Biting Problems-Cavachon

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Member Since
Barked: Wed May 22, '13 7:09pm PST 

My Mom recently got a Cavachon and he is almost 2 years old now. He is a great dog when he is around my Mom, sister, step-dad, and myself but not so much with others. He is a very anxious dog and barks at anything that moves outside. (He is on medication but I haven't noticed it helping much) He also gets really defensive when someone enters the house, whether he knows them or not. He has recently bite a few people (thankfully not enough to draw blood or really cause harm) but my Mom is afraid it will escalate and she will get sued. She has only had a trainer come over a few times and they don't really do anything to stop it. She has tried to tell my sister to make sure her friends are tough with him when they come in, but in my experience, that isn't always the best idea. He has a tendency of sniffing around them and biting them on the backs of their legs or hands if they try to pet him.

I am hoping there is someone who can help me out on here, because I have never personally worked with the cavachon breed and most of the information I am getting is saying they are good family dogs.

Thank you for any advice!
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Thu May 23, '13 4:31am PST 
First of all, a Cavachon is NOT a breed, it is a mixed breed and, as such, is going to inherit a mixed bag of genes as far as temperament goes. Since these mixes are normally produced by people only concerned with selling the pups, little attention, if any, is paid to the temperament and health of the parents.
However, this sounds like a dog who was improperly socialized and/or not trained at all more so than a temperament issue. I would suggest a consult with a certified veterinary behaviorist, NOT a trainor. Make sure they are certified and ask to see the papers stating thus.
Until you get this sorted out with a behaviorist, it would be wise to keep him in his crate OR another room when guests are present to stop him from reinforcing this behavior. Medication is not going to do anything without training the dog what is acceptable behavior with guests and making sure he isn't being allowed to let it continue.
Biting is a serious issue and by exposing him untrained to more people you are greatly increasing the odds that someone is going to get seriously injured and/or you will be hit with a lawsuit.

Barked: Sun Jun 30, '13 9:58am PST 
Never heard of a Cavachon (had to google), but whether or not they are a hybrid, cross breed or mixed doesn't matter. Toto - no need to be rude. Please remember that people come on here for advice, not for others to judge their choice of breed.

I do agree that you need to see a Behavioral Therapist for the dog. They are usually able to tell what's really going on with your dog - address specific issues related to improper handling and/or socialization. Medication will only mask the problem, not correct it.

Both the Cavalier King and the Bichon Frise are said to be loving and affectionate, but we have no idea what happened in the first two years of your dog's life that could have caused this behavior. I do know that behaviors can be changed, but it takes time and patience. My family once inherited a stray year old dog who would attack anyone running - nip at the heels, bark, growl. If my mom put on oven mitts or gloves the dog would do the same thing, but with some hard work, research, and patience the dog was able to become very docile and loving (she's now 10 years old).

Edited by author Sun Jun 30, '13 10:07am PST



forever loved
Barked: Sun Jun 30, '13 11:53am PST 
Rylee, Toto was not being rude and her advice was spot-on. It sounds like they were under the impression this dog should not be exhibiting this kind of behavior because they were told they were good family dogs. Toto explained exactly why this is not the case, and of course we don't know how the pup was originally raised either. Please don't get upset that it was pointed out that this is not an actual breed, because that is the truth, and it can play a part in the behavior of the dog.wink Again, OP, Toto gave some good advice, and I hope ya'll are able to work through this.hug