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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, so I've read many times over that poodles are sensitive and that being harsh with them can lead them to being timid later in life.

So how in the hell do you train these [email protected]?

Our boy us 12 weeks. We have had him for 2 weeks now. He has basic commands pretty decent... sit, down, stay.. His house breaking is decent.

So here is my issue... we have a 14.5 year old standard schnauzer. He will not leave her alone. He bites and attacks her constantly. She is very tolerant, but isnt interested in playing with him. She will cuddle with him, or similar but doesnt eant anything to do with puppy banter. She has put him in his place a number of times, but this stubborn little **** just doesnt get it. She cant even go to the bathroom without him trying to bite her or air hump her. We give the puppy plenty of attention, exercise. We redirect. We give her space away from him.... but every bloody time they are together, he is the biggest pain in the ass. It's been 2 weeks of constant redirection and it's not getting any better. Help!! Obviously we dont want to make this boy timid by yelling, tapping his beak, or forcing him to submit by holding him down (as directed by less praise based training).
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Edited to add.... I know he is a little baby. I'm feeling bad for my old girl. I want to do my very best in training him to be a happy, well mannered dog. I've had other stubborn dogs before, but man this boy is persistent.
 

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12 weeks old? He is a baby and just being a puppy. Use a baby gate to separate them and give your older girl a break from him. My boy is a year old now and still likes to jump and bite on our older boxer, we tell him no bite and he is learning, and will then kiss on him, but I still supervise and redirect him. I think its how poodles some play, at least mine does. I'm sure more experienced folk can help you m ore than I, this is my first poodle.
 

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Not puppy's fault at all. The people of your family are the "grown ups" in this relationship and it is on you to keep everyone safe and happy. I would never leave a puppy in a situation here they could get away with this sort of stuff if it bothered an older dog. Lily had no use for Javelin for almost 6 months and as a result all of their interactions were incredibly limited and closely supervised.


As to the behavior of your particular puppy, he does sound like a bit of a wild child. My Lily was much the same. It is a fine line to balance between the sensitivity and idiotic tendencies with such a puppy. It took me quite a while to find that balance with her, but we found it.


Lastly a 12 week old puppy is like maybe a 6-8 month old human infant, just learning there is a larger world and developing the tools to negotiate it. He is also still just beginning to form real relationships with people and other animals. He will make social errors. Get used to it.


ETA on rereading the last bit of your post, frankly I would never leave him with your older dog just now, not fair to anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know he is a baby. We are giving our old girl plenty of alone time away from the pup. Any suggestions on when they are interacting? Our old girl has put him in his place a number of times, but minutes later he is back at it again.
 

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I know he is a baby. We are giving our old girl plenty of alone time away from the pup. Any suggestions on when they are interacting? Our old girl has put him in his place a number of times, but minutes later he is back at it again.



No interaction except across a baby gate or they are on leash and there are two adult supervisors, not longer than 2-3 minutes. In the meantime train the puppy firmly, not with yelling or any physical corrections.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
A long lead in the house. Why didnt I think of that?? I posted the same question on a fb group.... got some great ideas on how to train this active boy while being aware of his sensitive feelings. I have a feeling he is going to be a fantastic dog. He is so sweet otherwise. And crazy smart. We just need to channel his energy. Had someone suggest mind games to drain his energy. Bet your bottom dollar I will be busy getting this implemented this weekend (long weekend in canada)
 

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Agree with Lily and Mufar 100%. I'd also recommend hiring a trainer to get you started correctly (positive reinforcement only), but if you can't do that, I'd suggest watching YouTube videos by Kikopup and Zak George who have videos on every issue imaginable with puppies and dogs.
 

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I'm going to second the baby gate. Puppies have three places they are allowed to be. The yard, the kitchen, and their crate. That's it. It makes life easier for everyone. If you go to the bathroom, the puppy goes in their crate. If you go outside to get the mail, the puppy goes in the crate. The interaction between your dog and the puppy should be zero until the puppy settles down.

