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Training an adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by CavalierLotta, Feb 26, 2017.


  1. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm writing on behalf of my client who has Asperger's syndrome and isn't able to write here personally. I am her care worker. She is new to this forum and would like to get some advice on dog training. She has a four-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lotta. My client hasn't been able to train Lotta in a long time due to her behaviour. When Lotta was younger, she behaved like a little puppy and started acting silly and barking when my client tried to start training her. Lotta used so much energy on acting silly that she almost immediately got bored. If my client tried to ignore her by turning around, she would go to the other side and continue acting silly. It didn't help to stop the training and continue later, because she would behave the same way.
    My client saw a video on YouTube of Donna Hill training one of her dogs. She decided to continue training although the dog kept barking. This didn't work out so well with Lotta.
    My client would like to know what she could do with Lotta. Any ideas? She has already tried clicker training.
    Thank you for your help!
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Is there anything specific your client wants to train her dog to do? And could you please add a little more about what Lotta does when she is acting silly? I would add it might be difficult if this is a behaviour the dog has practiced and perfected over four years.
     
  3. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Would your client be able to go to a dog training class or have a one to one training session with a trainer?

    Dogs often act silly when they're uncertain of what they're expected to do .
    Also , as Joanne said , if the dog is in a habit of doing this it can be harder to change the behaviour .
     
  4. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    Some Cavaliers are extremely vocal and excitable and it may be what you are seeing with Lotta. Firstly i would suggest taking Lotta for a run in the park/for a nice walk to run off her energy. I would then suggest that any 'training sessions' are kept very simple to begin with (things you know she can do ie; sit/come) and very short. (5 mins) with easy rewards. If she starts to get silly, simply stop the training and ignore her. Walk away, leave the room. Do not attempt to calm her/talk to her/tell her to quiet as this tends to fuel the hyper behaviour (as they get anxious as well as excited).

    Does depend on what training you are trying to do?

    J
     
  5. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hey, thank you for your advice.

    My client would like to teach Lotta basic things. She has taken Lotta to dog training classes in the past, but Lotta used to behave there differently than at home.She didn't act silly as much as at home.

    My client thought she would explain more about the issue. When Lotta was younger, it was difficult to even start the training. My client has seen two videos on YouTube where some other Cavaliers behave the same way as Lotta. We cannot link the videos but we thought we would write the names of the videos here:
    "Funny puppy Charlie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel" by the user jrs87sch
    "BooDa - Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - Chiot" by the user MrDjced

    Ignoring her doesn't work because Lotta often does the same as the dogs in this video:
    "Now I have TWO shadows following me around this house" by the user Jim Patton

    So, when my client tries to ignore Lotta, she follows her around the apartment and stares at her. In this video, Donna Hill is training her dog even though he barks and acts silly at times:
    "Chaining Paw Sit for send outs and cues at a distance (& Treibball)"

    That dog is able to concentrate on the training even though he is acting a bit silly. We mentioned that Lotta got bored almost immediately. My client would like to know how to get Lotta to stop acting silly and concentrate on the training.
     
  6. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    @CavalierLotta

    Ive link the two videos for you at the bottom of my post .

    The way both the dogs act in the film is very similar to how my my Libby chi acts sometimes .
    She does this when I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do e.g go out to the toilet when its wet .

    Pups/dogs act like this in play but you also have to consider the circumstance the dog is doing this in .

    Dogs appearing silly or bored , doesn't mean they are actually silly or bored.

    Dogs often act differently at training classes and often act differently with different people.

    I really think it would be a good idea to have a behaviourist or positive reinforcement trainer to come to your clients home
    and assess the situation and help advise how to train and to make sure she is training correctly . Perhaps you could be there as well.
    Clicker training is a great way of training but it does require practice and its easy to accidently teach or reinforce the wrong thing.

    Someone once filmed me and I could see that the things I was dong wrong that I didn't realise I was doing . ,

    perhaps we could recommend someone if you could give a very rough idea of where your client lives , eg south london or west birmingham

    or have a look here .

    http://capbt.org/findabehaviourist.php










     
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  7. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hello, thank you for your reply.
    We live in Finland. We have told that my client has taken Lotta to courses and she might take her again at some point...

    My client asked me to create this thread so that she could discuss about Lottas training here and she thought that maybe some of you could help her. We have told that ignoring Lotta doesn't help, because Lotta does the same thing as the dogs on this YouTube video: "Now I have TWO shadows following me around this house" by the user Jim Patton

    If my client walks away when Lotta starts acting silly, she can't even start the training. Besides, then Lotta thinks that she doesn't need to do anything. Lotta acts silly because she behaves like a little puppy that only wants to play and she thinks that my client is her playmate. Could someone tell my client what she could try, since ignoring Lotta doesn't work? She would like to know how to get Lotta to stop acting silly and concentrate on what she should do. My client has forgotten to tell that she already knows how to teach Lotta things because she has seen many tutorials about clicker training on YouTube. She just doesn't know how to get her to concentrate. Do you have any specific ideas on how to get a dog to concentrate on training?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  8. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hello ! Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Sorry, I missed your earlier post. To be honest, it sounds like maybe your client needs to be trained in how to train the dog. She needs to learn how to get and keep the dog's attention so she can start to train the dog to respond to her cues. I appreciate the difficulties but my suggestion would be to go to a good class or get a trainer to work with her 1-1.

