View Full Version : Scared/Submissive around other dogs....

4th October 2007, 10:54 AM

Just wondered if any of you have the same problems with your Cav's.

Chester is a big softie when it comes to being around other dogs. He just sits there or lays down. He has been known to roll over & show his belly but most of time he looks like he's playing "stuck in the mud". He waits until the other dog has had a sniff & then follows them for a little sniff but as soon as they turn around, he stops dead again.

It has never really bothered me but last night there were 3 German Shepherds running around the fields and a little boxer, that had never met them before, came running over & they all just run around the field playing - like dogs should! Chester though, just wasnt interested. He sits down & wont shift until they have moved on.

I just want him to be as happy as he can be & just wondered if there is anything I can do to build his confidence up. He sees dogs everyday on his walk. The only dog I have ever known him to "stand up" when meeting is an even more calm/submissive Springer.


Barbara Nixon
4th October 2007, 11:09 AM
Try to arrange more meetings with dogs like the springer and then gradually branch out to more adventurous dogs. Don't pet your dog while he is acting scared or you will reinforce the undesired behaviour. ie make him worse. Perhaps your fussing the other dog would help; showing Chester that the other dog is 'safe'.

4th October 2007, 11:26 AM
Some dogs are just submissive dogs. Also some just don't care to play in this way, either -- none of my three ever play with other strange dogs when they meet them, for example. He sounds perfectly happy. :) Jaspar is quite shy and submissive (though a terror at home! :rolleyes:) and often rolls over when he meets other dogs.

If you want to build his confidence, though, do a fun obedience class. Or agility. Both these (when taught using positive, not correction methods) really give dogs confidence and allow them to meet lots of other dogs in a friendly environment too! Or as Barbara says, any opportunity to socialise in a friendly way. Walks don't really give much chance for dogs to mix and meet.

4th October 2007, 11:44 AM
Thank you for your comments.

I did take him to Puppy Classes until he was about 8 months old. The only dogs he ever showed an interest in there was a very laid back Labrador and a very vocal Staff (think he was just trying to keep him sweet though!). He has never taken to bouncy type dogs & always goes for the more timid characters. I always just put it down to his personality but last night I felt sorry for him like you do a child who isnt playing in the play ground.

He is a very happy little chap & absolutlely loves his walks & running around the fields and, as you said Karlin, he too can be a little terror at home! I do think he is interested in meeting other dogs, he just seems to like to watch rather than join in.

I dont pet him when other dogs are around but I do try to jolly him along with "come on (you donut usually!)". Should I not be even talking to him at this point?

Barbara Nixon
4th October 2007, 12:21 PM
Oh yes, jolly him along. Your light voice should assure him that you aren't afraid.

4th October 2007, 01:18 PM
It sounds like you're doing everything right; I would only stress to continue in obedience training or agility...some activity that will build his confidence. But, as mentioned, he may just be a shy, quiet dog, just like some people are, doesn't mean there is anything wrong with him at all. :)
Our Abbey doesn't play much at the dog park, she's just there to sniff it out and chew on random things. :-p Once in awhile she'll go nuts for a bit with another small dog or a Golden Retriever--she follows behind basking in their plum of a tail, she loves it, it's so funny!

4th October 2007, 02:32 PM
Our Buddy is two now and has never played much with other dogs. When we go to the Dog Park, he sniffs butt to check the other dogs out but does not really play. He retrieves his little tennis ball and plays on the kiddie slide and sometimes in the wading pool, but mainly visits with people. He has been to puppy class and beginners obedience classes and for the past four to five months, we have been going once a week, when we can, to Fun Agility Class. He is confident, does not know a stranger, he is just not as playful as some dogs. They each have their own personalities, just like people do. That said I would continue to expose Chester to new situations and other dogs, act confident yourself, but not force the issue. Good luck!

4th October 2007, 09:37 PM
Jasper does this too but I think it may have something to do with one day last year we were out for a walk in the woods and there were 2 big dogs (cant remember what they were just know they were big) racing round together and then they just suddenly bit him. I had to pick him up and hold him above my head so they couldnt touch him but I'm very short so not really much help.

These dogs did have people with them but they were nowhere to be seen and then when I did catch up to where they were they obvously couldnt control the dogs. They were laughing at jasper cos he saw these dogs again and was terrified to move so I shouted over to tell them why (obviously annoyed) and they just looked at me as if I was stupid GRRR. anyway... he used to be scared to move if any dogs came near but now he's not quite so bad with little ones but big dogs still terrify him.

He never goes to play but i think he's just as happy running around with the kids or chasing a ball or something. If he doesnt have the inclination to run around with the other dogs then maybe he would just rather be with his own pack?

4th October 2007, 09:45 PM
When my cavs meet other dogs.
Rosie (Sits down, and doesnt let dogs sniff her lol)
Buddy( Runs over to another dog, and then runs away when they come to him haha)
Emily( Goes right on her back!