View Full Version : New addition suggestions please

19th December 2008, 12:10 PM
hi all i dont post very often but someone out there might be able to advise me. My daughter recently bought a year and a half year old intact male cavalier, from a reputable breeder,his name is Toby. We already hve two females aged three and one.The girls are both nuetered and did not take long to accept their new brother and they all get along very well.Toby is a beautiful boy and for the most part no trouble at all. My main problem is he craves attention but only from me. We are a family of five aldults,the dogs sleep in the kitchen, are rarely alone and the girls shower us all with affection in different degrees. Toby barks growls and lunges at my son and my daughters when they enter a room. If i am not at home he will sit happily on my daughters laps kissing and cuddling. He never really relaxes with my son no matter how hard he trys to cojole him. I did mention it to his breeder who said we should smack him to stop him as he was trying to assert himself in the pack. He is so zoned out of it when he does this he would not even feel a smack. I have tried removing him from the room,putting him in his cage,not allowing him on the furniture all to no avail. Outside he is an angel and greets everyone with a wag of his tail. Anyone who comes into the house is treated with the same barking and growling. He is never aggressive with my two females even if they take his treats or try to eat his dinner. Has anyone had this experience . We will be getting him nuetered after christmas will this help? Any input would really be appreciated.

19th December 2008, 02:01 PM
Like with children, I think there are times when a swat on the butt may be appropriate... but I'm pretty sure smacking a dog that's already showing aggression is a bad way to go.

When we brought Reba (rescue) into the pack she was rather aggressive toward the other dogs... but eventually got over it. Not sure how we would've handled 'people' aggression.

19th December 2008, 02:36 PM
At first we put it down to his new surroundings and all of us coming and going at differant times. He came from a breeder with about twenty dogs and I don't think he spent alot of time in a home enviroment.When we went to collect him he came into the house and was very friendly towards my daughters and I. We originally thought it was a reaction to men but that is not the case. This is the only issue with him and we did consider returning him but six weeks later this is not really an option.I know a few training sessions are probably in order but with two redundacies in the house in two months it will be after xmas before this is an option. Any helpful tips would be great.

Daisy's Mom
19th December 2008, 05:42 PM
One thing that Victoria Whatever-Her-Name-Is on "It's Me or the Dog" does in this situation is have guests (and this would include your son, etc. or anyone else he doesn't like) not make eye contact with him when they come into the room, and have them randomly and repeatedly throw down little treats to him, without saying anything to him. THis creates a positive association between them being in the room with him, and getting something great -- treats! It seems to really work for the dogs she uses it on that do the same thing you describe in your dog. It's defniitely worth a try. Make sure it's a high value, special treat you reserve for this purpose.

Good luck -- it sounds like a frustrating problem!

19th December 2008, 11:12 PM
One of the best ways to bond with a dog is to take it out for walks. Is your son old enough to take Toby out for walks?

If your son could also mix Toby's dinner by getting the scent of his hands into the feed, this would also make a positive association for the dog. Is your son old enough to hold the dog's bowl and ask Toby to sit and wait for his dinner? Or can you supervise this?

Dogs also bond through play, so if your son gets Toby interested in a toy and throws the toy for him to retrieve and rewards the dog or hides the toy in an easy to find place to start with and rewards him with a tasty titbit, this all helps with forming a good relationship. Dog love to play - they're real kids at heart:D

I hope they become good friends - and I'm sure they will. It just takes a little time.:)

20th December 2008, 12:17 AM
I will echo what Daisy's mom says about your son having some tasty chicken or something and coming thru the room Toby is in...not acknowledging the dog, but tossing down tidbits to him. In time, he can hand feed Toby the treat. Toby should look forward to your son coming since he will associate him with yummy things. The key is not to put any pressure on Toby to come get the treat and not to speak to toby or make any eye contact. That will come in time. But, Toby definetely doesn't need to associate your son with getting smacked. In fact, I don't see when hitting a dog is ever appropriate training or correction. You say this breeder is reputable. How much do you know about her? If smacking dogs is her way of disciplining or establishing pack order, she may have created this problem in the first place.
Why is she placing an 1.5 year old intact male, anyway? I'd think she'd have neutered him first. Are you supposed to get him neutered? did he not work out as a show prospect, or are you going to be showing him?