Also, your puppy isn't stubborn. He's a puppy! It's like letting the Tasmanian Devil loose in your house. It doesn't have to be that way. Control the situation with a crate and a gate. Otherwise, the dog will control you.
 

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A long lead in the house. Why didnt I think of that?? I posted the same question on a fb group.... got some great ideas on how to train this active boy while being aware of his sensitive feelings. I have a feeling he is going to be a fantastic dog. He is so sweet otherwise. And crazy smart. We just need to channel his energy. Had someone suggest mind games to drain his energy. Bet your bottom dollar I will be busy getting this implemented this weekend (long weekend in canada)

I didn't say long lead, I meant a regular six foot leash. The point is to keep him close enough to be under control, not three rooms away freeing himself by chewing through the leash (which is what my two would have done on a long line at that point in their lives. And yes I second brain games, but for a puppy that age brain games are adding depth to basics like sit and down (duration then distractions).


And if I could give ten thanks pushes to Click I would.
 
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I've brought lots of new puppies into my household over many years. And while I agree that the existing dog needs plenty of quiet alone time away from puppy and should not be harassed unrelentingly, I don't quite agree with keeping them separate all the time and preventing very natural interactions. All interactions need to be supervised, but with little intervention unless necessary.

Your puppy is just that...a baby and hasn't learned the adult doggie rules of the road. He knows the puppy rules which, like a toddler human child is vastly different from grown up rules. And your grown up dog is the very best teacher of all. And they both can benefit from early interactions as long as she's not over whelmed.

This pretty much covers what I'd like to say but she says it much better. I encourage you to read this helpful article.

https://www.clickertraining.com/what-to-expect-introducing-a-puppy-to-your-adult-dogs
 

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Click is so right, I had two elderly sister toy poodles Flower and Cappi both 13 yrs old when I got Beatrice as a puppy, Little Beatrice had to earn house rights, and had short supervised stints with the older gals, both of which ignored pesky puppy. I had to work so hard to wear that puppy out. Roughly 4 months later Cappi one of the elderly poodles passed away, remaining sister Flower was really lonely so she excepted and loved on little Bea. Still I had to make sure that Bea was well exercised mentally loads of training and loads of play.
 

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My present dog was my most difficult dog for me to train. At my age I've had many many dogs and always took them to classes too for something to do and for simple social skills. When Renn was young I said to myself several times, What have I gotten myself into? I had bloody tears on my arms from his mouthy playing and trying to jump into my arms. This forum helped me listened to me vent gave suggestions etc. I pretty much kept Renn tethered to me and there are still times I do.(I use a regular size lead and sometimes a short one when I gave him more freedom and just needed to be able to grab it to correct a behavior) My husband does not have good balance so I always have to supervise when the dog is running free. Plus I have 3 other dogs. My cairn terrier, well she will take care of herself, pretty much but our boxer who is only 5 is very very laid back and Renn would erase the heck out of him, Mostly by play biting him. He couldn't instigate him into playing o he would bite and jump at him. I could correct Renn with him on a leash by simply giving a short tug saying no bite. Its better now and they can be loose together though I still have to supervise and Renn is now almost 15 months old. I can tell you it gets better as there are times now they will lie down together in the same room. Your baby is just a baby so you will get there.
 

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Separate - separate - separate. The older dog does not have to put up with puppy craziness. I would let them together when the little one is about to fall asleep - ready to curl up and lie down. Since the older one is ready to nap any time - maybe you can get them to nap together. Generally they do not NEED together time at all - through a gate as many have mentioned is just fine.
 

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14.5 years is quite an advanced age for a dog as large as a Standard Schnauzer to reach. We are not talking about the Miniature most people are familiar with. Congratulations on such longevity. I do think at this elderly stage she should never have to fend for herself. I could be wrong, of course.

I agree with those who have said near complete isolation from one another via x-pen and/or baby gates.

