dog hotel central coast

Is Anything Cuter Than a Cavoodle?

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Is anything cuter than a Cavoodle? Read on to find the answer….

In my years as a Pet Sitter, and now offering elite dog accommodation at my Hound Dog Hotel on the Central Coast, I have cared for most breeds including many Cavoodles. And as beautiful little dogs, Cavoodles are wonderfully appealing. They’re not just exceptionally pretty, but cute and intelligent. Enchanting, it’s easy to  fall under the spell of such adorable bundles of fur, especially when you get your new puppy.

Little Miss Coconut when she was a tiny puppy - who could resist?!

Little Miss Coconut when she was a tiny puppy - who could resist?!

But when a dog is tiny, cute and appealing - one problem is that it can be the hardest thing in the world not to spoil them.

With the best of intention owners heap love and fuss on these little fur baby dogs, yet just like chocolate, there can be too much of a good thing. What starts out as harmless can end up spoiling what can be terrific dogs.

Example, too much ‘protection’ (picking them up the second a bigger dogs comes into view) can create nervous dogs who have no confidence in social situations (see my previous blog on this here) and/or can end up developing separation anxiety. 

But more common with Cavoodles (and other small dogs) is when there are no boundaries or rules and suddenly you have a monster doggie Diva on your hands!

You must have seen them, the dogs allowed to ‘express themselves’ in every situation. Their antics start out amusing and are labeled cheeky. But it's like an ill-disciplined toddler in a restaurant - running amok and not taking any notice of what they’re told. The centre of attention but not in a good way, they end up mini tyrants - ruling the roost whose every whim has to be obeyed by their staff who serve them.

Tiny Millie & Chloe who are super well adjusted and not nervous or afraid on walks

Tiny Millie & Chloe who are super well adjusted and not nervous or afraid on walks

Here are examples that are often considered normal or even cute in small dogs – but are simply signs of lack of appropriate training:

Jumping up/and or pawing at you for treats or their food
Not allowed – must sit quietly with all four feet on floor

Rushing around your feet and flying at their bowl as you set dinner down
Not allowed – must sit quietly with all four feet on floor and look you in the eye (not look at the bowl) and wait for your signal before they approach their bowl

Mouthing/nipping
Extremely common and very bad. I use various approaches to deal with this to find the one which works with each different dog

Allowed on the sofa or the bed (possibly refuse to get off without nipping)
Dogs inviting themselves onto furniture and Sofas = huge privilege. Dogs on beds think they run the world. I  would not allow dogs on sofas until they know their place. Go down on the floor with them until they are trained and well behaved enough so you invite them up when it suits you

Rushing to the door and/or barking and/or jumping up when visitors knock
Introduce pre-emptive techniques to break the habit

When walking your dog zig zags all over the place when on the lead
Dogs should walk consistently on one side - takes time but can be achieved

Dogs following you to every room in the house
Sorry, but this does not mean your dog adores you so much it cannot be without you for a second! Allowing a dog to be with you constantly and never teaching them to be left occasionally is a contributory factor to Anxiety Separation. Dogs have to learn to be alone sometimes. Time Out technique helpful

Barking/whining in the house or in the garden. Barking at noises outside, or barking at the tv, or for food or treats.
An Airline pilot in the UK killed a small terrier.  He needed sleep and had spoken to the owner and asked for their help to curb their dog’s continual high pitched yapping, but they ignored him.

This tragedy could have been avoided – a beloved pet was killed and the pilot lost his job. But this serves to demonstrate how much of a nuisance barking dogs can be. 

I have very personal experience of the intrusion and stress caused by a barking dog. In the UK I had two German Shorthaired Pointers who were trained to be quiet. My neighbour seeing how good my dogs were fell in love with them and it lead her to buy a puppy. However, as it matured her Spaniel barked so much eventually I could take no more and spoke to her. Her reaction? To say it didn’t bother her!

To her credit after I spoke to her she probably realised that his barking was bad and she did start controlling him and the situation improved..

Basics of good manners in puppies

When a puppy of just 5 months old (Sparky, a very pretty Cavoodle) arrived for a stay his owners showed me him taking a treat – but the second he saw it coming he jumped up and pawed and then snatched the food.

This was not good, so I said to the owners I would work with Sparky over the weekend to get him to sit still with all four paws on the floor before he got a treat. (This is vital basic step as sitting and waiting is the basis from which many other behaviours are trained.)

This is Sparky now all grown up on one of his recent stays

This is Sparky now all grown up on one of his recent stays

When they collected Sparky they were delighted to see the change. Being a typical clever Cavoodle with the right cues he’d learned what I wanted in just two days.

That's the big plus about Cavoodles - they are smart. With me he learned fast that all the pawing and jumping got him nothing, only by sitting quietly did he get any reward.

