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Annie was the most perfect puppy I could imagine. I wanted the cuddly puppy, and that's what I got. Friendly, smart, easy to train, great recall, happy, confident. Lots of praise for her breeder, she was beautifully socialized and really an awesome pup. People thought she was a 2 year old mini, not a standard puppy. Not trouble free, but far less trouble than I expected.

Then adolescence hit and she became a real challenge, and I started posting here - a lot - and got a ton of great advice that helped me make it through adolescence with my sanity mostly intact. I occasionally got glimpses of the puppy I knew/adult dog I have, but not very often!

She is almost 2 now, and all that work is now paying off, and I am so grateful to have this dog.

Yesterday we went on a hike off leash on an unassumed and unmaintained old farm road I like to walk (it's not passible with cars or trucks, but people atv it). I normally don't hike on the weekends but figured it would be ok. Sure enough, spotted people in the distance, walking. Called her back. She came, clipped on her flexi, treat, continue walking, let her off leash. 5 min later, heard ATVs , called her back, clipped on the leash, and stayed at the side of the road. Continued walking. She did a ton of voluntary check-ins with that poodle grin 'hey? Ar'ye comin'?' She ran through a break in a fence line, and came back the moment I called her back. She is gradually getting more and more offleash privileges.

Earlier that day we tried to help catch an offleash puppy and she a) played nicely with it, and b) was beautifully behaved with the 3 year old who owned the puppy, let him pet her, didn't try and jump, and even gave him a quick swipe on the nose with her tongue. Seeing the contrast between that puppies bond with its owner and Annie's bond with me at that age really made me appreciate how much work we have done together.

A week or two ago I took her to my grandma's seniors building, and she visited all the women in the lobby as we walked in, no jumping, and didn't jump grandma in the apartment despite how happy she was to see her. My mom now loves walking her, because of how polite and responsive she is on leash, stopping and sitting patiently every time mom pauses. She behaves nicer for mom than me, I sometimes think - she seems to know mom is fragile.

Two days ago I had her at the dog park, playing fetch, and someone commented she was the only dog who goes to the park that retrieves to hand and gives the ball without a fight, and that she sure isn't just PetSmart trained (I was practicing heeling, fronts and finishes with the distraction of the other two dogs). She has pretty much stopped play pouncing at Trixie.

This morning she is snuggling with me on the bed. She has gotten up 3 times, then come back to snuggle more. That cuddly dog I was missing through most of her adolescence is back. She is very active and athletic outside, and has an awesome off switch in the house.

Anyway - she turns 2 in less than a month, and despite some moments of utter despair with her teenaged self, I am very very happy with how she is turning out. Yes, there are still challenges - she still has a passionate and vocal love for squirrels, and is afraid of shadows in the dark. But she is still a joy to live with, and such a happy dog.

For anyone struggling through poodle adolescence - trust me. It's worth it when you come out the other side.
 

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That is just beautiful. I am thrilled to read your lovely thoughts.
 
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Good girl Annie - and congratulations on keeping going through the tough times, FWOP. Perhaps we should all celebrate the good behaviour more often, rather than focussing on the things that go wrong.

I had a nice compliment on my dogs' off leash behaviour today. We had passed an elderly lady with three border collies (one obviously rather reactive) on the way out, and on the way back I saw her sitting on a bench ahead of us. Other people with dogs were coming towards us, plus bicycles approaching from the other direction, and it was obviously going to be a pinch to get past her so I asked the dogs to slow down and then to wait for the bicycles. Once released I told them not to tease the big dogs and they trotted on, Sophy ahead and Poppy behind me, giving the collies plenty of space. "How lovely to see such well behaved small dogs!" said the lady - and we then of course had a nice long chat about dogs.
 

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Lovely, FWOP. Your post is a stirring reminder that Mia outgrew her teenage rebellion years ago and is in fact a delightful companion.
 

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Annie was the most perfect puppy I could imagine. I wanted the cuddly puppy, and that's what I got. Friendly, smart, easy to train, great recall, happy, confident. Lots of praise for her breeder, she was beautifully socialized and really an awesome pup. People thought she was a 2 year old mini, not a standard puppy. Not trouble free, but far less trouble than I expected.

