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Revely
16th February 2009, 06:16 PM
My roommate and I "share" our two cavaliers. Tom, who just turned one-year old is far more attached to me than he is to my roommate, but I'm beginning to think I'm not the best person for his personality.

My friend and I both work from home. My office is upstairs, while hers is down on the first floor. During the day, if I work on the laptop down there Tom is an absolute nightmare! Chewing/scratching at things, chasing the cats, and generally being an incredible nuisance or trying to get my attention. Amy has often said that when I go somewhere Tom is an angel. He'll sit on the couch quietly and sleep or just lounge around with the 11-year old cav, Jane. Right now, for example, I'm upstairs in my office and I put up a baby-gate at the bottom of the stairs. He's down there being a model cavalier! He's sleeping on the chaise lounge.

I'm starting to get a complex about this. *g* I don't know if I make him nervous, or if he's just more excited when I'm around, or what? I'm not an anxious person, so I don't understand it.

It's not an exercise issue: I give him far more exercise and attention than Amy, and he's an ADHD puppy around me. She mostly ignores him (not in a bad way though) and he's just a little relaxed man. I've tried ignoring him too when I'm working, but he gets destructive.

Does anyone know why that might be true? :confused:

LovesCavaliers
16th February 2009, 08:28 PM
Hi Revely,

He is a young dog and I think he needs mental stimulation. He may be taking a cue from the older dog by resting when he is downstairs with her, but I bet he is feeling bored.

Young dogs are usually up for some fun and games and he just needs his energy redirecting away from cat chasing into something constructive. Dogs will become self-employed if you don't give them a job to do.

Teach him the "Find it" game and hide some toys and kongs and treats around the apartment. Give him praise when he finds these things and he will happily chew on a treat filled kong if he has been chew toy trained.

I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about why your dog is behaving differently downstairs - although I think he is looking to you as his "Mum" to give him a job.

Why not look at Paul Owens website. He is a dog whisperer in the USA and trains dogs compassionately. You will find video links to help with all sorts of stuff.

Mary

Mindysmom
16th February 2009, 10:46 PM
I think giving him a job is a great idea. It could also just be that he wants your full attention. I admit I wasn't the best trainer for our Retriever but up until the day he died (and he was nearly 12) I couldn't talk on the phone for more than five or ten minutes before he started acting like a toddler. He would start getting into things he wasn't supposed to (like bring me the remote from the TV) and if that didn't get my attention he would start to bark. This was with three other people in the house. It's not that he wanted my attention once I hung up the phone - he was content to go lie down nicely (at least once he got older). I am committed to training Max much better.

Maybe he is just doing things that he knows will get your attention? Like a kid - attention is attention?

psucavs
17th February 2009, 06:56 AM
stimulation for a puppy is a really hard thing at times. They almost just want you to watch them while they do nothing. I find it funny, I asked my mum if i was like this growing up and she said yes. Amanda took a whole lot of thinking about ways to stimulate her mind without setting off her epilepsy. It can get really bad if she is hot or thinking really hard.

I would recommend trying something that he can do at the same time while you work. Have you thought about teaching your pup to just lay down whenever you are on the phone? Or my favorite was teaching Amanda to throw the tennis ball against the wall. She can entertain herself for HOURS.

I think your pup really just wants you pay attention to her. I really do. If you can teach her that if she starts acting up she goes straight to the crate she might learn, but maybe put a bed or pat the couch next to you and try to get her to fall asleep next to you with her head on your lap.

Just my ideas. Amanda can't do much at times, but I really hope you find a solution. Remember that the creative typically takes longer to learn but will keep them stimulated longer.

:bang:

LovesCavaliers
17th February 2009, 11:05 AM
The other thing is to remember to praise the dog when he is lying down quietly.

Owners sometimes don't even think to do this - and it is really important.

The dog learns that for lying quietly he gets praise and petting and so is likely to repeat the behaviour.:)

You will read more about this in Paul Owens Dog Whisperer book. He talks about playing the "magnet game".

Mary

Mom to Dan (His Royal Ancientness)
Murphy (9 months)

laram
17th February 2009, 05:06 PM
My Sammy was exactly the same about a year ago and I wrote a frustrated post about it also. I was working from home on my thesis and he was constantly bringing me toys, crying to get out (even if we'd just been), stratching the wallpaper, tearing up magazines and so on to get my attention.

In the end, a combination of things solved it. I added an extra 20-30min to his morning walks, including playing fetch and running up and down with him in the park. I bought a few new toys for him and chew treats, and stopped about midday to give him one. Then I was simply more strict. I ignored him (which is hard if you feel guilty) and put him for a minute or two in time-out (my bathroom) if he didn't listen when I told him to stop doing something destructive. His behaviour changed very quickly. I think it worked too well, in fact. These days, he's so good that I can sometimes get lazy and forget he needs activity :o

He still acts up when I'm on the phone though. He starts running up and down, chewing cushions, bringing me toys etc. As a last attempt to get my attention away from the phone, he always squeezes himself under the sofa and then cries that he's stuck. :rolleyes: He knows I'll have to stop what I'm doing to lift up the sofa for him to get out again. He does it everytime! :p

Charlifarley
17th February 2009, 05:52 PM
He still acts up when I'm on the phone though. He starts running up and down, chewing cushions, bringing me toys etc. As a last attempt to get my attention away from the phone, he always squeezes himself under the sofa and then cries that he's stuck. :rolleyes: He knows I'll have to stop what I'm doing to lift up the sofa for him to get out again. He does it everytime! :p
:jump: He is so clever!! That really made me laugh!