There is so much I could write on this subject – but this is a blog and not a manual on 'How to Train your Dog'  So now it’s time to answer the question:

Is anything cuter than a Cavoodle?
YES! A well trained and obedient Cavoodle!

Please take the time to ensure you have a companion who enhances your life not a despot whose every whim you have to obey! Here is a little help:-

5 RULES TO ENSURE YOUR LITTLE DOG DOES NOT RULE YOU!

IF YOU WOULDN’T TOLERATE IT IN A LARGE DOG – DON’T ALLOW IT WITH A SMALL DOG!
By age 6 months your dog should have good training in all the basics.

WHAT I WANT I RE-INFORCE, WHAT I DON’T WANT I IGNORE
Training is not quite that simple, but it’s a good place to start.

BE FIRM AND BE CONSISTENT
Key actions with every dog are an approach which is firm and consistent.
Firm does not mean physical punishment, it is about voice and handling and consistent means not just one person – but the whole family and doing the same things all the time, not just sometimes.

DON’T LET BAD BEHAVIOURS DEVELOP IN THE FIRST PLACE!
However, if they have then what has to happen is the cycle has to be broken.

DOGS SHOULD BE A PLEASURE TO ALL AND A NUISANCE TO NO ONE
The words of the immortal Barbara Woodhouse – words to live by as a dog owner.

 

Cavoodles are fearless and don't know they're small:-

Rosie putting Hugo in his place 

Rosie putting Hugo in his place 

Coconut telling Soli this is her sofa and to back off!!

Coconut telling Soli this is her sofa and to back off!!

I love it when Cavoodles come and stay at the Hound Dog Hotel. They can be relied on to be cheeky and fun - but I do reinforce the rules and ensure they are spoilt but also know there are limits!

Until next time, Maralyn

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

A dog bed's not for my dog (s/he prefers sleeping on the floor!)

Meet Kelly, she didnt used to have a bed - but she loved them all - especailly memory mats which her owner, after her stay here and seeing how comfy she was, has since bought for her.

Meet Kelly, she didnt used to have a bed - but she loved them all - especailly memory mats which her owner, after her stay here and seeing how comfy she was, has since bought for her.

In this Blog I hope to convince you of the vital reasons why every dog should have a dog bed to meet their needs. But first, a bit about us....

WHAT IS THE HOUND DOG HOTEL?

The Hound Dog Hotel on the Central Coast is an elite, professionally run private dog hotel - with not a kennel in sight!  Dog guests live in a home environment- and to keep it simple we offer only one level of care for your dog – the best there is!

Dogs lucky enough to find themselves booked into the Hound Dog Hotel have the time of their lives – their very own holiday! 

A number of factors make our dog accommodation unique.

Firstly,  unlike large, commercial Pet Resorts, we ensure each guest receives VIP (Very Important Pooch) treatment, by limiting numbers to a maximum of only 4 guests.

Secondly, there are no 24 hour ‘lock downs’ that are so common in dog boarding or kennels. Instead, here our VIPs live in, but have free access to our highly secure grounds. And whether in the gardens or inside the Hotel, they receive personal care - attention, fuss, fun and play – all under our experienced and watchful observation.

Thirdly, unlike kennels, invigorating exercise sessions are included within each full days booking. We take daily trips to stimulating locations for long workouts where our little pack interacts, runs, plays, and maybe some have a little swim.

CHOICE OF LUXURIOUS DOG BEDS

If you've looked at my web site you will often see Leo, he is a regular. He feels it's his duty to try out all the beds - and as you can see he even likes a two tier pair of beds!

If you've looked at my web site you will often see Leo, he is a regular. He feels it's his duty to try out all the beds - and as you can see he even likes a two tier pair of beds!

Yet another area where we excel is with our exceptionally wide variety of super comfy beds and mattresses. Your dog can pick and choose, after all, if a good bed is essential for our comfort - then it’s just as vital for your hound too! 

BUT MY DOG PREFERS THE FLOOR!

Some of my clients have a bed in every room of their house for their dog (you know who you are!!) But it is quite common for owners, especially of larger breeds with thicker coats, to say they don’t have a bed at home because their dog prefers to sleep on the carpet - or tiles to keep cool.

It’s true that in hot weather beds and mattresses can make a dog too warm, so they head for tiles. However, at the Hound Dog Hotel we run air conditioning day and night in the summer when it’s hot - which is why once your dog has discovered the bliss of a beautiful soft bed below and cool air above they can’t wait to get on it!

PROBLEMS OF DIRECT FLOOR SLEEPING

It’s understandable on seeing thick looking fur coat to assume this affords a dog protection against hard floors. However, rarely are dogs’ coats anywhere near dense enough to provide enough protective cushioning against thousands of times during a life of dropping down onto tiles. You often hear their elbows ‘clunk’ when they hit hard floors.