    Please try to find one that used positive, reward based techniques.
     
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  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Duplicate post
     
  11. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    As well as the excellent advice above, have a look at the videos below by kikopup. The ideas shown may be a good starting point for your client.

    I have found that getting a dog to be more focussed on training can be easier if they have been well exercised first or chosing a time if day when they are less excitable.

    Also bare in mind that some dogs start acting silly in training sessions if they are frustrated or don't understand what is expected of them so keep the training sessions very short to begin with eg 2 minutes and take only very small incremental steps in increasing the criteria (what you are asking for).






     
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  12. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hey! Thank you so much for your advice. :) We still have a couple of questions regarding this issue.

    First of all, it has been difficult to explain how Lotta behaves and why. My client has her own videos of Lotta but we are unfortunately not able to link them. Lotta doesn't seem to get frustrated about the training because she starts acting silly before my client has even started it. We have told that Lotta acts silly because she behaves like a little puppy that only wants to play and she thinks that my client is her playmate. She also gets too excited.

    My client has these questions about the first two videos: So, my client is talking about what Lotta does at the beginning of the training session. Kikopup doesn't use a clicker in one of those videos. My client suspects that if she didn't use a clicker, Lotta might eventually walk away and go to sleep. Should she then use a clicker? And what should she reward when Lotta starts jumping and barking playfully at the beginning of the training session?
    How could my client teach Lotta the positive interrupter when she gets too excited about training? How could she use this with barking?

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  13. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hi again :Happy
    we have tried to ask for advice here... Is there something you don't understand or would you like to know something more to be able to give some ideas? Is there someone who could answer the questions in our previous message? We would appreciate your help a lot!
     
  14. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    From what you say your client should first focus on rewarding calm behaviours. At any time during the day when the dog is being calm eg lying down, sitting, relaxing (not sleeping), following quietly or any of the things kikopup lists as calm behaviours in the first video then you client should gently calmly and with no other fuss give the dog a treat (adjust the food ration to take into account the treats or give some of the food ration of treats).

    Don't use a clicker for this as this will hey the dog excited. The idea is to always be quietly rewarding calm behaviour and ignore and don't reward ( via speaking ,petting , interacting or treating the dog when the behaviour is not calm). It may take a little while but after a while, if your client is consistent, the dog will offer calm behaviours to get attention rather than jump etc. Once the dog is calm you can then start some training sessions of only 2 or 3 minutes long working on simple things to get focus. Things like sit, down, touch and look at me. A clicker can be used for this but get the calm behaviour first. If the dog gets all excited again, stop and ignore the dog. Hopefully he will quickly start behaving calmly. Reward when he does. Try another short training session a little later. Again carry on if he's calm if not then ignore and reward when calm.
     
  15. bogdog

    bogdog PetForums Senior

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    There were several threads on another forum with similar (maybe even identical) questions about training a cavalier on behalf of a friend. Many people got involved in putting forward suggestions of training classes, one to one training, learning from kikopup, clicker training etc. None of the answers ever pleased the OP. The response always was ' But my friend doesn't want to do this or that, but the dog does this instead etc'

    No progress was ever reported, only the same questions phrased slightly differently were being posted under different thread headings. It was very very frustrating.
     
  16. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Thanks. :-/
     
  17. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    So, first of all, she started to look for other forums because she noticed later that the majority of the users from the forum where she used to post questions had disappeared. She hadn't been to that forum in a long time. She appreciated all the advice that was given to her, but apparently her previous care worker wasn't able to explain her issue with Lotta properly. She just couldn't get Lotta to do what she wanted her to do that well. My client says that she and her previous care worker tried to report Lottas progress by linking videos on the forum. We can link videos here as well, once we have posted enough messages. Meanwhile, she can try this:

    Thank you very much for your advice. :)
     
  18. bogdog

    bogdog PetForums Senior

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    People stopped posting on those threads as the questions were going in circles. Then the threads disappeared. :)
     
  19. CavalierLotta

    CavalierLotta PetForums Junior

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    Hello again:)

    We would like this thread to be only about Lotta's training.
    My client has tried a few times what was suggested here. My client has given Lotta treats when she has been lying down calmly. After that, she stays down but looks at my client. Does it matter? If she doesn't use a clicker, how does Lotta know that she is being rewarded for lying down calmly? How many days or weeks should she continue doing this before she tries teaching her something else?
     
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