20th December 2008, 09:16 AM
My Daughter was actually looking for a puppy and this breeder had none available but mentioned Toby and sent his picture, his is a very handsome boy.When we met him it was love at first sight. The breeder did offer to take him back if things did not work out, when she suggested a smack I'm sure she meant a short sharp smack just to get his attention but to be honest he goes into another zone and would not feel a smack. All my children are in their twenties and altough Toby has an issue with my son he has a worse issue with my youngest daughter, even though she was the one at home all day with him for the first two weeks he came to us. It really only started with her when she went back to college and he did'nt see her for a few hours. Its so hard to explain his behaviour. He can be sitting beside her all day not a bother, if she leaves and we all move to the sitting room in the evening he will go mad at her when she walks in. We have tried the walks, the treats, ignoring,removing him from the room. When he comes back he is fine for a while,then he will stare at her and if she moves he is off again.I do think he has abit of an obsession with me but I do not get involved when he goes off on one unless I have to put him out off the room and I do not let him sit with me on the sofa.He has been examined by the vet and he has no physical problems. I guess we will just have to wait and see what a trainer can do for him.

20th December 2008, 07:48 PM
This sounds a lot like what Jake does he can be has good has gold most of the time but he suddenly gets a look on his face and is bodys goes stiff has well I have been bitten 2 times but once was my own fault and the second was with out warning I would not want to hit him I have put cold water into his face and he comes round I dont like to hit him I think it would make him worse
Aileen and the gang(Barney---Jazzie---Jake)

21st December 2008, 11:18 AM
Do not smack or slap, please, please!! :(

This sounds like a pretty serious case of resource guarding, rapidly getting to alarming levels. It can be dealt with, but you need professional help. Doing things the wrong way risks a bite that will require this young dog to be put down.

I would very very strongly suggest you get in touch with Tara at Dog Training Ireland urgently -- you really are talking about a very serious and potentially dangerous development with a dog that behaves this way.

I am sorry but to be honest this breeder sounds like a total idiot! Toby should be neutered, NEVER bred, so that's a good start that you are doing this (and it should have been done by a responsible breeder BEFORE homing). It worries me that a breeder would not have seen any of these issues ahead of time though if they've owned this dog for 18 months. This is not generally something that ever just starts out of the blue.

If you want to have a talk about this please send me a PM with your number and I will give you a ring, or send you my number -- I cannot stress enough that you need to take some action on this and never, ever, ever by hitting or slapping a dog, which seriously risks turning this dog into a far worse case than he is right now. :(

This also is not a problem that will be resolved in a few days or weeks - - this will take long term patience and commitment from you to fix and some specific training approaches. Just having people bring in nice treats is not enough and he should be kept totally confined if children are around in the home.

24th December 2008, 01:36 AM
Hi hm,

Thanks for posting here.

This does sound like Resource Guarding of you! It is vital that you manage and modify this in the right way otherwise you will run the risk of increasing the guarding and creating a more serious problem.

Rank reduction, demotion or attempting to reduce a dogs status within the "pack" is all incorrect information and based on misunderstanding of domestic dog behaviour. Not only that but any such training will promote resource guarding so we don't want that. Smaking will worsen the problem and cause further aggression. The dog may become quiet and seem as though he is getting better but because the root problem is not being addressed PLUS we do not know this dogs bite inhibition it can be dangerous to do this. In addition if there are children in the home we do not want him to be hand shy or fearful of the hand.

We are happy to help if you just call our landline number after Christmas 01 8644922. He sounds like a lovely dog. It is great that you have him as it sounds like you have a lovely home and can help him through this.

When you feel angry or dissappointed with him just remember he cannot help but react in this way. It is not calculated but simply a rush of chemicals through his body and these manifest in behaviours, growling etc. That will help you deal with this until we can get you sorted.

Purchase the book MINE by Jean Donaldson also and have a read over Christmas.