View Full Version : Total Disobedience.

27th December 2007, 10:18 AM
Almost every morning,my husband takes Daisy for a long walk through the woods.However yesterday morning, he took my daughter instead,leaving Daisy asleep on the foot of my bed with me.
About 10am we woke up and I opened the front door to let her into the lawn to do her business.As I stood in my pyjamas at the door, she started behaving strangely, nose to the tramac and suddenly took off out the front gate. I raced across the wet lawn(barefoot and called her back) and she stopped,looked around at me and ran like a bat out of hell, nose to the ground.
My son and myself(both in pjs) ran after her calling her but to no avail, she rounded a corner, ran down the avenue and all I could see was a white tail plume disappearing over a hill towards the N25.
At that point I wasn't going down the village barefoot and in 10 year old pyjamas,figured she was tagged and microchipped and that someone would catch her and bring her back, so we returned home where I had a major asthma attack while I searched for my car keys to go after her.
Finally about 25 mins later,as I was opening the door to get into the car, there she appeared in the garden,covered in muck.
When I let her in, she spent the entire day lying in her basket, refusing food and attention and just staring into space.She's still off form today, she's not in heat and there's no visible injury on her but she seems totally traumatised.
So basically my two questions are, why did she run like that and refuse to obey(having been excellent at recall) and why is she looking a like a clinically depressed dog?

27th December 2007, 12:25 PM
That's a really frightening experience. :eek:

On the one hand, this is a reminder that no dog ever has perfect recall. Every dog will at some point bolt after something more interesting. I think we have all been there at some point when we think we have a well trained dog. This is definitely the case with Jaspar! Nearly perfect but I know the one or two things that MAY cause him to run.

The best way to maintain the best possible recall is to regularly and randomly reward the dog for returning or recall will tend to slip over time anyway -- the dog starts to lose the connection between the response and the reward that was used for training. This may simply mean praise (and always should include praise) but I tend to like food treats. But going back to the main point -- I have heard Crufts obedience champion trainers make this point: NO dog has perfect recall. Now that you know you have a dog that may bolt, you'll need to only release her to go into a fenced area or take her out on a lead outside. If they have run once, it can be assumed they will run again. Remember she can scent something interesting a mile or more away and she clearly smelled something she desperately wanted to get to -- or was feeling some strange sensations or pain, was confused and bolted in response to that.

If she is acting this oddly afterwards, I'd get her to the vet immediately. The two incidents (running, and the strange behaviour) may be connected or may not be. Perhaps in the time she was out of sight she was indeed seriously hurt. Perhaps she ate something poisonous (maybe it was bait that she ran for and ate...). Maybe she has not felt well and she bolted as a reaction to some internal pain. Also, if she isn't spayed she is at a 25% risk of the womb infection pyometra which is painful, and might cause strange behaviour (and is an urgent medical condition and often has no outer signs). The options are endless from the very minor to something needing attention, and I'd want to get her to the vet as a matter of priority just to make sure you have nothing to worry about. Please let us know what you hear back. :flwr:

Bruce H
27th December 2007, 12:26 PM
Unfortunately, she is being a Cavalier; they seem to have no fear and still have the spaniel hunting instinct (she was definately on the scent of something). Thank God she found her way back home; I know of a couple cases where the outcome wasn't as good. You just plain can't trust these guys no matter how well you think they are trained. I can't tell you how many times we have heard this happen. That's why you need to have her on a leash any time she is outside or safely inside a fenced area (with you watching) with closed gates that is checked periodically for escape routes.

As to her current state, hard to tell why she is acting the way she is. She may have just plain worn herself out. I would suggest taking her to the vet right away to be sure there are no injuries. Hopefully it's nothing more than a little over-exercise and that she will get over her traumitization.

27th December 2007, 03:03 PM
I agree with the others, I'd take her to the vet just to be safe. As for the disobedience, as others have mentioned NO dog will have a 100% recall, especially hunting breeds such as pointers and spaniels, and hounds. Their instincts often get them into trouble. I'd definatly recommend a refresher course on basic obedience (either a class, or just you working with the dog), but I'll never trust a dog that's not in a fenced yard to come to me when I call it, it's just not worth the risk! Then if they do choose to disobey, they're still safe!

27th December 2007, 06:18 PM
Leo took off after the deer in the Phoenix Park on Christmas day -- nearly gave me a heart attack. They were something like 1/4th of a mile away but the wind shifted and he could smell them. He is totally unpredictable with two things -- if he can scent deer or any body of water where he can swim. He will just bolt and won't always return. :yikes

Fortunately he suddenly realised that he was hundreds of yards away from me and stopped to see where I was -- I gave him the hand signal to come and to my relief, he did. He doesn't want to even chase them, just go look atthem, but this makes them run of course and dogs can be shot for worrying the deer (though I've never heard of this happening and some idiots quite happily let their dogs chase the deer, especially large dogs like collies :mad:). But still, I just hate it when this happens and it was so fast -- I hadn't even seen the deer and he definitely couldn't see them from his low perspective; he scented them.

27th December 2007, 06:26 PM
Sorry to hear about these scares - as you say, no Cavalier is ever 100% reliable, and they do hate a change in routine...

Karlin's incident empahsises the need to teach your dogs hand signals as well as commands - they learn these very easily, and they can see a hand signal sometimes when they are out of range of voice {or it's too noisy for them to hear}

28th December 2007, 01:33 PM
The good news is that she's absolutely fine now, and I've learned a valuable lesson.I suspect that my husband had just left five minutes beforehand for his walk and she just took after him.
She knew I was calling her back, because she stopped twice and looked directly at me and then ran.
The spaniel instincts are amazing, she crouches to chase a ball and points perfectly at birds.
I suspect her behaviour was down to sheer fright.The realisation that she was on her own probably did it and I suspect she met a large black mongrel dog on the main street as he was at the avenue where we turn up to our house when hubby was returning home.
I was reasonably confident that apart from the risk of the road, she'd have been picked up because apart from the tag and phone number all the school children know her and adore her (she's even been in the school plays)
I was considering adding a second cavalier permanently to the family, but one is enough for the moment,she's like a third child and needs the same level of care and supervision as an average toddler.

28th December 2007, 04:51 PM
she's like a third child and needs the same level of care and supervision as an average toddler.

Isnt that the truth?? :flwr: My boy is well behaved, but my girl.. oh boy!!!

I'm sorry to hear you went through that experience :( I'm glad to hear that she's feeling better today though! :flwr: