View Full Version : Tolerating but not bf's!

4th July 2011, 04:12 PM
Hi all- I wonder if you can help. We have a deaf 8 year old Cav- Barney who we adore, naturally! In January this year after some consideration we decided he might benefit from a companion, so we rehomed a 6 year old Westie bitch, Poppy. She is gorgeous and despite being used to being the only dog in her previous home she is really very friendly towards Barney. She adapted straight away and very quickly became part of the family. However Barney doesnt appear so thrilled with her. He tolerates her, he hasnt shown any animosity towards her- except the occasional snap usually if she snifs his treat etc but he just isnt interested in her. If she goes near him he moves away. He actually sits with his back to her! They just about occupy the same space thats all! I'm very grateful that there isnt any aggro between then but I thought theyd be chums! They just dont appear to be. They've been in kennels a couple of times together due to our lifestyle and they stay in the same one. The only time he gets close is if Poppy is on my knee then he wants to be too! I have made a concious decision and effort to treat them the same in fact if anything i give Barney a slightly higher position, putting his food down first etc.
Can i do anything or do we accept the status quo?

4th July 2011, 04:40 PM
I have moved this thread to the main section since it involves a cavalier, and more people will see it here.:)

This is well within the range of normal behavior for a dog, especially one that has been a singleton for a long time, who suddenly gets a companion. Older dogs in particular can have a hard time adjusting to a new edition and you are doing exactly what you should be doing as they don't actually have any dislike for each other –just letting them get on with it. They may end up being close enough that they actually will curl up together, or they may never be. My own dogs do not tend to play together like some people's do, for example. All dogs are different!

I actually wouldn't bother with giving food at different levels, feeding first or second, etc. –most of this is just myth and most dogs could care less at what level their food is offered (similarly, a dog that likes to sleep on the back of the sofa is not expressing “dominance”. The dog is simply expressing a preference for sleeping in a place the dog enjoys where he gets a pretty good view! he will have no ulterior motive and whether or not people allow a dog onto a sofa should be more a question of whether they like to have dogs on the sofa… And if they don't, I would certainly recommend another breed than the Cavalier! :lol:

On the other hand, when you have more than one dog, it is advisable to supervise the entire feeding period and either feed them separately in crates, at opposite ends of a room, or in different rooms, etc. While there may be no initial issues with feeding dogs together, many people find there eventually will be a problem even amongst best friends. I have two males that had absolutely no problem with feeding in the same room until recently but now I have to put a barrier between them and make sure one is safely up on a sofa before allowing the other to pass into the same room. After this short span of time in the morning, they got along fine and will be sleeping together an hour later–but one has taken to trying to attack the other as he comes out of the kitchen after their morning meal if they are not carefully managed.

murphy's mum
5th July 2011, 09:37 PM
Murphy was three when we decided to adopt Misty. His poor nose was so far out of joint, it was unbelievable. He went from being number one son, king of the castle etc to having to share! I mean how bad does life get?

Misty fell in love with Murphy straight away, he was and still his, her rock. She got a lot of confidence from him, even though for months he wanted nothing to do with her. He moved away from her all the time, and she was a little treat possessive when we first got her so that didn't help either. Misty is a stubborn little sausage though and she just kept following him. The first time they chased each other around the field I nearly cried, and when she started barking at him one night wanting him to play, it was just the best moment ever.

At the moment Murphy is sleeping on Stuarts chair, and Misty is on my lap, so although they do get on really well, they don't snooze together or anything. I wouldn't worry too much, as Karlin said not every dog becomes best buddies, at least they aren't aggressive towards each other.

5th July 2011, 11:37 PM
Thanks for the replies you have put my mind at rest. Interestingly Poppy has become Barneys ears! If we want to call them in from the garden we call Poppy and Barney follows- we used to have to flash the torch to attract his attention! :lol:

6th July 2011, 01:20 AM
As mentioned before, all dogs are different. I have two cavaliers who are like night and day... they are fairly good friends, but not cuddle buddies, in fact... it took a long time for me to realize this, but our girl Belle actually likes her personal space and likes to sleep on her own. If she chooses to cuddle with someone, my husband is her first choice and if he is not around, I'm the runner-up! Otherwise she has her corner or her bed and doesn't budge from it, not a bother on her.
Both dogs will play together, but our boy Bobby would prefer to play fetch with one of the humans in the house! Sometimes I think they're really strange dogs, especially Belle, there are so many quirks, but probably not any more quirky than other dogs. Belle thinks she is human and Bobby knows he's a dog. Belle is quiet, calm and gentle and Bobby is barky, energetic and playful.
Anyway, I hope your dogs get more used to each other, as they will, it will just take a lot of time. I think it is GREAT that Poppy is Barney's ears, that's a big plus!:smile: