View Full Version : Rescue dog behaviour

19th November 2007, 02:43 PM
I've had Maddy, my rescue Cav for almost 4 weeks now, I've told you all about her in a previous thread. She has settled in remarkably well & we are thrilled with her. She was a stray so we have no background on her, but we believe whoever had her before loved her very much - making it even more of a puzzle as to why she was a stray! - she is well trained, kind, gentle & I don't have a bad word to say about her. She loves a cuddle - don't we all? - which brings me round to my question, my sons girlfriend yesterday said that she had heard that dogs who crave cuddles have probably been harmed in some way & are therefore desperate to be loved & accepted! Maddy doesn't show any signs of being abused & is very people friendly - male & female - and when she's had a cuddle will happily go back to her bed.Also she doesn't really know how to play with toys. This upset me a little as I can't bear the thought that someone may have harmed her in any way. Do any of you have any opinions on this?

19th November 2007, 02:55 PM
Hi Judy,
As regards to the not knowing how to play thing, Lucy didnt know how to play either. We would be throwing the ball for Prince and trying to get her to play but she just didnt get it, it was soooooooo sad :( One day about 3 weeks ago we were in our back garden playing with Prince and Lucy rain after the ball and started playing a little, it was fantastic, she still doesnt play much but she is getting there :)

19th November 2007, 02:55 PM
well I am typing this one handed as there is a cavalier laying across my other as I type for his morning cuddle and I have had him since he was 9 weeks old and know his breeder well so I know he has never been abused..my other cavalier who I got a 9 months old but he spent the first 9 months at his breeders is in my lap (or anyones for that matter) for cuddles as soon as I sit in the recliner..Cavaliers as a whole I believe are cuddlers..

brid kenny
19th November 2007, 02:57 PM
I don't know a whole lot but have fostered 7 dogs from different backgrounds. I don't think wanting a cuddle shows the dog was harmed and is needy. Don't we all want affection?
As for the toy thing I've always found it takes the foster dog a while before it has the confidence and the know how to play with a toy but give the dog time and instinct should kick in.
Keep cuddlin'!!

19th November 2007, 03:09 PM
All of my cavaliers love to cuddle- most have been born here and have never been abused. The rescues I've had-- most were under socialized and wouldn't come to us voluntarily for days or more. Only one acted abused and he was NOT a cuddler.

19th November 2007, 03:10 PM
Thanks for that. She seemes to be such a well rounded little dog I really would be surprised if she had been abused, but you know what it's like when people put things in your head. She has started to run for a little soft toy she has indoors & although she doesn't bring it back she does put it in her bed, which is so sweet :luv:

Scouty girl
19th November 2007, 03:15 PM
Oh Judy, Maddy sounds perfectly normal. I can never sit in my chair alone, Scout always has to come up and snuggle or lay on me. I've had her since she was nine weeks old.

19th November 2007, 03:29 PM
Cavaliers are usually cuddly with everyone.

Very few of my dogs play with toys once they get older

Cathy T
19th November 2007, 03:45 PM
dogs who crave cuddles have probably been harmed in some way & are therefore desperate to be loved & accepted!

If that's the case.....I've beaten Jake and Shelby up one side and down the other!! :D Mine have been raised with copious amounts of love and affection (no abuse here!) and boy oh boy do they crave cuddles. It's a Cavalier thing :luv:

Maddy sounds adorable!!

19th November 2007, 05:15 PM
I've stopped worrying now :) - my sons girlfriend would be horrified if she knew she'd started this! Every day Maddy seems more & more at home here, she no longer feels the need to follow me around the house & is quite happy to be left in the house for a couple of hours. I know she's quiet when I'm out because the cats now sleep in the same room as her & I know they would hide if she was noisy!

19th November 2007, 07:00 PM
I've never heard that dogs who want to be cuddled have been abused. We adopted Charley back in April and he was extremely skittish and till this day cuddles are very hard for him. It almost seems as if he doesn't know what to do when he receives a human touch.

As of now he loves being petted and he'll turn on his tummy for a rub, he will allow me to pick him up but won't stay on my lap. If I'm laying on the couch for ex. he lays near my feet. I'm not sure if he was abused, but he was definitely neglected and never socialized. He's my little boo though and I love him so much, that I have to restrain myself when it comes to the cuddles.

19th November 2007, 09:03 PM
I agree with some of the previous posters; my experience running Irish Cavalier Rescue and knowing other rescue people has been that dogs that are truly from abused backgrounds generally are just the opposite, they do not like to be touched and handled and it can take ages for them to become less fearful or more comfortable with handling. Cavaliers generally though have very friendly personalities and crave close contact. That's quite normal,.

In my experience very very few dogs have ever actually been abused -- most have simply been neglected. I get frustrated sometimes by people who believe that a dog that ducks when a hand is raised or when someone tries to pet its head has obviously been 'abused'. Dogs generally are hardwired to fear having their heads touched (their most vulnerable place) and most do not like this though they will tolerate it and even enjoy it from people they know. Every one of my dogs dodges an incoming hand reaching for its head and I certainly know at least two have never been abused! All dogs differ, too -- some are more touch and people oriented than others. :)

This is a great page for understanding how our body language differs from dogs:


Cathy T
19th November 2007, 09:49 PM
Dogs generally are hardwired to fear having their heads touched (their most vulnerable place) and most do not like this though they will tolerate it and even enjoy it from people they know

That's my boy....hates being touched on the top of his head and will duck out of the way, even when it's me doing it. Shelby doesn't care....she just wants love however she can get it! :)