Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay so this is hard for me. Leeroy is a teenager spoo. And since he wasn't trained as a puppy, and we're his 3rd owners, AND we've only had him 2 months, I know we have a ways to go.

I also know he is a teenager and he's being a stinker. He's been a turd lately with sometimes refusing to listen to commands, too. But that's a different topic.

It's been snowing and it makes him crazy outside. He wants to play like mad. He eats the snow and then runs around like he wants us to chase him. That's cute, but it stops being cute when he runs up and flies into you full force, biting hard. He does it several times over and over again. I know he thinks he's playing but I don't like that at all.

I've tried being firm with a no, which he just stares and then the second I move he does it again...I've tried turning away and not saying anything to let him know I won't engage... Neither work well, and tonight the latter made him just bark and run around so he can jump on us again.

The worst of it is the biting. He has no restraint when he gets worked up like that. We aren't even working him up either, we just walk around in the yard and he gets crazy hyper.

His bites have left bruises and sometimes it sounds like he's going to rip my coat.

I would love some advice. Thank you!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,362 Posts
Leash time when you are out together, I think. Hitting and biting mean back in the house for a five minute time out; then outside again. Rinse and repeat. If your yard is safe for him to be out in alone then I would let him play while staying in the doorway myself, and call him back frequently for a good reward; if he is too rowdy close the door on him for a few minutes while keeping watch. Encourage games that don't require physical contact - perhaps a ball and chucker? I would also work hard on impulse control games through the rest of the day - It's your choice, Settling, Wait for games and treats. Keep the time you expect him to control himself very short at first, but make it very clear that Good Stuff Happens to Polite Poodles, while rude, pushy, bullying dogs get ignored. It will take time - as you say, he is a teenager and it sounds as if his education was minimal before you got him - but you will get there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the suggestions! That's a good idea about waiting at the door. Though we often have to go into the yard to get him to go poo then we have to go pick it up.

After posting I tried doing it's yer choice impulse training with his running in the yard. He's fine with it in the house. Once he's outside it all goes out the window. So I'm trying to train him that it's fine if he runs to me, but that he needs to slow down and look at me and not jump and bite. He's seeming to slowly get it. After I reward him he then jumps because he's excited so I turn my back to him and wait for him to stop, which he does. I can see him wagging his tail from his shadow behind me so I know he thinks that the biting and jumping is play.

Phew ... It's so stressful! The biting is the worst. It really hurts. He goes for the arms.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
920 Posts
Hi meljen. Welcome to my world, but it is agility, not playing outdoors that triggers my spoo. He is nearly 3 years old and during the last 6 months has settled a bit. There is light at the end of the tunnel. (Caveat, intact male here)

He was the perfect puppy until about 8 months, and then the crazies set in. His impulse control is exceptional at the back door (training from day 1), and a pause and eye contact is required at every door, at home and in public, as well as dog ring entry gate. None the less, he is so excited about agility that impulse training goes out the window.

My instructor was against even just removing him from the ring when he did this, and he is a soft dog mostly, so perhaps she’s right. His excitement behavior is the vertical leap, with his face very close to the human’s, sometimes nipping (it was normal for me to leave class with blood on my hands). I was amazed that my instructor, 6” shorter than me, stood her ground against this leap. My perspective was that allowing him to “play” at agility was rewarding this behavior. Even some of the top agility trainers discourage anything that may curb a dog’s natural drive—boy, does he have drive!

As I said, it is much improved. I do believe that the handler needs to remain ultra calm, deep breath and relax, cause our excitement level can make it worse. This is a challenge for me.

My excitable agility boy was so thrown off by highway noise that he missed an exterior hide in a nosework trial yesterday. If his two personalities could just meet in the middle!

Perhaps work on impulse control where the temptations are not so attractive, to get the basics in place if they are missing. It may be a while before Leeroy will be able to engage his brain during the most tempting activities. But eventually a calmer spoo will emerge (or so I’m told:wink:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,982 Posts
I agree with fjm. On leash when outside with you and when he is out along recall him and pay well frequently with a polite sit or down when he arrives. It should not take too long for him to figure out that crazy ends fun and no biting means more fun.



When Javelin goes up and gets silly (which can include jumping up and grabbing my hand) I put him on a down stay. He now actually knows that if I say stop it or a really firm no that he needs to take a time out and he actually puts himself on the down. I then spend some time doing focused attention work before releasing from the down to a sit and then ordering him to sit at heel.



Do you know if biting behavior had anything to do with why previous home(s) game him up?
 
  • Like
Reactions: meljen

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Do you know if biting behavior had anything to do with why previous home(s) game him up?
Actually his first owners kept him in a crate 24/7 and wanted to just breed him for money, and also he went through abuse and being called 'stupid'. They didn't want to deal with him. Both owners wanted him as a stud only, due to the breeders having show dogs... Even though his papers said he was not meant to be bred out.

So we ended up taking him and refused to breed him out. He needed love, patience, training, and a family. He is through the roof confident with us and almost never cowers or submissive pees with us after only 2 months (he stopped the peeing after a couple weeks). He also used to be terrified of men and now loves my husband and doesn't cower with him at all.

