21st September 2011, 02:03 PM
Last night we went to a puppy social with Toby (who is 5 months today). I thought this would go a lot better than taking him to the dog park again. There were several dogs there. At the beginning we were in a fenced area, waited for the pups to calm and then let them off the leash. At first all went well but there was a great dane and a doberman there that were so tall and would trample Toby or chase him down with the huge paws. There was also a baby pug there that acted like a big dog. He snarled at Toby and would climb on his back. I think the snarling scared Toby. There was a Springer Spaniel there that Toby liked. The spaniel would actually allow Toby to kiss it and smell it. There was also a lab there that was gentle too. The Aussie was very playful as was most of the dogs there. A lot of wrestling to the ground happened. Toby spent most of his time, nose to the ground or trying to stay out of the way.
Toby is really just a gentlemen who wants to kiss or smell and a little play, nothing rough. I don't see many dogs who are like this. I don't know if Toby will ever be a wrestler. Is this a Cavalier trait? Is this just the way my dog will be, a lover not a wrestler? I don't know how to get him out of his shell to play like a puppy. He seems more like an adult who just wants to be with a pup and not wrestle. Is this a normal behavior?
After some play in the fenced area we went inside for massage time. We would be seated with the dogs and would massage the to get them to relax. Then after that we tied them to the poles then would travel the room giving snacks to each dog that did not jump on us. Then back out to the yard to play. I was really hoping to see Toby really make friends but the Spaniel seemed to be the only one he wanted to be with. The Spaniel and Aussie played a lot so Toby didn't have much time with the Spaniel.
The spaniel will not be there next week but will be back the week after. I am unsure whether we should go again or not.
Is there anyone elses pups like this? Are they more gentle than rough and tough? Do they like kissing more than wrestling?
21st September 2011, 02:15 PM
Dogs are not all the same they are like us some people we like some we donít.
My Harley was like that as a pup and he is still like it now he is 3 years old. He hated ruff play as a pup and would only do it with my other 2 Cavaliers at home. Even now he is very selective in what dogs he likes. First I thought it was big dogs he didnít like but some of his friends are really big dogs, even a Great Dane but they are all gentle dogs. I always encouraged him to play with all types of dogs but in the end I thought itís no good forcing it as it would make it worse. He is through and through a mummyís boy but one good thing is he pays attention to everything i do and he is a fantastic Obedience dog.
Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
" My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "
21st September 2011, 02:27 PM
Thank you for the reply. I guess I am trying to do things differently than I did with my Peke. I was so afraid our Peke would get hurt that I really didn't encourage him to play with bigger more out going dogs. He was definitely a peoples dog.
I really do think Toby is like your Harley. He LOVES to work and was really trying to get my husbands attention last night to work. He wanted everyone to see what he can do I think. The trainer there said we may be doing wrong by working him while in there and giving treats. It encourage Toby to stay close to us. In our defense we really felt bad for him. He would either be chased or wrestled to the ground so he was on his back. So we tried to cheer him up by working him.
If we could find that one dog that Toby is comfortable with and actually make friends with these people I would be over joyed. The spaniels parents are older folks who live on the opposite side of the city than we do. I tried asking questions in hopes they would want to get together sometime but it didn't happen. Oh well.
I do feel better now that there is at least someone out there that had a gentle pup.
Originally Posted by Sabby
21st September 2011, 04:32 PM
Playing with other dogs is so over-rated. I prefer calm interaction that an obedience class offers. Dogs can sniff each other and learn how to be calm with each other. Both my cavaliers were freaked out a little in puppy class because of the big dogs. Big dog puppies just play a little more rough. It is their nature I guess. Personally I think it does more harm to a puppy to be bullied by a dog then to have little interaction with other dogs. Can you find someone close that has an older dog that your puppy can socialize with? Or you can get the phone number from the spaniel owner and make play dates. Cavaliers are people dogs anyway. The main goal of socializing a puppy is that they aren't afraid of other dogs, or learn to be bullies. Most dog aggression I have seen in small dogs is because the dog is afraid and learns to lash out to prevent harm to itself.
21st September 2011, 04:53 PM
Thank you for saying that. I thought maybe its something we have done wrong. I don't want him to be aggressive or roll over every time he sees a dog. He did well in his puppy class because it was small and more 1 on 1 instead of 6 or 8 dogs on a full sprint to get to your dog. I wish we had more time to socialize with the humans but we were told at the beginning of the playtime that we are there for the dogs not to chat with each other, we need to pay attention to make sure it doesn't get out of hand and if it does we are to step in. I thought that was good but at the end of class she said she needs us to go now because she has a HUGE class coming in for training and they need the parking spots. So we had such little time to talk to one another. The parking is so tight that you have to wait your turn to get out because people have to do 3 point turns to get out. So no phone number from the spaniel parents
I was so upset at how things went last night and worried for Toby that I was almost in tears in the car I just have to accept that he will be a gentle loving dog and hope we can find someone who has one too. Right now we do not know of anyone that has an older dog that is gentle besides my parents collie. He is 7 years old now and 100 lbs. He does like to play a little but mainly likes to make sure the puppy is near him at all times (herding). They live 3 states away though so no visiting until 1 of us is ready for a long drive.
I think we will try the other dog park sometime soon to see if we can find that springer or another gentle dog and if we don't find one we will leave. On an happy note, I hope to meet a member of this group this weekend. I hope our dogs hit it off, crossing fingers!
