10th December 2012, 04:44 PM
loving, demanding, needy, bored?
OK. I like my loving Cav, but I'd also like to get something else done, other than playing, fetch, taking him out to potty, or rocking him. Good grief. It seems that since he started sleeping with us he has become so much more attached. He has had breakfast, pottied outside, I threw him a few toys to fetch and, after being up less than an hour, he's sitting in front of me with those eyes begging me to get him on my lap. So, of course, I did. It's Christmas, we're moving in 4 weeks, and I have things to do! This is worse than having a toddler. I know we've spoiled him rotten. Hubby says he's bored but what does a dog do in the house all day with one old woman? Any tips on alleviating boredom for a 2 year old Cav?
10th December 2012, 06:15 PM
Not really sure how to address this as it is honestly hard to tell how serious you are.
If you are serious -- hmmmm.
To me, none of this sounds overly taxing for the normal and generally, very enjoyable interactions between a dog and owner. They re all the things people tend to get dogs for. And I know I must have said so many times on this forum, ad nauseum, that having a dog IS exactly like having a toddler in terms of time obligations and responsibilities. I note this to people with young families who think they want a dog -- they are time demanding and like a toddler, you can't just shunt them off (or what is the point, really, of having a very social, interactive, playful companion animal like a dog? A cat is far less demanding and might be a better fit for anyone concerned about the time demands of a dogs -- and they ARE time demanding! Soemtimes people just are not really ready for or expecting that.
So if this much interaction (which is honestly, pretty minimal for the start to a day! -- and less than an hour -- which already was in part devoted to normal functions like potty and eating) ... is indeed a serious demand on things you prefer or need to be doing, maybe a dog isn't the best fit? Especially this breed -- as my pinned post Considering a Cavalier?, notes in some detail, the breed needs and expects close companionship and tends to shadow its owner. I'd never recommend a cavalier to anyone who doesn't want a dog that feels its place is in the bathroom every time its owner needs a toilet break! However, only you can decide whether a dog is the right fit right now.
On the other hand, assuming you do spend much of the day on and off in actual interactions and he has a rich and active life -- eg at least an hour of really active walks/runs and vigorous play and training time each day as well as time with and around you all day -- if you have something to do, why let him up on your lap? Or let him distract from what you need to get done? Any dog in the world will be delighted to have their owner spend 100% of their time with them. But who runs the house? It is not as if the dog is giving orders .
I will make my usual recommendation -- please, please download Ian Dunbar's free After You Get Your Puppy which is great for dogs of any age, on how to keep a dog productively busy and how to train a dog to be the dog you want. Any dog needs training, practice, a personal space to retreat to, active chew toys/kongs, and self control -- that only an owner can teach, by putting the needed training time in.
Ian Dunbar will give plenty of guidelines and suggestions for training and management.
Also: meeting other dogs for playtimes or going to a responsible doggy daycare centre a couple of times a week also will totally tire out a dog with activity and is very rewarding for the dog.
Hope that helps!
In memory: Lucy
10th December 2012, 06:24 PM
Ha. Thanks, Karlin, for your insight into our situation. The first few paragraphs aren't an option--no way will we ever get rid of our precious Bentley. The last 2 paragraphs are right on....it's our own fault that we haven't really trained him - we've just let him train us. As I type, he's trying to get between me and my laptop. I'm just stressed right now because of all we have going on in our lives with the move, holidays, still grieving over loss of our daughter last Dec. And, he truly is a comfort in that area.
10th December 2012, 08:20 PM
If you find something Bentley likes chewing, such as a rawhide bone, you can tell him firmly that now is not the time to pester you, now is the time to settle down on the floor or in his crate and enjoy his chew. My two don't sleep with me, they're quite happy in the sitting room (and my wonky feet don't cope with two dogs sleeping on them), and when I'm working in my office-cum-bedroom, they curl up on the bed and go to sleep with half an eye on what I'm doing. They're used to the routine and know they will get a good walk in the afternoon and time together on the sofa at teatime. The important thing is to establish a routine - time for being quiet and time to play, time to walk and time to cuddle, but not you on constant call. Two years old is quite old enough to learn this, and moving house could be a good time to get a new routine going..
Kate, Oliver and Aled
10th December 2012, 08:50 PM
Check into treat toys, stuffed Kongs (recently we added deer antlers- for variety, I rub either coconut oil or peanutbutter in the marrow cuts), rotating out toys, etc. to give you a break when you need to get something done, especially out of your regular routine. Of course, make sure he's not getting too many treat toys and stuffed Kongs (the temptation may be overwhelming when you realize you can actually get something done guilt free, haha) and use low calorie, low fat treats (I think there is advice on Kong stuffing on here somewhere). And keep them "highly prized", because if you use them every day, he'll get bored with them too. These saved me when Rose was a bored puppy, and occasionally still comes to my rescue when I just need her to behave for a bit! Is he crate trained? Giving her a Kong in her crate also worked if I just could not have her underfoot while I was doing something- she would work on the Kong, and then usually tire herself out enough to nap. I won't tell you at this point that adding a second dog has helped with Rose's "I'm bored" issues a bunch...maybe I'll mention that after you move, lol . Good luck!
10th December 2012, 10:42 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I've seriously thought about the second dog idea because when our daughter's bischon, Elvis, comes by for a short visit, they have a ball together and it's probably good for both of them. However, it's similar to when you have that first grandchild: you can't imagine that you could ever love subsequent babies as much. ha. That's the way we feel about Bentley because he's our first house dog and we're in our 70s!