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View Full Version : Hi - we're looking for an adult cavalier



Woody
9th February 2008, 09:10 PM
:dogwlk:Hi - we are a family looking for an adult cavalier to give a loving home.
We had a Cavalier who everyone adored, but he did have some serious issues - he was very hyperactive, in spite of training classes and a lot of exercise and he was very vocal when excited, which was a lot of the time. Very sadly he became aggressive with my youngest child, as he reached maturity and although I consulted a behaviourist, we had to make the horrible decision to rehome him after he attempted to bite my 3 year old daughter on the cheek. The behaviourist decided that it was dominance aggression as he started growling at my middle child if she tried to stroke him whilst he was on my lap. In the end we felt it was kindest for him to find him a new home with no young children as he was obviously not happy in the environment. He is very happy with new owners who have teenage children and we keep in touch.
We still have my friend's cavalier to stay from time to time. She is a little female cavalier - very gentle and totally different from Bobby, our cavalier. The children adore her and love to sit and cuddle her and cry when she goes back to her owner. I especially miss having a Cavalier follow me wherever I go in the house as I don't work and miss the company that only a cavalier can give.
Does anyone know of a cavalier who needs a kind new home? They would have to be used to sensible children and housetrained. I also have a standard poodle, Honey who we love, she is very gentle and sweet natured but more aloof than a cav.
thanks
Fiona

Theresa
9th February 2008, 11:40 PM
Hi Fiona

Have a look at Dog Pages. There all the rescues advertise their dogs. If you ask there someone will help you find one I'm sure!! There were a few in rescues. I'll check where they are and let you know if they are still there. Many Tears Rescue often have ex-breeding cavs too.

Good luck :):):)

Karlin
9th February 2008, 11:54 PM
Many Tears dogs would not be suitable for this type of home -- these are generally ex puppy farm breeding dogs and can be terrified of children and will not be housetrained or used to a home situation. Overall, rescue dogs are generally an unknown and need a home willing to deal with potential behaviour and training issues and often have housetraining mistakes (as will any dog going into an unknown environment, actually) -- I'd really not advise a dog from a rescue given your needs.

You probably want someone rehoming a dog from a family situation. I'd keep an eye out in your locale for ads for people rehoming and ask around at local vets to let them know you are looking for such a dog. You could also contact the club breed rescue contacts in the UK, pinned to the top of the forum. They may know of a family dog needing a new home.

Woody
10th February 2008, 11:45 AM
:) Thanks for all your help - I have spoken to Many Tears and although I would love to help an exbreeding Cav, I know that our situation would not be right for him or her. I am hoping to find a Cavalier that is being rehomed for genuine reason - I am just a bit worried whether you can trust some people to tell the truth as to whether their dog has any serious issues round children. Also I would like a male as I have heard they are more loyal and affectionate but am concerned as to whether we might have dominance issues again - is this common in male cavaliers?
Thanks
Fiona

Karlin
10th February 2008, 12:45 PM
To be honest I doubt your cavalier was having dominance issues -- this is a vague catch all term that is very poorly understood and popular amongst old style trainers but usually things are far more complex. It sounds like he was a nervous dog around children, had become protective of you because of what he saw as overactive puppy like behaviour from kids (growling is a dog's first line of polite warning) and perhaps the children were moving and acting in away that deeply worried him. He was also clearly doing some resource guarding which is very common especially in adolescent dogs testing boundaries and in worried dogs -- it starts as a minor problem but it can easily escalate into a major problem. Many owners don't notice it when it starts, only when it has become a serious problem. The things you are talking about are really fairly basic training issues but if there were small children about I would have agreed that the best option was to rehome the dog to an adult environment as the easiest choice. You also need to consider honestly whether the behaviour and actions of the child might not have made the cavalier fear aggressive. Children who grab for dogs, hug them, chase them, run around and shout in high pitched voices -- much of this normal behaviour for kids! -- can definitely turn many a calm dog into a fear aggressive dog That is why constant management of dog/child interactions for under 7 year olds is absolutely essential. I regularly get rescue cavaliers in because they have become fear aggressive around children who are given free access to the dog. Small children need to be managed just as responsibly and carefully around dogs as dogs do around children. :thmbsup:

Your best option given what you are saying are your concerns, is really to get to know an excellent health and temperament focused breeder and see if you can find an older do to rehome through a reputable breeder at some future point. This will take research and time, just as finding a young puppy does. There is lots of advice on finding breeders in the Library section here.

