View Full Version : New CKCS Owner

14th February 2009, 05:17 AM
Hi all! I'm a new owner of precious Cavy puppy. I had done a lot of research into the breed and found an amazing and reputable breeder I planned to go through to buy my Cavy puppy. But, before I did so, my mother surprised me with a CKCS puppy for Christmas. Much to my excitement and surprise, I have fallen in love with her. However, she came with many challenges I wasn't expecting. She is a puppy mill rescue from a shut-down puppy mill across the country who was shipped to a rescue around here because of the vast number of dogs. Now I have a puppy who I know NO history of and with many behavior issues I was not expecting to handle. Thankfully, the vet says she is remarkably healthy for a puppy mill dog--no heart murmur (yet anyway), great eyes, patelllas sturdy and not moving, amazing hips, etc. She isn't a very large chewer thankfully, but the potty training is much more difficult than I expected. Because of her mill time she has no issue pottying in her crate so crate training semms to be counter productive.

But, my biggest concern is her hyperness. We have a chocolate lab who is also a rescue and we try and give him a TON of exercise and stimulation. We thought that since Cavys are such laid back dogs, it would be no problem to give her plenty of exercise...but she has WAY more energy than our lab. She goes on our 2-4 mile walks a day and then comes home and runs around our house like a maniac for another hour, only to take a half an hour nap and do it again. Are all cavy puppies like this? Please tell me she will grow out of at least some of it. She only spends about 2 hours in her crate a day )when my roommate and I are both gone) so she is active and moving most of the day. And her energy never seems to cease...

I hope I can learn more about how to help her most. I must say she is not what I expected. But, her kisses and endless devotion surely make up for it. I absolutely adore her even though she can be a manaic. :)

14th February 2009, 08:50 AM
Congratulations on your puppy.
I can’t help you with the potty training as I never had any problems with my three.
Regarding the hyperness. Cavaliers are laid back but all puppies are individuals and they are puppies so they will have tons of energy. That’s a good thing as you would worry more if you had a puppy that wouldn’t come out of its crate and not have any interest in anything. My two girls were playful as puppies but nothing like my Harley. He is nearly six month old and he is always on the go. I take him to two training classes a week and on Saturday after training we take him on a walk straight after training. When we get home he still wants to play with the girls. Right now he is running around the house like a lunatic.
He used to keep me up until 1 o’clock in the morning as he refused to go to sleep and wanted to play. I really had to put my foot down with him.
Other people on here will probably give you advise on potty training and other things. Just enjoy your puppy they grow up so fast.

14th February 2009, 11:04 AM
I'm glad to know her craziness is normal. We are going to start puppy obedience very soon. The class doesn't start for 3 more weeks. I do enjoy her very, very much. Do you think she will mellow out some as she gets older then? I don't want a lethargic dog, just one that isn't quite this hyper. :)

14th February 2009, 12:58 PM
All dogs are different and it is impossible to tell from a description whether you have average puppy playfulness or a challenging personality but I recommend having this professionally assessed.. Really energetic outgoing puppies tend to be energetic, smart and demanding adults. If this is a serious consideration for you, it is better to rehome the puppy through rescue and work with a breeder to select a very laid back and quiet puppy. That may be a difficult option but I do have one very demanding adult, a second that also needs a lot of time, and then two laid back dogs. There is a world of difference in the way each needs to be managed. I run a rescue for cavaliers in Ireland and a key reason for dogs to be rehomed is that people that want or need a calm quiet dog got 'the first puppy that came to them and chose them' -- which tends to be the most active in the litter and will be the most demanding dog. When an outgoing active dog isn't a good match for the owners it can be a nightmare for all and the dog tends to end up with problems that must be addressed. I have had probably a dozen to two dozen dogs come through that fit into this category of rehome and all had some hard to break and in some cases, permanent behaviour issues as a result.

I'd consider having the pup assessed by someone knowledegable as to personality. A good trainer -- APDT or CPDT certified for example -- should be able to do a personality assessment. Then base a decision on what you feel able to manage.

Housetraining generally takes many months for true reliability so be sure you are aware of the level of expectation that is fair to have of a puppy. Right now you can download for free Dr Ian Dunbar's excellent book, After you get your Puppy, at www.dogstardaily.com. I recommend doing that asap as it will be helpful. :thmbsup:

Brenda in SC
14th February 2009, 03:18 PM
Welcome Butterfly! I know very little about my puppy's background either. Same sort of situation. Rudy left the 'breeder' and went thru 2 other situations before we heard about him. Our vet tells us he's remarkably healthy and adjusted given he's had so many homes in his short little life. He's been with us for two months now and, altho sometimes a challenge, we're learning to accept what we don't know and just trying to educate ourselves as much as possible about the breed. This board has been extremely helpful and a great support tool.

Rudy also has lots of energy for a puppy. We walk him regularly and he LOVES retrieving a small tennis ball (which I think helps burn off that energy too). We don't have any other pets in the household - that may work in your favor - so we try to set up 'play dates' to help burn off that puppy energy. Meanwhile, enjoy the ride...they grow up quick!

