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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m hoping I can get some expertly advice from my fellow poodle parents. We Are first time dog owners and have an 11 month old intact standard male name Chief. When we got our pup at 8 weeks we knew we had an energizer bunny. We are a very active family and made it a point to socialize him to everything and he’s done amazing. We did not however socialize him with other dogs. He has had exposure during our walks and even running up and down the fence with the neighbors dogs. As afar as free play, only once a couple months ago and it didn’t go too well. When Chief is around other dogs, they seem to get annoyed pretty quickly. He remains energetic. Training is getting better over all and is very food motivated however his drive to be with other dogs or when he sees kids play is so strong we can not get his attention.
Today family brought over a 4 month old golden doodle with a very mild temperament. This pup started attending doggy daycare and generally is doing well. Chief does not know boundaries, he is not aware of how big he is compared to this little pup and played a little too rough. He did not follow redirection at all. We crated him a couple times until he calmed but went back into hyper play. It was like he couldn’t turn the switch off, completely out of control. This occurred for hours. It was a horrible experience and I was so embarrassed. I’m also super sad That although we had good intentions in socialization we failed the basic dog socialization at the appropriate time.
Is it too late? What can I do to facilitate better social habits when it comes to other dogs? We don’t have dog friends or family. The local dog park isn’t a great place for Him either. We just started some training where he will be with other dogs- we did this to address some gaps in our existing training. He’s a great dog, I just feel defeated. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Uhh okay, so you want to find other dogs with similar energy levels.

I imagine it was a lot like watching a big boy who is overstimulated and going crazy.

I guarantee you can find other big boys for playdates if you walk around main street. "Does your dog want to have a playdate with my dog?". That's all you have to say. Keep an eye out for positive "play" body language, and when you feel good vibes, then ask and exchange contact info. Don't get weirded out asking for playdates, you will meet some really cool furparents in your journey.

Possible good dog matches might be golden doodles. Chances are you bump into one like atoms colliding in the universe.

You can use an app called sniffspot to rent a yard on neutral territory. It's like $5-10/pup/hour, and totally worth it.

Find a time that works, ideally not during the heat of the day. Then use Venmo or cash to exchange funds.

Someone bring a water bowl and water bottle.

Let the other furparent know where he's at socially. If your unsure on what puppy play looks like, then we can help you there too. But, you'll be okay. We've figured out how to survive socializing during Covid too.

Finding playdates will help him learn boundaries.
 

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Hi!

Do you feel he's missing out on canine companionship or more that he needs better manners when meeting other dogs?

The second is important. There was a recent thread on whether the first is.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Uhh okay, so you want to find other dogs with similar energy levels.

I imagine it was a lot like watching a big boy who is overstimulated and going crazy.

I guarantee you can find other big boys for playdates if you walk around main street. "Does your dog want to have a playdate with my dog?". That's all you have to say. Keep an eye out for positive "play" body language, and when you feel good vibes, then ask and exchange contact info. Don't get weirded out asking for playdates, you will meet some really cool furparents in your journey.

Possible good dog matches might be golden doodles. Chances are you bump into one like atoms colliding in the universe.

You can use an app called sniffspot to rent a yard on neutral territory. It's like $5-10/pup/hour, and totally worth it.

Find a time that works, ideally not during the heat of the day. Then use Venmo or cash to exchange funds.

Someone bring a water bowl and water bottle.

Let the other furparent know where he's at socially. If your unsure on what puppy play looks like, then we can help you there too. But, you'll be okay. We've figured out how to survive socializing during Covid too.

Finding playdates will help him learn boundaries.
Hi!

Do you feel he's missing out on canine companionship or more that he needs better manners when meeting other dogs?

The second is important. There was a recent thread on whether the first is.
Yes, overstimulation is a
Uhh okay, so you want to find other dogs with similar energy levels.

I imagine it was a lot like watching a big boy who is overstimulated and going crazy.

I guarantee you can find other big boys for playdates if you walk around main street. "Does your dog want to have a playdate with my dog?". That's all you have to say. Keep an eye out for positive "play" body language, and when you feel good vibes, then ask and exchange contact info. Don't get weirded out asking for playdates, you will meet some really cool furparents in your journey.

Possible good dog matches might be golden doodles. Chances are you bump into one like atoms colliding in the universe.

You can use an app called sniffspot to rent a yard on neutral territory. It's like $5-10/pup/hour, and totally worth it.

Find a time that works, ideally not during the heat of the day. Then use Venmo or cash to exchange funds.

Someone bring a water bowl and water bottle.

Let the other furparent know where he's at socially. If your unsure on what puppy play looks like, then we can help you there too. But, you'll be okay. We've figured out how to survive socializing during Covid too.

Finding playdates will help him learn boundaries.
Yes, overstimulation is an understatement. There’s so much back and forth on the topic I fell inside on the right way to help him. I fear his craziness will tick a dog off and have negative consequences. Boundaries is clearly an issue for him. Thank you for your ideas, I will try and see what happens. I’m hoping this pup class will help as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi!