This isn't a stubborn puppy; he's just a Poodle puppy. I expect you are attending puppy kindergarden with him, but if not, he should start right away. That will also help him learn about correct interactions, providing it's taught by a super educated and qualified instructor. Forget that pinning nonsense. It's never had a supportable place in real training.

Be sure to find ways to enjoy one another :).
 

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People don't tend to click and read so here it is without the link in case the op missed it or is interested. I didn't mean to imply that the adult dog should be left alone to have wing it and fend herself or that letting a puppy harass an older dog should be permitted. I also don't think that the older dog and puppy should never learn how to read each other's signals and get use to each other which I think needs supervised interacting. The ideas in the following piece help the older dog and puppy get to the business of living together peacefully sooner I think. Be sure to reinfroce the older dog with good treats and things when puppy's around to build a better association with the puppy.

When I brought home my Doberman puppy, if I had not showed him up close and personal how to be gentle by hovering (constant supervision) and letting the Chihuahuas show him too, what was okay and what wasn't, he have been a wild, rambunctious and dangerous young dog for a couple years years instead of a couple months. As it was, he learned how to act and learned how to be careful of them and loving and learned where the line was. I had a 14 year old lab who came to love him within 2 or 3 weeks. If I had kept him sequestered the whole time, I don't think they would have understood each other as well or as soon.

When I brought home the two poodle puppies, I still had the Chihuahuas, who were approaching 13 or 14 years old. Chulita wasn't all that well with heart trouble so I really had to keep them from bothering her. But I hovered and held her in my lap and let the puppies come sniff and wag. She was safe but a little interacting was good. So depending on how decrepit or unwell your older dog is will tell you just how much up close and personal should take place...and depending on what your puppy acts like. He should not be allowed to jump up and nip at your older dog. Of course not. If you're right there and reward his better, more gentle greetings or play, it will help him learn also what behaviors are okay and what are crossing the line. So a few personal stories to sort of get a feeling. Hope your situation improves soon McAwesome. Good luck.

I just happen to agree with, like and respect Karen Pryor's opinion and her ways of doing things. And thought it would be useful, seeing as how she's a really capable, well respected trainer and behaviorist.

What to Expect: Introducing a Puppy to Your Adult Dogs
By Laurie Luck on 08/01/2013
Filed in - Skills for Every Day - Special Situations

Sibling rivalry
Getting a new puppy is exciting—at least for the humans in the family. Sometimes the dog of the house doesn't think the pup is a welcome addition, however. Many people believe that adding a puppy to the family will be harmonious, and that their current dog will be a good dog "mommy" or "daddy." They are disappointed when that doesn't happen. Often, expectations are unrealistic, but in most cases what the human family members see instead of those expectations is completely normal.


Knowing in advance what to expect can help families, and the existing dogs, make the process of introducing a new puppy to the household as easy as possible.

What to expect
I've had the unique experience of welcoming 15 puppies into our house over the last 12 years. As puppy raisers for a service dog organization, on average my husband and I welcome a new pup each year. The new pup arrives when he is about 8 weeks old. He is away from his littermates, mama, and his familiar surroundings for the very first time.

We have three dogs (permanent family members) and each new puppy addition has taught us more about how adult dogs and puppies integrate. We're working on puppy #15 and here is what I've learned so far:

None of my dogs has ever welcomed a puppy with open arms (paws)
All of the dogs growl and snap and move away from the pup
NONE of the dogs has ever hurt a puppy
These observations are pretty normal. Every new puppy has had the same welcome, year after year, from my dogs. While the occasional dog will delight in welcoming a pup into the house, in my experience most dogs don't open up the "welcome wagon" when a new pup enters the family.

Communication skills

Puppies are just learning how to communicate with one another. Usually, pups have only had experience reading their own littermates and mother. Their communication skills are still developing and they don't know the "rules of the road" when it comes to interacting with new and different dogs.


German shepherd puppies playing.