I really think it's an issue of him receiving such sudden attention and love that his confidence has soared intensely and he wants to jump and show off. He was never worked through puppy biting or any puppy behavior at all, actually. So he's going through both puppy and teenager behavior all at once.

At least these are my theories. He never jumped-bit until he stopped submissive wetting, and it only got intense after it snowed and we started playing fetch with him a lot. Both the previous owners were men and horribly rough with him, causing him to wet all of the time over the tiniest things. So I'm sure it was more of that as an issue.

Breaks my heart to think about it really.

When I took him out of his crate this morning, he didn't jump up on me like he normally does. We've been doing crate games to help him be calm when I open the door. I think last night's impulse training outside helped too. I also took treats out with me for morning potty and as he ran toward me like he was going to jump, he actually waited, looked at my hand and up at me. I could see him stopping himself like he remembered. He did jump up once when we were headed back inside but I turned away from him and he stopped.

I think the impulse training outside is helping IMMENSELY!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi meljen. Welcome to my world, but it is agility, not playing outdoors that triggers my spoo. He is nearly 3 years old and during the last 6 months has settled a bit. There is light at the end of the tunnel. (Caveat, intact male here)

He was the perfect puppy until about 8 months, and then the crazies set in. His impulse control is exceptional at the back door (training from day 1), and a pause and eye contact is required at every door, at home and in public, as well as dog ring entry gate. None the less, he is so excited about agility that impulse training goes out the window.

My instructor was against even just removing him from the ring when he did this, and he is a soft dog mostly, so perhaps she’s right. His excitement behavior is the vertical leap, with his face very close to the human’s, sometimes nipping (it was normal for me to leave class with blood on my hands). I was amazed that my instructor, 6” shorter than me, stood her ground against this leap. My perspective was that allowing him to “play” at agility was rewarding this behavior. Even some of the top agility trainers discourage anything that may curb a dog’s natural drive—boy, does he have drive!

As I said, it is much improved. I do believe that the handler needs to remain ultra calm, deep breath and relax, cause our excitement level can make it worse. This is a challenge for me.

My excitable agility boy was so thrown off by highway noise that he missed an exterior hide in a nosework trial yesterday. If his two personalities could just meet in the middle!

Perhaps work on impulse control where the temptations are not so attractive, to get the basics in place if they are missing. It may be a while before Leeroy will be able to engage his brain during the most tempting activities. But eventually a calmer spoo will emerge (or so I’m told:wink:)
Thank you for sharing your story!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,202 Posts
You've been given such good advice, and good for you for getting started on it right away. This is a very lucky dog to have found you. BTW, my spoos still jump up in the air to bite hands out of excitement when I come home sometimes. I cross my arms and turn away from them until they settle down, without any words or emotion, and it works pretty quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
You've been given such good advice, and good for you for getting started on it right away. This is a very lucky dog to have found you. BTW, my spoos still jump up in the air to bite hands out of excitement when I come home sometimes. I cross my arms and turn away from them until they settle down, without any words or emotion, and it works pretty quickly.
Thank you, and yes is does seem to work pretty quickly!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,362 Posts
He sounds like a dog with a lovely temperament and a great deal of intelligence - and one who knows how lucky he is to have found you. The trick is to teach him how to control himself without squashing his newly found joie de vivre - thank heavens for reward based training!
 
  • Like
Reactions: meljen

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
It sounds like he needs to burn off some energy - I know that it is a two edged sword to feed into high energy behavior. My mini needs to at times be redirected into retrieve games - which only happen if he follows ALL the rules. No pushing - no barking - no mouthing (or I turn into a silent statue of stone). However offer me a sit (and boy he will offer that fast) and I will throw the ball. Retrieve the ball back into my open hand (that is a rule that an older very experienced dog lady drilled into me - thanks Anne Allbright Smith) so you never have to pick up the ball from the floor - your back will thank you. Usually after 6 or so runs - which are part retrieve part zoomies - we do seem to find our brains again and are ready to work. I know for some dogs this would push them over the edge in terms of craziness but for others it is the outlet of that energy burst that they need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
He sounds like a dog with a lovely temperament and a great deal of intelligence - and one who knows how lucky he is to have found you. The trick is to teach him how to control himself without squashing his newly found joie de vivre - thank heavens for reward based training!
Thank you! And oh I know... I was so sad because I don't want to kill his spirit.

