View Full Version : Bad Parent (Long)

1st March 2007, 01:19 PM
I feel like such a bad parent. When Ellie came from the breeder she was pretty much house trained my breeder said. Since Ellie was 6 months old when we got her (she is now 7) she pretty much got the gist of everything and the only thing my breeder was slightly concerned about was that she might not be able to hold her pee in for more then 6-7 hours. Well I leave around 8:15ish and my husband is home around 2-2ish depending on what he has to do after school. She has never had an accident in her crate even when my husband runs late meaning she has mastered not peeing in her crate and waiting till we get home to let her out. So far she has never had a pee accident in the home but lately she has taken to pooping inside (see other post) Also she seems to be easily spooked and scared by all the other dogs in the neighborhood. I live in a condo so I dont have a lawn or anything so she always goes out on the leash with me. We have some grass in the front of our spot and we have taken to take her there as thats what most people here seem to do. When she is out on the lawn and she sees other dogs she starts to growl. A few dogs in our area are barkers and when they bark at her she becomes terrified and tries to drag me back in. Also we have a big Rottie that she fears and does the same thing. I think part of the reason she hasnt pooped outside is that she is afraid to be out there for a long time. She growls at people we see as well but not to the same degree as a dog. This morning when my husband took her out at 5:30 around when he leaves he said she didnt do anything because she would stop to pee or poop and then see something and growl and stop her thing Another few minutes she would do the same thing Eventually my husband had to take her in as he was running late. So when I took her out this morning at 8ish I expected her to have to go right away Our neighbor has a Puggle who likes to bark a lot. Well he was on his part of the lawn with his owner when he saw Ellie and of course he barked scaring her. My neighbor held his mouth so he would stop but Ellie was too spooked at that time and tried to run in. I walked her past the Puggle and we took a brisk walk around the complex Along the way we saw another one of the barky dogs and Ellie speed past him. We got back to our house and the puggle was inside so I took her onto the lawn but she kept running at the door. Finally I just took her in as I had to go to work and she wasnt going to go. I dont know what to do about this fear thing she has. I desperately want to take her to a class as Im afraid the longer this goes on the more scared she is going to be if its not too late already (can you reverse fear?) but she is 7 months old and probably due to go into heat any day now so I wouldnt want her to go to class when she is in heat for obvious reasons. Im not sure what would be the best thing for now and Im almost embarrassed to ask my breeder as I fear she wont think we are doing a good job with Ellie :sl*p: Help!

1st March 2007, 01:42 PM
Jasmine...I sympathize with you, as I had Lily in puppy class to start today, but she went in heat yesterday. Even though the trainer said it would be o.k., I didn't feel comfortable, and hope I did the right thing. I pushed her puppy class back to April. I do think Elle, like my Lily, needs to get in a class. The trainer said she is still going to put her in a puppy class in April, even though she will be almost 8 months old. The beginner class she said, would have bigger dogs that would freak out a Cav who has never had a socialization class, such as puppy class. She said becasue Cavs are small and slower to mature, that puppy class is the way to go.

I'm sure some of the trainers and other members will give you some great advice, but that's my take from my limited experience as a first time Cav Mom too :). You are not a bad Mom, you are trying to do what's best for Elle :flwr:

1st March 2007, 01:58 PM
You should not be embarassed to contact your breeder. I am sure they have experienced many of these problems or had others who have. Good breeders will be there for you and help you through these issues.

I would also ask some of your neighbors who have dogs if they could help you and work with them to introduce the dogs and get them to know one another. Do not force it but let them sniff and check each other out. You might want to ask a trainer for assistance on how to handle this. You can also just take visits to PetSmart or any petstore in your area which allows dogs there. Most of the dogs who are taken to the store are fairly well behaved and again you can tell the other owners what you are doing and ask for help in introducing the dogs. (When the weather is bad we frequently just do an outing to our PetSmart as an evening "activity" with the dogs. I do not think PetSmart minds as we usually buy something.)

We go to a Dog Park and have taken Buddy since he moved in with us at six months. There is not a separate small dog area. Buddy does not like all the big dogs but some he does and he always checks them out before he makes up his mind. When there are lots of big dogs there Buddy mainly visits with people on the park benches, because it can get a little hectic (to say the least) but if there are just a few and ones he likes he is running with them. I will add that this is a small Dog Park where almost everyone knows each other and folks work together to acclimate their dogs. If you go to a Dog Park, pick a time when not very many dogs are there and ask the other owners for their assistance. Not everyone will want to help, but I bet you find some who will.