Puppies even have different play styles than adult dogs. When you compare the way puppies play to the way adult dogs play, the differences are vast. Dogs follow a prescribed set of rules. There is a certain way to greet one another. There is a specific way to invite play. There is a way to stop play. There is an entire manners structure that adult dogs subscribe to, and it makes their social interactions predictable and enjoyable. There is a shared language between dogs, and adult dogs are fluent in that language.

Puppies don't follow the rules that the adult dogs depend on for good, solid doggie communication. Puppies don't even know that rules exist! When littermate puppies play together, the only rule is: Don't hurt one another. I've watched a gleeful puppy jump on his sleeping littermate's head with reckless abandon. Upon waking, that littermate joyously engages in play with the head-jumper. With that kind of feedback, it is easy to see why puppies don't understand that the world has rules.

When a pup arrives at a new home without another pup in sight to play with, naturally he picks the next closest thing: the adult dog. The pup does what he has done with his littermates—launches on the head of the sleeping adult dog. "What a rude awakening," says sleeping dog! And the snarl that comes from the adult dog is wholly unexpected and startling to the new puppy. Occasionally, if the snarl isn't enough to deter the puppy from re-launching himself onto the sleepy dog, a full display of teeth along with the most guttural growl you've ever heard will convince the pup to cease and desist.

Hear this
According to our adult dogs, puppies have really poor social skills and have lots to learn. Our adult dogs have been valuable teachers to the puppies we have hosted, and we are grateful to them. The first lesson the puppy learns is where the lines are drawn. There are a lot of DON'Ts that our dogs teach the puppy:


An adult dog communicates to a puppy
that he has crossed the line.

DON'T jump on my head.
DON'T steal the toy I'm playing with
DON'T put your face in my bowl when I'm eating.
DON'T walk on me.
DON'T bite my ears or my tail.
DON'T sit on me.
DON'T bark in my face.
DON'T come any closer.
As long as the adult dogs' behavior is appropriate (they don't connect with the pup, for instance), everything is fine, and the pup begins to learn the new rules of this new house. After about three weeks, some play between the adults and the puppy begins, although with two of our three dogs it takes maybe four or five weeks before they will choose to play with the pup.

Set up for success
For a harmonious household, you want to set up both the puppy and the dog for success.

Supervise!
Supervision is essential. Because the pup doesn't have the same set of social skills as the adult dog, I'm around for all of the interactions between the two. I want to be there to help guide the puppy toward appropriate social efforts and to keep the peace for the adult dogs. I also want my adult dogs to know that I'm there running interference for them; they can count on me to keep the puppy from becoming too much of a nuisance. The more I supervise, the fewer opportunities the dogs have to snap, bark, or growl at the pup.


Too often, the adult dogs in the house are expected to take whatever the puppy can dish out. That's akin to expecting patrons of a restaurant to accept a stranger's child crawling under and climbing on their tables! Those expectations set up the puppy for trouble. The puppy won't learn the vital social skills he'll need to navigate the doggy world he lives in. It's also not fair for the dogs that live in your house. The adult dogs may accept it for a short period of time, but then the puppy's behavior reaches a tipping point. In those circumstances, the dog may strike out with more force than he would have if he had been allowed to tell the pup to knock it off much earlier in the process.

Crates, gates, and pens
I like to put either the adult dogs or the puppy in the crate, behind a gate, or in an exercise pen (x-pen) for some quiet time. Imposing periods of predictable, scheduled, and consistent separation between the puppy and the adult dogs goes a long way toward a harmonious life together. Puppies tend to be persistent and energetic. They don't give up quickly and may pester an older dog for much longer than the dog would allow. By setting up scheduled separation opportunities, both the pup and the dog are getting the breaks they need from each another.

