View Full Version : Normal or not?

28th April 2010, 12:58 AM
At nine months, Leo is an absolute treasure! He is so well-behaved for a teenager that it's astounding. I credit (don't mean to brag here) our strict following of Dr. Dunbar's manual on bringing up puppies. He doesn't bark unnecessarily; he sits quietly when he brings you a toy to play fetch, he can still perform all of his tricks on a dime and without a reward.

However, there are two issues that are bothering my roommate and me about Leo.

1. Is it normal for a nine month old dog to want to use the bathroom (not referring to peeing here) only once a day? Leo used to pee outside pretty much anytime we took him out, and we don't take him for his walk until he does #2, but starting last month, we take him out and he'll stand there looking at us like we're crackers the first ten times we take him out. When he finally does go, we'll take him for his walk only for him to go two or three more times on the walk. How can we reconnect in his brain that doing #2 = walk? When he doesn't go after a few minutes, we bring him straight back inside.

2. Is it normal for a dog to want to lick you all of the time? He'll lick arms, legs, faces--not the normal doggy kisses, but for ten minutes at a time if you'd let him.

Thanks for your help!

28th April 2010, 09:38 AM
Ian Dunbar's books are so great -- Leo sounds like a real credit to a kind and consistent (and fun!) approach to training the Dunbar way from puppyhood on. :)

On the poop issue -- I know Dr Dunbar recommends getting dogs to go right at the start which saves having to clean up while on a walk. He (Leo, not Ian Dunbar) is at the age when he may start to forget things he's learned and have a bit of a wandering mind -- normal around this age for a couple of months. Patience should win out -- but you can also hasten the connection by actually training him to pee and poop on two different cues. I trained Jaspar to pee on command and it is so handy when we are driving somewhere and take a quick toilet break! Next time when Leo does his poop, gently repeat the word you want to associate with doing a poop (not anything common that might trigger him to go at the wrong time!) and praise quietly and reward. Just keep doing this and he should pretty quickly learn a command for doing a poop just as you train anything else. You can do the same for pees. Then you can just ask him to do his poop right away at the start of a walk.

On the licking -- really common for cavaliers. If it is really obsessive it can be an actual obsessive compulsive behaviour (I kind of wonder if cavaliers are more prone to these due to usually having some skull pressure on the cerebellum) but they are a licky breed. My own Leo and my Tansy are lickers and will happily clean arms, face etc... :rolleyes:

28th April 2010, 09:01 PM
That is a great idea! When I told my roommate, he said, "Now why didn't we think of that?"

Just goes to show what a wonderful resource CavalierTalk really is!

I'll post about how the training progresses--thanks again!

Ali and Oscar
15th May 2010, 01:22 PM
Our Ali also licks like no body's business, but I think she has OCD because she is really obsessive in general. You have to really see it to understand but she is OBSESSED with tennis balls and sticks, she destroys them bit by bit and makes little whining sounds while doing it lol.. She wont go out a ball or stick in her mouth haha.