View Full Version : Cavalier is very timid,need a new home?

10th January 2009, 02:51 PM
We have a one year old cavalier. He has always been very timid...he doesn't like to play,he actually spends most of his day hiding in the closet.
We have four kids,at home, and two other dogs.No,he doesn't play with them,either.
I'm beginning to wonder if we are "too much" for him. He would be SO great in an older person's home or a single person.
Any advice?
he is healthy..he has always had loose stools,too....we finally fixed that with a high fiber diet.
thanks for any opinions....I only want what's best for him

10th January 2009, 07:09 PM
I think I would want to get a vet to check him over pretty carefully to make sure there are not any physical issues - hiding can be a reaction to pain too. Sadly there are many Cavaliers affected with Syringomyelia, which *may* be a reason for the hiding behaviour.

Have a read on this site to familiarise yourself with the condition http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/

Alternatively he may just be completely overwhelmed by an active and lively household - was he like this from day one? Did he come from a good breeder, or do you know if perhaps he may have come from a puppy farm and therefore not have had much intereaction wtih people and other animals? {Don't name breeder on here though please}

A responsible breeder would want you to contact them and talk about your pup - and should want to be involved with rehoming if sadly it comes to that.

I really don't feel though that you can leave this situation to continue as it is - it is not fair on him, there must be something wrong for him to do this, it is not normal behaviour for a Cavalier.

Mom of Jato
10th January 2009, 07:15 PM
I agree this doesn't sound like "normal" Cavalier behavior. They usually are always out and about with the family and other people. I'm glad you are seeking advice on what to do, because he obviously is not happy for one reason or another. Good Luck!

10th January 2009, 07:19 PM
This must be your little black and tan ? How sad for a Cavalier not to be involved with people-has to be a reason, just to find it. Hopefully it is not physical and you can intervene in his adjustment :xfngr:.

10th January 2009, 09:02 PM
he is the sweetest thing.Just not interested in the family.
He is healthy.The breeder is clueless as to why he's like this,although,I talked to another family with one from the same breeder and theirs is on the mudroom floor all day.She does interact with the family,though.
When he's not hiding in the closet,he's usually hiding in his crate......we leave the door open.
I ONLY WANT what is best for him. I;m sure if he weren't on a special diet,he'd have his stomach problems,too.ugh.
Thanks for all the thoughts.

10th January 2009, 09:16 PM
Where are you if in Ireland contact Karlin if in the uk there are a lot that do home checks and will make sure he goes to a good home not sure about the USA but there are a lot of cavalier rescue there has well
---Aileen and the gang (Barney---Jazzie---Jake)

10th January 2009, 10:45 PM
Sounds like a difficult situation you are in, however rehoming your dog is a massive decision.

Has he bonded to anyone in the family? Are you his first owners? (apart from breeder)

If you are prepared to give it a shot I would advise contacting a canine behaviourist or phsychologist, they will assess the dog and put together a programme for you to follow.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

11th January 2009, 07:57 AM
Do you have a friend that can watch him for a while that stays at home and has less going on around the house. That way you can see if he does better without all the kids and dogs.

11th January 2009, 01:39 PM
I would really, really, really suggest talking to a vet who knows a bit about syringomyelia or print out the downloadable documents I have at www.smcavalier.com and bring to your own vet. Please be aware that a dog with this condition may show no other symptoms than hiding away. Dogs hide generally NOT because they are timid but because they re in some sort of distress or pain.

If there are is absolutely no chance of this being a health issue and the dog is fully cleared by a vet familiar with what to look for with SM, then I would definitely rehome this dog, as difficult a decision as I know that would be. It may well be that four children are way too much for your dog. At any rate as you recognise, right now this dog has little quality of life if it spends much of the day hiding in a closet and you are being responsible in considering a rehome.

How carefully do you manage interactions with the kids? Cavaliers are small and can be easily hurt entirely by accident with younger kids in particular -- all interactions should be only under adult supervision for both the safety of children and dog. If you have really active small kids a larger more robust breed might suit your family better -- just a consideration.

