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Old 01-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #31 (permalink)
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My training is going pretty well. Millie is now 17 weeks old and still very mouthy but she is getting better on the strength of her bites. She still opens her mouth anytime a hand goes near her which makes it very hard to socialize her(however she doesnt appear to have any fear of anyone or anything or any dog). One thing I have started in the past few days is touching her and clicking and treating. So far she still wants to open her mouth everytime I come near it however when she doesnt put her mouth on me I click really fast. There is no way I could increase duration yet because she still is figuring it out but I am hoping it will help. We started puppy classes last week and are going to go until we can get her canine good citizenship. She didn't care about anything in class one bit though, hopefully with practice and better treats next time she will do better. She only wanted to play with the other puppies which they didnt allow so I was a little bummed by that. I would say the best thing with working on her bites has been to use a very well rounded approach...no one thing is helping.

As far as the noise thing, in my experience I have only used noise for puppy yelping and crying when she is alone. She stopped in a day. All my husband did was hit a wall and she would stop. I know many people think that is scary to a puppy but for my particular puppy I think it was fine. You would probably have to consider how your puppy might react. My pup is FEARLESS. I have never once seen her get scared. Even when we took her home and she was away from her parents and littermates. I have never in my life had a puppy that didn't wine in her crate at 8 weeks old. One thing though I didnt let her see that it was us making the noise. It has not made her afraid to bark either, she will bark if she really needs something or if she is playing. Its making me think about trying it for biting.

This forum has made me feel better though, I now know how common this is for standards so I know I am not alone in working this out.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Ugh I am so fed up right now! Again I have been bit in the leg during fetch and this time it penetrated my jeans. There is a bleeding gash. I really hope this is normal for a 10 week old :(
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:02 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Lily was very mouthy at that age. She was hard on my clothes and my hands. Be patient (easier said than done, I know!). If you let yourself get angry or frustrated your pup will read that off you and get more worked up. Calmly, but firmly, end the play and let pup calm down. If your pup is high in prey drive, fetch is a really activating game. You might want to try games or activities that mostly use pack drive such as teaching tricks where you direct the dog to do quieter things, like "bang you're dead" or roll over rather than games where the pup is going to build up mental activation from running.

Asking thinking exercise will help tire the pup out, maybe not as much as running, but it is good to exercise their brains. Lily always sleeps well after a day with lots of training, even if it is for mostly cerebral activities like the directed retrieve or scent discrimination. She isn't very good at either of these yet, so I know they are really hard thinking work for her.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:08 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Lily was very mouthy at that age. She was hard on my clothes and my hands. Be patient (easier said than done, I know!). If you let yourself get angry or frustrated your pup will read that off you and get more worked up. Calmly, but firmly, end the play and let pup calm down. If your pup is high in prey drive, fetch is a really activating game. You might want to try games or activities that mostly use pack drive such as teaching tricks where you direct the dog to do quieter things, like "bang you're dead" or roll over rather than games where the pup is going to build up mental activation from running.

Asking thinking exercise will help tire the pup out, maybe not as much as running, but it is good to exercise their brains. Lily always sleeps well after a day with lots of training, even if it is for mostly cerebral activities like the directed retrieve or scent discrimination. She isn't very good at either of these yet, so I know they are really hard thinking work for her.
Wow this is really great advice. It hadn't occurred to me that fetch could be activating prey instincts, but it makes sense.

My only concern about switching to teaching tricks is that he won't pay attention when outside - there are so many stimulations and even when we are playing fetch it's sometimes hard to keep him on target. However! Tricks = treats, and those are sure to get his attention. Thank you!
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #35 (permalink)
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You have to make yourself more interesting than all the other stuff. This is a big ask for young puppies who have little experience with the outside world. If not in a securely fenced area keep attached to your pup by a leash. If you are unsure of your recall reliability use a long line or a flexi-leash. Don't use the flexi for regular walks, just for working on recall so you don't leave him a choice about coming back to you. I actually hate how most people use flexis when they are out walking with their dogs. Walks are a really good opportunity to connect to your dog. You don't have to insist on heeling, but you want your dog to be mindful of your presence.

