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We had a bit of a rough afternoon, Teddy and I. We were out on a walk and it was as though he had forgotten everything he's been taught. When he ignores me and just walks on his merry way, I stop. He pulls on the lead and I just stand there. He maybe stubborn, but he's met his match in me. If he won't walk forward, I tug on the leash to make him move forward. Not violently or harshly or with any more force than is necessary to let him know that I mean business. I just want him to know who's in charge.

Sometimes I think I'm being too hard on him, considering he's still a puppy and sometimes he just wants to have fun. A couple of friends have said that I should "let him be a puppy". I'm being firm with him now because my goal is to have a well balanced, well behaved adult dog, who people won't mind being around and who will possibly make a good therapy dog.

He does get to play--a lot, but when we're training or walking or walking and training, I expect him to give me his attention 100%.

So what do those of you with more experience with this than I have think? Am I robbing him of his puppyhood and will he end up on a therapist's couch rambling on and on about how his mother ruined his life? Am I expecting too much from him at this age? (that would be partially his fault, since he's such a smarty pants)
 

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No, i think your fine. When on a walk i do not expect or demand 100% attention on me as the walk IS for him. I do expect and enforce good manners though when Ever we are out and about (including everything from walking, going in stores or even walking into the dog park from the car). I think it sets a good foundation. You arnt robbing him of anything.
Personally, one of my biggest pet peeves is when dogs put on the brakes because they dont want to go somewhere (usually at work this is followed by the owners going to pick them up or beg them to walk). :doh:
 

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We had a bit of a rough afternoon, Teddy and I. We were out on a walk and it was as though he had forgotten everything he's been taught. When he ignores me and just walks on his merry way, I stop. He pulls on the lead and I just stand there. He maybe stubborn, but he's met his match in me. If he won't walk forward, I tug on the leash to make him move forward. Not violently or harshly or with any more force than is necessary to let him know that I mean business. I just want him to know who's in charge.

Sometimes I think I'm being too hard on him, considering he's still a puppy and sometimes he just wants to have fun. A couple of friends have said that I should "let him be a puppy". I'm being firm with him now because my goal is to have a well balanced, well behaved adult dog, who people won't mind being around and who will possibly make a good therapy dog.

He does get to play--a lot, but when we're training or walking or walking and training, I expect him to give me his attention 100%.

So what do those of you with more experience with this than I have think? Am I robbing him of his puppyhood and will he end up on a therapist's couch rambling on and on about how his mother ruined his life? Am I expecting too much from him at this age? (that would be partially his fault, since he's such a smarty pants)
If you aren't hard on him now, when do you start? LOL

when I was a kid my friends always commented on how strict my mom was, but of all my friends I am the one who has it together now.

with kids and dogs who are coddled or babied when they are young, when they grow up and you start being strict, then its like a total culture shock!

Give Teddy a release word (I use OK) that means that he can walk where he wants, get the zoomies ect. Its nice for dogs and kids both to have free time (recess?)
but I personally do not think you are being a meanie.
 

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I don't think teaching good manners early on is bad at all. I was taught to say please my whole life, I never considered it to be a rough up bringing.

My parents called me a training nazi because I tell people not to pet Vegas until all four paws are on the ground. u_u I only want him to do this because he's going to be a big boy when he grows up and could knock someone over if he's really bouncy and jumpy when meeting someone. Really, who cares what people think? You know what's right for your dog and you know what you want to expect from him, and when he gives you what's expected he gets a party to see how fun it is to make mom happy. (At least that's what I do :D)
 

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Oh gosh, I'm having so much trouble teaching Teddy not to jump on people! I try, but they encourage it--probably because he's so light, you can hardly feel it. He isn't even able to topple a toddler! LOL

He'll jump on someone and I'll give his leash a gentle tug and say, "off", and they say, "oh, it's alright" and they start petting him. See, Mom=MEANIE! ;)

But I know that when we start to get involved in therapy dog training and the CGC test, it will be important for him to know that he can't jump on anyone. He rarely does it to me, it's mostly when he's greeting strangers.

Actually, I could use some tips on how to train not to jump on people. I have an idea of how to do it, but if other people aren't going to cooperate, it's rather hard to do.
 

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What's up with that refusing to walk on a lead thing??!! Jasper has started this recently and it's driving me crazy. Occasionally when going out to potty he'll plant his butt at the top of the stairs in the most beautiful sit and won't budge. It's just occasional but, geesh, it's cold out. Let's keep this show moving LOL.

I am pretty strict, too, and occasionally feel like a Nazi Mom when everything is a learning experience. I just keep reminding myself how much more we'll enjoy him, and he'll enjoy us, later on if we're all on the same page behavior/manner-wise.
 