Here are some really important reasons why every dog should have at least one well padded bed (and be encouraged to sleep on it if they don’t do so automatically) rather than leaving them no choice but hard floors.

Here is dear Twisty, age 14, a big Wolfhound cross breed enjoying the sprung mattress - with a duvet on top as well for even more luxury.

Here is dear Twisty, age 14, a big Wolfhound cross breed enjoying the sprung mattress - with a duvet on top as well for even more luxury.

VITAL REASON ONE:
SCALY ELBOWS/CALLUSES (PRESSURE SORES)

Unless you have owned a dog to maturity you would not necessarily know that with age dogs (and larger breeds in particular) are prone to develop unsightly scaly elbows from both the repetitive action of dropping down to the floor  and the constant pressure as the bone rubs on the tiles.  Friction and pressure from hard surfaces cause rough skin, then scales, and eventually a callus will form as the body tries to protect the bony elbow.  

These ugly, scaly sites can crack, and at worst become infected. If a dog continues to lie on hard floors this aggravates the injury and makes it very difficult to cure.

Dogs can also go on to develop swollen elbows fluid-filled hygromas. These have to be drained at the vets. Both cracked callouses and the hygromas are very painful.

These problems are avoidable by ensuring a quality bed is available – but it has to be one that your dog use, so position matters also. more to come on this....

THE BEST BED FOR YOUR DOG

Owners of dogs that do not have a bed of their own at home always express surprise when they see photographs of their dog sleeping on one of my Hound Dog Hotel beds!

But it’s never a surprise to me. It’s just a matter of finding the type of material and level of padding that each dog likes. And with so many beds to choose from at my Hound Dog Hotel doggie guests, just like Goldilocks, eventually every find a bed that suits them, and it’s wonderful to see them snuggle down happily.

The materials in my beds vary dramatically. Some have fibre of the type you find in pillows, others are more dense with different foam fillings.

For very large or heavy dogs I have an IKEA  child’s sprung mattress. The inner springs are encased on all sides by dense foam which has a thick washable outer material – and over which I also place a further washable cover. This bed is very popular with our big dog guests, Examples are Sulla, a Bernese Mountain Dog and Harvey, a 68kg Dogue de Bordeaux.

Even these big boys find it spacious enough to allow them to stretch out fully and be supported from head to tail. But of course they often like to share it with others as they cuddle down with a friend.

Puppy Pepper choosing to push 68kg Harvey off the big bed! She didnt succceed, so decided best just to share.

Puppy Pepper choosing to push 68kg Harvey off the big bed! She didnt succceed, so decided best just to share.

VITAL REASON TWO   - A PLACE TO CALL HOME

For humans and animals alike, sleeping is a time of refuge and a bed is more than just a bed – it is a retreat. (This is why when trained to get used to them dogs often like crates, because it is a place of safety they can go to – especially when they want to be left alone).

LET YOUR DOG REST - IN PEACE!

All children – from toddlers to young teenagers -  should be taught from the moment a dog comes into the home that it will need to have its own space.

If a dog is tired, stressed or afraid, it’s only way of saying ‘leave me now please’ is to take itself off to its bed. So they should have a position within the home where they can go to rest and be left in peace -  not bothered, or pestered to play when they want to be quiet.

Position matters – it should be sited somewhere reasonably enclosed to give them a feeling of security (next to walls for example) yet ideally also a spot where they can see people approaching - dogs like to see what’s going. The bed then meets the needs of sleeping, comfort, and refuge all in one.

Once a dog has a bed that suits them you’ll soon see a happy hound snoozing in genuine comfort. You might need to persevere to find the right base they preferbut once you have got your dog to use a bed right for them you’ll be contributing greatly to your dogs health and welfare.

So a bed is more than just a place to sleep for a dog. It promotes good health just as it does in us, and ensures your dog doesn’t develop nasty sores or painful elbows.

Never more apt is the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’.

This little igloo bed was used by Rosie the Cavoodle (she also loved being on pillows on the sofa). We used to laugh when Elly used to try to sleep in it. All the more amusing as she had a big bed of her own!  The dogs do play musical beds though and swop around at will. It's very cute especially when they cuddle up to one another.

This little igloo bed was used by Rosie the Cavoodle (she also loved being on pillows on the sofa). We used to laugh when Elly used to try to sleep in it. All the more amusing as she had a big bed of her own!  The dogs do play musical beds though and swop around at will. It's very cute especially when they cuddle up to one another.

This bed is made of the same material as human pillows and very soft. Some dogs prefer foam which is firmer, but others really like this feel - as you can see.

This bed is made of the same material as human pillows and very soft. Some dogs prefer foam which is firmer, but others really like this feel - as you can see.

 

until the next time, happy snoozing - for you and your pooch!   Maralyn