However I'd really think about whether now is the time to take on a second dog and whether it should be a breed as small as a cavalier rather than a more robust family dog like a labrador. You already have a friendly dog and I think really, I'd wait til your children are a bit older (the youngest at least 5). A three year old is very young to have a second dog around where you need to take on full time, constant supervision whenever that child is around both dogs and two dogs will need equal and *separate* time with you, not just the kids. You cannot let a child that young have free access to a dog either -- it is simply risky on both sides. Many cavalier breeders will not home cavaliers to a home with children this young (my own policy is children need to be seven or older except in special circumstances where a long talk with parents indicates there will be total supervision, and constant control whenever the child is around the dog).

I recommend reading through this page and consider whether you really want to try and manage two dogs and toddlers as just one a toddler is a lot of responsibility:

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/toddlersndogs.html

Woody
10th February 2008, 04:49 PM
Hi again
Thanks for the article - it was very interesting and I agree totally with the advice, it is hard work watching a toddler with dogs. We are always very careful to watch any interaction between the children and any dogs in our house. (We sometimes have my Mum and Dads border collie when they are away and she is certainly not keen on young children so we have to make sure she has her space) My poodle has a crate, as did our cavalier Bobby and the children always know if a dog is in their crate they are to be left to rest and I never leave any child, even an older one alone with a dog.

I think with Bobby a lot was to do with his breeding as when I spoke to his breeder about the problem she said she breeds her cavaliers to be feisty and characterful as this makes them better show dogs. She also admitted Bobby's father had growled at her children and was a handful but thought this was more characterful than docile cavaliers. He was large for a cavalier and as it turns out after more investigation that the breeder also breeds springers, we wonder if he was a cross. Either way after such a bad experience I am going to be very careful when considering another cavalier.
kind regards
fiona

hollyandmel
10th February 2008, 05:00 PM
Many Tears dogs would not be suitable for this type of home -- these are generally ex puppy farm breeding dogs and can be terrified of children and will not be housetrained or used to a home situation. Overall, rescue dogs are generally an unknown and need a home willing to deal with potential behaviour and training issues and often have housetraining mistakes (as will any dog going into an unknown environment, actually) -- I'd really not advise a dog from a rescue given your needs.

You probably want someone rehoming a dog from a family situation. I'd keep an eye out in your locale for ads for people rehoming and ask around at local vets to let them know you are looking for such a dog. You could also contact the club breed rescue contacts in the UK, pinned to the top of the forum. They may know of a family dog needing a new home.


I'm afraid i don't agree. I know several cavs who are ex breeding puppy farm dogs who are living very happily in homes with children and busy environments and have blossomed! :)
My rescue dog Holly wasn't houestrained when i got her but picked it up in notime and adores my 2 nieces, 3 and 2 who think she's the best thing since sliced bread.

I don't understand why rescue dogs, especially cavs would not be suitable for family homes, homes to which they are best suited?

x

Cavvygirl
10th February 2008, 08:33 PM
I think that Cavaliers are one of the sweetest dogs and generally are very good around children.:)

I have 2 very young children who are growing up alongside our cavaliers and they all love each other.

Any rescue can have the potential to have more issues if they have had a very sad start to life but sometimes all they need is love and stability and they can really blossom!

If you don't feel that you can deal with any issues (which I can understand;)) then why not explore the route of a puppy whos behaviour you can shape from day one?

If you want to go down the rescue route then speak to the rescue owners explain your situation and they will be able to guide you as to which dog may be best for your situation.