Do you feel he's missing out on canine companionship or more that he needs better manners when meeting other dogs?

The second is important. There was a recent thread on whether the first is.
thank you for your response. Honestly I didn’t think about it this way but I guess a little of both. If I had to prioritize it would be manners. Although I’d love for him to be able to play with other dogs if the occasion presented itself. He did play with my neighbors two dogs and he was just wild. The other dogs clearly were done with play (5 minutes lol) but he doesn’t stop. There may be some times we may need to board him and I don’t know how he’d take to that. We recently had been contemplating doing doggie day care but I can’t imagine with his behavior that they would take him or That it would be safe for him. ( Maybe I’m making assumptions)
At the very least I’d like him to not go psycho when he meets other dogs. He immediately lunges and hoops around like a rabbit to play but other dogs are put off by that.
 

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Elroy: Standard Poodle
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Dog play, from a human parent perspective, can be very rough. To them it's not rough. There are so many dog owners that don't understand the difference between dogs playing or otherwise. If they're not playing, you will know. I went to YouTube and searched "difference between dogs playing and fighting" and there are so many good videos there. Watch them to make sure you understand what playing looks like. Chances are, your pup is fine, just need to find a play date with a similar play style. The more they play, the better they get (they learn how to play) at playing more gently.
 

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I don't think it's ever "too late" for anything when it comes to training or socialization. You just have to adjust your methods depending on the situation/circumstance, is all.

That being said, i think there are at least two separate "issues" here. One is definitely the lack of socialization and resulting poor social skills. Getting hyper excited and not listening/focusing is more of a training issue, though, and isn't necessarily connected to him not being able to (or not getting to) play with other dogs. His young age and being intact may contribute, to a degree, just keep that in mind.

I think training classes are going to be a good start. I would definitely discuss with your trainer the benefits of getting him properly socialized while you're working on obedience and de-sensitizing him. There is debate going around that dogs don't "need" to socialize/play with other dogs but.... i personally think it's good for dogs to know how to do so and be comfortable doing so, plus it offers some physical and mental stimulation.

As far as your options for finding "friends" for him so he can start to socialize - i would stick to dogs you know well, people you know well who have dogs, or maybe even people/dogs in your training group. One-on-one interactions first, no groups as that can add to the excitement and create utter chaos. See how he does with one dog. Learn his play style better. Find other dogs that match his energy level and style of play.

I would not bring a dog with zero social skills to a dog park, or even a day care. A dog like this, thrown into a group of other dogs, is bound to trigger a fight at some point. And/or be traumatized by the swarm of other dogs, who may also have their own behavioral issues. You have zero control over the other dogs in these places and that's the last thing you want to have to worry about.

Getting him better socialized is likely not going to cure his issues on walks (hyperactive attention to other dogs/kids), or his inattention (ignoring training, not focusing). Again, that's all a separate training matter. In theory, you do not have to socialize your dog to get them to ignore distractions.... you just have to figure out how to train them not to react.

Finding him a dog, or small group, to play with will help him with his doggy etiquette - training will help with everything else.
 

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Evelyn, sable standard poodle
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I would consult with a trainer to develop a workable plan. Our advice can only be accurate to a certain point without actually seeing your dog's behavior, and working with a trainer is the best course (if not a necessity) to address your dog's training/manners issues. They can help with the dog socialization efforts as well.

Frankly I wouldn't be very concerned about whether your dog can play with other dogs, it's not the same sort of necessity it is for children. It is necessary that your dog learn appropriate leash manners, obedience, and self control. I would get those skills underway before I worked on his play skills.
 

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You have a lot of work to do with Chief before you start allowing him free play with other dogs. He is late to these lessons but that doesn't mean he can't learn them. He will require guidance for this. I have a client bernedoodle who was a COVID pup and who also had little to no dog to dog social experience in his first year. He was a wildman. He had little to no impulse control for walking on leash or even seeing other dogs, let alone behaving decently with them.

The first thing I did was teach him some loose leash manners. I ended up using a pinch collar (carefully introduced) since his owner is an older lady with one hip already having been replaced. I also taught her some things about loose leash walking vs. trying to heel on neighborhood walks. Once she got into a decent routine close to her home with him I started bringing Lily as a neutral walking partner. He would get very excited when he saw her, but she was very good at giving him caalming signals. My client would waalk with Lily while I controlled how close to each other the bernedoodle could get as I watched his level of reactions. They now take really nice relaxed walks with each other. Lily does not have much interest in playing with him since he is very young and still very enthusiastic, but I now will leave her off leash in the client's yard while working on leash with him on various things. She give social corrections if he approaches her while excited and he is getting the idea that he can't charge at her. I would suggest finding a partner dog who can provide that exposure for Chief. The best way to do this will probably be to hire a trainer who has a good working partner dog. I suggest going to CCPDT.ORG to find someone really well qualified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dog play, from a human parent perspective, can be very rough. To them it's not rough. There are so many dog owners that don't understand the difference between dogs playing or otherwise. If they're not playing, you will know. I went to YouTube and searched "difference between dogs playing and fighting" and there are so many good videos there. Watch them to make sure you understand what playing looks like. Chances are, your pup is fine, just need to find a play date with a similar play style. The more they play, the better they get (they learn how to play) at playing more gently.
Thankfully I’ve seen some videos in poodle/dog play or I think I would have had a heart attack. It’s super cute the way they play but can be very anxiety provoking if you’re not aware of normal play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think it's ever "too late" for anything when it comes to training or socialization. You just have to adjust your methods depending on the situation/circumstance, is all.

