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I’m not trying to pry into your personal life, I swear! But we’re all human and humans occasionally disagree or get stressed out or find themselves in conflict. This can lead to raised voices and palpable tension—something that’s bound to affect our sensitive poodle friends.

Do you ever bite your tongue so you don’t start a fight in front of your poodle? Do you lean on them in these moments? Try to shelter them from the bad vibes? Reassure them? Ignore them? Embrace their magical canine ability to defuse tension?

If Peggy senses one of us is upset, she’ll paw or nudge or stare soulfully. If we’re both upset, she’ll go back and forth between us a couple of times before laying down at the exact midway point. I’m glad she doesn’t take a side. ;)

Some more info on this topic here:
 

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I’m not trying to pry into your personal life, I swear!
Just earlier today. My husband going thru PT post TKR, today not a good day. After we defused, we spent time reassuring the quivering one, and had to cajole the other out of the "basement" (under the sofa).

Poor lil guys.

Of course, shouting at the TV on game days gets the same response 🏈
 

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I stumbled across a video a few days ago of assaults on healthcare workers, and it used real video from the hospitals. It started off with a nurse screaming as she was being viciously and silently attacked by a patient. It was shocking and terrible, and this lady died trying to do her job.

I've watched plenty of horror movies in the past with actors screaming and my poodles had no interest in it. However, as soon as they heard real screams, they instantly began furiously barking. They knew. They sounded the alarm that a woman was in real distress. I was very impressed they knew the difference and were ready to protect her the only way they could, by barking loudly. I wish security dogs had been patrolling that hospital.
 

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My poodle doesn't visibly react to bickering or to me nagging hubby with, shall we say, enthusiasm. But maybe it's affecting him all the same. This thread has me thinking that maybe I should, I don't know, exercise some self control. It's not the War of the Roses over here or anything, but I do like to grumble. Hubby, not so much.
 

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I have no one to fight with but when we had our family boston terrier, she would get in between the kids when they were fighting and got very agitated, trying to separate them. She meant business so the kids weren’t allowed to fight... by our dog ! :)
 

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I live alone (with Zephyr and the cat) and so there's nobody to fight with, but I do talk back to the TV. I have to be very careful, because if I yell at it Zephyr will get up and leave the room. If I even say something snippy or annoyed he will get up and leave. He sometimes shows a little interest in what is on the TV, mainly ignores it. Last year was very difficult with all the politics. Keeping my mouth shut was just too hard, so I couldn't watch the news at all, and had to mute out most of the commercials. We both were very relieved once the election was over!
 

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Evie will separate fights here quite quickly if they start so you have to be very careful not to fight in front of her.
 

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I have been wondering about this recently. My life has been very quiet this past year so I don't think Ziggy has seen me argue or yell with anyone.

A few weeks ago someone had double parked my car in and while I didn't yell, I was upset when I was talking to them. Zig actually let out a growl which is not something I have ever heard him do to a person before. He is normally very friendly towards strangers, especially if I give them a friendly greeting.

I have now been wondering if I need to expose him to some arguing or yelling to show him that he doesn't need to protect me if I am upset with someone.
 

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I have now been wondering if I need to expose him to some arguing or yelling to show him that he doesn't need to protect me if I am upset with someone.
My personal feeling is that I wouldn't try to train him out of the growl. That may be needed one day.
Teaching an "I got this" cue might be in order :)
 

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Well-I’m French and Italian descent—so I talk a lot and emote a lot-and constantly wave my hands around. My husband is a former Marine and always sounds like he is giving orders whether he is or not lol. My reactive poodle (Toffee) is always trying to manage the situation. Toffee will often carry on his own conversation that mimics ours-and he is so loud that we can’t talk over him. Our adult children who are living at home now get quite a kick out of the whole spectacle !
 

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Meh, now I'm realizing I had a particularly heated convo with hubby on the way home from puppy class last night. I was driving and hubby had his hands full trying to keep Hudson in the back seat. (Hudson strongly prefers the front.) Hudson stopped trying to breach the flight deck and started licking hubby. Now I'm putting 2 and 2 together and suspecting my behavior is affecting my poor pup. :(
 

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My personal feeling is that I wouldn't try to train him out of the growl. That may be needed one day.
Teaching an "I got this" cue might be in order :)
That makes sense. I would much rather have him growl and give warnings than have him stay quiet until he gets upset enough to really react.
I just want to make sure he doesn't see a real argument for the first time indoors and off leash and jump into action.
Any recommendations for teaching an "I got this" cue?
 

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Miracle does not tolerate anyone raising their voice/losing their temper. If anyone raises their voice around Miracle, she will immediately run up to them and start barking at them (and sometimes grab his/her pant leg), until the person quiets down.
 

