View Full Version : Socialize help

6th January 2009, 09:31 PM
:( Well I thought that Cooper was just a snob with some people, but now I know he just thinks he is not a dog. I have been going to the Dog Park with him. Always in the small dog, puppies side. Today is the first day that there was anyone else in that side with us. We were just playing catch when someone came with two other dogs. Cooper immediately just went and sat between my legs and wanted nothing to do with the other dogs. One tried desperately to get Cooper to play, but he wanted nothing to do with dogs. Then someone else came with a Pomeranian it wanted to sniff and play and Cooper actually snapped at it! He then literally jumped up in my arms and was not at all happy. I need some advice as to how to make him socialize more. He gets along fine with Muffin, and plays nice with the cat at home.

6th January 2009, 11:57 PM
Think of this in the context of a small child that never meets any other children except one sibling at home. That child might be great with the one sibling, even outgoing and active, but most kids who don't get much chance to meet other kids end up being shy or inept at interactions with other kids they don;t know, because they never meet enough people to not feel uncomfortable or threatened or intimidated in these unexpected situations. That's probably the situation with your fellow.

Puppies need to get out and meet lots and lots of other dogs, people, children, situations. If they don't in the very crucial window for socialising they will at best be timid but worse can become fear aggressive.

There are a couple of ways of addressing this. :) I'd first of all highly recommend getting Dr Ian Dunbar's book After you get your Puppy (widely available online) and check out his advice on socialising puppies at his website www.dogstardaily.com (http://www.dogstardaily.com). And secondly I'd suggest that a priority is to get your pup into a rewards-based obedience class so he gets to meet lots of dogs and people in a positive happy environment. A class is valuable not just for the bonding and the training but equally, the chance to socialise. It is really important for puppies to get into a class between 4-6 months for this kind of positive interaction.

It is much better for your pup to meet other dogs in a more controlled situation than a dog park as well, at least initially. Dr Dunbar goives lots of suggestions too for managing and training productively in these environments. :thmbsup:

7th January 2009, 03:24 AM
Hi Chuck...I had to reply to your post...I thought I was the only one with a "shy/snobby" cavalier!! My Bella sounds alot like your Cooper...How old is Cooper? I got Bella when she was 8mos old...she's 1&1/2 now. I got her from a breeder in Charlotte..i just don't think she was properly socialized with people...she's very shy, with both people and other dogs. I'm really surprised she not interested in other dogs, because she was raised with other cavaliers. We took her to a trainer when we first got her and she said she needed more confidence. I've been working with her, taking her with me as much as I can,exposing her to people(having them give her special treats).. but I don't want to push her and make her "anxiety?"/shyness worse than it is. I love her, she's my baby;)....she gets along great with my 3 cats....although, she get's crazy sometimes and likes to chase them around!!....Is Cooper your first Cav? (Bella's my 1st dog ever...she's a real challenge sometimes!)....Good Luck with your Cooper!....Kristen

7th January 2009, 12:08 PM
Cooper is almost 1 ½ years old I got him from a very reputable breeder when he was about 5 months old. I guess he is a lot like me. I do not run around and play hard, preferring long quite walks. I walk with Cooper most days about 3 ½ miles in the morning and another mile in the evening. Now that I have had time to think about this, it really is not a problem. Especially now that I have heard that some other Cavaliers react the same way. When we walk and meet another dog, he has "rubbed noses" when the dog is calm and refined, but has shown no interest is getting close to a dog that is straining at its leash and pulling to get to us. I have only been going to the dog park to play a quite game of fetch with Cooper thinking that perhaps it would be nice to meet another Cavalier that just came to our city. There is no time that I can think of that he would ever have to be around other dogs. So as long as he is not barking or anything when we pass by another dog walker it is not a problem. Thank you for your suggestions, and letting me know that there are others that react the same way.