That being said, i think there are at least two separate "issues" here. One is definitely the lack of socialization and resulting poor social skills. Getting hyper excited and not listening/focusing is more of a training issue, though, and isn't necessarily connected to him not being able to (or not getting to) play with other dogs. His young age and being intact may contribute, to a degree, just keep that in mind.

I think training classes are going to be a good start. I would definitely discuss with your trainer the benefits of getting him properly socialized while you're working on obedience and de-sensitizing him. There is debate going around that dogs don't "need" to socialize/play with other dogs but.... i personally think it's good for dogs to know how to do so and be comfortable doing so, plus it offers some physical and mental stimulation.

As far as your options for finding "friends" for him so he can start to socialize - i would stick to dogs you know well, people you know well who have dogs, or maybe even people/dogs in your training group. One-on-one interactions first, no groups as that can add to the excitement and create utter chaos. See how he does with one dog. Learn his play style better. Find other dogs that match his energy level and style of play.

I would not bring a dog with zero social skills to a dog park, or even a day care. A dog like this, thrown into a group of other dogs, is bound to trigger a fight at some point. And/or be traumatized by the swarm of other dogs, who may also have their own behavioral issues. You have zero control over the other dogs in these places and that's the last thing you want to have to worry about.

Getting him better socialized is likely not going to cure his issues on walks (hyperactive attention to other dogs/kids), or his inattention (ignoring training, not focusing). Again, that's all a separate training matter. In theory, you do not have to socialize your dog to get them to ignore distractions.... you just have to figure out how to train them not to react.

Finding him a dog, or small group, to play with will help him with his doggy etiquette - training will help with everything else.
Yes you have many great points and I’m thinking that training is going to be the right first step. He’s come such a long way from his earlier puppy ways, I think In some ways maybe I have unrealistic expectations as well. He just loves people and his drive to play with anyone or dogs is so strong. Im hopeful this training class will give me a new perspective and new tools to take with…. I know it’s more of training the owner than training the pet. Im super committed, I’ll get there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You have a lot of work to do with Chief before you start allowing him free play with other dogs. He is late to these lessons but that doesn't mean he can't learn them. He will require guidance for this. I have a client bernedoodle who was a COVID pup and who also had little to no dog to dog social experience in his first year. He was a wildman. He had little to no impulse control for walking on leash or even seeing other dogs, let alone behaving decently with them.

The first thing I did was teach him some loose leash manners. I ended up using a pinch collar (carefully introduced) since his owner is an older lady with one hip already having been replaced. I also taught her some things about loose leash walking vs. trying to heel on neighborhood walks. Once she got into a decent routine close to her home with him I started bringing Lily as a neutral walking partner. He would get very excited when he saw her, but she was very good at giving him caalming signals. My client would waalk with Lily while I controlled how close to each other the bernedoodle could get as I watched his level of reactions. They now take really nice relaxed walks with each other. Lily does not have much interest in playing with him since he is very young and still very enthusiastic, but I now will leave her off leash in the client's yard while working on leash with him on various things. She give social corrections if he approaches her while excited and he is getting the idea that he can't charge at her. I would suggest finding a partner dog who can provide that exposure for Chief. The best way to do this will probably be to hire a trainer who has a good working partner dog. I suggest going to CCPDT.ORG to find someone really well qualified.
This is such a great idea. I’m going to look into this. Chief is so darn smart, too smart and he knows it. I know proper exposure is key. We have been working on loose leash training which he picked up so well, it’s been a game changer. We have a ton of things to work on but I’m up for the challenge and I’m super committed. I think we had been inconsistent as there are a lot of people at home and not all training the same. That dynamic has changed a little so I think that will help. TY for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would consult with a trainer to develop a workable plan. Our advice can only be accurate to a certain point without actually seeing your dog's behavior, and working with a trainer is the best course (if not a necessity) to address your dog's training/manners issues. They can help with the dog socialization efforts as well.

Frankly I wouldn't be very concerned about whether your dog can play with other dogs, it's not the same sort of necessity it is for children. It is necessary that your dog learn appropriate leash manners, obedience, and self control. I would get those skills underway before I worked on his play skills.
I completely agree. I think Chief had some pressing underlying issues that take priority over dog play. I’m hopeful over time we will get to a point where he could enjoy dog play. I’m not a dog park fan, I only considered doggie day care at the suggestion of it but wasn't really sold on it. Training is #1 and that’s where I’m at. I’ll take it say by day and remain consistent (was a major problem for us). I’m certain I’ll have an obedient pup in no time. And he’s immature, I think I fail to realize that sometimes. 😬
 
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