The Tao of Poodle - or seven steps to canine nirvana!
Thanks for the kind words!
. . ." I end up closing the front door in front of him because he stand there dumbfounded when I say "Guido come!" as I'm walking out the door, I close the door in front of him, he barks at the door for me to open it and then when I open it he comes. Silly game, isn't it? .
Just make absolutely sure that you do NOT open the door immediately . . . just wait a random amount of time from 2 to 10 minutes and then open it. Guido missed his opportunity . . . he'll just have to wait for the next one!.
I think that pros' call it 'oppositional reflex' . . . If you push, your 'pushee' will push back! That's also related to why you never run towards an escaping dog outside, but you call to it in a playful tone and start skipping off in the direction you want him/her to go . . . Almost guaranteed to work every time. Clap your hands and make like over here is the funnest place around . . .
Remember - these are poodles. They are smart devils, and will make a fool of you if you don't catch on quick. He's probably testing testing 1 2 3 to see what you are made of . . . Mine do some scary things that make you really wonder about how smart they really are . . .
Therefore, if I where you I'd:
1) Make him sit before going outside with you. Do not ever let him go first outside through a door way - you go first - not him.
2) Make him sit before dinner time (hey, all of us must have manners - correct?). He is not to eat when you put the bowl down, only when you let him after you put the bowl down. If you need to physically hold him then do so . . you can also use a leash. Also make sure that you can pick up and inspect the dog dish while they are eating, and that you are able to repo bones that they are chewing on for inspection. This can save your dogs life.
3) When walking in the neighborhood, make him sit when you stop to tie your shoes, cross an intersection (this might just save your dogs life).
4) Make sure he is kennel trained. This takes advantage of a deep canine denning instinct. They feel SAFE in a kennel, mine choose to go there as its their 'bedroom'. Never use it as a punishment. This can also save your dogs life, as if s/he is ever injured, you can control his movements in an environment that they feel safe in (read lower heart rate, relaxed, good for trauma I'm assuming . . . ), and you can travel with them, and board them, and . . . you get the picture.
5) I can't remember - is he a toy or a mini? If he is a toy, never ever ever under any circumstance carry him around. Don't do the baby carriage thing (women are particularly susceptible to this behavior - sorry if I offend), or hold him up on your same face level. Let him walk - he's got legs! Remember, when you put a canine (it doesn't matter the size) at the same level as you - over a period of time they will begin to believe that you are their peer. This is bad - you must be leader - period.
6) Belly scratches. This will make your dog feel great! Scritchies feel good . . . and are mandatory
at random times through out the day. S/he must roll on their back and accept a tummy rub. They must also accept inspection of their toes, ears, eyes, mouth and etc. Again - this can save their life - its not designed to be 'dominant' - its meant for you to be the leader so you can ensure his safety.
7) They must accept being groomed . . . got to brush a poodle . . even a buzzed one need it pretty often.
Will you be able to do all of these things from day 1? Maybe . . but probably not . . .They are good goals though!
Mark, Jamie and The Poodle Gangsters!