I really don't think the sex of the dog will matter as a rule cavaliers aren't dominant dogs!:)

Good luck in your search:)

Woody
10th February 2008, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the last message - I have also heard of rescue cavaliers who have made excellent family pets. I also went to school with friends who grew up with cavaliers from a young age and adored them, with no problems arising. I guess it just depends on the dog.
My kids ask every day when our friend's cavalier Tilly can come and stay - they adore her and she loves cuddling them on the sofa!:-p
Fiona

hollyandmel
10th February 2008, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the last message - I have also heard of rescue cavaliers who have made excellent family pets. I also went to school with friends who grew up with cavaliers from a young age and adored them, with no problems arising. I guess it just depends on the dog.
My kids ask every day when our friend's cavalier Tilly can come and stay - they adore her and she loves cuddling them on the sofa!:-p
Fiona

All rescue dogs are tested whilst in rescue. You have to choose a dog that is suitable for your family lifestyle and vice versa.
One of the reasons i chose Holly is that i knew she's fit in with my life as she was described as 'bomb proof' :p and good with children and cats (of which i have 3) and shes amazing with both.

There are lots of cavs in rescues at the moment :xfngr:

Lisa_T
11th February 2008, 01:20 AM
Hi again

I think with Bobby a lot was to do with his breeding as when I spoke to his breeder about the problem she said she breeds her cavaliers to be feisty and characterful as this makes them better show dogs. She also admitted Bobby's father had growled at her children and was a handful but thought this was more characterful than docile cavaliers. He was large for a cavalier and as it turns out after more investigation that the breeder also breeds springers, we wonder if he was a cross. Either way after such a bad experience I am going to be very careful when considering another cavalier.
kind regards
fiona

This sounds rather bizarre to me. A cavalier is not supposed to be 'feisty and characterful' in the way you describe- it sounds almost like the breeder was trying to breed a Cav with the personality of a terrier! Most of us find that our Cavs are feisty and characterful enough without the breeder trying to make them that way. The breed standard says the Cav temperament should be "Gay, friendly, non-aggressive; no tendency to nervousness", so ... hum, just bizarre. Perhaps the breeder wasn't a show breeder?

Karlin
11th February 2008, 01:05 PM
I agree, something very wrong there. Breeders breed for temperament as well as appearance and health, andthis is not the CKCS breed standard (nor ANY standard, to willingly breed dogs that have been threatening!). But any dog can be 'feisty' and this has nothing to do with whether the dog will growl at children which would make the breeder's comments even more worrying (and what does 'fesity' mean? I'd describe Jaspar as 'feisty' compared to my other three but he isn't aggressive).

Growling at children is not uncommon but the issue is generally NOT the dog but the children -- eg the children are seen as a threat by their activities and movements and the dog growls to politely say: 'Enough' -- before it moves to anything more aggressive. That is why ALL interactions with under 7s need to be supervised by an adult. Dogs don't innately know that they are supposed to be extra nice to kids. It is the parent's responsibility to be there at all times and manage the interactions -- the bite stAtistics from the UK and US consistently demonstrate this (more than half of all bites in both countries are to a child by a dog the child knows, often the family dog, with the majority being to the face). That is why professional trainers say to never, ever allow young children to freely interact with a dog of any breed until they are old enough to understand how to do this responsibly and safely themselves (in my book, at least age 7). It is the parents' responsibility to be positive they can carefully manage each and every interaction -- that's a big chore with one dog and very difficult with two.

Dog bite statistics:


Studies of dog bite injuries have reported that:

The median age of patients bitten was 15 years, with children, especially boys aged 5 to 9 years, having the highest incidence rate
The odds that a bite victim will be a child are 3.2 to 1. (CDC.)
Children seen in emergency departments were more likely than older persons to be bitten on the face, neck, and head. 77% of injuries to children under 10 years old are facial.
Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age.
The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a familiar place.
The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim's family or a friend.
When a child less than 4 years old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time (47%), and the attack almost always happened in the family home (90%).

