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That's an excellent question. Poodles are intelligent dogs. And part of training an intelligent dog is realizing they are good at guessing what you're going to ask next. For example, in AKC obedience Open exercise we have command discrimination. Open A orders are Stand, walk 15 feet, turn and face the dog, down your dog, walk 15 more feet, sit your dog. So, stand, down, sit. Once the dog knows what to do, you can walk 15 feet, turn around and your poodle lies down without you. That's an automatic NQ, or non-qualifying score.

To prevent your dog from patterning and guessing, you can pick four different cues for the training session and randomly alternate between them. Stand, spin, sit, down, spin, stand, down, sit... If you rotate between them without a pattern, and only reward when the dog is listening, you'll help your dog wait for the cue.

When your dog guesses what you're going to ask, and performs the behavior without you, ignore that one. Turn around, grab your drink off the table, take a drink, pretend nothing happened, and start over. No need to scold, just remove your attention, and take a 15 second break from training. Then go right back and ask for the identical behavior and reward it richly.
 
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