Part of what I do outside is I also back up and have him practice stay, then I excitedly have him run toward me. I then have the treat in hand so he slows down and looks at me rather than 'attacks'. That way he knows he can run and play and bounce but that he shouldn't jump up and bite. It seems to be working quickly! It's also making 'come here' more fun for him and he's already listening in the house more, too.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
It sounds like he needs to burn off some energy - I know that it is a two edged sword to feed into high energy behavior. My mini needs to at times be redirected into retrieve games - which only happen if he follows ALL the rules. No pushing - no barking - no mouthing (or I turn into a silent statue of stone). However offer me a sit (and boy he will offer that fast) and I will throw the ball. Retrieve the ball back into my open hand (that is a rule that an older very experienced dog lady drilled into me - thanks Anne Allbright Smith) so you never have to pick up the ball from the floor - your back will thank you. Usually after 6 or so runs - which are part retrieve part zoomies - we do seem to find our brains again and are ready to work. I know for some dogs this would push them over the edge in terms of craziness but for others it is the outlet of that energy burst that they need.
We were doing fetch quite a bit but we've tailored back on exercise and are focusing more on do nothing and mat exercises to teach him to calm himself and also some brain games and impulse training. We're going to put exercise back in soon. Especially loose leash walking so he learns not to pull so much on walks.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
I had to curb retrieving for a while - when we were super mouthy a couple of months ago - right now he can't do it until his knee is better - but when we retooled the game into more rules and less tolerance for insanity it worked really well especially to focus him - it was the fastest way for me to show him we can do wild stuff - and your enthusiasm is appreciated but only on my terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I had to curb retrieving for a while - when we were super mouthy a couple of months ago - right now he can't do it until his knee is better - but when we retooled the game into more rules and less tolerance for insanity it worked really well especially to focus him - it was the fastest way for me to show him we can do wild stuff - and your enthusiasm is appreciated but only on my terms.
Yeah we'll probably have to change it up too.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
It sounds like it is working out in a terrific fashion for all three of you. You are reminding me to be diligent about rewarding good behavior in my pup. The "brainiacs" as someone walking by described poodles, learn quickly! Maggie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
You might consider using an ultrasonic auditory feedback tool for correction.

Our standard, Ziggy, has had a barking issue all of his life. We tried a variety of proactive training methods to re-educate him about when barking is appropriate, but none worked. A couple of weeks ago we got a BossBee Ultrasonic Bark Control Trainer ($30 through Amazon). When you press a button, it emits a high-pitched tone (inaudible to humans) that can annoy/distract your dog from barking. Ziggy barked, we said “no bark” and clicked the button. He stopped, tried it again - we said no bark and clicked the button. And he stopped! The next time he heard the knock at the door we said “no bark” and didn’t have to correct! Lots of praise for obeying the “no bark” command! We have only had to use it a couple of times since the first day - I think Zig occasionally wants to test us to see if it’s still a rule! Sometimes he can’t help himself and grumbles instead of barking. It’s pretty cute and we can live with that! Lol!

In any case, I think this could be a good tool to use to correct other types of behaviors - especially something as potentially dangerous as jumping and biting! When your dog becomes overly wild, direct him to (sit/or-whatever) - press the ultra-sonic beeper if he doesn’t comply, and reward him lavishly when he does. 21% of the Amazon reviewers said their dogs didn’t respond to the sound, but 57% gave it 5 stars. Of the ones that said their dog “got used to it” I’d say they were probably using it to “deter” only, not as a tool to teach a command. And the price is right - it doesn’t break the bank to try it. I’ll give it 5 stars!

Although this doesn’t fall in the category of *positive*reinforcement, it has given us tons of opportunity to reward our pup for good/compliant behavior!

Good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,982 Posts
karenm0 the only big concern I have for using tools like that is that your timing of the corrective signal must be impeccable. For myself and more people than not I suspect we tend to be too slow to deliver those signals and therefore they become meaningless or worse punitive of nothing and can then generate mistrust from the dog. I don't even use a clicker because I find juggling it and getting the right timing to be very inconsistent for my needs. Verbal markers work better for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: meljen

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the suggestion regarding the ultrasonic method, but we also have two cats, one of them being elderly, along with two geckos. I don't want to be cruel to them by using something like that around Leeroy.

I think I may have figured something out. Because his jumps are like two different dogs in the indoor/outdoor settings, I found myself reacting differently and accidentally using different commands.

Indoors when he gently jumps up to get to our faces, I point to the floor and say 'down'. Then when he's down I give him attention. It works well.

Outdoors we were doing everything BUT that due to how violent he gets with the jumping. It is oh so hard to not be reactive and to time it right with how quickly (and hard) he jumps against us as he flies through the air.

The good news is the biting has almost completely stopped. We've been doing impulse training with every treat indoors and frequently as we interact with him when he's outside.

This morning he jumped on me a few times. Out of being tired and very cold, I reacted a few different ways and then finally said firmly 'DOWN' and be stopped and looked at me. I then gave him a treat and praised him for stopping. I gave him another when he went up the stairs without jumping and another once we were inside.

Ironically the impulse training seems to be helping with the jumping... I'm not sure. Maybe he's slowly getting tired of the fact that we don't play in response to his jumping. Maybe if I keep rewarding him when he's NOT jumping he might be more interested in behaving.

Sort of like treating for mat training.

We'll see! :)

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
As for a clicker... Yeah we bought one as I thought it would help, mostly to let him know when he's been good on a walk, since it's much harder to get his attention then. But we're going to be loose leash training so we hopefully don't have to worry about that anyway.

And I agree... It's kind of awkward. It works for some but not for me. I also think Leeroy reacts more to the positive interaction and praise versus a click sound. He actually got a little weird and hyper with the click.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top