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My husband and I are pretty chill but when there are those times we are not, Bobby gets worried. He seriously picks up on emotions, even when we work hard to cover up intense emotion. He doesn’t bark but he just looks worried, uncomfortable and paces around us. I remember when he was a younger dog, about 11 months I think, my husband and I were getting ready for a little trip to a cabin. We weren’t really arguing but we were tense and grumpy and Bobby definitely picked up on it and proceed to pee all over. He definitely likes things to be peaceful and so do we. 😊 Bobby got to go on that cabin trip and the 3 of us had a blast.
 

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Curious about how people with kids will answer this. I try not to yell (as much as I can) but it happens occasionally. More often it's yelling upstairs to remind her to stay on track (or bossing her around when it comes to puppy handling, "don't tease her; throw it already; watch what you're doing!" etc). Oona hasn't reacted in a major way but I'm sure she has noticed the few times I've actually yelled in overwhelm or frustration.
 

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Before we brought home our last poodle 14 years ago I worried about some of the emotions in our home. Our oldest daughtet was 16 and hated everything about high school and our youngest was 14 and trying to keep her staight As. There were many heated arguments over the years and in time when our oldest came home to visit Indie would leave the room and go to our bedroom were out was quiet. It didn't matter that we weren't disagreeing but the pattern had been set and it took many many quiet visits and much extra effort on Erin's part to repair that relationship before Indie died. They were lovely friends in the end but it's so very true that our poodles feel very deeply all of our feelings good and bad.
 

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I stumbled across a video a few days ago of assaults on healthcare workers, and it used real video from the hospitals. It started off with a nurse screaming as she was being viciously and silently attacked by a patient. It was shocking and terrible, and this lady died trying to do her job.

I've watched plenty of horror movies in the past with actors screaming and my poodles had no interest in it. However, as soon as they heard real screams, they instantly began furiously barking. They knew. They sounded the alarm that a woman was in real distress. I was very impressed they knew the difference and were ready to protect her the only way they could, by barking loudly. I wish security dogs had been patrolling that hospital.
This is a perfect example of something that I try to teach people but unless they see something like you did, when it's real, they truly don't understand it. There is a vast difference between make believe & 'the real'. In training we simulate as much as we can but the dogs do understand the difference. They live in the natural world. Humansville is a mess but the natural world changes little. They survive by their ability to walk in both worlds at the same time & by responding to what they know. Dogs are amazing. You saw first hand what is very hard to make folks understand. My dogs are very keen on this & are kept that way. I had a male Doberman whom I had to watch like a hawk because if you tried to discipline your child, he would put you away from the child. If you tried to hurt a little dog or small animal he didn't care if you were man or beast... you were going down for it. Small dogs could beat up on him & he cared not & let them "dominate" him but don't you dare threaten one of them. He was an angel in a dog suit for so many.

PeggythePoodle,

My husband is a 20 year career military man. He's big, loud, strongly opinionated. He was a mine worker before military. He's a character but he's rough & most of the time has no filter. You do not ask my big lug "does this make my butt look big" unless you want his true opinion. He's a little nuts. He's a lot of fun. But he's 3/4 Irish heritage & if you set him off... whew, you set him off you deal with it. We've been married 28 years & generally enjoy one another. Our dogs have seen us have cross words. It's important for dogs to see conflict that aren't violent or no cause for the dogs to go into protection mode. If things ever get heated he goes to one end of the house, I go to the other. The dogs always stay with me, even his dogs.
 

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That makes sense. I would much rather have him growl and give warnings than have him stay quiet until he gets upset enough to really react.
I just want to make sure he doesn't see a real argument for the first time indoors and off leash and jump into action.
Any recommendations for teaching an "I got this" cue?
The first idea that comes to mind is something similar to training for dialing back barking, especially in the house but at what they're seeing or hearing outside the house. I expect you're familiar with that process. You'd need to generalize that out to the loud voices and elevated emotions somehow.

I'm way not the best at this but...poodle starts barking at ____ . As quickly as you can, go to poodle at window/front door, thank them quietly and tell them "I've got this", offer treats if that helps and eventually you have an alert barker rather than a maniac.

Better will be to link a thread that touches on this method with barking. I hope some other members have some training ideas.:
 
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Curious about how people with kids will answer this. I try not to yell (as much as I can) but it happens occasionally. More often it's yelling upstairs to remind her to stay on track (or bossing her around when it comes to puppy handling, "don't tease her; throw it already; watch what you're doing!" etc). Oona hasn't reacted in a major way but I'm sure she has noticed the few times I've actually yelled in overwhelm or frustration.
I wasn’t going to be the one to say it! 🤣Our house is LOUD sometimes. I have 3 little boys and they can cause a ruckus. I yell upstairs to them, and yes, occasionally I raise my voice at them 🙈. Starla never reacted to our noise level. Our house is also active though and she had also gotten to where she didn’t react when somebody went flying past her. This phase of our life is loud sometimes, but never threatening, which I think might be the difference.
 
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