View Full Version : Update on my Trial Pup

10th June 2010, 12:48 AM
We are leaning towards calling him Han, but are still trying to consider other names. We aren't sure if Han really suits him!

Anyways, little nonamepup is doing well with potty training. He hasn't had a single accident in the 2 nights and 3 days he has been with us so far. We have also put him in his crate twice now while my fiance and I are at work (an overlap of 5 hours) and we came home to just find him curled up sleeping in there, all his treats eaten, and no accidents.

Today I took him to Petsmart and he goes his eye corners trimmed and a sanitary trimmed. He was kinda squirmy when they trimmed his eye corners, so I am going to work on that with him. Everyone stopped to pet him and I asked them to please feed him treats. I had him in the shopping cart because he still won't walk on his own, he just stays put either sitting or laying down and won't move. He happily ate treats though, which is good I take it.

At home he will not willingly go outside. I have to either drag him out of the door (he has a harness), or carry him. I try using treats too but that is hit or miss. He is not super food motivated or toy motivated. Praise seems to be what gets him going the most.

Our biggest problem is just him being so scared in new places. I can't walk him on leash anywhere :( He runs around in the house with a leash on just fine, and when I finally get him to the grass he will run around there with the leash on also. He also is scared of the car and won't jump in it by himself, and I know he could if he wanted because he can easily jump onto our bed and couch. I tried using treats but he is pretty scared of the car.

10th June 2010, 07:19 AM
I'm not familiar with the eye corner trim, but I think that would make any pup nervous.

He's still a baby, and lots of new experiences will overwhelm him. Start with low key situations, where he can build confidence.

Also, I would advise against dragging him on leash, even with a harness on, it can only increase his anxiety and make getting him to successfully walk on a leash more difficult.

Zoe bowie
10th June 2010, 09:54 AM
I agree, he is only with you a couple of days, of course he is going to be a little nervous of new things! Give him time, he is doing so well with his house training & crate training...he is a good boy!

Cavaliers don't generally enjoy being put out, well that's my experience, they are lap dogs and ADORE really warm cosy areas...I have to lift Penny out to go do her business each time & she is 11 months!! My other 2 were the same, and if it is raining forget, they would hold it :rotfl:

Saying that , mine always loved they're walks, and would almost die from the excitement, maybe you are nervous with him when he is out, and he is sensing this? Why not try getting a trainer to come to your home to see if they can assess his nervousness on the leash & see if they can help in any way...the important thing is to give him time, this is all new to him and he is only a puppy & a young puppy at that.

Kate H
10th June 2010, 10:14 AM
I would carry him around for a bit. See the world from his point of view - he is about 12 inches off the ground, surrounded by tall trees that move and occasionally bend over to pat him (or possibly fall on him!). Bring him up to people's level, and take him to places where you can sit quietly with him on your lap and let him look at people, traffic, other dogs, and meet people at his level, and play with him/fuss him - not to reassure him (this simply reinforces that there's something to be worried about) but in an upbeat and cheerful way so that going out and about becomes a fun experience. You could try doing the same in the car - simply sit in it with pup on your lap and play with/fuss him; if he's comfortable with that, then go very short journeys to places he likes. He's probably been in a car before - but only to vets who stick needles in him in a place full of apprehensive dogs, so it's hardly surprising he's not keen on possibly going there again! When he's comfortable with a crate, you could try crating him in the car with a treat for a short time.

As a matter of interest, why do you trim his eye corners? Never heard of that before!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

10th June 2010, 08:39 PM
To answer about the eye corner thing:



Hopefully you see the difference, I sure do! He had really long eye corner hairs that collected his tears. Now that the hair there is gone his face looks much cleaner. I also got puppy face wipes too and he is getting better at letting me touch near his eyes.

As far as crate training goes, last night we decided to crate him and of course he howled and barked and scratched, but after a few minutes went to sleep. Then he did again this morning, but I didn't let him out until he shushed. Unfortunately my fiance was cranky this morning and got upset being woken by the barking/whining and let him out DURING the barking. After winning the argument, that he has to learn barking doesn't get him his way, I put him back in... he barked more, then finally shushed which is when I let him out this morning. My fiance was still very upset and told me during his anger spout that he wants me to take the dog back just because of that incident :confused: I think he was just upset and didn't mean it.

This morning I got him to walk out the door on his own yay! He is ok now with walking on leash to his potty area, but again once I set foot towards a direction he has not been in yet he will freeze. I am trying to be very calm and confident, and I am not nervous at all while outside. I have nothing to be nervous about really, I know all our neighbors and the few dogs that some of them have are incredibly nice and dogs are always on leash.