14th February 2009, 06:31 PM
Meant to add:

if this is a puppy under age one there is absolutely no way she should be taken on walks of 2-4 miles -- this could be very damaging to her joints and that distance would be very long even for an adult dog of this size. In general young dogs should be kept to moderate walks. Acheerful dog at this age is going to keep going well beyond what she is really able for -- even my adult fit dogs would find 4 miles exhausting afterwards. Try doing games and training with her to exrecise her mind as well as body and you will likely find she is more worn out. Long walks are really a no-no for youngsters.


How long should I walk my puppy for each day?

Puppies do not need to be walked for as long as adult dogs. The amount of exercise needed for a puppy will depend on its age and the breed - whether it is an active breed or less active breed. Puppies can develop hip and joint problems when they are older if they are over walked as puppies.

To calculate a very general guideline for walking, walk the pup for 5 minutes for every month of its age. For example a 4 month old puppy will be 5 minutes X 4 months, which equals 20 minutes.

On health issues that I think you need to keep in mind that a puppy check up won;t tell you much about the long term issues (or even short to medium term) for any dog. Your vet may have explained that he would never really expect to hear a heart murmur in a puppy -- MVD in particular (heart disease) is progressive so you would be very unlikely to see a murmur in a puppy related to this. Usually they don;t begin to show til around age 5 for early onset though some sadly get murmurs earlier than that. Most puppy murmurs are either flow murmurs that disappear and are harmless, or are serious congenital murmurs -- your vet can explain this in more detail and you can read more here (http://www.premiercavalierinfosite.com/mitralvalvedisease.htm).

Depending on age, patella problems can show up any time in the first year or so but are very unlikely after about age one. Most here who have had cavaliers that needed patella surgery will confirm they initially had no problems with their pup and would have had an all-clear on patellas initially from their vet. Syringomyelia (http://smcavalier.com) is also progressive and it is rare for a dog to be symptomatic before age 1 or 2. Hip Dysplasia also tends to be progressive -- unless your vet has x-rayed her, he cannot really tell whether there's an existing problem or not.

For anyone who takes in a rescue dog it is always best to do so on the assumption that anything may show up, at a higher rate of occurrence than in any puppy from a reputable, health testing and health focused breeder. :thmbsup:

You mentioned a lot of behaviour problems -- what are these? How old is the puppy? If this is a young dog, it shouldn't have many behaviour problems. If it does, it's a good idea to get some professional advice on these, which you can do when you start your training class or get an assessment done for the pup.

14th February 2009, 07:57 PM
I have 3 Cavaliers- two that are very calm lap dogs, and the third is very active. He's 16 months old, and as he gets older I am slowly seeing a slight decrease in his energy. However, I think very active pups tend to remain active adults.

If you have the time, I would encourage you to do some rally obedience or agility as she gets older.

15th February 2009, 05:15 AM
Wow! So many replies!

I am fully aware that she will most likely develop more serious health issues as she grows older--made worse by her poor breeding. I knew this going into it. I am still relieved to know that, for now, she is healthy.

I am fully committed to keeping her and working through her issues and her behavioral troubles are certainly not so severe that I would consider rehoming her. They would have to get drastically worse before I would do that. I am very dedicated to her and working with her.

The biggest struggle is all her energy! What an energizer bunny I have! Cute as a button and sugary sweet...with a kick. :) However, I enjoying all the playing we do and the walks. I will definitely start reducing her walks Karlin. thanks so much for letting me know this. I did not realize they would go further than what was good for them. I will immediately shorten her walks. We'll add more fetch and free run time and shorten the structered walking. We practice training for at least 2 half hour periods every day. This keeps her entertained and keeps her mind busy. We obviously reward any good behavior throughout the day, but we spend several individual times as well. We also give her toys that require her toa complish something. i have found this tends to occupy her longer and make her happier. :) The KONG is her favorite thing ever!

I'm not overly concerned about the pottying. She is doing fairly well all things considered and I see improvements every day. I have full confidence that if we stay very consistent with her we can get there.

Maybe I will talk to the trainer of our puppy classes (she is certified in many things...helped get our Lab therapy trained as well) if she knows of anyone who could do some personality assessment.

I am completely prepared to do whatever I can to acclimate her into our lives and mold our lives to accomadate her. It has been sch a big undertaking. But those big eyes and fluffy ears sure make it all worth it.

15th February 2009, 03:58 PM
But what are the behavioural issues? And how old is she? It just is hard for me to see how a young puppy would have any major or even minor behavioural issues, regardless of where it came from. I am thinking these may just be normal puppy things? Or maybe she is a bit older than I am thinking, but she sounds young?

she will most likely develop more serious health issues as she grows older--made worse by her poor breeding.Well no, it isn't likely that she will develop serious health issues (outside of MVD whch sadly is pretty much a given eventually for every cavalier). It s just that she runs a greater risk and that a puppy health clearance from a vet doesn;t mean too much regarding the things that were checked for as none of these things would likely show before the pup is older.

Half hour practice sessions for a pup would really be too long -- most trainers will suggest (outside of class) short sessions a couple times a day -- not more than 10-15 min max. Puppies are like small children -- they cannot concentrate and if they are pushed to do long training sessions they 1) will not be very productive and 2) can actually start to put the dog off training by making it dreary. Better to have short, light, cheerful sessions of about 10 minutes, two or three times a day if desired. :) Play sessions are different -- learning to play fetch or find it can really work a dog mentally and physically in a more confined space on soft surfaces like grass. Kongs are a good choice too -- as are treat balls and toys that require interactions. :)