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momay
12th August 2015, 09:23 PM
Hi all!
It's been a few years since I've posted to this forum. When Sofee Marie was a pup I used so much information from this forum, it was wonderful.
I'm back with a behavioral question.
My Tri Cav is now 9 years old (on meds for Mitral Valve and SM since 8 years old) has started to react badly to her dog walker. She has never been 'in love' with her but on the whole as willingly gone with every day for a walk or to day care at her house for the past 8.5 years. This past week and also there was incident this past winter where she will snarl and growl and try to nip her when she tries to get her out of her crate for a walk/day care visit. Normally a treat to draw her out will work and she will willingly go, but not today or yesterday.
When I am with her or my husband she is perfectly fine, walking great, no problems getting her out of the crate, eating fine, etc. When this happened before, I handled it by having her out of the crate with her leash on when the dog walker came to the door and I handed her over and out she went, no problem, but I am not home every morning to do this, in fact it is only once a while that I am home when she comes. (obviously as I would do the walk myself if I was home) So, the dog walker needs to be able to do this on her own. After we did this for a day or two, Sofee 'recovered' and did go with each day forward.
My thoughts are she is getting older, and certainly she has a mind of her own, she has been known to be pretty stubborn, unless it's with people she really loves, like myself, my sister, husband and a niece. But, she hasnít reacted with the snarling and growling like she did today and earlier this year.
The reality is, she could care less about going outside in the middle of the day and I don't feel it is necessary for us to continue with the walker, but my husband feels like we shouldn't 'give in' to her and we should continue to do this to keep her socialized, even though she has never played with another dog in her entire life (typical Cavalier!!). We just didnít want her stubborn side to Ďtake overí.
Any opinions or thoughts? It's almost as if she is 'fed up' and doesn't want to do this anymore....... but there are situations where we need to have someone come in if we are going to out of the house for long periods of time.
Thank you!
Momay and Sofee Marie

Soushiruiuma
13th August 2015, 02:18 AM
Perhaps these are the first symptoms of senility showing up? She isn't tremendously old, but she isn't young either. I wouldn't force the issue, if she doesn't need the walk, let her just nap and then you take her out for exercise.

Guinness I think develops stockholm syndrome to whoever I leave him with, so I can't really say how I would handle it if he wasn't so adaptable.

Kate H
13th August 2015, 12:41 PM
Given that Sofee has SM, I wonder if the dog walker handled her awkwardly some time, getting her out of her crate, and she was momentarily hurt and is worried about being hurt again. I know when Cavaliers won't play with other dogs that we say they are such people dogs, but my Oliver always walked quietly away if dogs in the park got too bouncy and playful, and I'm fairly sure that this was one of the earliest symptoms of his CM/SM - if your head is hurting, the last thing you want is to be rolled over by a bouncy labrador! Or even a bouncy Cavalier! As dogs get older they tend to do their own thing more, simply because they are the ones that know best what they can and can't manage, rather than that they are going senile.

It might be worth checking out her CM/SM meds with your vet or neurologist, as they do need adjusting from time to time. It is a progressive disease, as I know from Oliver, whose CM/SM got noticeably worse when he was 13, having been relatively mild and well controlled since he was diagnosed at 6. This was one of several factors that led to him being put to sleep - it just seemed unfair to inflict a battle with CM/SM pain on a 13-year-old.

I find that Cavaliers can cope with being left on their own for long stretches - they simply shut down and go to sleep, perhaps because they know life is going to be dull until the humans get back! So perhaps try without the dog walker?

Kate and Ruby

joandesan
13th August 2015, 02:30 PM
Bosco, age 4, has refused to go on walks with my husband, son or daughters, if I am in the house at the time of the walk. He will also refuse to go if he is walked without one of my other dogs. So, clearly CKC's can show a stubborn streak or have preferences as to who walks them. My husband always encourages him with a small treat to get him out the door, and furhter treats throughout the walk. My husband says that after the first few yards, he is walking fine.

The growling is troublesome, so maybe Sofee was not feeling well that moment, but if it continues and Sofee is fine with being alone all day, I would give up the walker.

momay
13th August 2015, 02:58 PM
thanks everyone for your prompt and excellent feedback. I will keep you updated as to what transpired when the walker comes back next week. We are giving it a rest this week.
Maureen