21st September 2011, 05:23 PM
You described Coco perfectly. She LOVES other dogs, big or small, but is very put off by wrestling. Coco will run up to any dog and sniff and give kisses, and thats the end of it. She doesn't do chasing or wrestling, and if other dogs try to wrestle with her she will tuck her tail and dodge and look scared. Most of the time she will roll over onto her back and show her little tum tum! I think this is pretty normal behavior for very submissive Cavaliers. They love everyone and everything, but just want to love more than play lol.
Originally Posted by gamefanz
There is ONE dog Coco and I met once that got along with her very well. It was a Chihuahua Cavalier mix (it looked like) and they both wanted to cuddle and kiss eachother the whole time, it was the cutest thing ever.
21st September 2011, 05:28 PM
21st September 2011, 05:53 PM
I think they will. Even if we don't end up being able to go out this weekend, at least we are in the same state! I think Toby and Coco will get along fine haha.
Originally Posted by gamefanz
21st September 2011, 11:59 PM
I am proud of you for getting Toby out there and trying all of these new things! It is very much trail and error of what works for you and your dog, but it is also really important for puppies to socialize with other dogs as much as they can when they are young. Now, I'm not saying socialize with just any dog but well balanced dogs that you feel are a fit with Toby (which it might take a while to find so hang in there, I know it is hard). This is important because dogs need to learn to gain confidence, independence and general doggy manners that only other (well balanced dogs) dogs can really teach them. But you know best and have to make sure you are monitoring for Toby since he has no control over this part...which you are doing a great job at!
I know some people say that certain dogs are "people dogs" or just like people better, but we have to always remember that they are dogs. They are not our children (okay, I am quilty of thinking I bread Brooklyn myself! ha), and they are not human. We have to honor that part of them in a safe and structured environment, and we do need to honor their species which is dog first. With that said, I know Cav's are much more "huamn oriented", Brooklyn definitely is, but I also know it is important to socialize her to keep her balanced and fulfilled, get her out with other dogs and enrich her in a way that only other dogs can. But like I said in your dog park post...it takes a while to find the right park, the right play mates, the right everything. So keep sticking with it, if this play group makes you uncomfortable and it is a bit rambunctious for wee little Toby, then you can try something else or maybe talk to the instructor about having "small dog" nights or something for the dogs that want to be social in a "tea party fashion" not a WWF fashion. Ha.
But again, it is important to help our pups gain confidence. Brooklyn might still get startled every once in a while if a new big dog comes into the dog park, but I never rescue her. I ask the owner "is your dog okay?" first and foremost, and if that dog is okay, but Brooklyn is not okay, then at least I know Brooklyn is safe on a physical level, but I know maybe on an emotional level it is time to either leave the park or move to the other side. But I always just attach the leash and do it like no big deal. Young pups will take a while to get their confidence up, so you are right so start with the gentle, softer play dogs for right now.
Brooklyn does not wrestle either (unless it is with her cavvie friend Ruby who is the same age as her...she is the ONLY one Brooklyn plays that way with). Brooklyn wants to sniff, chase, and run after the other dogs like tag. So I just manage her play, some big dogs are great (labs in particular are Brooklyn's fav!) and some even small dogs are just too much for her. So I manage just like you are doing. It is such a fine line between letting them be a puppy and figuring things out to helping them or taking them out of a situation.
It is so trial and error, you are doing all the right things though! Keep trying the dog parks, socail clubs, classes, etc. in your own time...but I bet one day you will stumble on the perfect combo for Toby It might be worth talking to the social group's leader about your experience, he/she might be really helpful in a solution.
Oh, one other idea I had...are there any other levels of puppy classes you could bring her to? With Brooklyn's training, there were 3 levels of puppy classes and adolescent classes. I found this was wonderful for her socialization, but it was all obediance and training which is great bonding too. And really structured with our trainer that was the same trainer the whole way through. So it was not boisterous and full on play, it was training and "Learning" how to play.
Also, if I ever feel the dog park is too crowded one day or too chaotic, I will just walk Brooklyn to the beach or a local cafe where I know she will pass and see lots of dogs. It 's not "playing" per say, but it does socialize her, gives a few sniffs here and there and it is a really controlled way to get her out into the world
22nd September 2011, 12:35 AM
Thank you for the reply and advice. I promise I won't give up on socializing him but I think we need to put him in a situation where he will not fail. Maybe 2 or 3 dogs at most in the play area and hopefully more 1 on 1 time. I think he does better that way. I need to find dogs that are more gentle in their play instead of crazy LOL
The trainer that is in charge really did not seem the type that would understand having a smaller group. She told me over the phone that only well mannered dogs would be allowed and no bullying would be tolerated. Some of the situations last night really bordered on that as far as I am concerned. Not just with Toby but with other dogs playing. In her tone last night, I didn't feel the love KWIM?
We plan to take the intermediate course for Petsmart soon. Things here have been crazy lately. So busy and exploring new things. The only time we could do the classes is on weekends so we need to check it out.
We do go for walks around the capital lake here where people are walking their dogs. Sometimes people stop and allow him to sniff the dogs and sometimes not. I hate to say it cause I love this state, sometimes WA can be a bit stuffy. People really do not socialize with strangers. Its more of a keep to yourself state, at least where I am it is.
No worries though, I will keep trying.