Can you help?
I was wondering if someone could help me with a couple of little problems that I have.
I have 2 Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Dukey who is 1 year old in December and Ollie, his younger brother who is 7 months old.
They are soo cute and very well behaved and get on great!! There are just a few things that I cant figure out and need help with.
The first, is dinner time!!
Every morning they both have a bowl of dry food, that I wet with warm water so its softer to chew and leave out for them. Neither of them really make a fuss over breakfast, they just nibble through out the day.
When I get home from work, there is always some breakfast left, I put down a bowl of wet canned food for them each. Ollie throws his whole head in the bowl and doesnt come up to breath until every bit has gone and he has licked the bowl clean!
Dukey has a sniff and then walks off. He never seems to enjoy food - no matter what I put down, I have tried EVERYTHING! But always tried one thing for quite a while, I dont keep changing.
Before we got ollie it was fine, he would go back to it later, eat some and so on. Now that we have Ollie, Dukey's food is gone as soon as Ollie has realised that there is another bowl of food that isnt being eaten. Sometimes I try and take dukey in another roon and feed it to him off a fork (he eats the whole lot this way) but Oliie cries and I dont want Dukey to only be hand fed. Can anyone suggest anything??
Also, (im sorry I will try and make it quick!!) Walking is a bit of a problem for Ollie.
As soon as Dukey sees me get his collar and lead he gets so excited and runds around in circles and heads for the door.
Ollie runs and hides. He literally tries to get in the wall and once his collar is on he doesnt move. His ears go back, his eyes widen and he drools.
I have never met a more excited dog in my life than what Ollie is about everything, he loves life like you wouldnt belive!! But when that collar goes on, he is a different dog. We have to drag him outside but as soon as he is out of the gate, he is fine, back to himself with his tail whipping everything that he walks past!
His collar fits ok and he has never had a bad expericene on a walk??
Any thoughts would be great, I really want him to get excited about walks and not be scared to death.
Sorry for the book!!
I recommend that you seperate them when they eat.....two different rooms and leave the bowls down for 15 minutes and pick them up after that until the next feeding time. Don't fuss over them...just put it down, leave and pick it up after about 15 minutes. If they're hungry, in time they'll eat when it's given to them.
Then put it on him and let him drag it around without going outside right away. Again, give him treats periodically as long as he is looking comfortable with it. After you've done this for a little while, open the door, but don't go out. Hang onto the end of the leash and just walk back and forth near the door, giving treats. If he shows the slightest improvement in going toward the door (on his own) jack pot him with something really yummy and lots of praise.
Does he have a favorite toy? Find something he loves and only use it for this purpose. Toss it across the door threshhold and just make it a game. Never drag a dog on a leash. That makes it more stressful for him. He's probably already associated the collar and leash with that unpleasantness and force. Try treats and toys and try not to make a coddling fuss over him when he's nervous. Be confident yourself. Don't anticipate a difficulty in your mind...
Say something like, "let's go!" (in a friendly, fun voice)
You say he's OK once he gets past the gate. Was there anything scary by the gate? Spend some time hanging out by the gate, again making it as pleasant as possible...play a game by the gate. Toss the toy though the opening and just hang out around there for a bit before going all the way through. I'm just thinking in terms of desensatizing him to that area and to the collar and leash.
Anyhow.....bottom line: Gradual is the word. Having confidence and not worrying will transfer to him. Be assertive without force. Reinforce with something he LOVES for baby steps in the right direction. Don't attend to him at all when he's acting fearful and nervous.....no reaction from you. Associate the collar and leash with good things and happy, fun, tasty times.
In fact, while you're working on these smaller steps, don't even have it in your mind what the final goal is...that you want to put the collar and leash on, walk through the door out to the gate and so forth. Only have the one little step that you're working on in your mind, as the goal. Sometime when you're thinking of the big picture, it makes you more stressed, more impatient and that...the dog picks up on and feels the stress. So, when you're carrying the leash around in the house, showing it to him, giving him a treat and some fun....THAT'S the only goal right there....to have him be comfortable with that and start enjoying playing a little with the leash. You can make it a snake and shake it around on the floor if he seems receptive to that.
I know it's hard to desensatize when you have to get him out for a walk, but I'd get him comfortable with being in the house, going through the door first, then going through the door into the yard.... then venture out to the gate and so on...maybe spend a couple of days on that before expecting a big walk....from going from the collar and leash on in the house to the door to the gate all in one quick, sudden, stressful moment. Does that make sense?
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Last edited by Doberluv; 11-13-2006 at 02:09 PM.
Thanks for your reply.
Firslty thoug I want to apologise for my misuse of words. I dont actually drag Ollie, I just meant that its a right hooha to get him out of the house! Sorry about that.
Your advise is great, tonight after they have had their dinner in seperate rooms I am going to get ollie's collar down and let him play with it for a while and give him loads of priase then try putting it on and letting him play with his favourite toy.
I am going to take very slow steps and be patient. I know that he will get there, he is so clever!!
Hopefully in a few days we will be going for a walk and he will be excited.
Your help has been great, I really apreciate it.
I will let you know how we get on!!!