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Old 11-24-2012, 02:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool New mom to 3-month old female Spoodle from Washington DC

Hello all,

I am a new mom to a 3 month old female cream-colored miniature poodle I have named Ralia (meaning Golden; name derives from Australia). I got her about 1 month ago when she was just 2 months old. She is very beautiful, playful and stole my heart the first time i saw her.

A lil about myself:
Im a 31 year old female professional from Washington, DC. Single but in a committed relationship, I live alone in a quiet apt building downtown. So i don't get much company except on the weekends, so figured a puppy will make me a great friend and i have alot of love to give I have heard great things about poodles so I always wanted one. I looked at local shelters in the past year and couldn't found one, so a coworker told me about Justpuppies in Maryland. Met her there and fell in love.

Ralia is funny, witty and has been the best thing to happen to me this year. I didn't realize how lonely i was at home until I got her. She goes everywhere with me now - even to the grocery store, the guard watches her while i go in, since they don't allow dogs. It's barely a month and to be honest, it hasn't been an easy journey. She had no training at all (and neither do I - in fact, i think she's smarter than me). Growing up, my parents always had 2 big german shepards - which i never was responsible for, so she's my first puppy.

While we are working on it, Ralia hates her crate, I've tried 3. Because she is still a puppy, she isn't crate trained, house broken, obedient, barks, growls, yells and yaps endlessly, destructive, stubborn, "talks back", bites, scratches, jumps aggressively etc... I mean you name every bad dog behavior...lol, my Ralia had it.

The first 2 weeks, I almost became regretful. I even remember breaking down and crying out of frustration twice cos she wouldn't stop barking/yapping anytime i stepped out the room or for no reason at all and she will do so for hours!! and the neighbors were beginning to complain to the building manager - I got a letter already. For a small dog, her bark & yap was loud and teeth grinding. I tried everything. I made sure she was comfortable, fed, healthy (constant VET's visits), everything! and so I couldn't figure out the reason for the behavior. Even in the middle of the night, she sould suddenly start and since her crate was next to my bed - it snapped me out of any lovely dreams i was trying to have at 3am and picking her up, taking her to ease herself, she still wouldn't stop after going back in - kept me up all night. I went to work tired, sleepy and bitter the next morning, if i made it in at all. Omg!!! It felt like i had adopted a vicious Lion

The only time she's quiet is when we are taking long walks, or playing at the park. So, for that reason I spent alot of time outside with her at the park, sometimes hours. It was getting cold and my life was pretty much on hold because I did nothing else! My man wasn't a big fan of dogs - he was scared of dogs (tho supported my decision to get her and he's slowly warming up to her) but first few days, he avoided her whenever he was around.

I have started the VETs' visit for her vaccines and tests - she has a clean bill of health so far. She loves the visits because she gets to play with other dogs but hates the car rides there -- more jumping, scratching, tearing down her crate, barking & yapping viciously in my ear the whole 20 min drive and throwing up in the car. She wouldn't let me drive, so i have a soft crate i put her in on the back sit. No amount of treats, cuddles or praise would work.

I have signed us up for puppy school which starts in January and I am patiently trying my best to train her so we can be a happy family I have been doing alot of reading and that's how I found this great forum.
It's about 4 weeks now and I am happy to say, she is starting to behave The yapping & barking has stopped dramatically in this past week. And so I think i may have started to do something right, perhaps.

Anyways, thanks for reading about my new family. I just wanted to share. I will post photos soon as i can. It's nice to be here and read about you all and your lovely poodles. Some of you guys have or have raised so well mannered and obedient dogs, I hope Ralia will grow up to be just like that.

Your new poodle lover,
Jumi (Ralia's mom)
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Exclamation Ralia's behavior

I read alot about positive reinforcement and have been using treats, praises, cuddles and kisses anytime she's doing something great like simply being quiet or toileting outside. Now, the negative behavior which happened 90% of the time is the part I have a hard time dealing with. I refuse to reward negative behavior and no amount of ignoring her will work.

So last week, i tried to stop her as she tried to bring a dead mouse into the building as i walked her to ease herself before bed. She growled, barked, yapped, jumped at me, scratched and became really vicious for a small dog. No she wasn't hungry. At this point, I lost it, grabbed the fluffy bedroom slipper i wore at the time and whopped her butt (pow! pow! twice) hard enough for a small puppy to feel it but not get hurt. She ran so fast back into the building. Still on her leash but I ignored her, got my keys, opened the door and she ran straight into her crate (which she hates so much and used her mouth to drag the door close, so i can't reach in I guess...lol).

Surprisingly, Ralia slept quietly for the rest of the night! With her crate next to my bed, i did not hear a thing! I had to check to make sure she was still breathing cos she was too quiet for the dog I have gotten to know...lol
Till it was time to go when i saw her wake up "gently" and "quietly" looked at me. And we went back out - she remained quiet and did her business while looking at me the whole time. I guess I surprised her the night before, she got treats and praises for going. Ralia was quiet and nice ALL DAY! Thankfully, it was a Saturday. I walked in and out of the apt to run errands and she waited quietly in her crate when i left and would sometimes whimper as she sees me leaving.

She tried to do the barking/yap/scratch a few times after that as I would walk out and i came back in and yelled really loud, "NO....YOU STOP!!!" I have had it at this point and left again and when i walked back in and found her quiet hehe. She got a treat.

Anyways, I have to tell you all that her behavior has changed dramatically since the 2 taps on her behind It was negative reinforcement i know and I know i am not supposed to do that and I am ashamed to tell anyone i beat my dog but it worked for me. She's a baby and I am trying really hard to learn too and I promise to be very patient with her and have been so far. I am so happy with her these days that my days have been so much better, i would even talk endlessly about her and spend hours playing with her - oh she loves to play and loves everyone and always so happy to see me. She's also calmer and waits patiently for me, her food, treats and most things now - well, after a few more yelling for her to stop. It takes it 2 or 3 times of me barking orders/yelling and my Ralia immediately understands my disapproval and becomes submissive...lol I guess she now realizes, "I am the leader of our pack, not her...hehe".

We are a very happy family now and tho she's not fully potty trained yet, i am just happy to have her quiet and calmer. Such a bright and happy dog now. And she loved her bathe (recently) - she waited patiently to get cleaned and even licked me while i was bathing her. Not the bites, scratches, screaming and chasing a wet dog around my apt, and falling down twice the first time i tried.

Wheew...we've survived a month now. I can't wait to attend puppy school with her in January
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