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Thread: Cavalier trait or littel dog syndrome

  1. #1
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    Default Cavalier trait or littel dog syndrome

    Hi,

    I am having a couple of problems with my little Cavalier. He does not like other dogs and he barks when someone knocks at the door etc etc. I called a behaviourist and she asked me if my little dog followed me around etc etc. I said, yes, but he is a cavalier and its there trait. She says its not and he is guarding me??? Does any other Cavalier owners cavalier follow them everywhere?
    I have been following the advice from the dog listener book. I dont want to try and stop my little dog following me if its a cavalier trait. I would not say its a problem. He is crate trained and goes in his bed fine. He does what he is told generally. Any advice would be great.
    Thanks for reading xx

  2. #2
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    hi, two of mine follow me around the house and garden quite happily whereas the other one is very independant about what and when she does things. i've got to say i love their company

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    Chloe is definitely my little shadow at 7 months. Everything I read about Cavaliers said to expect this - it's in their breeding. I find it adorable that when I walk out of a room with Chloe on the couch sleeping, she's on lookout for me with her paws on the arm of the couch when I come back a few minutes later. She doesn't cry for me when I leave for work or anything, so she's not overly attached I don't think.
    ________________________________________________
    Mom to tri puppy Chloe Louise ...and a cat, and a rabbit

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    Lola is my shadow, or if my mums home she'll follow her and same with my stepdad. Its just how she is. She likes to sit and watch what's going on, I think its nosiness more than anything. She'll sit on my knee while im trying to dry my hair for example, going between watching me and looking at herself in the mirror lol! But she settles down well in bed when we go out and that, doesnt cry or anything. Lola would also bark when the door knocks or if someone walks past the house outside, infact I took this picture of her looking out the window barking at someone as they went past! She doesnt bark though once people are actually in the house. I think cavvies are just nosy personally, anyone else agree?

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    Oliver follows me around most of the time but if I am cleaning (boring) he goes and sits in the lounge looking out the window.

    He will bark in the garden and out of the window at other dogs. But doesn't bark at dogs on walks (he shouts at me to "throw the ball" though lol).

    He doesn't have any separation anxiety but is always very pleased to see me come home.

    I would say that Oliver is nosey and can't tolerate that I might be doing something interesting that doesn't involve him. But he isn't guarding me.
    Trust your instincts. Do you think he is guarding or being nosey?
    When Oliver shouts in the garden he is definitely stating it is his territory. When he follows me around he is hoping I will play with him or drop some food! lol

    I am trying to train Oliver out of shouting in the garden but wouldn't dream of stopping his nosey nature.

    M&O

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfiesmummy View Post
    Hi,

    I am having a couple of problems with my little Cavalier. He does not like other dogs and he barks when someone knocks at the door etc etc. I called a behaviourist and she asked me if my little dog followed me around etc etc. I said, yes, but he is a cavalier and its there trait. She says its not and he is guarding me??? Does any other Cavalier owners cavalier follow them everywhere?
    I have been following the advice from the dog listener book. I dont want to try and stop my little dog following me if its a cavalier trait. I would not say its a problem. He is crate trained and goes in his bed fine. He does what he is told generally. Any advice would be great.
    Thanks for reading xx
    Tails follows me and Lily around but I never get the feeling he's guarding. I think he's just always hopeful that something interesting might happen and doesn't want to miss it if it does!

  7. #7
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    I said, yes, but he is a cavalier and its there trait. She says its not and he is guarding me???
    Oh dear -- that is typical advice from really crap trainers and please do not use that person. I also would not use the Dog Listener book -- there are some good things in it (and in the past, I interviewed the trainer for my newspaper and attended her seminars) but the stuff on guarding etc is just really outmoded -- eg eating before the dog and so forth. Plus: you have TWO different and totally separate issues here and only ONE is a problem.

    On the issue that is NOT an issue -- as you rightly believed in the first place, cavaliers normally follow their owners around; this type of desire to be a constant companion and always have you in sight has been bred into this breed's background for hundreds of years! Also, just about any dog will bark when the doorbell goes -- indeed most of us actually WANT such behaviour as it is a good warning and a good deterrent (better, police say, than an alarm) -- though of course you want a people friendly dog when people actually come into the house. How any trainer could think this totally normal behavoiour is 'guarding' or a problem is beyond me -- this is why I only recommend trainers who actually have some proper training and certification, and have proper knowledge of normal dog behaviour (too many just call themselves dog trainers because they have read a couple of books and think they are good with dogs -- a lot of them are anything but ). There isn't such a thing as 'little dog behaviour' that is any different from big dog or medium dog behaviour, either . There are however some breed behaviours and cavaliers like to be people's shadows. How sad that a trainer would jump to a potentially damaging conclusion and suggest what could easily be a training approach that could cause real anxiety to your cavalier and cause new problems!