Obviously there are definite reasons why children are more often the victims, especially children under 10. Parents simply MUST recognise this. Dogs are a wonderful addition to family life but just as parents would not allow young children to walk around with scissors,neither should they be allowed to interact without supervision and control with ANY dog and every family needs to weigh up what it can safely manage between children and dogs. :thmbsup:


All rescue dogs are tested whilst in rescue.

It is extremely important for anyone considering a rescue to understand that his is not true (and I explain this to anyone who takes any of my rescues, some of which I DO professionally temperament test with Dog Training Ireland if I have a question about their temperament)! Very few rescues have the ability or finances to do more than ask a foster how the dog has been while in foster -- and that is generally far too short a period to evaluate the dog's overall temperament and personality. Many dogs go almost directly to new homes including many of my own rescues. Almost no rescues anywhere use professional trainers to temperament test (shelters are more likely to do this). I know for a fact that certain UK rescues do no testing at all and many rescues will give less than honest 'facts' about their dogs because they are anxious to rehome them so really, people need to not think a rscue dog is just like their friend's nice dog or their own existing well trained dog -- these are very often more difficult dogs that need time and work and children can make it very difficult to give either of these things. Not impossible -- but no one should get a rescue just because they feel sorry for them, or because they think it is a cheaper way to get a dog, etc -- be prepared for EXTRA work with any rescue or rehomed dog simply because being rehomed even from the best situation is at best anxiety-inducing for any dog and can be traumatic. And an ex puppy farm cavalier is probably the worst candidate for a young family possible unless the parents are confident and experienced dog owners used to working with dogs with this particular typ of traumatic experience in their background. It is way too stressful for a dog that has never everbeen socialised to children to be thrust into a family home and I would consider this a risky situation.

Barbara Nixon
11th February 2008, 01:32 PM
I had an odd reaction with Joly and children, last week. He is absolutely non-aggressive, but usually enjoys a fuss fromshoppers in PaH. However, last week, after being fussed by a few adults, he was approached by two well behaved little girls. he sniffed each then backed away to me and wouldn't go near them, though he was fine with their mum. A few minutes later, he was approached by a group of three children. He was all over the two boys, but shied away from the girl. No child has ever hurt him, so this is odd. Possibly because my grandchildren (except for the two month old baby, whom he's had little interaction with) are all boys ?

Cavvygirl
11th February 2008, 09:20 PM
Our children are 1 and 3 and they are great with our 2 cavaliers, you are right children should be supervised with dogs but to us it is important that our children grew up with our dogs and I certainly don't find it difficult to supervise.:)

Cathy Moon
12th February 2008, 02:41 AM
Many Tears dogs would not be suitable for this type of home -- these are generally ex puppy farm breeding dogs and can be terrified of children and will not be housetrained or used to a home situation. Overall, rescue dogs are generally an unknown and need a home willing to deal with potential behaviour and training issues and often have housetraining mistakes (as will any dog going into an unknown environment, actually) -- I'd really not advise a dog from a rescue given your needs.

You probably want someone rehoming a dog from a family situation. I'd keep an eye out in your locale for ads for people rehoming and ask around at local vets to let them know you are looking for such a dog. You could also contact the club breed rescue contacts in the UK, pinned to the top of the forum. They may know of a family dog needing a new home.

I definitely agree with what Karlin says here. It would be best in this situation to look for a family dog being re-homed. :thmbsup:

Cathy Moon
13th February 2008, 12:31 AM
Here is a link about rehabilitating puppy mill dogs; if you scroll down the page a bit to the text, as some people would find the video too upsetting. It really does take special people to rehab these poor dogs:
http://www.anewstartonlife.com/puppymill.htm

