Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, as the title states, I'm at a loss of how to start my Ted on basic obedience training. :dontknow:

He's a 2 year old mini poodle rescue from North Shore Animal League. From what I understood, his owner was an elderly man, so I'm not sure if basic training was taught, but Ted is a very friendly dog.

So far, I've introduced him to 'sit', and he does it well 75% of the time if I have a treat or if I tell him to (and he's willing to listen). I want to try clicker training, but I'm scared that he'll pretend to not hear me or ignore me, as he does sometimes.

Also, Ted seems to get bored easily, and looses concentration.

Any pointers on basic training a 2 year poodle, that gets bored easily, and used to belong (as my teacher said) to an 'old fart'? :confusffed:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
I highly recommend clicker-training. You can find a lot of links online, and books at the bookstore with step by step instructions. Youtube is a good place too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
I have never done clicker training, but I have done lots of obedience. I don't know how much you know, so bear with me if I tell you things you already know.

For starters - tell him ONCE and make him do it. Don't keep saying sit, sit, sit - that teaches him to sit the fifteenth time. Stay right beside him. Don't try to leave or tell him to stay until he is pretty good at sitting right beside you. For heeling, have him sitting on the left or even standing. Say "heel" and lead off with your left foot. Dogs look for signs as well as words and when you get to "stay" you leave with your right foot so he will know the difference.

I know some people don't like to push the dog's bottom down on the sit. I have always done that. But if I had a dog that would sit when I pulled up on the leash, then I would go with that. Walk along. Stop. Say sit (once) and make the dog sit - NOW.

When I am heeling I always have little tiny treats and I say "good boy" when the dog is in the right position and I give treats often. Same for when he sits - say "good boy" and give him a treat. Once he gets good at it, you can start not treating all the time and just telling him what a good boy he is. I'd do a few minutes three times a day and then have some fun time with him. He is only two. He will get it.

As I said - sorry if you knew all this already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
The other thing I have learned is when using treats for training use a different and very high value treat when training that you do for just giving treats. Like roast chicken or hot dog bits, something they really want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,498 Posts
There is an interesting discussion on Patricia McConnell's blog at the moment about the many, many different things different dogs find rewarding (some of them are not for the squeamish!). If he is not very food motivated, it may be worth trying to find out what it is that he really, really likes, and using that as a reward. I agree about clicker training - brilliant way of getting the dog's attention. Also, if he is used to a very laid back existence, perhaps you need to keep training sessions very short and easy - baby puppy level - and build up slowly. I would be very wary of pushing or pulling a small dog into position - it is very easy to hurt or even harm them, which won't help with the training. I think I would reckon to start from the very beginning, as if he were a new puppy, and use lots of praise and reward (once you know what he finds rewarding, which may be that he ets to be left alone to chill for a while!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
I would add to the previous advice ... it helps to keep training sessions very short if the dog isn't really motivated. It's better to do 4 five-minute sessions a day, mixed in with other activities, than to try to make the dog focus for one long session.

I subscribe to the 'nothing is free' approach ... anytime my dog wants something, dinner, play time, treats, a walk, etc. it is prefaced by a short training session (and I mean very short ... sit, down, paw, okay let's go for a walk!). Just gets them thinking that good things follow obedience commands.

Hotdogs (cut into tiny pieces) are my never-fail training treat. So much so that all the OTHER dogs in the park now have very good recalls, but to me rather than their owners!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Take a deep breath and have lots of patience. Training an adult is more challenging than training a puppy. You may have to 'untrain' some of his behaviours and retrain him the way you want him to behave. I wouldn't mind betting that he got away with alot of undesirable behaviour if he lived with an 'old fart'!:)
I agree with the advice you've gotten here already. Keep your training sessions short and fun. Reward him for behaviour you want...lots of rewards. Be consistent...if you want him to sit, establish a command and/or signal and always use the same one. Once he understands the command, you can start fading the reward, but while he's learning be generous. Don't expect miracles, either of him or yourself.
He's a lucky boy to have found you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
I've dealt with rescues of all ages and found that with enough patience, love and treats any dog (even non-poodles!!) can learn basic obedience and a few good tricks. Recently I have become a real clicker convert. There's lots of youtube videos. And my favorite high value treat is low-sodium turkey franks sliced paper thin. I've yet to get a dog that can resist them.

Lots of short sessions are a very good suggestion, as is the Nothing in Life is Free. Nobody gets dinner at my house until everyone is sitting across an imaginary line in the kitchen and they then they must wait until they get a little kiss on the nose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the comments, everyone! I bought a clicker today from Petco and so far, I'm really happy with the results. :)

I started charging the clicker today, with small burger and cheese flavored treats (something I see he really loves, for once!). I started making him 'sit' and clicking the action, then treat.

I can see us having a great future with this clicker. Look out, Ted! :sinister:

Thanks again, everyone! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
Another thought ...

Just another suggestion .... it isn't precisely training, but I love the Nina Otteson games for dogs, as a way to interact with your dog in a way that is fun and stimulating for both of you. If the dog hasn't yet bonded with you, this might be a way to teach him to start working with you in a completely positive way.

