View Full Version : Question about cavaliers and kids

18th March 2012, 02:22 PM
Hi all,
Yesterday I took my 4 yr old son to our first cavalier show. We don't own a cavalier never have in fact(maybe one day) But I wanted to go and let him see the dogs. We have an old poodle but he was here before my son so.....this would be dog would be his first new dog. Anyway, I told my son before we went in NO TOUCHING unless Mommy says. We walked in and there were beautiful cavaliers everywhere every time we pass one going to the seats the dogs turned to approach on son. I was amazed how many tried this......my kid was like a doggie catnip. My son was very well behaved and did not reach out to any dogs. We took a seat (between showings it was only one ring) and a cavalier who was sitting with his owned in front of us. The dog actually inched slowly under the chairs to in check out my son's shoes! I said well hello to the dog and the owner turned around to apologize I told him it was fine and asked if my little boy could pet him. I told my son its ok and he got on the floor with the dog and was very gentle petting him while I chatted with the owner. He said they do not have small kids at home but that his dog loves kids. So my question is are cavaliers really this attracted to kids? I know these were show dogs but is this something any of your cavaliers do? My son is a little shy about meeting new dogs and is afraid of big dogs period. If we ever get a cavalier I know both my kid and the dog will need supervision and training to be together.


18th March 2012, 02:49 PM
My two are divided: Guinness thinks children move too fast, make too much noise, and just generally do not make good friends. Thistle LOVES children, she climbs on their laps, they rub her tummy, their faces are usually covered in food, she washes every one's face. All she has to do is see a kid and she gets excited.

18th March 2012, 05:52 PM
We went to Crufts on the Sunday as we couldn't go on the day that Cavaliers were on. We met the Cavaliers on Discover Dogs and they were wonderful with all the children. Two of them had never met children before and loved to be cuddled and even by very small children.

18th March 2012, 05:55 PM
My Izzie wasn't good at first but now she tolerates gentle petting but if they're running around screaming she doesn't like them.
George also stays out of their way!

But then again we don't have many children in our family with me being the youngest - so maybe once I have a family they will learn better.

18th March 2012, 06:05 PM
My girl, BB, loves kids and will try to approach them all the way you described. I believe it is because she has consistently been around kids since I got her and seems like my nephew and BB have learned together how to interact together! They are always supervised though - he is about 9 yr. old.

One other fun story, Jake has a friend who is scared of dogs and BB is the only dog he has ever liked. She is really gentle and has turned him into a Cavalier owner, his Mom is actually thinking about getting a dog for the family now because he likes BB so much!

Kate H
18th March 2012, 06:22 PM
I don't have any children around the house, but my two get a lot of fuss from all the local children that we meet playing outside in our small council estate. Aled, being a rescue, wasn't too sure about them at first, but will now stand patiently to be fussed, with his tail gently wagging. Oliver has also helped a couple of times with children who are dog phobic. It seems to be part of the Cavalier's general gentle and friendly temperament. Having said that, I would never leave any dog and child together unsupervised - for the dog's sake as much as the child's!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

18th March 2012, 06:25 PM
Oliver loves kids and is very tolerant.
His breeder had 6 children and therefore he was trained young that being slightly manhandled is the norm.
I would say after all the health checks a breeder with a busy child full household is a must. That way your puppy will not be shocked when moving in with children. :)

Oliver still perks up at the Cow&Gate adverts!! (Babies laughing!) lol


18th March 2012, 06:38 PM
A cavalier with the proper breed temperament that has been well socialised will like any human between babies to the elderly. :) I think most breeds as long as they are friendly (and almost all are) and well socialised, are good and very interested in children (my partner's enormous German Shepherd, for instance :lol:). The issue is more typically that kids can be difficult with dogs and most bites likely come from kids not being supervised and never taught how to be dog-friendly (in all the correct ways you are telling your son :) ). They then provoke bites entirely accidently but I firmly believe 99% of child bites could be prevented by good parent involvement and supervision and giving kids a good idea on how to interact with dogs (I have a Library post on Kids and Cavaliers with some great links to trainer sites -- Diamondsintheruff.com is particularly good in the training advice section with stuff kids can read and look at too!).

I actually have two cavaliers that do not care for kids, and two that do. Early socialisation is usually critical. One of mine was a kennel dog for the crucial age to be socialised well -- he is thus shy with people, really wary of children under abut 5, but excellently socialised with other dogs.

By the way what a great and gentle guide you are for your young son! You are exactly the kind of home I'd have happily placed a child-friendly rescue dog to. :D

18th March 2012, 07:31 PM
By the way what a great and gentle guide you are for your young son! You are exactly the kind of home I'd have happily placed a child-friendly rescue dog to. :D

Thanks Karlin thats good to hear since I am looking into rescue cavaliers. I have worked with small children forever.....and if theres one thing I do know its child behavior. I understand my kid (or any kid) and a dog requires active supervision until both child and dog learn the rules about each other. Even after you think you can "trust" them together you still need to watched.


18th March 2012, 07:55 PM
One thing this topic has reminded me of, there was study on kids interpretation of dog facial expressions. Up to around age 8 or 10 (I don't remember) children think a dog showing its teeth is "smiling", so another reason kids may get bit is that after the dog gives a warning, the children misinterpret the gesture and keep antagonising.

18th March 2012, 08:41 PM
Hi Melissa,
I have two young children age 5 and 8 years , my daughter had a bad experience with two labradors when she was 2 years old and developed a real fear of all dogs , if one came near she would scream and panic. We had a 6 year old cavalier called Scooby at the time and she became scared of him , he was gentle and loving and helped her to combat her fear. We lost him to MVD last year.....

We have welcomed a cavalier puppy into our home in January , we have always taught our children to respect dogs and not use them as play toys , this little puppy has cured my daughters fear , the play together and love each other so much and have respect for each other......... We have made sure our puppy has met kids of all shape and sizes , adults , other dogs so he is totally confident and we do not allow visitors to our home to use our puppy as a toy....

I would say a cavalier properly socialised and a child taught responsible play can make a special friendship like my daughter and puppy have and it a wonderful thing to see.....

26th March 2012, 05:31 PM
Hi Melissa -

I only have 1 cavalier, a male, who absolutely loves kids. He will sit patiently while they pet him and follow them if I give him the "ok". He's a gentle, loving boy.


28th March 2012, 01:23 PM
My cavalier Chloe loved all four of my kids...her breeder had a young grandchild at the time that came over to play with the puppies often. I think that may have helped. :)