Fifer
13th February 2008, 07:54 PM
All rescue dogs are tested whilst in rescue.It is extremely important for anyone considering a rescue to understand that this is not true (and I explain this to anyone who takes any of my rescues, some of which I DO professionally temperament test with Dog Training Ireland if I have a question about their temperament)! Very few rescues have the ability or finances to do more than ask a foster how the dog has been while in foster -- and that is generally far too short a period to evaluate the dog's overall temperament and personality. Many dogs go almost directly to new homes including many of my own rescues. Almost no rescues anywhere use professional trainers to temperament test (shelters are more likely to do this). I know for a fact that certain UK rescues do no testing at all and many rescues will give less than honest 'facts' about their dogs because they are anxious to rehome them so really, people need to not think a rscue dog is just like their friend's nice dog or their own existing well trained dog -- these are very often more difficult dogs that need time and work and children can make it very difficult to give either of these things. Not impossible -- but no one should get a rescue just because they feel sorry for them, or because they think it is a cheaper way to get a dog, etc -- be prepared for EXTRA work with any rescue or rehomed dog simply because being rehomed even from the best situation is at best anxiety-inducing for any dog and can be traumatic. And an ex puppy farm cavalier is probably the worst candidate for a young family possible unless the parents are confident and experienced dog owners used to working with dogs with this particular typ of traumatic experience in their background. It is way too stressful for a dog that has never everbeen socialised to children to be thrust into a family home and I would consider this a risky situation.

I'm afraid I have to agree with Karlin on this, you have been badly misinformed.

Very rarely are dogs temperament tested in UK rescues to my knowledge before being rehomed, and not at all in any I was involved with previously, this is why the Spaniel Trust came into being.

Some dogs barely touch terra firma at the rescue centre (if at all, they may be fostered out immediately) before being shipped out to their new home, some are fostered and "assessed" by well meaning but unqualified and inexperienced volunteers, who may indeed be working full time and spend only a few hours a day with the dog.

I arrived at one particular rescue to collect my new rescue dog, half an hour before he arrived at the rescue centre and he left with me 15 minutes later. The only thing that appeared important there was my cheque!!! icon_whistling

Sorry, but "rose tinted glasses" springs to mind.

Karlin
13th February 2008, 08:52 PM
Oddly enough and as depressing as it is to say this, I think pounds sometimes have a better sense of a dog than many rescues, because they will see the dog interacting with other dogs and people for at least 5 days, the usual minimum period the dog must be held before rehoming.

I am very fortunate to have the support of Dog Training Ireland and two professionally certified trainers/behaviourists to check any dog I have any concern about. That said even certified trainers vary enormously in what I would consider to be real common sense and dog sense! I have been very taken aback by what I hear back from some trainers so it really is a matter of taking the time to find people whose judgement you trust and which fits your own general perspective.

As Fifer says, probably the majority of rescues have dedicated people but without any real ability to assess a dog. Hence it's important to carefully pick the rescue one rehomes from, too... just as one is careful about finding a good breeder.

cavi lover
14th February 2008, 09:51 AM
I would like to say I am a foster carer at home full time, have reared two ex breeding bitches into well adjusted dogs, have been brought up with dogs all my life and I spend hours with my fosters rehabilitating them into homeable dogs.I do agility with one of my cavs and have taken fosters to the club too.I have 4 very well behaved cavs of my own.

All my foster dogs have gone onto homes without major problems.

Please do not tar all fosteresrs with the same brush.

misty
14th February 2008, 02:35 PM
I don't think Karlin's suggesting any criticism of foster families or rescue volunteers anywhere, and I for one highly respect anyone who has rehab'd an ex breeding bitch or dog.

For someone with young kids, looking for a housetrained adult cavalier, I would recommend a rehome or a rescue with loads of history. I wouldn't recommend a puppy farm bitch simply because their history is not known and they're not housetrained. Simple as that. :)

Alison_Leighfield
14th February 2008, 04:11 PM
All four of my ex breeding girls with time, patience and a "quiet home" did really well.

Personally and on reflection it is't something that I would have done when my children were young even though they were sensible kids, it's because I feel that to do do the job right I needed that extra time with them that a young family couldn't have allowed me to spare. I also needed to be home full time as well.
In time and it certainly didn't happen over night thay all enjoyed basic training classes and getting out and about etc. Like many rescues however they all had their timid times which reminded me of where they had come from and what they had previously endured. The scars never seem to fully leave them, a wrong foot or quick movement can be upsetting.