The only danger is that poodles are awfully smart and figure them out really quickly! Even so, mine is still VERY excited every time the games come out, even though he whizzes through them now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Keep your training fun and short and if possible with out any use of a negitive, dogs shutdown and get frustrated and like you said get bored. Keep it positive and say Yes and use the clicker with high value treats and you and your dog will excel. Also a 2 year old dog is not too old to learn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I found a great book at Petsmart last week entitled Top Tips from Top Trainers-1001 Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training. It is written by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is very easy to use as everything is listed in ABC order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just another suggestion .... it isn't precisely training, but I love the Nina Otteson games for dogs, as a way to interact with your dog in a way that is fun and stimulating for both of you. If the dog hasn't yet bonded with you, this might be a way to teach him to start working with you in a completely positive way.

The only danger is that poodles are awfully smart and figure them out really quickly! Even so, mine is still VERY excited every time the games come out, even though he whizzes through them now.
Yup, Ted is a really slick and clever little guy. He'll avoid going into certain places in the house: like when we had to give him (or literally shove down his throat) his medication for his kennel cough in the basement. He even senses when we have to leave the house, and crate him in the kitchen. He'll try and hide under tables or stay far away as possible, lol.

I have been looking into what kind of games I could play with him. Playing 'Gotcha' gets tiring for me, lol, since I do a lot of the running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I found a great book at Petsmart last week entitled Top Tips from Top Trainers-1001 Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training. It is written by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is very easy to use as everything is listed in ABC order.
Speaking of Petsmart (and Petco), have you ever taken a dog training class there? I want to take him to one, to have face-to-face training sessions, and for him to interact with other dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Yes-I looked online to find certified degreed dog trainers in my area and found one at a Petsmart close by...took both poodles to same classes (woudn't recommend taking two at a time as then they watch each other and get distracted) but the class was good-it was a beginning one...also another book I bought previously (also from Petsmart but you can check other places) 101 Dog Tricks by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy. Has games (tricks) from beginning on up thru advanced. They do like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
631 Posts
I like the Kyra Sundance book as well. I taught Lola (my high energy, too smart for her own good dog) to pick up her toys and put them away in her toy box. She thinks it's a game but it really helps me. She and Dixie both help get things that I drop or can't reach and will keep doing hat around the house until the new service dog arrives (and maybe after so s/he can get a break).
You can teach them to help you with the laundry: teach them to put clothes in the basket, drag the basket to the room, put the clothes in the washer ,etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I like the Kyra Sundance book as well. I taught Lola (my high energy, too smart for her own good dog) to pick up her toys and put them away in her toy box. She thinks it's a game but it really helps me. She and Dixie both help get things that I drop or can't reach and will keep doing hat around the house until the new service dog arrives (and maybe after so s/he can get a break).
You can teach them to help you with the laundry: teach them to put clothes in the basket, drag the basket to the room, put the clothes in the washer ,etc.
I really do love the sound of that. Although, it would promote me to be even lazier than I already am. :bounce:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,498 Posts
The picking the toys up game is definitely one I must try to teach mine - atthe moment they are better at the Tipping-all-the-toys-out-in-one-go game, the Making-a-bag-of-compost-from-one-twig game and the How-much-floor-can-you-mess-up-with-one-kleenex game ...

Mine love classes - Sophy and I went last night, and poor Poppy had to stay at home (it is her turn tonight). She was SO disappointed - even a particularly scrummy kong didn't make up for it. Classes really help to keep them socialised and relaxed around other dogs, and to polish their social skills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
I will be finishing novice obedience class with Billy next Tuesday. He is the only dog in the class of six that is doing everything on cue. I'm so proud of him. But, then, he is the only poodle too...LOL

You have received excellent advice here.

One thing we learned for the sit was to have the ring of the slip collar at the back of the neck near the top of the head, pull up with a steady pressure with the right hand on the lead near the collar and with our left hand, run it down the back and tuck the dog into a sit position. If the dog tends to sit out from you (like Billy does), then slip the hand down the back and into the groin to pull it to sit square to you. Force was never used; just gentle encouragement to do what you asked. I saw that it worked for every dog in the class big and small. Then we stood beside our dogs on the right side for a few seconds and if they staid, we released them with something like an up OK and praise and treats. I also use hot dogs as that is Billy's favorite working treat. As one said here, you need a LOT of patience and repetition.

Our work during the week between classes was to repeat what was learned in class for 15 minutes everyday until the next class. I believe the reason a lot of the people who's dogs were not doing well last night still were not doing the work during the week between classes. They're dogs seemed to be no further ahead in their training than they were in the previous class. Some still couldn't get a sit stay after five weeks and it was like their dogs had no idea what was being asked of them.

When doing the down, we dropped our leads and put our left hand into the collar on the side of the dogs neck, again facing forward in the same direction of the dog in a command position, then applied steady pressure down while giving the down command and sign and waited them out to give in to the pressure and lay themselves down. Then we stood up beside them facing forward and again, release, praise, praise, treat.

A funny thing (for me and Billy) happened at class last night. In the down stay, most of the dogs still didn't have a clue. I put billy into his down stay, walked out three feet in front of him, and we waited. It was supposed to be a three minute down stay but so many were having so much trouble with their dogs that the instructors had to work one-on-one with them. In the meantime, Billy and I stayed in our down stay for at least 10 minutes. Billy went to sleep! :rofl: When it was time to return to our dogs, he was surprised and popped his head up from his sleep and looked surprised to realize where he was....:pound:

If they break the sit or stay before release, we NEVER repeat the command again. We simply and quietly put them back into the sit or stay and tried again until they were successful.

Billy and I have enjoyed classes and are going to sign up for the next level.

Sounds like you are already enjoying success with Ted. Good luck with the rest of your training. It is a fabulous way to bond with your dog.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top