    If you want a decent trainer, get someone with a CPDT or APDT certification (preferably the first). Their website will list trainers internationally near you.

    Now: the actual problem you have is a dog that doesn't like other dogs. That IS an issue that can become more and more serious. Can you explain more about this? Dogs that do not like dogs generally are like this because they weren't adequately socialised to lots and lots of dogs as a puppy (the first year is very critical for this) and also because they are not continuing to meet enough friendly dogs each day and week. For example if a dog never really meets any other dogs but others that share the house or the same one or two that belong to friends, then they can become dog aggressive/fear aggressive towards other dogs because they lose their ability to read other dog's friendly signals and/or ignore them and lose the abillty to socialise in a normal friendly way.

    One of the best ways to help a dog avoid the sad fate of not liking other dogs is to do a fun, rewards-based training class at least once and better, two or so when under a year, so the dog meets lots of different dogs and people. And then regularly use a good doggie day care, or do at least one fun class a year, or get involved in dog activities like agility or obedience, or find a group that meets for dog group walks or playdates.

    But as for where you are now: I'd look for a good CPDT- trainer run GROUP class and go along and talk to the trainer to see if your dog would benefit from that as a starting point for learning how to again mix with other dogs. If not, your dog may need solo work with you and the trainer -- there are things you can do to recondition your dog to not be aggressive/fearful of other dogs (and this is a very hard life for a dog to live; very stressful for the dog and the owner on walks, travelling etc). BUT this does take time and commitment from the owner -- there are no quick fixes and this cannot be done inside the house but requires slow work outside the house with your dog on a lead, giving positive feedback (NEVER punishment) to slowly have the dog associate good things with other dogs, not bad things as now.

    You can read more about why you may have a dog with fearfulness issues here: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/fearfulness -- also http://www.dogstardaily.com/training...scent-problems -- all this applies to meeting other dogs as well as people. Addressing issues with a fearful dog is best done with a rewards based, CPDT trainer as it is very hard to do on one's own and not risk creating further problems.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    I think that is great advice. Rylie, who used to be fearless around other dogs went through a stage where he was quite fearful. Incidents that may have contributed to this were are a very large Golden puppy (a year or so old but still puppy brain) who thought Rylie would be an excellent playmate. My poor guy got rolled once or twice when we babysat her. His class is larger dogs and there is one border collie who is rather moody. She has told him off a few times when he got too close to her space (this hasn't happened for a long time as now both her handler and I manage the situation). To try and deal with this I volunteered to babysit my friend's gentle, large dog. Rylie was quite nervous at the start of the weekend and indeed the big dog wanted to play and was quite disheartened that I was the only one who would play with him (he prefers dog play). He never even accidentally touched either of my dogs though. By Sunday Rylie was playing tug with the 85 pound dog who was so desperate for a playmate he let Rylie "drag" him around the room. The next time we went to the dog park Rylie was back to his feisty self and wouldn't give up his stick to a larger dog. He's still more cautious than Max meeting new dogs (unless he has a stick in his mouth) but I don't think cautious is a bad thing when you weigh less than thirteen pounds.
    Mindy Tri - Feb/97
    Max - Ruby - Sep/08
    Rylie - B&T - June/09

  9. #9
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    alfiesmummy - there is a reason Cavaliers are called "the Velcro dog". ;-) Our Sophie will even follow me into the bathroom. They love their humans and there is no way she is guarding me.

    It's quite normal for a dog to bark when someone is at the door. I wish our Sophie would do that! Instead, she is quite misguided and only barks at people out on the street. Once they are on our property and especially at the door, she believes they are her BFF (Best Friend Forever) who have come to visit her, and only her.

  10. #10
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    Great advice from Karlin. Leo follows me everywhere. I dont find it a problem I love his company, its why I got a cavalier

    The barking thing isnt a problem wither. Leo barks when someone knocks at the door but thats ok as its just his way of saying "There's someone at the door" and also if its a stranger they may think we have a big ferocious dog......its a good alarm system.

    It does sound like your puppy needs to be socialised though, he's missing out if he doesnt have doggy friends too. Try a small friendly puppy class that focuses on socialisation skills.
    Good luck
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

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