View Full Version : shy cavalier

6th July 2009, 03:18 AM
our 14 month cav. is still shy of people and other dogs, other than the wife and myself and our 2 yr. old cav., this weekend when the 14 month old granddaughter visited with her parents the younger cav. barked constantly at them and remained outside as much as possible. This activity continued for the 3 days of the visit. Within a few hours of the guests departure the cavs returned to life as normal. Anyone else have this type of experience. I understood that cavs were naturally people dogs, this reaction is most disapointing.
Any suggestions for a possible adjustment would be appreciated.

6th July 2009, 09:29 AM
Never seen that behavior with a cavalier but our Cocker Spaniel will do that on occasion. It is strange as he doesn't do it with everyone, he just seems to take a dislike to certain people.

Kate H
6th July 2009, 11:37 AM
Many dogs find children disconcerting - they run around, shout, crowd in on the dog, and are generally unpredictable (from the dog's viewpoint). Cavaliers are great with children who are part of the daily family, but if a child is only an occasional visitor, the dog will need to get used to them. Your youngster needs more opportunities to get used to children in general (and other dogs); some suggestions:

For children, sit in the park near, but not right next to, the children's playground so that she can get used to children from the security of your lap. If she seems frightened, don't reassure her (which reinforces that there's something to worry about) - be cheerful, distract her with titbits, play a game, so that children's noise becomes a normal part of the background, and being near them means nice things happen. Then ask an occasional child to come and gently say hello to her (for obvious reasons this is probably better done by your wife! And explain to the parent what you're doing) - then extend this to letting children in the street stroke her, and reward her for sitting quietly while they fuss her.

For other dogs, do you take your Cavalier to training class? This is the easiest way of getting used to other dogs, though you may need to start by simply watching (much the same way that you did for children).

Ideally, this sort of deliberate socialising with children and dogs should have been done as early as possible, but you should be able to catch her up, it will just take a little more time and patience. Take her out and about with you so that she sees as many people, dogs, places, sights as possible; be cheerful and reward with praise, titbits and play. We all find the unfamiliar threatening - barking is an anxiety reaction - and need to discover that it's OK. Your older dog will help her to overcome her anxiety more quickly if you take them out and about together.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Love my Cavaliers
6th July 2009, 04:30 PM
My older dog, Oliver who is now 8, has always been somewhat of an asocial cavalier. Even as a little guy, he tended to keep to himself more when we had guests around. Now, especially with little kids, he will take himself away from their rambunctiousness and go hang out by himself in another room. As soon as company leaves, he is back with us sleeping comfortably by my side on the couch or in the doggie bed by the couch. I thought I socialized him well as a pup, but I've just come to realize that this is his personality. My other three absolutely adore company.