So as not to hijack this thread away from the OP's question. It is useful to understand how to read what is driving your pup's current behavior. You can assess drive balance by reading body language. Prey drive will excite and encourage highly active, aggressive responses. Pack drive will encourage listening, respect of your boundaries, calmer responses. Leadership drives can be difficult to manage since a dog high in this area will challenge your position in the social order. Be firm with this dog, but not mean. Leaders assert their leadership without violence in wild social canid groups. Fear drives stress your dog and can make their behavior unpredictable. You should figure out why they are fearful and break them out of it. They cannot learn or give good responses if they are afraid. Be careful with poodles here. Many of them are very sensitive to harsh corrections and loud voices.

There is a good book by the Volhards. I loaned it away so I don't have the exact title necessarily, but it is something to the effect of "Canine Good Citizen: Every Dog Can Be One." In it there is a little quiz you can use to evaluate your dog's drives, not scientific per say but pretty accurate as far as my two go. You can order it on Amazon. Some of you who have younger puppies whose crazy moments mystify you may find this book useful.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #36 (permalink)
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So I felt like we were doing really well and then we went to pet smart tonight to work on her puppy class homework with distractions and she meet two people. One was a random lady and Millie got really hyper and wiggled like crazy but she didn't bite. Then the next was a woman that worked at the store and when she was meeting Millie she said I'm about to lose a finger you need to go to puppy kindergarten. How can I just get her to meet people without freaking out and biting everyone? This has been so frustrating and I worry she will never chill out. She was acting like this in puppy class too and the trainer just said.... Such a poodle... I'm guessing she didnt say much bc it was the first class and didn't want to overwhelm us.

Oh and did anyone else have problems with their puppy not wanting the top of their head touched? And what have u asked people to do when meeting your puppy to warn them about the mouthing and not freaking them out at the same time
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milliesmom View Post
So I felt like we were doing really well and then we went to pet smart tonight to work on her puppy class homework with distractions and she meet two people. One was a random lady and Millie got really hyper and wiggled like crazy but she didn't bite. Then the next was a woman that worked at the store and when she was meeting Millie she said I'm about to lose a finger you need to go to puppy kindergarten. How can I just get her to meet people without freaking out and biting everyone? This has been so frustrating and I worry she will never chill out. She was acting like this in puppy class too and the trainer just said.... Such a poodle... I'm guessing she didnt say much bc it was the first class and didn't want to overwhelm us.

Oh and did anyone else have problems with their puppy not wanting the top of their head touched? And what have u asked people to do when meeting your puppy to warn them about the mouthing and not freaking them out at the same time
On the head touching, lots of dogs don't like it. What I did with Laszlo was to touch the top of his head, then give him a treat over and over. That way, he feels like getting touched on the head means something good is about to happen.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:55 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Some poodles can be head shy (which is what is happening with Millie not wanting people to touch her hear). I wouldn't worry about it unless it is a problem with your grooming. Many dogs don't really like being patted on the head. Think about it, would you like having giant people coming along and slapping you on top of your head all day? If you are going to allow people to pet Millie ask them not to touch her head. You can certainly ask people not to pet her. Just tell people who ask that she is in training and that you would prefer that they not pet her. If you do decide that you want people to be able to pet her you will have to work up to it. I would ask her for a sit before letting anybody approach. Working with someone she knows have them approach and extend the back of their hand for her to sniff. If she breaks the sit to do so, have the person turn away. Put Millie back on the sit and try again. No pets until she stays on the sit. That pet should be on her shoulder or side and should be a brush of the hand across her, not a downward patting (slap type) motion. If she gets through that without breaking the sit, mark it (click or good), treat and release. Repeat as needed until she will hold the sit for longer sessions of being petted. Once this is reliable you can do variations such as familiar person, unfamiliar or exciting place or safe familiar place with new person.