11th January 2009, 02:23 PM
I agree some dogs are just sensitive. Ilsa gets easily frightened around children, luckily I don't have any, but we were at a friend's today and her son kept trying to play with her and wouldn't leave her alone. She hid in her bag for 10 minutes, clearly upset, and I took her home. She usually loves other dogs but also can act that way around large overly energetic dogs.

It's possible it's just too much for him, poor thing

Jen and Ilsa

11th January 2009, 04:37 PM
I sincerely hope it's not SM or another health condition. If it isn't and as hard as it is you are being very fair in seeking to rehome to a quieter home where your cav will have a much better quality of life and I admire you for putting your cav before yourself (as should always be the case and certainly is with me) this is true LOVE.

12th January 2009, 11:52 PM
Thank you for all the advice. We have three teens and a five year old.She is watched at all times around him.It actually seems to be the teens that "bother"him. Maybe because they are bigger??????They don't do anything to him.
I go to the vet on thursday....
I just think he would be so perfect for an older couple that would spoil him rotten:).

13th January 2009, 10:22 AM
I can understand your worries, as a normal dog just would not be in a closet all the time. I'd be very concerned this is a pain problem and would consider a neurologist for a basic clinical (non MRI) exam, if the vet cannot find anything obvious. Even the most terrified dogs I have had, abused in puppy farm situations, never spent the day hiding away like this. Nor have any of the dogs that are extremely shy. But I know of many examples of dogs with SM who have done so, because of the pain. Light also can bother some dogs with neurological pain and they will look for dark quiet places.

I don't think it would be fair to rehome him unless he is checked pretty thoroughly for the possibility of a serious problem. I don't know if a vet alone is going to be able to help you with that but the vet is definitely the right starting place.

13th January 2009, 12:29 PM
Mindy was never that close with my youngest as a teenager, probably because she is the ultimate lapdog and he is like a human Jack Russell. My oldest was more still and she cuddled more with him. She was never scared or hid from either of them though. When we got her we had a Golden Retriever who still thought he was a puppy - she wasn't scared of him either. It must be heartbreaking to have him hide in the closet all day. I hope you can get to the bottom of it.

13th January 2009, 04:46 PM
About 6 years ago I adopted thru Rescue a wonderful Golden/Lab cross, Chance, around 2 yr old and a tripod from unknown injury. He was physically healthy, gorgeous and,as it turned out,very needy. He seemed to be accepted by my Golden and physically they were a good match with a difference in body weight consistently within a 1/2 lb. They did not fuss at each other and generally did parallel play-I never saw any instant of irritation between the two. One evening about 6 months after adoption, Chance lay by the sliding glass doors and refused to come to the living room and seemed intimidated-so I coaxed, wheedled,begged and finally physically moved the big lug into the living room. This went on for a week and a half, and then it was back to normal, and all the time I'm watching for interaction between the dogs and see nothing out of sorts. About a month later Chance is in the computer room at bedtime and refuses to come to the bedroom-for exactly 10 evenings I hauled this guy into the bedroom and, if he could talk, I'd have heard "No,no I'm not allowed" or similar. After 10 "haulings" with my muttering "just who's in charge here",he went back to his normal routine of always coming to the bedroom. My evaluation-my Golden, so gentle and mild, got sick of this 24/7 needy guy and was banning him to other areas.
Because I'm far from a behaviorist, I missed subtle signs that caused the "banning" but I am not in doubt as to the "banning". This may have nothing to do with your little one but it might be something to explore. Think it comes under the "mysterious communication of animals" :).

17th January 2009, 02:12 PM
The behavior specialist took him over night and,although she had to go out of town the next day,the news from the office was that he settled right in.
She is the only human in the house with two other cavs.
Looks like will will begin the process of finding a quiet home.He deserves to be happy.
So, if anyone lives in Michigan and might know of a GREAT home....please contact me.
He is up to date on everything.

Cathy T
17th January 2009, 04:30 PM
I've pm'd some info about rescue should this be the chosen path. Need to do what is right for the dog, and we all get that and understand it.

19th January 2009, 01:37 AM
I think you're making the right choice, and I can imagine it's a difficult one to make. I would definitely urge you to consider placing him through a Cavalier rescue group as they will fully screen the potential adopters and guarantee a good fit. The people on a waiting list for Cavaliers are also willing to accept the potential health issues that come with the breed.