*Pauline*
17th February 2009, 06:29 PM
He still acts up when I'm on the phone though. He starts running up and down, chewing cushions, bringing me toys etc.

Dylan does this when I'm on Skype! He knows my friends voices and I have to pick him up while they chat to him on the web cam!! It's so sweet when he tilts his head as if he's trying to work out that they are saying. :lotsaluv:

Kate H
17th February 2009, 06:58 PM
One of my previous Cavaliers reacted to the phone by barking his head off. I cured him by phoning my own number, so that it would ring for a good long time, and using the time to teach Rowley to be quiet and be rewarded with a treat - so that the telephone ringing, and subsequent conversation, became the cue for being quiet and getting a reward. Or you could use the ringing as the cue for your dog to go to bed and be given a kong or rawhide bone or something to keep him happily occupied while you talk. I work from home too, and really couldn't talk to clients against loud barking!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

psucavs
17th February 2009, 09:37 PM
One of my previous Cavaliers reacted to the phone by barking his head off. I cured him by phoning my own number, so that it would ring for a good long time, and using the time to teach Rowley to be quiet and be rewarded with a treat - so that the telephone ringing, and subsequent conversation, became the cue for being quiet and getting a reward. Or you could use the ringing as the cue for your dog to go to bed and be given a kong or rawhide bone or something to keep him happily occupied while you talk. I work from home too, and really couldn't talk to clients against loud barking!

Kate, Oliver and Aled


Just make sure you take the answering machine off... Took me about 10 times to remember when I was doing something similar with Amanda.

laram
18th February 2009, 12:51 PM
He still acts up when I'm on the phone though. He starts running up and down, chewing cushions, bringing me toys etc. As a last attempt to get my attention away from the phone, he always squeezes himself under the sofa and then cries that he's stuck. :rolleyes: He knows I'll have to stop what I'm doing to lift up the sofa for him to get out again. He does it everytime! :p

I thought I'd add a picture. As you can see he was not happy that I was taking the picture rather than lifting the sofa up immediately :-p He always gets very upset about being stuck and then when I lift the sofa up, he comes out with his whole body wagging with gratitude. Then the next time I'm on the phone, he goes under again :sl*p: My silly (clever) little man!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3359/3289641257_85432f953b.jpg?v=0

psucavs
18th February 2009, 01:00 PM
Is it just me or do cavies have a brain as big as ours? i swear they are to smart for their own good. :blabla::dogwlk:

Karlin
18th February 2009, 08:54 PM
One of my previous Cavaliers reacted to the phone by barking his head off. I cured him by phoning my own number, so that it would ring for a good long time, and using the time to teach Rowley to be quiet and be rewarded with a treat - so that the telephone ringing, and subsequent conversation, became the cue for being quiet and getting a reward. Or you could use the ringing as the cue for your dog to go to bed and be given a kong or rawhide bone or something to keep him happily occupied while you talk.

Those are all great ideas. Dogs act up when people are on the phone because they very quickly learn you will pay a huge amount of attention to them (trying to get them to be quiet) when they are like this. Much better to do as Kate H says and actually train the ring of the phone as a cue for a desired behaviour -- to go to their crate, their bed, or get a toy, or whatever.

A crate should NEVER be used as a place of punishment. Every trainer out there with information about crate training will say this as the number one rule of crate use -- never, ever, ever use it as a place a dog is put for punishment as that negates the entire point of crate training in the first place.

IMHO most people punish dogs for their OWN shortcomings as trainers. If we haven't perfectly trained our dog to do a desired behaviour, without fail, every time, including against a background of temptation and distraction, then the fault is hardly the dog's for failing to do as desired... it is its owners for inadequate training. Thus, punishment in such a context makes absolutely no sense at all -- except to hit ourselves over the head with a newspaper, perhaps. :)

Smart and compassionate management and positive training will do the job every time. :thmbsup: If it isn't working, then get a professional positive methods trainer in to help sort a problem. And try to remember that a dog should not spend most of its life hearing the word 'no' more than any other. If that's the case in any household, then get a professional in or get into a good rewards-based class to start to learn how to make that poor dog's life a lot more rewarding and happy... :)

As for the original question -- I do think that a dog this young, which is still basically a puppy and full of energy, needs to be cut a lot more slack. Puppies this age chew -- generally it is around this age that most dogs stop chewing on things but some will be lifetime chewers. It is pointless to expect a young energetic one year old dog to lie around the house most of the day as well (it is probably a bit hard for him to be always seen in contrast to an eldlerly dog! :lol:). If he acts up more for one person it is definitely because he has learned that acting up works successfully for that one person -- ie you respond to it and do something in response, which may be as little as acknowledging the behaviour. But I dont see this as 'acting up' -- I'd agree that it is probably a sign of some significant boredom. Walks alone don't do much to tire out or challenge or work a dog's abilities and mind. Doing a half hour of interactive play and obedience is going to wear a dog out far more successfully. I'd also suggest interactive toys such as stuffed kongs, treat balls, etc. :) You may well have a bright active dog that will need considerably more time than the norm -- I have one of these and he needs extra walks, extra games, extra training and extra time. I do agility with him.

Has he been to obedience class to learn some structured self control? And is he neutered? Both these things will help.