Demon cavapoo

(53 Posts)
Laurainlondon Sun 28-Oct-18 15:52:22

Hi, lots to say about our puppy, we bought her having heard such amazing things about the breed, and while in many ways she's a total dreamboat (affectionate, super smart, picked up toilet training etc. and everything real quick) shes also a total monster when it comes to other dogs.
Ever since we first had her she was terrified of other dogs (seemed really confident with her littermates, but was one of the smallest ones) and it's now got the point that if she sees a dog in our building complex, she either attacks, barks like a demon, chases, generally looses her sh*t. We're now on our 3rd dog trainer, who is really rather good but we still can't take here ANYWHERE indoors (cafe, pub, hotel) as if another dog appears she will be uncontrollable and LOUD. Has anyone else had a similar experience/any ideas what we should do? Before you ask we took her to all the puppy training sessions, tried to socialise her, read all the books, did all the reccommended Training stuff (except crating - she was quick to learn toilet training so we didn't need to, and she really hated it.). We're at our wits end and if i thought anyone would take her we'd honestly probably have rehomed her by now, but I just don't thing anyone would be able to handle her and I can't bear to think of her being given to a 'pound' sad.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Sun 28-Oct-18 15:58:42

How old is she?

What kind of environment did she come from?

What was her mum like?

Which breed was her mum - CKC or poodle or a cross herself?

Have you done any focus training with her (to get her to focus on you) or any systematic desensitisation with any trainers? What techniques did they use?

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sun 28-Oct-18 16:02:32

I have a CKC who loves other dogs but if he sees another dog near the house he is LOUD in his need to alert me. He is all mouth and no trousers as he absolutely loves playing with them and is actually quite submissive.

Is it the barking that’s your main problem or does she go further? Will she recall when she is chasing another dog?

Did you get all this at puppy classes or did it start later?

Sorry so many questions. I failed in crate training too btw but as house training was going well I gave up and now it just sits in the house gathering dust and making me feel guilty grin

YuhBasic Sun 28-Oct-18 16:02:38

It isn’t a breed it’s a cross, and unfortunately the problems you describe are common when people get pound signs in their eyes and produce puppies for people with more money than sense who will stump up ridiculous sums for poorly bred animals just because they have a cute made up name.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 28-Oct-18 16:28:57

It sounds likely that you have a reactive dog, which is a problem rooted in fear. She's not a demon, she's terrified. It's not an easy problem to live with, but it can be managed and reduced in severity. You may, however, have to manage your expectations on what's realistically achievable - she may or may not be the dog you'd hoped for in every way, but now you've bought her you've made a commitment - it's like giving birth to a baby with disabilities.

I would strongly advise seeking professional help from an APBC or CCAB qualified behaviourist, sooner rather than later before the problem becomes more deeply ingrained. Depending on your insurance policy, this may be covered. Avoid anyone who talks about pack leadership like the plague - it's the hallmark of a bad behaviourist who is likely to make your dog irreparably worse. You may also like to join the Reactive Dogs (UK) Facebook group, which is a fantastic source of advice and behaviourist.

The causes of reactivity are many, varied and not fully understood. Sometimes there was a scary event, sometimes it's a lack of socialisation, some cases are believed to have a genetic component, and some cases are just really bad luck - there are experienced owners with well bred puppies who do everything by the book and still end up with a reactive dog.

Wolfiefan Sun 28-Oct-18 16:32:30

You need professional help. You need to keep her away from other dogs for now.
But yes. This isn’t a breed.

Letsgetreadytorumba Sun 28-Oct-18 16:35:21

it's like giving birth to a baby with disabilities.

Not sure that’s the best simile...

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 28-Oct-18 16:45:19

Not sure that’s the best simile...

In both cases you
- decide you want to take care of a living being
- assume that you'll get one of the regular, healthy ones
- discover you've been dealt a hand you wouldn't have chosen
- have to look after the living being for life, even though it's not what you signed up for, because that's the commitment you made when you signed up to take care of the living being. Like it or not, no one is queuing up to take disabled children in the same way that no one is queueing up to take reactive dogs.

Letsgetreadytorumba Sun 28-Oct-18 16:55:35

A dog is a little (massive) bit different to a disabled child confused it’s really not comparable.

OP has bought a crossbreed which has behaviour problems. Not given birth to a child with a disability.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 28-Oct-18 17:58:02

Without wishing to derail the thread any further, the point is that just because a dog (or child) is not what you signed up for, you don't get to rehome because its physical / mental health problems are inconvenient.

I say this as someone who has a reactive dog when I didn't even really sign up for dog ownership, let alone reactive dog ownership.

Laurainlondon Sun 28-Oct-18 18:11:13

What kind of environment did she come from? - Friend of a tenuous friends cavalier had puppys with a stud toy poodle, no paperwork however which we should have been wary of perhaps but just fell in love with her sad

She's just turned 1 year.

What was her mum like? - sweet, friendly, quiet!

Have you done any focus training with her (to get her to focus on you) or any systematic desensitisation with any trainers? What techniques did they use? - we've done a lot of 'look at me' training over the past month, she has sussed out that when I ask her look at me there might be a dog around so will have a good old look around first though.... I guess we need to keep perservering with that. Also getting her to lie down when a dog is near on a walk to make her look less aggressive to them. General treating like mad whenever she looks at a dog and doesn t bark etc.

