16th January 2014, 08:42 PM
Frightened of dogs now
Our 11 month old cavalier, Winnie, used to go up to dogs all the time to say "hi". We took our first pet training class at PetsMart about a week ago, and right when we sat down a German Shepard mix rescue attacked her and had her head in his mouth and was shaking her around. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt. The rest of the class she spent hiding behind me and wouldn't do anything. Needless to say, we're just going to do private lessons for now, especially since we just need the basics down. No major issues. Anyway, now when I walk her, she is scared of all dogs. I'm trying to just keep exposing her to other dogs that we know, hoping that she'll get over it. I really want her to be socialized, so what else can I do? Is she going to be leery of all dogs now for the rest of her life? I know not all dogs are friendly, so she's got to get used to dogs barking at her, and know when to approach and when not to, right?
19th January 2014, 02:57 AM
I found a Cavalier play group near the area where I live. It's a get-together for Cavaliers and their owners to socialize. Maybe if you could find a group like this in your area that you could take your dog to it might help. At least you'd know that the dogs were going to be friendly and gentle and maybe that would help your dog get used to other dogs again.
19th January 2014, 03:40 AM
19th January 2014, 09:49 PM
Two thoughts: I would agree that trying to meet up with other Cavaliers would be a good idea - Cavaliers almost always get on well with each other even if they are scared of other breeds. Why not put a poster up in your vet's waiting area, asking if other Cavalier owners would like to get together for a playtime or walk? And if you take Winnie to anywhere where there are other dogs, such as a park, don't force her to mix with them. Sit on the edge, with Winnie securely on your lap and let her watch what is going on. Divert her attention with occasional treats, especially when another dog passes quite close by - get her attention off the dog and onto you and the treat, so that you are in no way rewarding her for being frightened if she really sees the other dog, but being near to other dogs means nice things happen.
Some puppy classes are simply not adequately supervised - Winnie's experience was really horrendous. I took one of my earlier Cavaliers to puppy class; he was tiny and all the other puppies were bigger and were literally batting him around the (rather slippery) floor. He retreated further and further under my chair, and the 'trainer' just went on saying 'Oh, he'll be better next week.' But of course he wasn't and it left him wary of bigger dogs for the rest of his life.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
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22nd January 2014, 08:43 PM
Thanks everyone. Good advice. I do take her around town quite a bit (she loves going on car rides to places), so hopefully that will help. Also, I have several friends who have CKCS, so I probably just need to get together with them!