Hi all,

I have followed this site since I got my Cavalier a year and a half ago, but only posted when he was brand new. Reading your posts have helped a lot in raising him. I know that at 19 months dogs can be quite a challenge and this is the time most people give up. I swore that would not happen to me but I am really at my wits end here.

My husband does not really care much for dogs but agreed for me and the children. I grew up with dogs and think that they are a very good influence for children. Also we have an autistic 11 year old son, and I had read literature about autistic children and dogs.

We got the puppy from a good breeder who is registered with the Dog Society here in Iceland. He is quite wonderful, sweet and loving. But he is also very independent and stubborn, and it seems that even though he knows the rules, he decides that it is worth it to break them. Seems like he did not get the memo about Cavaliers wanting to please He is not allowed in the kitchen but still sneaks in there and even onto the kitchen table if there is food. He jumps up on the children if they have food. We have to put him in another room if we are watching TV and have snacks, he can´t leave them alone no matter how many times we say no. Still I always give him a chance and end up having to remove him.

We did a puppy class with the dog society here and he passed with no problems. He is a fast learner and will do anything for a treat, grooming is no problem if there are treats involved.

So the problem is this greediness for our food. We give him very good dog food that I order, not store bought and he has dog treats.

This is really becoming a big problem for our family, the house is becoming tense and I am about to give up. My autistic son wants to spend all his time at his grandparents, I think the dog is partly the reason for that. It is too difficult for him to see the dog breaking the rules again and again and watching me discipline him, (saying "no" with an authoritative voice).

I have talked to friends that have Cavaliers and none of them have had this same problem. I love my dog but I am starting to feel that he is to difficult for me and our situation (a husband who does not really care for animals and five kids). I have always said that if I could raise an autistic son to be so wonderful as mine is, a dog should not be so difficult. We did applied behavior analysis for our son when he was younger so I know the methods.

This is a bit long and confusing, but I am sitting here with tears in my eyes because I just do not know what to do. Giving up and finding him another home will be such a failure but I just can´t go on like this.

Thank you all, I hope someone can give me advise.

Hrafnhildur