Cathy Moon
1st March 2007, 05:55 PM
I am going to think about this and post something more tonight after work. I have several very good book titles to give you.

There are 2 problems that need to be addressed. First, she needs a place to potty outside where she cannot see other dogs - TEMPORARILY! I'm thinking of an xpen with a blanket blocking her view?? Could you set up something like that in the backyard for a few days - just so she can poo?

The other thing is addressing her fears - she needs high value treats from you when she is outside - something that will get her attention onto you and off the object of her fear. These treats will help her think its wonderful to be outside. This may take some time.

If you can find a puppy class that includes off leash socialization, that would be very good for her. All puppy classes I've been to spend at least 1/2 of the class time doing off leash play.

I would not suggest a dog park (especially one that doesn't separate small dogs from large) until her fears are lessened though. If you are afraid of spiders, would being in an enclosed space with several spiders help reduce your fears? It would probably be too much for her, and adult dogs' prey drives might kick in, jeopardizing her safety!

Julie S
1st March 2007, 06:13 PM
Hmm. I will have to think on this one (obviously I have no Cavalier, but have had dogs in the past who are like this!). I know everyone doesn't agree with Cesar Millan, but on his show he teaches to not give a dog affection (cuddling, reassurance, etc) when they are doing a behavior that you don't approve of - such as growling at or cowering around other dogs. Socialization is key - Ellie may not have been socialized to that many dogs? Puppy class is key (asap) as well as doggy daycare. Can you take her once or twice a week for a half day or so? A good daycare will integrate Ellie safely and she will have a well-mannered "pack" to play with and get to know.

1st March 2007, 07:08 PM
jasmine freddie did this when i was on hols (pooping in the house) so we cut down his food and it is working for him now!!

Could u do that with ellie??

1st March 2007, 09:10 PM
I love Kathy idea of the xpen and blanket - brillant.

Since she is not in heat, why not get her spayed now. She is confused over new home etc.. I think with time and effort she will come back. Keep crating her, take her out often, put some of her stool on your front lawn and as soon as she is spayed get her to class. Dont worry about her age or how scared she is. Kodee is alot younger but still, was scared of just hearing neighbourhood dogs. But at her first class last night she did really well. I think they sense the control the instructor can have over a class and relax a bit. I think a class will go a long way helping her than attempting on your own. Even if you sign up and only make it for 2 wks and let's say she goes into heat, you will still benefit from the 2 wks. It will do you good too, to see your not alone in this. It helped me to see puppies doing so much better and how it was handled as well as those experiencing the same as me (comfort in knowing your not alone).

2nd March 2007, 12:27 AM
Thanks for your help guys! Im not getting her spayed yet because her breeder has asked me to allow her a season before I do. Its her request so Im going to comply even though its going to be a messy gross time for us

Cathy Moon
2nd March 2007, 03:06 AM
Here are some books I have:
1. The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.
2. Scaredy Dog! Understanding and Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog by Ali Brown, M.Ed., CPDT
3. Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog by Emma Parsons

I would recommend puppy classes as soon as possible, because the sooner you start working on this the better. She needs to run loose in a room with other puppies, and to freely approach friendly strangers for petting and treats. If possible, find someone who is has a CPDT credential, or a veterinarian behaviorist to work with. It's easier to work on this when she's under 1 yr old. :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

2nd March 2007, 03:24 AM
Thanks for your help guys! Im not getting her spayed yet because her breeder has asked me to allow her a season before I do. Its her request so Im going to comply even though its going to be a messy gross time for us

Ah then its totally understandable your waiting. Cathy has given you great suggestions and resources to get started.

If you feel your still having trouble you might consider a private lesson. I'm stunned how much my one class made a difference. I had already read most of what was taught, but there is just something that clicks when an experienced trainer shows it. Kodee was a different dog today - in a GREAT way. So keep it as a back up plan if things get frustrating waiting for her first heat.

2nd March 2007, 07:11 PM
. Its her request so Im going to comply even though its going to be a messy gross time for us

:lol: ...It is, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Lily is so good about waiting for me to take her little pants off, now that she's used to them. She was really scared of the noise the velcro makes when I pull it a part. The true test will come when hubby gets home from being out of town this week. He usually takes her out in the morning when he gets up to get dressed for work. Somehow, I think I will be on my own for the next 3 weeks. : :roll: