View Full Version : Aggressive Cavalier

11th November 2014, 02:02 PM
Our Cavalier Charlie doesn't like children he has nipped two in the face. We keep our two dogs separated from us during the day by a baby gate. They can still see us. They come out in the night to cuddle on the couch with us. Last night Charlie was on hubby's lap as usual. Hubby went to get up so he moved Charlie but Charlie lept up at hubby's face. Didn't mark him but we got a fright. He knew he did wrong. Is he getting worse with age? I love him but I'm also worried one of the kids might get scared even though we keepisode them separated. Charlie is the most loving dog and always happy but he is nervous so it leads to him lashing out. He has had a few uti's so he was in the vet allot a few years ago. We do walk them and they are well looked after. I'm very worried. I don't see him being easily re homed and it kills me thinking of him in the home with no one wanting him. He would just cry if he was caged up and probably get more nervous.
Any advice. I feel like my heart is breaking x

11th November 2014, 02:13 PM
I'm really sorry to hear of the difficulties you are experiencing. The first thing to do is to visit the vets to rule out any physical causes [pain etc] especially as he has been poorly in the past.

I do think you need to get a professional trainer involved, as this is a serious issue. MAKE SURE THEY ONLY USE POSITIVE METHODS THOUGH. otherwise it could make things worse. Your vet should be able to recommend someone.

Oh just seen you are in Dublin, brilliant, if you contact Tara Choules at http://www.anied.ie/contact.html she will be able to recommend someone.

11th November 2014, 02:19 PM
Yea we have him booked into the vet Saturday morning and I contacted Anied last night. It's 140 for an assessment so just need to try and get money together. It's hard this close to xmas. Charlie doesn't like kids and we accept that but I never thought he would be aggressive towards my hubby or I.

Kate H
11th November 2014, 03:15 PM
I had a Cavalier with similar problems - nipping my face when he was picked up etc. Having now lived with two Cavaliers with CM/SM, I'm almost sure that Rowley actually had bad syringomyelia and was in pretty severe pain for most of his life, so that being picked up hurt and he was telling me that he didn't like it. But this was in the 1990s, when MRI scans for dogs weren't common and very few vets knew anything about the disease. Rowley also had other health problems which diverted attention away from CM/SM as a possible cause of his behavioural problems. He never scratched or did any of the most obvious CM/SM things. So do please get your vet to give Charlie a thorough going over. Even my very good tempered Oliver (who has CM/SM) shies away from playing with children and dogs, because he doesn't want to get pushed about or knocked over and feel pain. So Charlie's nipping children may be warning them off because he fears being hurt.

I hope you can sort it out,

Kate Oliver and Aled

11th November 2014, 09:05 PM
Hi Emma: This is such a frustrating and worrying situation for owners. I think you may well find the issue is one of pain. I know Tara well at AniEd and she will likely have suggested this, because the breed is prone to some progressive conditions that can cause pain and cause a dog to react like this, for no apparent reason. The ones you would want your vet to consider are syringomyelia, possibly disk disease causing back pain, or possibly pain from a form of glue ear that cavaliers are prone to. It may be that some basic meds to address pain might resolve this. I'd also be wondering about deafness or some limitation in sight -- I have an older cavalier that has some hearing and sight loss and she will snap if she is startled or surprised. Sometimes this is going to end up as a case of management. Young children should never have free access to a dog generally, as children do things and make movements that can alarm dogs and provoke bites innocently. Elderly, smaller breed dogs in particular can be very uncomfortable around kids. The baby gate is a good idea. :)

Is the cost from AniEd for a home visit and advice, or for a basic temperament test? Before you try the former, I'd be aiming for a vet visit, and then perhaps a temperament test. Let them know you've talked to me if you like. How old is Charlie?