It's hard work but so very rewarding and sometimes not for the faint hearted. Really think it through hard before you bring a little heart home like this.

Alison.

hollyandmel
14th February 2008, 08:18 PM
I don't think Karlin's suggesting any criticism of foster families or rescue volunteers anywhere, and I for one highly respect anyone who has rehab'd an ex breeding bitch or dog.

For someone with young kids, looking for a housetrained adult cavalier, I would recommend a rehome or a rescue with loads of history. I wouldn't recommend a puppy farm bitch simply because their history is not known and they're not housetrained. Simple as that. :)


Myself and cavi lover have managed just fine! :)

Took Holly a couple of weeks to pick up housetraining, brilliant with kids and comes to school with me regulary! :)
I can't speak on cavi lovers behalf but her dogs are wonderful animals, extremely happy!

:):)

Fifer
15th February 2008, 11:48 AM
I would like to say I am a foster carer at home full time, have been brought up with dogs all my life and I spend hours with my fosters rehabilitating them into homeable dogs.I do agility with one of my cavs and have taken fosters to the club too.

Please do not tar all fosteresrs with the same brush.

Exactly my point, you have misunderstood me - you have a wealth of experience to draw on - someone who for example has their very first dog and is accepted for fostering/assessing simply does not have enough experience or the quality or quantity of your background. No criticism of fosterers per se was intended, just that in many cases fosterers are not qualified either by past experience or any other way to make assessments of temperament, and if they work full time how can they possibly see the range of behaviours that you and I witness with our fosters. In these cases the rescue is very definitely in the wrong and being irresponsible. I do understand how difficult it is for rescues to get fosterers, never mind suitable experienced fosterers, they are very thin on the ground. Horror stories of dogs "bouncing" back to rescues several times are not out of the ordinary - that's why it is imperative for rescues to accept their responsibilities and properly assess dogs before they are rehomed.

Example - my daughter is a highly qualified ex kennel manager with a young family. I asked her to foster a cocker for me (already assessed by a rescue as "temperamentally unsound" but no details given) but to be very careful with him around the (very dog savvy) kids 10 and 11. No problems for around a fortnight then out of the blue, he became very aggressive over ............ cardboard toilet roll inners! No problems with bones, food or any shared toys - but these were "his". His behaviour had been wrongly attributed by one vet to "rage". So now we know what it is and where to look for problems and to address his possessiveness correctly.

Without that fortnight of proper home-based fostering, I may have re-homed what I thought of as a perfectly sound cocker. He is now learning that if he surrenders his toys there is usually, but not always ;) , a lovely treat but it's worth surrendering his toy to find out!

Karlin
15th February 2008, 04:09 PM
No, I am not criticising fosters because even when things don't work out for them, often they don't know what they are getting into in the first place. I've had two major problems arise with fosters in about four years which isn't a bad record.

I'm afraid I would definitely offer criticism of some rescues, but I won't name them. :cool: Just wanting to help needy animals is unfortunately *not good enough* as a reason to get involved with rescue -- there are huge responsibilities including knowing when you have to put an animal down and being ready to do it. There are legal liabilities and long term commitments on every animal rehomed. Too many really do not know much about the animals they rescue and run risks for fosters and new homes and dogs by the sloppy way the rehome, and often they put extra burdens on other rescues who have to come bail them out and sort their problem cases.

I am also very concerned by rescues that regularly under-post dog's ages in order to home them (one in particular never seems to have a single dog in under age 5-6... icon_nwunsure; ... amazing as so many of the rescues most get in, are that age or older! I also have issues with rescues that place any type of special needs dog into inexperienced rescue homes, especially homes with children; that move dogs swiftly into new homes without at least sitting down with the new owner and going through the possible challenges of a rescue dog and if relevant, breed specific issues and advice; that give little support -- financial or otherwise -- when fostering out ill dogs.

Believe me most ethical, responsible rescues have a fairly small circle of others they know and trust to be the same that they are willing to partner with and work with. Fortunately there are many great folks too that are tried and tested and reliable. :)