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Thread: New dog problems

  1. #1
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    Default New dog problems

    We bought a 2.5 year old tri male cav which had been used by a backyard breeder as a stud dog, we bought him very cheap out of the local paper, he should have been free and I feel like I got him out of there and into a better situation with responsible owners. We now know why he has been rehomed, he is a terror!

    The day I got him he was booked in for neutering, and he has passed a health check etc, he has been neutered and now settling in with us. We have had him about a month now. Each day we learn more and more what problems he has learnt at his old home. He is huge for a cav weighing in at 11.8 kilos and he is lean and in no way fat, just big.

    He is a very dominant dog, pushes himself on us and tries to climb us or sit on top of you on the couch, very food aggressive, has started growling and trying to bite if we try to get him to do something he doesnt want to do. He barks lots, chases the cat, climbs on tables, knew nothing apart from
    Simple sit, takes the washing off the washing line and chews it up, pulls like a stream train on a lead, rushes through doorways and out the front door and if we don't grab him he bolts 100 miles an hour and we have to get the car to track him down and bring him home.

    We started dog obedience with him last week, some days I want to strangle him but I know it's not his fault, he has been allowed to get away with so many naughty behaviors! I try to remain calm always and if he is very naughty or tries to bite he is immediately crated for time out. We have trained him to sit and wait for his food bowl to be put down and we are trying to train him to sit and stay on his dog bed when asked (that is not going very well)

    My other cav is usually quite submissive and just ignores him or if he is doing something he is not supposed to do she will run over and mount him, which I've been told is dominance behaviour? She has challenged him a few times and we have had a barking match.

    What I find really bizarre is that when they finish eating he will go over to her bowl and piss in it....

    I'm really not kidding, this dog is quite badly behaved and I am hoping in time he chills out a bit and learns his place. For now we will continue to try to work with him and if he really doesn't work out find someone to rehome him with no other pets which may work better. We really do love him already, he can at times be very sincerely sweet like most cavs but then reverts into this crazy naughty out of control dog (at dog training he was trying to attack the instructors dog!!) :/ he was simply out of control with teeth nashing

    I think we are doing most things right, the dogs get walked twice a day, I'm home lots as I'm doing my phd so the dogs have lots of company and attention. Walking has been harder though the last week as it has constantly rained and I'm having to take the dogs out along our driveway which is about 500 meters of mud. Mushroom is getting stained from the mud on her paws and she doesnt even want to go out...


    Anyway, I guess I'm not really asking for advice, just wanted to vent or something and maybe someone can tell me it will get easier! Mogwai should have never been bred, particularly with his aggression issues and he is not registered.

    I actually tracked down the breeder he originally came from and his parents had no health problems, his dad died a little while ago from a paralysis tick and his mum is 7 with no heart murmurs so I guess that's a good thing... I just wish he would behave

  2. #2
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    time, patients, and buy some good training books.....keep loving him!
    Chuck, Cooper and Nina
    Shelter dogs aren't broken. They've simply experienced more life than other dogs. If they were human, we would call them wise. They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write. Do not pity a shelter dog. Adopt one.

  3. #3
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    Well done you for giving this little guy a chance in life

    Like Chuck said......Stick with it he'll be worth it in the end xx
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

  4. #4
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    I'm sure he will eventually get it, but as he has never had any structure, it will take awhile. Karlin has some excellent information in the training section. These sites may give you some insight on how to train. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  5. #5
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    Vent away! It does help...

    I think it also can help get some perspective from others. There are likely two separate issues here, speaking from experience in rescue. One is that many people think of getting a second dog in the context of the experience they have with their well-socialised, trained existing dog, and imagine a similar personality. But of course dogs are all different and part of the challenge here I'd guess is that this is a far more active and in your face dog generally. Add to that the other issue: that essentially this is a rescue dog of more or less unknown background, never well socialised, never trained and carrying significant baggage.

    You are doing the right things in doing obedience and working with him at home but have you discussed how challenged you feel with the trainer? They may have some helpful suggestions. Secondly, I know it can be hard but I think you have to also accept this is a dog likely to remain challenging. I absolutely agree that patience and kindness and positive training methods -- never, ever punishment -- will help to moderate and curb some or even in time, all of the unwanted behaviours, but I do think you also need to be able to accept that he is what he is and he'll never be the same as your existing dog. Rescue dogs, or dogs rehomed from someone else, always come with such a caveat.

    There's nothing wrong with feeling this is more than you bargained for and feel ready for. Many of us have felt that way at one time or another, and it is important that both you and the dog are happy. If you do decide he's too challenging. I'd strongly recommend working with a reputable rescue to rehome so that they can screen for the right home. You will still have done the right thing by this cavalier.

