr.)

Sammy is great in all aspects, outgoing, the older of the two males and the perfect cav.

Davis on the other hand is very sweet, but very timid. Not your typical cav. He warms up slowly to people, gets spooked real easily and is scared of just about anything until he warms up a bit to the situation.

He is almost 1 yr old. I know this is not typical of Cav's. He was purchased from a very reputable breeder. Just wondering why he is this way.

He obviously has warmed to the family, does very well with Sammy, but he is just an odd duck at times.

Any way to get rid of this timid nature?


19th January 2007, 02:38 AM
My first cavalier, Pippin, is also timid. Nothing in his past accounts for it. It is just his nature. He is just cautious and has the motto, "better safe, than sorry." I always reassure him that things are OK, but I don't try to make him do something he doesn't want to do.

There is an upside to this personality. He is my best behaved cavalier. He follows commands well and he is an absolute dream off-leash.

I think you will see that having Davis with his own distinct personality will be really fine.

19th January 2007, 02:40 AM
My Bentley is that way, too. He warms up to dogs faster than people. I just bought a book by Patricia McConnell called "The Cautious Canine; How To Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears". It's very short. I'll post after I've read it.

I've thought long and hard as to why Bentley is this way. It may be that I didn't socialize him adequately when he began to show his timidity.. it may be in his nature.. it could be that I fed into it in some way in the way I treat him when he's timid... I don't know!

Bentley isn't timid with ALL new people. Some, he takes an instant, intense liking to... so much so that he can be rather annoying! :roll:
I've noticed he is more comfortable if new people rather ignore him. If they come on too strong it definitely puts him off!

I'm really trying hard to observe the different instances that he is most put off and also the times he responds positively to new people and things.

19th January 2007, 02:49 AM
icon_welcome I can't really offer any advice as to whether this behavior will go away... but I can offer support (maybe). I have a 10 month old cav who is also of a very "timid" disposition- the 'scaredy-cav! I got him when he was 5 months from a reputable breeder, when I arrived to visit he was very scared but warmed up to me very quickly (in comparison). Since then he is very decided about who he does and does not like, he's never aggressive, just runs away. He is also leery of new situations, but he loved puppy class, and by the last couple of classes even tried to play with the other dogs, which were medium sized dogs, which he is usually terrified of even though he has been fine with the Danes and Mastiffs that we have met - go figure! I also read your other post about his eating habits- been there too... in the beginning I had to make lure trails to Teiglin's bowl, and balance kibble round the edge, but he eats fine now in any place we are :) I think early road trips may have really helped this.
Good luck with your lovely cav's, even if one isn't 'typical', I bet he's still lovely!

19th January 2007, 12:57 PM
Maddy loves people. She is very fickle, and will desert us for a new face quite quickly. She wants to meet everyone. However, she is very timid around other dogs. I take her to the dog park and we go in the small dog area but she will hide under the bench if the others come too close.

19th January 2007, 01:05 PM
Ozzy is exactly the same, he is nutty indoors, but as soon as we are out he acts all shy and hids behind me - to anyone new coming into the house is given a wide space for a little while.... :D

19th January 2007, 01:16 PM
My boys are both much shyer with people than Lily, who loves people. But having Lily around has made both of them less shy. They are very outgoing with dogs though and with people they know and increasingly, with any visitor :lol:. You can work with a shy dog in many different ways. Some ideas:


She also has a whole training manual available for working with shy dogs, from her website. I know many trainers use it as a basis for special shy dog classes.

I always tell people the boys are shy which helps keep people from reaching out for them -- for shy dogs this is really scary. With kids, I ask them to crouch down or sit and give them small treats to feed to boys. I know one of our board members keeps treats in their mailbox and so, when friends come to visit, they know to take some treats from the mailbox and then, they can treat her dog when they arrive -- which really helps a dog see visitors as the source of great things rather than being scary strange arrivals. :)