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Thread: At what age did your Cavi "calm down"?

  1. #1
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    Default At what age did your Cavi "calm down"?

    Howard is your typical puppy.......completely and utterly crazy!

    Every adult we meet is calm and plods about without a care, rather than Howard's mad dash everywhere.

    Whilst I love him very much as he is I was wondering at what age I should expect him to calm down a little? He's only 6 months so I don't expect any time soon. I can't imagine him not being mad. (although would welcome it in some social situations )
    Slave to Howard Moon

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    Hard to say because it is hard to know exactly what the hyperactivity is and why he is doing it without seeing him and knowing the whole context . There's also perhaps a signal here that this might be an issue in need of addressing, in your comment that you are waiting for him to calm down -- whereas he actually needs to be actively trained to calm down, and this age is exactly when to be doing it.

    eg -- there's an element of hyper behaviour in cavalier puppies and all puppies that comes normally (playfulness) and an element that can be increasingly problematical and really needs to be addressed with training, which starts to teach a dog to have more self control and that it is NOT always OK to dash around, jump on people, jump on dogs. Sometimes owners miss the difference! But more seriously this can lead to difficult problems for the rest of the dog's life. Many cavaliers will start to normally calm down more from around his age. They are still playful puppies til around 1 though. But ALL dogs really need focused active training and daily practice at this age.

    Howard is at the age where he would be the best candidate (and in need of!) a group positive-methods training class that would help him to learn to socialise calmly and to learn to go into a sitstay and downstay, if you haven't done this. Home training just cannot match the important need for socialisation and to learn to pay attention and do things despite distractions like other dogs & people. Also he is exactly the age at which older dogs will start to be pretty gruff with him for manic behaviour -- trainer Ian Dunbar calls this the age when they lose their 'puppy license'. It's really critical that he be meeting lots of different adult dogs, young dogs and people right now because of all of this (not just those he lives with or knows well or sees all the time) -- adult dogs in particular because he will learn, from them, that he needs to show more self control as they won;t tolerate really annoying. pestering behaviour -- sounds like he is meeting some out on walks which is good! Older dogs deliver this message far more effectively and efficiently than a human ever can! If he doesn't learn this at this age, you can end up with a dog with socialisation problems, who doesn't know he's being, well, rude and a total social pain in the dog world. Dogs that do not understand this are more likely to have a mature dog really lash out at and attack them in the same way a person might really give a piece of their mind to a really rude person who is in their space, pushy, etc -- all holds true for the dog world too! Without meeting lots of new adult dogs, he doesn;t learn the social signals he needs to earn to read to stop the silly stuff and control himself. Even a friendly older dog can just have enough and take a chunk out of a pestering dg -- and this can then cause fear aggression problems in the undersocialised, undertrained dog. There's really a small window when dogs are under 1, especially around 4-6 months, to get them really well socialised and give them structure in their world, on how to behave (eg sit before greeting people, don;t jump on them which quickly annoys). Hence the urgency of doing something now as problems are harder to resolve once habits are formed and a dog gets older, and sometimes cannot ever be resolved.

    If you haven't downloaded Dr Ian Dunbar's free book After You Get Your Puppy, a real classic highly recommended by dog trainers around the world, be sure too as he walks you thrugh so many of these things and is great on training, behaviour and having fun with your dog!

    www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

    Ian DUnbar also has this free download on 'HyperDog!' about managing this in young dogs.

    http://www.dogstardaily.com/hyperdog
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    My two haven't really lost energy (my oldest is only 2.5 years). They are both well trained, no jumping, loose leash walking. But I take them to the dog park or similar off leash scenario for exercise 5-6 days a week.

    Given the heart problems in the breed, I feel that a more active lifestyle should be encouraged for as long as the dog is able. While it won't change the underlying genetics, exercise can only help.

    I actually feel bad for the cavs I see plodding along. My two are well behaved, but lively dogs.

  4. #4
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    I think saying I'm "waiting for him to calm down" was a poor choice of words. I'm actively training him, with the adult dogs we know and the ones we meet on walks, to be less hyper when he meets another dog. He has a very good sit stay when alone, but is less good with other dogs, so I'm working on that at the moment. He's just learned "Watch me" to keep his attention on me, rather than getting distracted by what's going on around him, but being a new command he's not 100% with it.

    We've done a lot of training together and he's generally very well behaved at home. He is very calm in the house (other than the morning greeting) and knows that the living room is for being calm in.

    He gets too excited when meeting guests, so we've been getting some friends to come over and completely ignore him until he stops, then treating him, and it's going well, so far.

    You're right....I need to take him to puppy classes just so he gets used to doing the commands when around other dogs. That's his only downfall in my eyes. (and is completely my fault.) We found a fantastic APDT trainer but she'd just gone though a terrible grievance so was taking a small break. As far as I know she's training again so I'll call tomorrow and book him in.

    We only know adult dogs, bar one, and he sees them regularly. I dog-sit for a lovely lab girl, Jess, who puts Howard in his place if he gets too much. He listens to her and backs off (but with no fear, just acceptance that she doesn't want to play.) He can relax in a room with another dog in it, providing that dog is also being calm.

    When meeting dogs on walks he wants to meet them, but is very submissive when they say hello, generally rolling onto his tummy and staying still. After that he wants to play with them. I'm not sure if that's fear or just submission, but he only does it with small dogs and after they've greeted him he gets back up and has a sniff himself.

    Everyone does comment that he's a well behaved little man, he just is very hyper.


    ( I've gone very far away from the original topic, but oh well, I was going to ask all those questions anyway.) I was originally wondering when he'd lose his "puppyness", but was probably not very clear. Thank you for all your advice!! I welcome anything that will help with training.
    Slave to Howard Moon

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    Brooklyn is a regular old spit fire She is a year and a half and people always comment on how energetic she is for a spaniel! But, we run with her, swim with her, etc. so sometimes I think that other cavaliers might be more calm because they live a calmer lifestyle, where Brooky is always go go go! She have even completed level 3 obedience with flying colours, but still has the energy to boot No idea if that will stay or go...we will see!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soushiruiuma View Post
    My two haven't really lost energy (my oldest is only 2.5 years). They are both well trained, no jumping, loose leash walking. But I take them to the dog park or similar off leash scenario for exercise 5-6 days a week.

    Given the heart problems in the breed, I feel that a more active lifestyle should be encouraged for as long as the dog is able. While it won't change the underlying genetics, exercise can only help.


    I actually feel bad for the cavs I see plodding along. My two are well behaved, but lively dogs.
    What was your command with the loose leash walking? How long did it take for your dogs to understand?
    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
    - Bern Williams

  7. #7
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    Ah! We're always go, go, go!!!

    It's hard to go from a large 30lb Rhodesian Ridgeback cross to a tiny 8lb fella. We go on lots of walks. Just outside our house is a huge expanse of heathland which is "THE" dog walking spot in the village. It means he's been able to meet all kinds of dogs, from greyhounds to German Shepherds, to Schnauzers and terriers etc. Thankfully he hasn't met a deer yet! We also go, at least once a week, to my mums' house and go on an epic walk around the fields, where we don't generally meet any dog, but he gets a proper romp.

    I'd love him to keep his spark well into old age. I'm calling the APDT trainer today to get him into a group class, so hopefully we can transition what he knows at home to when he's with other people/dogs.

    Thank you for all your comments everyone!
    Slave to Howard Moon

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