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Monday, 8 November 2010

My dogs love of others is dangerous!

I have a 16-month-old male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is a very confident, sociable dog with no signs of fear or aggression. He loves meeting other dogs but the problem is he seems to like it so much that if he sees a dog in the distance that he can not reach or if a dog walks past him without stopping for a sniff, he starts barking excitably and trying to pull towards them and will not stop until they are out of sight. It is a little embarrassing as he will not listen when he is in this state and I would like to know how to stop it from happening or how to stop/control if it does happen. It also makes it impossible to let him off the lead at this stage as he would just bolt off after any dog he sees, with no concern for traffic or any danger. He was castrated a few months ago in the hope that it may help, but although he has calmed down slightly it has not stopped it.
Rebecca Otter

1 comment:

  1. It may well be that your friendly dog is getting over-excited precisely because he is on the lead when he meets other dogs.
    Assuming you have a good recall, I would let him off and I bet you will be pleasantly surprised. Most dogs don't want to loose their owners or run off into the distance.
    For dogs, there is nothing like being off the lead and free to meet whichever dogs they choose. It seems to calm them down and it's so good for them to run around together.
    Obviously, take avoiding action if you see an aggressive dog.
    My young spaniel, who I walk on Wimbledon Common, wanted to say hullo to every dog we met at first but because she was off the lead from 12 weeks onwards, she soon got used to it and now, although only three months older than your dog, she just takes other dogs in her stride - stopping to play sometimes or just sniffing and walking on. The good thing is that your dog sounds confident and good natured.
    Let him play then after a bit, walk on. I'm sure he will follow you.
    You need to practise the recall, though - with treats - and only let him off in safe places where friendly people and dogs gather.
    If he is too involved in playing he probably won't take any notice, so don't call him, just walk up to him and put on the lead, perhaps getting the other owner to get hold of their dog first.
    Julia Lewis