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Same here. I don't have kids, but I would imagine it's the same kind of balancing act you do with them. On the one hand, you want them to be happy and have fun, but you want them to be safe and well-behaved at the same time.

I'm hoping he's just going through a temporary teenage rebellion sort of thing. The other possibility is that it's because of that whole Gemini split personality thing. LOL
 

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Oh there is this video on Leerburg that has the best training for teaching puppies not to jump up. I'll try to find it but basically you have some yummy treats, dog is off leash and you hold treats towards your chest. Puppy is focused on what you have and if puppy sits or keeps paws on the ground puppy gets a treat and praise. Move around, walk toward puppy, and if the dog jumps up at all you back off and don't give treats. The video is better than I'm explaining it. I also use "off" and will just turn and give my back and ignore the dog. Dogs jump up to get you to play with them and when they are excited. If you ignore it and show them your back as not being interested in this behavior, it helps to prove that you won't talk to, show interest in, or play with a puppy that's in that state of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's very helpful. Now I just need to figure out how to get other people to participate...
 

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Give Teddy a release word (I use OK) that means that he can walk where he wants, get the zoomies ect. Its nice for dogs and kids both to have free time (recess?)
This is a very good suggestion because I can't always let him off the leash to run around like he really wants and needs to. That was why I bought the flexi-lead to begin with. I'm hoping that I can habituate him to walking calmly by my side in the city, and having a little more freedom when we're in our own suburban neighborhood. Those two places are very different looking, sounding and smelling, and I'm hoping he will be able to differentiate as time goes on. He seems smart enough to do that, and he's already showing signs of it.
 

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Oh Marian, I feel as though I wrote your post! Same thing going on in NJ today with my 10 month old angel Chagall; as if all of the sudden he thinks walking is supposed to be like the luge run! Actually, my "good boy heeler" started being not so good last week. Don't know if it's age, or weather or what! I have had him on leash and been training him since he came to us, at 9 weeks. I wear a doggy treat bag everywhere but to bed to be able to reward him when he's being a good boy and obeying, or just to mark behavior he initiates that I like. Anyway, on several occasions this past week he's pulled so darn hard that I was concerned he was hurting himself, he was making that choking/honking noise. Yesterday the vet told me to get a harness for him and use that. Well, I have one that I leave on when I put him on 50' tracking line to give him "freedom" when we're on out property (we live in a rural area on a wooded lot with some nice property). Teaching him to walk nicely on the harness is my new project. He "gets it" for a while, especially with a verbal reminder and food reward, but then he wants to launch! I don't know if it's that his prey drive is kicking in, that he's sensing spring in the air or his age, I just know I share your frustration and concern. I too and hoping to get him trained well enough to earn CGC and do therapy work, actually be a "reading dog" for children at our local library. I too have the jumping issue--he can spring up shoulder high--and trouble getting strangers to heed my request to ignore him until he sits politely for a greeting. Well, I guess no one said "poodle parenthood" would be easy! How old is Teddy? I'm going to feel real bad if you say he's a whole lot younger than Chagall, as though I'm the "lame mom of the year" who's done a bum job of training so far! We'll muddle through, all these good forum folks will help us. Good luck! "I feel your pain!!"
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Good lord, woman, you're teaching your poodle to read?? ;)

Teddy is almost 9 months old. We actually live in NJ too (Bergen County). Maybe they've put something in our water. LOL

I feel for you too! Thanks.
 

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You just cracked me up good!! You know, I think I COULD teach him to read--he's a real smarty (pants!). I bet he'd learn to read and diagram sentences faster than learn how to walk consistently on a loose lead! Our local library has a wonderful program where well-behaved pet therapy dogs serve as the "audience" for youngsters who have difficulty reading. The children seem much at ease reading out loud to the dogs. It's really something to see. Right now there's a Greyhound, a St. Bernard, a Corgi, a Golden Retreiver and Border Collie mix in the audience, I think a Poodle would complete the group nicely! I give Chagall bottled spring water so I'm thinking it's something in the Jersey air that's making our poos little wild things lately. Thanks for commiserating! We're in Hunterdon County, if you ever want Teddy to run wild (but safely, on a long line), come on out!
 

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Just to give ya'll a another perspective. I've been reading up on British retriever training methods and found that they expect their hunting dogs to be fully trained on and off lead by the time they are one year old! Anything less looks very bad on the owner! This includes all distractions, 20 min stays, no chasing rabbits or livestock, no barking or whining while on duty. I tried to train my current pup to these standards while remembering that spoos are a fast moving, bouncy, fun loving breed (love that!) that can get bored very easily. The first year of training was tough and quite often I looked like the meanie but the it was worth it I can take her anywhere and she has impeccable manners. Be firm and have fun!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's a really good perspective, Desiree. I will definitely keep that in mind. :)
 
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