Then adolescence hit and she became a real challenge, and I started posting here - a lot - and got a ton of great advice that helped me make it through adolescence with my sanity mostly intact. I occasionally got glimpses of the puppy I knew/adult dog I have, but not very often!

She is almost 2 now, and all that work is now paying off, and I am so grateful to have this dog.

Yesterday we went on a hike off leash on an unassumed and unmaintained old farm road I like to walk (it's not passible with cars or trucks, but people atv it). I normally don't hike on the weekends but figured it would be ok. Sure enough, spotted people in the distance, walking. Called her back. She came, clipped on her flexi, treat, continue walking, let her off leash. 5 min later, heard ATVs , called her back, clipped on the leash, and stayed at the side of the road. Continued walking. She did a ton of voluntary check-ins with that poodle grin 'hey? Ar'ye comin'?' She ran through a break in a fence line, and came back the moment I called her back. She is gradually getting more and more offleash privileges.

Earlier that day we tried to help catch an offleash puppy and she a) played nicely with it, and b) was beautifully behaved with the 3 year old who owned the puppy, let him pet her, didn't try and jump, and even gave him a quick swipe on the nose with her tongue. Seeing the contrast between that puppies bond with its owner and Annie's bond with me at that age really made me appreciate how much work we have done together.

A week or two ago I took her to my grandma's seniors building, and she visited all the women in the lobby as we walked in, no jumping, and didn't jump grandma in the apartment despite how happy she was to see her. My mom now loves walking her, because of how polite and responsive she is on leash, stopping and sitting patiently every time mom pauses. She behaves nicer for mom than me, I sometimes think - she seems to know mom is fragile.

Two days ago I had her at the dog park, playing fetch, and someone commented she was the only dog who goes to the park that retrieves to hand and gives the ball without a fight, and that she sure isn't just PetSmart trained (I was practicing heeling, fronts and finishes with the distraction of the other two dogs). She has pretty much stopped play pouncing at Trixie.

This morning she is snuggling with me on the bed. She has gotten up 3 times, then come back to snuggle more. That cuddly dog I was missing through most of her adolescence is back. She is very active and athletic outside, and has an awesome off switch in the house.

Anyway - she turns 2 in less than a month, and despite some moments of utter despair with her teenaged self, I am very very happy with how she is turning out. Yes, there are still challenges - she still has a passionate and vocal love for squirrels, and is afraid of shadows in the dark. But she is still a joy to live with, and such a happy dog.

For anyone struggling through poodle adolescence - trust me. It's worth it when you come out the other side.
I loved reading this. My mini poo is heading towards 5 months and although she is an angel during training sessions and shows off her skills at puppy classes I am now starting to see some challenging behaviour. My previous dog was a GSD/Lab mix and she had the manners of a lady so I'm hoping I can get my mini poo to that stage too which would make me very happy. Now she is going through this resisting phase I feel like I'm never going to get there but realise its early days yet so reading your post gave me great hope.
 

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Thank you all for your kind words. Had another great day and another great offleash hike yesterday.

fjm - I am always very jealous of your stories of your walks. I wish there were more areas it was acceptable to walk dogs offleash here.

WinniethePoodle - I'm glad it gave you some hope. Poodle puppies are definitely a challenge! I was lucky that I went into it expecting the worst; every time I bragged about young puppy Annie's accomplishments, family members would give a big cackle and say "Just you wait until she hits adolescence!". My family is of the opinion that no dog is a good dog until 1.5 if you are very lucky, 3 if you aren't, but the dog on the other end of it is worth it. They like getting 'crazy' 1-3 year old rehomed dogs, as they say usually the good dog is right around the corner when people give up. I have found a sense of humour and a goodly dose of patience is a huge help with coping with poodle adolescence. It's good to be able to laugh (because otherwise you'd cry) when your 8 month old puppy suddenly thinks that "sit" is a foreign language, and "come" means run the opposite direction and steal the remote off the coffee table as she runs, even though you are standing there with a treat in your hand! This forum is an awesome resource for sensible advice and commiseration to help you make it through the next few challenging months!
 
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