10th June 2010, 10:57 PM
Are you doing positive crate training -- eg encourging him with treats and toys and an open door to go in and out of his own choice and enjoy it throughout the day when the door isn;t closed? This is a very essential part of crate training -- making it fun! :) -- generally you do this for a good few days before trying to close the door and then leaving the dog inside. And even then, one generally would want to start with just closing the door for a few moments -- not leaving him in overnight when he has never done this before. Usually you'd be doing this for a while before leaving a dog in a crate overnight... Feeding in the crate also helps then to gradually see their crate as a nice place to be. Dogspelledforward.com has some great videos and articles on crate training. :D

It's not a big deal that he is scared about walks and so on. Most puppies will be overwhelmed by doing lots of new things -- he needs time to get used to walks, leads and cars. This can take a while and should be done slowly rather than throwing him into lots of new situations. :thmsbup: From his viewpoint he is suddenly being required to do a lot of totally new and strange things with people he has never seen before in places he has never been -- that would be nervewracking for an adult human! He needs time and gradual small steps rather than a full trip in a car, or a walk where he may be cowering.

Also, for any car travel, be sure you have him safely either on a proper dog seatbelt harness or hard crate, and of course never in any seat that has an airbag, which can easily kill a cavalier.

On a tougher issue -- If your fiance is having second thoughts, I really think that is a pretty serious conversation to have now before you make a decision on keeping this pup -- as you will have lifetime challenges with a dog anyway (they bring great joy but they also require a lot of tolerance and home adjustments) and someone bothered by a small amount of puppy barking may really have problems with an adult much less the long process of the pup maturing into an adult -- 'teen' dogs can bark and whine, tend to chew things, etc -- and adult dogs will almost all bark to some degree, can be whiny, do have occasional accidents when unwell, will surely destroy some favourite things, will track in mud... owning a dog means a lot of compromises and everyone really needs to want to have that dog without question, and make those compromises. This is a quite sensitive breed and if someone is short tempered with them this can really demolish the individual dog. A lot of the dogs that end up in rescue are there because a partner ends up not feeling a dog is the right choice, so please do take any of his concerns seriously and have an honest discussion on whether this is the time to get a dog or if this is something he wants as much as you :flwr:.

It's normal for this breed to have runny eyes -- often more so as pups. t is a regular care job to gently clean this away,always moving a soft cotton pad away from the eye and never touching the eye. I have never heard of trimming out any hair in near the eyes and would talk to a vet about whether that is appropriate -- personally, I would not allow groomers to be using any trimming tool near the large eyes of this breed and this sounds really strange to me to have a need for this to be done.... Has a vet had a good look at his eyes? Sometimes they can have a condition where eyelashes are growing inward toward the eye and this irritates the eye and causes extra tearing and needs usually to be surgically corrected. I would ask in particular as from the pics you've posted it looks like some of his third eyelid is showing and pushing up from the bottom of the eye -- which tends to indicate eye irritation. It may just be the angle but there's a lot of white on one eye at the base. If a vet hasn't checked this out it would be worth having this done, or if an eye infection or corneal ulcer is perhaps causing gunkiness and discharge?

10th June 2010, 11:34 PM
You're right, he might have something going on with his eyes... I didn't really notice that before. I am starting to wonder if I should get a dog from this breeder at all. I mean the health clearances and everything are SUPERB on the breeding dogs, but this pups' lack of socialization, and now the possibility of an eye issue really worries me.

I worked as a dog groomer for about 3 years and it is completely normal to trim the eye corners of dogs that have longer hair there, although most common in breeds like shihtzus, yorkies, etc. They are trained professionals and know very well of the dangers of having scissors near the eyes, but again they are trained professionals. The person I took him to is the salon manager whom I know personally and she did very good and was very careful and gentle.

I guess I should take my fiance's concern more seriously. He was all up for the dog and very involved in everything until realizing how much work this guy needs; he isn't the most patient person in the world :(

I REALLY want a dog, but he may not be ready for it. I am sad.

11th June 2010, 10:04 AM
You need to both be on board with owning a puppy or dog. They are HARD work but totally worth it, in my opinion. Your partner sounds like he is a little undecided.

Your pup's eyes are alot like my 5 month old Porthos's eyes. I have had his vet checke as he is my little wonky-donkey - one of his eyes shows a lot of white. The vet said that as he grows, the muscles will most likely strenghten around the eye and if not, then he'd just be a little bit "special" :lol:

I also, would not recommend trimming around their eyes, My older boy has entropian a little in one eye and can get pretty stinky eyes, very quickly (although not infected) especially during the spring/summer months (I am in Australia) when the pollen count was high. I gently wipe his eyes and am considering see an eye specialist to determine whether 1 eye needs to be operated on. At the moment, it seems to be ok, so I'd rather not operate unless we have to.

