Cavaliers as Companions
November / December 2023 / January 2024
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes

A sympathetic friend
"A sympathetic friend", by American contemporary artist Jim Daly.


Clicker Training is a simple yet highly effective method of training a dog. Although all manner of sounds can be used to catch a dog’s attention many training experts agree that the sound of a clicker seems to capture the attention of an untrained dog or puppy far quicker than any other sound. Maybe it’s the frequency, who knows? But it seems to work. Clicker training is now used quite widely as a starting point for many canine activities from obedience to learning certain moves in heelwork to music. The method is to get the dog to respond to the clicker is simply by clicking and immediately treating the dog. It won’t take your dog long to understand that whenever he hears the clicker he’ll get a treat. You then repeat about 30 times which teaches your dog to associate the click with the treat. (Keep the treats small as you don’t want to end up with a fat dog!) The main thing to remember is never click without treating and never treat without clicking.

When starting to train a young puppy the three most important commands to teach are ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’. However, those of you who wish to show your dog should also concentrate on the ‘stand’ command. Here are the basic starting points for each of these commands using a clicker method.

Have your clicker ready and wait for your dog to sit down on his own accord. Most young dogs tend to regard this part of the training session as a game. They need to figure out what to do in order to get the treat. They might do all manner of things to get a treat but just ignore him until he sits. When he does this immediately click and treat and praise him. Keep on waiting until he sits again. Whenever he sits, click and treat. It is quite normal for a dog to get frustrated since he often can’t remember why he got the treat the first time and doesn’t understand why he isn’t getting one now, however as soon as he does sit click, treat and praise. Keep clicking and treating when he sits and he will soon start to realise that if he sits he will get a treat. At this stage of the training process, start saying the word ‘sit’ whenever you click. This will reinforce the command with his action.

When teaching another command such as ‘come’ it is best not to use the clicker immediately as the dog may confuse it with the sit command. Start by walking to the far side of the room and either call the dog’s name or use a word such as ‘here’ or ‘come’, and as soon as he comes to you give him a treat. Once he gets used to this you should then say ‘sit’ when he comes up to you after responding to being called and then click and treat.

Sit, come and stay are extremely important commands as they can be lifesaving if a dog becomes loose off lead in a rather precarious situation. To teach a dog to stay you must first get him to sit then click and treat. Say ‘stay’ and then wait six seconds and then say ‘release’ then click and treat. Once the dog has got used to this command you should then say ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and wait ten seconds. Then say ‘release’ and then click and treat. This process should be repeated about five times per session slowly building up to longer periods of staying before releasing.


Dr Stanley Coren, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, has found through extensive research that the average dog can understand around 160 human words and signals. Some of the brightest dogs can understand up to 250. But do dogs communicate verbally? They mainly communicate by body language but Dr Coren has indeed found some verbal communication among dogs. A long growl means that a dog is not backing down, while a short growl means that a dog is unsure. A sudden string of two to four barks with pauses means that there is something here worth investigating. However, a continuous string in a lower pitch means "get ready to defend yourself". One or two short, sharp barks is a greeting, a long string of solitary barks is a dog asking for company and a stuttering bark means "I want to play".


Many Cavalier owners have one or two figurines of their treasured breed, and there are a great many ceramic models available. However, for those who prefer the more humorous type here are a few.

Cartoon Figures

Cartoon Figures

Cartoon Figures


The firework season will soon be upon us. Years ago it was just November 5th that we had to contend with but these days the fireworks season seems to go on for weeks. Some dogs are quite oblivious to loud bangs while others can get quite distressed. We have written about it here in the past but here is a reminder about some of the products that you can buy that may help to calm your dog. There are several herbal and homeopathic remedies available that can help to keep a dog calm during stressful situations. These are Natural Calm, Valerian Compound and Scullcap and Valerian. Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAPs) are also quite useful. These are small plug-in diffusers that emit the smell of a comforting hormone and greatly calms the dog. Humans are unable to smell it. DAPs can also be used in conjunction with desensitization CDs. These are recordings of various noises such as fireworks. The idea is to keep the dog in a comforting situation and in close proximity to a DAP and at first play the CD at an extremely low volume. Over a period of a few weeks gradually increase the volume so that the dog becomes used to these sounds and is totally oblivious to them.

For further details on where to obtain these products please view the following sites: for desensitization CDs. for Scullcap and Valerian and Valerian Compound. for Happi-Tails calming tablets.

A Cavalier House Rules


Who’s A Good DogWho’s a Good Dog?
And How to Be a Better Human
By Jessica Pierce

Who’s a Good Dog? is an invitation to nurture more thoughtful and balanced relationships with our canine companions. By deepening our curiosity about what our dogs are experiencing, and by working together with them in a spirit of collaboration, we can become more effective and compassionate caregivers.
With sympathy for the challenges met by both dogs and their humans, bioethicist Jessica Pierce explores common practices of caring for dogs, including how we provide exercise, what we feed, how and why we socialize and train, and how we employ tools such as collars and leashes. She helps us both to identify potential sources of fear and anxiety in our dogs’ lives and to expand practices that provide physical and emotional nourishment. Who’s a Good Dog? also encourages us to think more critically about what we expect of our dogs and how these expectations can set everyone up for success or failure. Pierce offers resources to help us cultivate attentiveness and kindness, inspiring us to practice the art of noticing, of astonishment, of looking with fresh eyes at these beings we think we know so well. And more than this, she makes her findings relatable by examining facets of her relationship with Bella, the dog in her life. As Bella shows throughout, all dogs are good dogs, and we, as humans and dog guardians, could be doing a little bit better to get along with them and give them what they need.

Sleeping With DogsSleeping with Dogs: A Peripheral Autobiography
By Brian Sewell

Sleeping with Dogs is the record of one man’s passionate affection for the dog, rooted in his early childhood and lasting undiminished into his dotage. These were for the most part dogs discarded and left to fate — tied to the railings of Kensington Gardens, found with a broken leg in the wilds of Turkey, adopted from an animal rescue home, passed on by the vet — but there was also a whippet of noble pedigree and three generations of a family of crossbreeds in which the whippet strain was strong. They were not pets, but indulged friends and companions, with all of whom he shared his bed, and who richly rewarded him with loyalty and affection. This is not a sentimental or determinedly anthropomorphic book — the dogs remain steadfastly dogs. It is observant and records the canine society of dog and dog as much as the relationship of man and dog. It is, at the same time, a deeply touching account of the lives and very different characters of seventeen dogs over eighty years or so, ranging from Jack Russell to Alsatian through half-boxer, half-pointer and half-Karabas, to purest indecipherable mongrel.

Devoted Cavalier


Where’s that ball
"Where’s that ball?"


The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of wagging his tongue!

For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read some truly inspirational articles by logging on to the Pawz and Pray page at


If you have any questions about owning a Cavalier then click on the envelope to email Dennis and Tina who will only be too pleased to try and help you.

However please remember that we are not Vets or Lawyers so questions on these topics should be addressed to the professionals for advice.

Questions and answers that are of interest to other owners may be published on this page.

The Cavalier Club is not responsible for external website content.
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