Really useful about the fb group thanks! And yes it's true this is NOT what we signed up for, we had a whole bunch of expectations about having a dog - walkies with friends dogs, lunch with her in the pub etc... but yes we've now accepted she is what she is, and we just have to do the best for her. She does have a lovely side too - is great with people and so good with kids which is lovely.

OP’s posts: |
Tutlefru Sun 28-Oct-18 18:14:00

Love how some people are so pedantic to point out OPs dog isn’t a breed. Like that’s the issue.

OP definitely try and persevere with behaviourists, some are better than others.

I’d try and keep her interaction with other dogs to an absolute minimum for now so I’d avoid popular dog walking spots/times. It’s not worth the stress for either of you.

Wolfiefan Sun 28-Oct-18 18:15:13

It IS an issue. Too many people buy a specific cross breed because they met one once and it was lovely. They have no idea of the possible traits their dog could have or the potential pitfalls.

Tutlefru Sun 28-Oct-18 18:24:27

The problem of a reactive dog isn’t exclusive to cross breeds.

Research needs to be done weather you’re buying a pedigree or a cross breed. Granted the traits of a pedigree are more likely to be predictable but as long as the perspective owners research traits of both breeds and are fully aware there’s no guarantees then so be it.

Oh and cavapoos ARE lovely. grin

No one gets a dog for a fancy name. That’s ridiculous. It’s just a combination of breed names. For some reason it seems to really wind some folk up.

Wolfiefan Sun 28-Oct-18 18:27:09

I have never known a prospective owner of a poodle cross to research each breed in full.
The “fancy names” just mean greeders (not a typo) and puppy farmers can make a killing.

LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Sun 28-Oct-18 18:34:36

I strongly recommend you contact Dogs Trust Dog School (even if you don't live near one of their centres they hold training sessions in various other places). They are really good at helping with things like this.

Your dog is not a "Demon Cavapoo" though and labeling her like that won't help matters. The reality is you bought a cute designer cross, so the early experiences she should have had won't have happened and the mother was, in all likelihood never socialised at all. So many people don't seem to realise what an effect this can have on the puppy in the long term and that you can't just magically undo this by trying to do normal puppy socialisation after 8weeks. You now have to face the consequence of your decision to support puppy farming and get the right help for this dog, not label her a Demon or wish someone else would take on the problem you chose to get yourself into.

Laurainlondon Sun 28-Oct-18 18:37:54

We did ALL the research, I know everything there is to know about both breeds; poodles of all sizes, cavaliers, cavapoos, cockapoos, all the poos. We didn't buy her from a puppy farm. perhaps we should have gotten a rescue with a personality already formed, but i think some puppies just turn out funny, and antisocial. Like some people...

OP’s posts: |
LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Sun 28-Oct-18 18:48:24

If you'd done all the research then frankly you'd have picked a better breeder, who would have given the puppies the right early socialisation, only bred from a fully health tested, heart healthy line (imperative to get a healthly cavalier) and would have known that a designer cross including a cavalier parent is asking for trouble.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sun 28-Oct-18 18:48:33

I feel very uncomfortable with the disabled child reactive dog comment/

OP do not blame yourself, some dogs have issues way before you get hold of them and without sounding patronising the average person on the street will not have the knowledge to ask the right questions of the breeder.

So lets deal with the situation you are in and it sounds like you are making good decisions. "Look at the dog" is a great place to start. I would use a clicker and the minute your dog sets eyes on the other dog click and treat whether she reacts or not. Hopefully you will be at a good distance so there is no reaction but treat even if she does react.

Do not rush this - stay at this stage for maybe months. Things to consider are taking it to different locations, trying with onlead dogs then gradually move to off lead dogs (as long as they can not come close to your dog)

Smell can play a part in this too so if you are able get down wind of the dogs as you may find your dog reacts more in this situation.

Keep at it and do enjoy the good things eg lovely with people, (this is very common in dog reactive dogs)

I have HUGE admiration for owners of reactive dogs they put in hours and hours of training in very difficult and emotional situations.

Do not let owners of easy dogs lecturer you and tell you what to do - you are doing the right thing and have my respect

Laurainlondon Sun 28-Oct-18 19:07:56

Thank you and yes it's nice to hear from people who know what they're talking about, and have had similar experiences. We will keep going as long as it takes.

OP’s posts: |
catinboots9 Sun 28-Oct-18 19:12:00

Wow. This board is terrifying. I can imagine it puts people off from asking for advice.

ScoobyGangMember Sun 28-Oct-18 19:17:06

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Wolfiefan Sun 28-Oct-18 19:19:25

Some puppies do just turn out a bit different. Mine was from an excellent breeder. Worked hard to socialise her in the correct way but she still finds people a bit scary sometimes. Nobody’s fault. She just is.
The trick is to get the right help. (I am a first time dog owner so I couldn’t do it without expert advice.) And to work with what you have. There’s no “one size fits all” cure. If only there was.
Reactive dogs are hard to work with. And it does take work and commitment. But things can improve.

sollyfromsurrey Sun 28-Oct-18 19:29:54

Wolfiefan Too many people buy a specific cross breed because they met one once and it was lovely. They have no idea of the possible traits their dog could have or the potential pitfalls.

This is true of people choosing any dog of any breed whether pure or cross. Why are you so down on cross breeds? The requirement of doing research is required whatever breed or breeds you get.

Letsgetreadytorumba Sun 28-Oct-18 19:37:01

I say this as someone who has a reactive dog when I didn't even really sign up for dog ownership, let alone reactive dog ownership.

That’s nice. It’s still not the same as having a disabled child.

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