I got both my boys from a registered and highly respected breeder who shows dogs and has many grand champions, that being said sometimes things happen, so I would not necessarily blame your breeder just because your little one is anti-social. My older boy is like that and he slept on the end of the breeders bed and had 6 other older cavaliers inside to hang with and 20 outside (she also boarded cavaliers, so not all 20 were hers).

Anyway, you need to sit down with your partner and discuss it. It is going to take Han - not yet named :lol: a while to fit in and get used to you and after a month or so, it will seem like you always had him.

Just beware the big eyes and don't let him get round you by using them :p Before you know it, you will be like my husband was and carrying him on his walks! Sheesh, I stopped that right away :)

Anyway hope you make the decision that's right for the little fella!

Zoe bowie
11th June 2010, 10:16 AM
I read somewhere to help the bonding process for puppies, if you chew on small bites of bread and then feed this to them a couple times a day for a week to 10 days, it helps with bonding....if i had this little man I don't think I could give him back, social or anti-social; and to be honest it's not that he is anti-social it's just new to him! I can relate to that, I am not a great one in a group of new people, it takes me time to warm up and to come out of my shell, but once I do, I am generally the last one talking!! But if someone pressurises me to talk, I then to walk away, not from being anti-social, but from shyness and lack of confidence ;)

Also Des, my 2 year old rescue collie, when we took him home from the pound, he would cower in the corner, if someone new came into the room, he wouldn't let them touch him, and would pee out of fear and submission...that was 2 months ago, now after us doing loads of gentle work with him and sending him to Doggie Day Care 2 days a week, he is a confident, cheeky little (well medium sizes) boy! The difference is amazing! If Han is shy, give him the time to come around, all puppies/dogs are different, just like people, it may just take him a little longer to shine, but he will shine :-)

As for your partner, you both have to want this to work, dogs are for life, they need alot of time, effort, patience, kindness and structure from BOTH owners...it'll never work if only 1 of you is invested in this process...maybe your partner just had a bad day, we sometimes say things we don't mean when we are tired..but talk to him and get him to be honest about how he feels about owning a dog...even if it is 'no' for today, it doesn't mean 'no' for ever.

Kate H
11th June 2010, 11:13 AM
Re eyes: my rescue Aled had eyes like that when I had him, though much pinker. If it persists, 'Han' may - like Aled - have a mild eye infection. Aled's third eyelids still show more than usual, but are no longer pink after a short course of antibiotic ointment - now just normal for him!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

11th June 2010, 12:07 PM
Sounds like you need to just take a little time out and set aside some time to talk seriously about a dog and what you both see happening over the next 10-14 years (the life of dog!) -- and how much you want to shape your life around a dog. For many of us -- me included -- life was far too active to have considered a dog until well into my working life -- in my case, more than a decade after I finished my studies. For lots of really good reasons :), I think younger people are very attracted to the idea of a dog, without really realizing the extent of the time commitment and the way in which you will need to make sacrifices to accommodate a dog. It is often a lot easier for people to make those choices in their 30s, 40s or 50s, rather than in their 20s. Or to put it another way–most rescue dogs I see have not been handed in by 40 and 50-year-olds but by young couples or young families who realize they made the wrong choice–a choice that can then be very hard on the dog and for some dogs who wind up in the pound, can mean the end of their life because they were the wrong lifestyle choice. So it is really important to think about the dog and its future as well as your own.

When I was younger I often would stay out after work with a group of friends and really enjoyed the ability to make spur of the moment decisions. I also have had a job that required a lot of traveling. And of course when you are younger, there are the parties, weekends away, trips back and forth to visit family and friends and so on. To have had a dog in the first half of my working life would have been really difficult, especially with a puppy. You really need to be back home the majority of the time that you can when you own a dog because they are very social animals and need that daily interaction and activity, not just a walk once a day. This is especially true for a single dog household, where without considerable forethought, the potential tedium of being home alone often leaves the dog with little choice but to find its own entertainment, which tends to be behavior that owners do not want–destructiveness and noise. Of course, solo dogs can be accommodated, but this takes work and commitment from both partners and means partners cannot always go out and do things together. it also may mean extra costs to try to work around someone to come in to walk the dog daily or for the dog to go to daycare and of course there are boarding costs when people are away.

I initially had two cats for many years before I felt I was able to make the commitment to a dog–cats require time and commitment but are more independent and a lot easier to manage as you don't need to come home to walk them or let them out to relieve themselves. In short, I knew I was ready for a dog at the point at which I enjoyed staying in most evenings rather than going out and when I had grown tired of regular travel for work. At this point, I also have a semi-retired partner with the same sort of flexibility in work schedule that I have and one of us would tend to be home with the dogs when the other travels for work. Many of our holidays involve taking the dogs along to dog friendly locations. It's just a different kind of lifestyle for a different time in our lives.

