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Thread: Perhaps Some insight from My Fellow Cav Lovers

  1. #1
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    Default Perhaps Some insight from My Fellow Cav Lovers

    Hello All!
    My little Mel (Brooks) has some very odd playing habits. He is my fist Cavalier, so I'm not sure if this is common for the breed's personality or not.
    When confronted with a new dog, or even the my parent's Great Danes whom he loves, Mel will excessively lick everything in reach and the surrounding air. He never seems to play though, it's as if he thinks this whole experience IS the game. I think it's adorable but he gets readily ignored by the other pups... IF the other dog does try to play, then Mel seems very unnerved. He even runs for me to pick him up sometimes.. which I do. I guess they just don't understand my little guy. Could this mean that he isn't socialized enough? Is it a sign of nervousness that I'm not picking up on, perhaps? Mel has been through puppy class, pet stores and the puppy park so I am trying to help him be accustomed to many environments.

    Thanks
    Lauren and Mel

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by laswans View Post
    Hello All!
    My little Mel (Brooks) has some very odd playing habits. He is my fist Cavalier, so I'm not sure if this is common for the breed's personality or not.
    When confronted with a new dog, or even the my parent's Great Danes whom he loves, Mel will excessively lick everything in reach and the surrounding air. He never seems to play though, it's as if he thinks this whole experience IS the game. I think it's adorable but he gets readily ignored by the other pups... IF the other dog does try to play, then Mel seems very unnerved. He even runs for me to pick him up sometimes.. which I do. I guess they just don't understand my little guy. Could this mean that he isn't socialized enough? Is it a sign of nervousness that I'm not picking up on, perhaps? Mel has been through puppy class, pet stores and the puppy park so I am trying to help him be accustomed to many environments.

    Thanks
    Lauren and Mel
    It is hard to say without seeing the behavior, video would be good. Tongue flicks or lip licking CAN be a stress signal which would indicate anxiety What does the rest of his body look like when he does this.

    Vicki

  3. #3
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    Until the other dogs approach him he's all tail wags and wiggles. In the pet store today, he ran up, wagged his tail, licked the other dog, and made little "woo" noises. Then the other pup walked towards him and started to bounce and Mel made a bee-line behind my legs looking fully violated. I think I'll enroll him in another agility class so he gets more good experiences around controlled dogs... It might be me too... can he get nervous if he senses I am? I'm always really cautious and attentive if other dogs are near.

  4. #4
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    I'll get a video too, we're going to the dog park this weekend

  5. #5
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    Dogs will definitely know if there owner is nervous... I've always told people your stress and nervousness travels right down the leash to the dog! Even though my pup is really well socialized he will sometimes back up to me or lay down on his back (Submissive) if a strange dog approches too quickly or dominatly.

    I would recommend if you KNOW it's a friendly dog (Talk to the owner first!!!) instead of picking him up when he runs behind you get down on your knees with him and encourage him to come up and slowly meet the new dog. (Maybe a puppy around his size would be best). Take it slowly and give them plenty of time to be calm next to each other. Make sure both you and the other owner keep the dog at a small distance at first so neither have the change to approach too quickly before there reactions towards each other can be judged.

    I'm not an expert or trainer but in my opinion I try to avoid picking them up if they are nervous unless the situation is dangerous or EXTREMELY stressful. Just my opinion but you need to let them learn to be independent. Otherwise you end up with a fearful dog that NEEDS to be in your arms every time they are a little unsure. I worry that could lead to problems such as fear biting if they can't get where they feel safe (in your arms).

    As far as the licking.... I'm not sure what is normal for a Cavalier. My pup licks just about everything when he is excited too... but mine also licks a lot when he is just laying around... Licks his paws, me, the chair... anything within reach... I don't think the extreme at which my pup does it is normal

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by laswans View Post
    Until the other dogs approach him he's all tail wags and wiggles. In the pet store today, he ran up, wagged his tail, licked the other dog, and made little "woo" noises. Then the other pup walked towards him and started to bounce and Mel made a bee-line behind my legs looking fully violated. I think I'll enroll him in another agility class so he gets more good experiences around controlled dogs... It might be me too... can he get nervous if he senses I am? I'm always really cautious and attentive if other dogs are near.
    It sounds like he is conflicted. He wants to go see other dogs but is fearful. Lots of well choreographed and well planned greetings with appropriate dogs would probably be great for him. It's good you aren't pushing him. Does he have lots of playmates? If not, it may help to find some playmates for him that are appropriately sized and matched for play style

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by laswans View Post
    I'll get a video too, we're going to the dog park this weekend

    Video would be great if it's not too stressful to him to get it.

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