I used to take Lily to our local big chain pet stores with no plans to buy anything. We would do those exercises in aisles at first then eventually in the area by the front door. Initially I would have her on sit stays and let people pet her if she stayed. Then I would put her on stand stays and only let people pet her if she didn't move any feet. I always told the people who we came across who were willing to be part of it that she was in training and what the rules were for getting to pet her. She is actually very flirty with all people she meets and rarely dislikes new people (when she doesn't like a person I am always cautious about them myself, she has very good skills for reading people).

Do you have a dog club that gives obedience lessons near you? Pet store classes can be good or they can be worthless. The training of the people teaching them can be very variable. Unless a dog is at an extreme of a behavior spectrum I don't see that anyone could assess that a dog was dangerous in the brief time of a meet and greet. Also you shouldn't figure on puppy kindergarten being the answer to all of your training needs no matter what. Training is dynamic and ongoing, not something that is completed and then concretely set in stone. My dogs get training everyday in almost all that they do. It doesn't have to be a formal hour, but it does need to be ongoing. If Lily and Peeves are lurking near the cookie jar, I make them do drops, sits, come fronts and the like on signals to get the cookie. Sometimes that happens several times a day, sometimes only once. You don't have to plan to trial your dog in obedience, rally or anything else (although I have found it very enriching of my relationships with my dogs to do so).

Sorry for going on so long, but there was a lot of territory covered in your question. You need to work very hard at not letting yourself be frustrated. Millie probably senses your feelings better than you know them yourself. You can't afford to send confusing signals at this point (looking calm on outside, but worrying in your head is what I mean by this). That you are concerned enough to ask questions and for help means you will get there. Don't be discouraged and most of all don't be frustrated or angry. Our dogs know when we are lying to them.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:17 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Very good advice from Lily. Poppy dislikes hands over her head - even mine, if I am standing over her. I ask people to pet her chest instead, where she can see what they are doing. I've lost count of the number of children I've asked to imagine a hu-u-u-ge monster LOOOMING over them, to give them an idea of how she feels - all good educational opportunities!

I am not surprised that Millie forgets a lot of what you have taught her in the excitement of meeting other people and dogs - it is absolutely normal to have to go back to the beginning as the level of distraction increases. I would play lots of self control games at home - waiting for a few seconds for petting, a treat, to go outside, etc, etc - to help her build up the patience to play the games Lily describes when you are out and about. Not so long a wait that she gets frustrated, but just enough to teach her that really good things happen for patient, polite dogs.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:44 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the wonderful advice.

Lily- I love the idea of letting her smell other people, but does anyone have any suggestions if when someone(even me) puts their hand in front of her to smell, she thinks its an invitation to mouth at them(and sometimes mouth too hard with the excitement). It scares people because she basically will lunge at them. I know she isn't being mean I just think she wants to play because she does get excited about meeting others, she is not protective or shy.

fjm- I'm glad you are not surprised....its really encouraging to know this is normal... Ive always had mixed breed puppies(and a Mini poodle who I got as an older puppy) my whole life from shelters or free ads in the paper...this is the first time I've had a hard time with my puppy meeting other people. I was not expecting it! It's good to know I was just lucky before and this is just another thing to deal with through puppyhood. (Millie was a breeze to housebreak though....the others were not!)

I will keep working with her, in her defense though, the person at petsmart who worked there was VERY excited around her, high pitched voice and so on. Of course she was going to go crazy. The other lady was calm and Millie did get very excited, but she didn't mouth at her.

I am just waiting for that calmness that everyone talks about with poodles, i'm sure we will get there one day. I know everyone says poodles are very mouthy, but honestly I don't want to my dog to mouth at people even in a nice way because I don't think a lot of people like having dog slober on them(me included!).
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