A lot of the dogs that come in to rescue to me, arrived in from younger people who either end up in a rental situation where their dog is no longer welcome, realize they don't have the time for a dog, end up with a new work schedule–as often happens when you are a younger colleague at work–that no longer enables them to care for their dog adequately, or they begin to have a family and find they cannot manage the extreme demands of a new baby coupled with the daily demands of a dog. For that reason, most people in rescue and breeders ask a lot of questions and would be very careful about homing to a young couple who might not have thought through all these elements. Giving your fiancÚ's misgivings coming up so quickly, it's important to sit down and take time talking through all these issues and thinking if this is the right time for a dog. You clearly have great commitment to the idea, and you have your whole life ahead of you to get a dog. What is important for you, your relationship, and the quality of life of this particular dog is whether now is the right time and the right situation to make this decade-long commitment to a dog. :thmbsup:

I really don't think the fact that this puppy is shy about going on walks etc. is anything to do with the breeder. Most puppies will not have the confidence to go marching around in a new location with new people–this does take time and ensuring that every single trip outside no matter how short is a positive one, and that the puppy is never pushed into a situation where he is stressed out and unhappy. :)

Anyway, if you haven't had this pup vet checked, that is generally recommended to be the first thing that is done and I'd have his eye checked. On the pictures, what I am commenting on is not that he looks like he has a lot of white (many cavaliers have this -- a common side effect of breeding for large eyes), but that it looks like the lower edge of his the third eyelid is sliding up over the eye on one eye, and this typically indicates some eye irritation or infection. And again, it would not be the norm to cut hair around cavalier eyes and I definitely wouldn't be doing this on a puppy that is being overwhelmed with a lot of new experiences as is, and was uncomfortable with the situation. It may be something that is done on other breeds but given the way cavalier skulls are shaped, their very short muzzles and the vulnerability of their eyes, I would just find this approach a bit worrying.

13th June 2010, 07:24 AM
Thank you Karlin. I fear you may be right, perhaps we are attracted to the idea of having a dog yet are just not ready for one, or at least one that is more special needs. When we met this guy at the breeders, we could tell he was just so sweet and mellow but he was quite nervous. Originally I had said no way, but then the thought of "testing" him out sounded good...

With tonight being the 6th night we have had him, he still is not wanting to play much and still runs from us if we try to pet him. We have tried treats and toys, but he is not motivated by any kind of reward even if I had a cut up piece of hot dog. His lack of confidence and fear of us really isn't making us feel to well and we are pretty saddened by this.

After discussing the pros and cons about puppy parenthood, we regretfully decided to take him back to the breeders. Luckily he was on a trial run, so no refunds or anything will be involved so no hard feelings, and she also said she has a flood of people requesting older male Cavaliers now too.. I am sure he would make a GREAT pet for a senior couple who don't really go out much. My fiance and I are looking more for a companion dog indoors, but a sporty dog outdoors that we can go on walks with, to the park, agility classes, etc. I just do not see that happening with the little guy we tried... so a senior home definitely would be best for him. The breeder is happy that he at least had an opportunity to get out and about :o She does have a litter of 5 week old puppies that will be ready to go later she has said may be a better choice for us, however now I am not sure. I am almost scared to try again, I don't want to fail. I feel like I am ready, but it does seem that my fiance is having second thoughts and I really need help in raising a puppy, this is not something I want to end up doing by myself.

I am planning on donating all the food/toys/treats I got for him to a shelter.

Thanks again everyone for all the help and everything!

13th June 2010, 12:18 PM
I am glad you made the right decision, hard as it is. I hope the little guy finds his forever family soon.

As hard as it is, maybe the cavalier is not the right breed for you and your partner. I know this little one was shy and nervous, but sometimes Cavaliers can be like that - I have an outgoing one and a shy, introverted one.

Cavaliers are companion dogs but are also sporty dogs too - they can do agility, like a good walk, will run around like mad things and love a swim in a pond, lake, sea etc. They suit older people and younger sportier people - they are very versatile.

13th June 2010, 01:14 PM
I agree that you made the right choice by handing the little guy back, you were lucky to be able to have a trial and to realize the time for a dog is not right for you right now. Any pet can be a great commitment, and dogs do need to have people round them and cavaliers are very much a companion dog. I agree with Karlin that you do go through phases in your life, although I was brought up with dogs, I did not consider having a dog when younger, we wanted to do things and then the children came along. I did not get a dog until my 40`s, as the children got older, you are quite happy when older to change your life and be at home more and to accept the restrictions a dog can sometimes bring.