View Full Version : We have our first Cavalier! Picture plus a question

7th February 2009, 10:04 PM
We picked up our first Cavalier, Sasha, last Saturday and have spent the week getting to know him. What a doll! Sasha is a male Blenheim and will be 12 weeks old on Sunday. He is so smart! He has already learned to sit and stay, potty on command, (on a lead), and be "quiet" when he barks. We are not new dog owners, (I wrote an intro in the new member section), but new to Cavaliers and we are in love!

Here is my question: Sasha keeps "dominating" one of his toys, a blue octopus. He doesn't do it with any other toy, or with the children, so why the octopus? We've been telling him "Sasha, no!" when he does it, but he just returns to the behavior a minute or two later. Should we let him do it? Should we remove the octopus permanently? Something else?

Thank you for your time. I really appreciate the time you all take to share information. I have learned a lot already.

Here are a few pictures that my son took of Sasha:


Have a wonderful day

7th February 2009, 10:48 PM
Hi Stacie, I might be wrong but I'd take the toy away :)

7th February 2009, 11:37 PM
Hi Stacey,

Welcome to the board. Your blenheim boy is gorgeous. You are so lucky to have him young and he is a blank slate.

If you mean by "dominating" the octopus that he is possessive over it I would start to play the "exchange game".

All dogs have favourite toys and they just worry that if you take it away he won't ever see it again.

I would offer him another octopus in exchange for the one he has and when he gives up this favourite toy say "Good Boy" and do the exchange. You could also exchange the octopus for a treat. Then when he gives the toy to you, you can give it back to him. In this way he will learn to respect you and that when he relinquishes something it doesn't mean he won't ever see it again.

There will come a time when it will be very important for him to open his mouth and give something to you, so the earlier you start the better.

Clicker training is a fabulous way to train happy go lucky dogs like cavaliers, so do invest in a clicker and book. I can recommend if you're interested, just pm me.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your puppy! Mine have have brought me total joy over the years.


Mom to Dan 13 years and dear little Murphy 9 months.

7th February 2009, 11:42 PM
My little Maddy has a blue dog she "dominates" (humps).
It is the only thing she has ever done this with.
But she also takes it bones and places them on it's tummy and plays nicely with it.
I think if this is his humping toy and that is the extent of it I wouldn't worry about it.
My Maddy is the gentlest loving dog so that is why I say that.
I am not an expert, and other people may say different.
Also, you weren't really clear what you meant, so if it is very aggressive behavious that would be different.

8th February 2009, 12:08 AM
That's funny Pam because Max has a big blue dog that he humps too! I think dogs are more or less colour blind? I've never seen him do that with anything else (where our Retriever seemed to try to do it with any object that was stationary long enough - even AFTER he was neutered). I'm not too worried as I think that after he is neutered in another couple of months and at least when he is through his teen months this type of behaviour should die down.

Sasha is gorgeous.

If you are talking about possessive behaviour I probably would take the toy away. Mindy is possesive (only with Max - not us) with some of her most valued toys. I try and give them to her when she is alone and then take them away because Mindy will guard her toy all night if necessary when Max is around. She knows if I take it away Max can't get it.

Cathy Moon
8th February 2009, 04:16 AM
I would just distract him from the toy when he starts humping on it, by trying to get his attention on another toy or activity - that's the advice our vet gave us.

8th February 2009, 04:32 AM
Thank you for all your replies. Yes, I mean he is humping his octopus. He isn't possessive or aggressive about it at all. I can take it away when I please. He doesn't do it with any other toy either. I guess it surprised me more because he is so young. I would have expected it from an older puppy.

So it sounds like I should discourage the behavior?

Cathy Moon
8th February 2009, 12:23 PM
Yes, but only in a positive way. Don't scold him or let him think he's bad. Just find him something more interesting to do, like a chew toy, a snuggle, to go outside, or to play with a different toy.

It's ok if he does it sometimes, but you might not want to let it get to the point where it's a habit too often or in front of company. He needs to learn there are lot of other pleasant things to do.

BTW, he's a lovely puppy! :luv:

8th February 2009, 03:17 PM
Hello and congrats on the puppy. He is beautiful! I agree with Cathy Moon. Only distract him from the behavior and substitute another toy. Maybe engage him in a few minutes of fetch after you take the octopus away. Don't make it negative. Bandit went thru a real humping phase with lots of things, including legs and other stuff for a few weeks when he was only about 10-14 weeks old. I was concerned it was "dominance" behavior, but learned thru reading that dominance isn't what is driving it at that age. Distracting him with appropriate play worked and he seemed to outgrow it. Still, however, Bandit has a toy we call his "humping dog". It is a stuffed dog that he will play with for a few minutes and then hump if you let him keep playing with it for long. He gets rather amorous with it if ya know what I mean :rolleyes:. The sight, for the kids the first time he managed to go "all the way" with his "friend" was rather shocking :yikes for them. I had some explaining to do.
Anyway, we keep "humping dog" put up and he gets to play with it when I can distract him and take it away once he goes "too far" with it. He knows where it stays, though, and will go to that closet and beg for it.

8th February 2009, 06:56 PM
Oh Stacey,

I didn't know you meant he was humping. He is very young for that - the wee Romeo.;)

I agree with Cathy anyway and I suppose you will be having him neutered at some stage. His hormones must be raging!

Cathy Moon
8th February 2009, 07:12 PM
I think he's too young to have raging hormones, but he has discovered a fun, perfectly natural activity, and now he needs a little help and attention in order to learn there are other things to do that are just as much or more fun. :)

Cathy T
8th February 2009, 11:35 PM
Sasha is a cutie!! Yep, I'd go with Cathy's advice and gently discourage the behavior. If you distract him with another toy in another way this won't become a full fledged problem down the line.

9th February 2009, 12:39 AM
I guess it surprised me more because he is so young. I would have expected it from an older puppy.

Dylan did this a few times to our legs when he first came home at just over 3 months old. We would gently move him off. He grew out of it very quickly. It might have only happened a few times, I don't remember now.

team bella
9th February 2009, 01:32 PM
He's a cutie. :lotsaluv:
You'll get lots of advice and help here.

9th February 2009, 01:54 PM
Harley was the same, at one stage he didnt have a single toy left, cept the ball, they all were removed and put away, has them all now, he was neutured at six months and apart from the odd occasion he doesnt even bother now, the vet did say not to encourage it or even allow it, as its learned behaviour and neuturing wont stop that.