Rufus is a gentle and loving CavRufus is a gentle and loving little Cavalier King Charles Speniel, ten months old.

He also seems a happy little dog who has always got on well with other dogs.

A couple of days ago, seemingly out of the blue, he viciously went for an over-exuberant puppy that was all over him while Rufus’ lady owner stopped to talk to the puppy’s owner on their way to drop the kids off to school. There must have been stuff going on in the run up to this. Rufus will already have had a build up of stress and the puppy will have ignored his warnings and overstepped the mark somehow, making Rufus very angry. As the two ladies were talking, nobody was watching.

Rufus has a very good life, but there are just a few things that need changing so that he doesn’t get into this heightened state again. The little daughter is quite rough with him, and though he puts up with it even to the point of squealing, it has to stop. They are going to make him his own ‘safe-haven’ where children are banned and where he is put before thngs get out of hand.

He possibly gets a little too much fussing and what I would call ‘homage’ – and although he is a King Charles it’s not too good for him!

The other area that needs working on is everything around walks. One can imagine what sort of state Rufus may have been in when he had to put up with this puppy’s behaviour. To start with, he is extremely excited before even setting off. Once out, the two little girls are ahead, one on a scooter, and Rufus is yapping and barking as he pulls frantically trying to catch up with them. He has a thin collar on his little neck, so it must be very uncomfortable which must add to his stress. When he does see another dog he barks and pulls until he manages to drag his owner to it.  Up until the other day, when he gets to the dog it’s been just sniffing and playing

Imagine how different this little dog will feel when he sets off calmly, with no neck discomfort, and on a lead long enough to give him enough freedom that it’s like walking with no lead at all. With an owner who, from now on, shows him that if he barks to get to another dog they will in fact go the other way. He will then learn to approach quietly – all that noise is very likely to hype the other dog up. It will mean working on Rufus either without the little girls, or getting them to help by staying level or behind. Imagine how over-stimulated and stressed he must be, struggling to catch up with them.

The other very important thing if a dog suddenly acts so much out of character as this, is to get the vet to check nothing is going on physically. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have some well-known painful hereditory problems.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.