    If you do want to work with him, I think you would feel a lot better talking to your trainer so that your expectations are in line with what can be achieved and you feel less personally frustrated. Keep in mind the dog is not being naughty and deliberately destructive or frustrating -- if he's never had any shape to his life, learned any self control, and had much interaction with people etc, he has no framework for knowing how you'd like him to be. That will only come with a lot of time and patience and may always need some compromise in expectations.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #6
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    This is a good but long article on issues with rescue dogs. http://sharerescue.co.uk/?page_id=1386 This bit might be particularly helpful and what follows after it back on the original site (it goes in detail into the kinds of things you are describing and how to manage them) -- this is just a taster:

    AFTER TWO WEEKS MY RESCUE DOG IS SUDDENLY BEING VERY “NAUGHTY”
    I often get calls from clients who have adopted a rescue dog and they tell me that for the first couple of weeks he has been an “absolute angel!” then suddenly he has “changed” & become the dog from hell! Hmnnnn ………… the dog has now habituated to his new environment is now starting to feel safe and have trust in you – and sometimes this is when it becomes evident why he was surrendered in the first place.

    Fortunately for the dog – by that time, the new owners have fallen for him – so are usually more than willing to work through any issues that start appearing at this stage. So be aware that this could be on the cards and have some plans in action to deal with some of the more common problems.

    He Won’t Know The Rules
    This is a big one. Every home has different rules. This dog might have gone from comfy living (or not, depending on his origin), to a place with very few comforts (the shelter), to your home, which probably seems like paradise after the shelter. He’s not going to know what to do, or what not do. You will need to start to gently guide him into your routines & gently introduce any house rules.

    Dogs are also great opportunists. Even if he’s never sat on a sofa before coming to live with you, he’ll probably try anyway, just to see if you’ll let him. The same goes for begging for food, or sleeping on the bed. Don’t punish him for trying, but try to limit his choices and not put him in the position where he is able to make the “wrong” choice.

    Good Rules To Establish:

    Give him his own area to eat in. Don’t expect him to eat close to other dogs – nor should you let children pester him whilst he is eating – he might have had to fight to get a meal at some stage! An indoor dog crate is a wonderful thing to use as a “safe “place. However, he might need to be gradually accustomised to the crate & this could take a bit of time – especially if he has not had previous positive crate experiences.
    He should not be disturbed when in his “safe” place – his “safe place” “rights” in this regard should be respected – especially by the children. He deserves a place where he can escape to if he feels the need. This includes his own space to sleep in – again respect his rights – and he should not be pestered by the kids when he is in his bed
    To help bonding with the dog – the entire family should take turns providing meals & the good things in life.
    The same goes with calm play – (unless he is fearful) try to get the whole family involved as play is a wonderful way to bond!
    The family can also take turns with the scoop the poop duties – this is also a good idea to help teach everyone what a responsibility it is to own a dog.
    Encourage the whole family to take part in some basic training such as teaching the dog to “come” when called. All learning should be reward based & using basic positive reinforcement methods & each and every interaction should be rewarding in some way for the dog.
    Be careful which rules you establish / reinforce!
    Beware of giving a dog attention whilst exhibiting behaviours you dislike –the attention could be perceived as a reward and the behaviour will escalate!

    Rather concentrate on rewarding and giving the dog attention when he is displaying behaviour that you approve of.
    Ignore the negative and reward and praise the positive!

    COMMON PROBLEMS TO PREPARE FOR – REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS!
    Being forewarned is sometimes being forearmed! Expect the worst then you will be often pleasantly surprised! To follow are some of the most common problems that you are likely to come across. Most of them are pretty easy to solve – with a little common sense & some time, patience & understanding.

    The basic rule is to ignore all negative behaviour & reward and praise all good or positive behaviour.

    Many common problems are caused by stress – therefore it is imperative that the dog is not punished for these unwanted behaviours. If you punish a dog for displaying stress behaviour – the stress levels with heighten and his behaviour could well worsen or develop/escalate into further unwanted behaviours.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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  8. #7
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    He is a lucky boy and very much trying his best to be a good boy... I think in the end he will be worth all the effort

  9. #8
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    Thanks Karlin,
    i think we didn't really have many expectations we just didn't expect him to be quite as naughty I knew he would be a handful the day I met him, he was entire for the first week with us and very full of spunk but has calmed down a bit. The past few days he has improved a little which is good. He is finally sleeping where we ask him to and isn't getting on the couch as much, we also have come leaps and bounds even in the past few days with stopping barking. I just say stop barking and call him and he usually stops and comes to me, the first few weeks he would ignore me and get even more worked up! I've read so many dog training tips online and picked the ones I feel would work for us.


    He is really trying, he is very touchy with being touched especially with his paws, he tries to mouth us and nips but tonight I decided I'd start working on the problem and within five mins he was lying with his head on my leg falling asleep while I touched his feet, it took a few times of me telling him no biting and a calm reprimand and the he accepted it. I think there is just an element of trust and bonding he is starting to feel with me. I have made sure never to lay blame on him and just give him time and patience. I remember the first week we got him we couldn't even touch his feet at all and he came with a horrible pusy infection on his paw, we had to have one of us gently restrain him to get the ointment on his paw, I think now I could almost do it with no worries. There is still so far to go but we will continue to ask for help and read online articles. The online suggestions you made are great, thanks it made me understand it from his perspective


    i am feeling much more optimistic today, the hardest problem will be training him to not chase the cat, it will just have to be very gradual for him and the cat

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