Escape route
It's essential for both the dog and the puppy to have an escape route and a "safe house." I taught my dogs how to move away from an annoying puppy very early in our service-dog-raising years. I would call out "kennel" if my dogs were beginning to become annoyed by the puppy. They would run to their crate, I'd put a frozen stuffed Kong inside, and I would close the door. The dogs could enjoy a special treat and be rid of the annoyance. Very quickly, they began self-crating when they had enough of the puppy. I reinforce that decision to self-crate almost every time with the delivery of a frozen stuffed Kong.

Avoid punishment
Growls are a form of communication. Because puppies have immature communication skills, they frequently miss the more subtle signals your older dog shows, and the dog may need to resort to growling. Resist the urge to correct your dog for growling. Growling may be what the puppy needs in order to recognize that the dog doesn't want to interact. If you find yourself correcting either the puppy or the dog, supervise more instead and use the crates, gates, and pens as ways to manage the interactions between the two.

Reinforce the behavior you like
You can teach your dog to tolerate the new puppy using the same clicker training principles you use to teach your dog to sit and lie down. If your dog ignores the puppy instead of snarling, reinforce that! Ignoring is better than snarling, right? Just like in obedience class, after your dog is reliably ignoring rather than snarling, raise the bar and expect a little bit more from your dog. You might reinforce tolerance next. Say your dog doesn't growl or get up and move if the puppy lies down beside the adult dog. Reinforce that!

Click and treat
Using the clicker can help an older dog understand what behavior you would like to see from him in relation to the new puppy.
Using the clicker can help an older dog understand what behavior you would like to see from him in relation to the new puppy. A healthy side effect of using the clicker to ease the transition is that that pattern creates for the existing dog a happy association with the new puppy. When the new puppy comes around, the older dog will get the opportunity to earn clicks and treats.

What to click?
Think about what behavior you'd like to see from your dog that isn't too hard to accomplish. Using the example above, doing anything other than growling at a puppy might be a good behavior to click and treat.

Remember that it is your responsibility to the existing dog is to keep the puppy far enough away that he can't annoy the existing dog. It's up to you to ensure that the existing dog is able to get clicked and treated easily, so be sure to use tethers, crates, and gates to help your dog earn a click. Continue to click and treat appropriate behavior from the existing dog until he's tolerating appropriate puppy antics.

As the older dog gets more comfortable with the puppy and tolerates appropriate puppy interaction, I often change the criteria. I click the existing dog for making the decision to excuse himself from the situation voluntarily. I would much rather that my dog simply walks away from an exuberant puppy than escalates his behavior to match the puppy.

I won't put the existing dog in a position where he resists his natural "doggie nature" to endure unpleasant puppy interactions just to earn a click and treat. I ensure that the existing dog is enjoying the interaction and is patient and tolerant because he's beginning to enjoy the interaction with the pup, and not just enduring it for the sake of training.

Using the clicker to reinforce appropriate behavior, along with limiting the pup's access to the existing dog, translates into setting up both for success. Manage the situation and provide clicker trained guidance as to what's appropriate—for both the pup and the existing dog.

Warning signs
Not every dog likes puppies. Some dogs don't tolerate puppies at all, and may have over-the-top reactions that could harm the puppy. It's important to keep a watchful eye on the interactions, and intervene when body language and communication escalate to an unsafe level.


Happy together

If during the process of escalation the puppy yips or squeals, and your dog escalates his response even more, definitely intervene. Dogs well versed in dog-dog communication understand that yip or squeal is the equivalent of the pup crying "Uncle!" and should back off from the pup. If you see the opposite—the cries of "Uncle" lead to increased agitation in your dog—separate the two immediately.

One big (happy) family
After what seems like an eternity but is really only about three weeks, you'll begin to notice some signs of harmony between the dog and the puppy. If you have done your part helping the dog and puppy develop their communication skills, this is the beginning of a fabulous friendship—or at least a peaceful co-existence. Not all dogs love each another, so don't be disappointed if your dog doesn't fall head over heels in love with the new dog in the house. There is enough love for both, and comfortable cohabitation is a fine accomplishment.


About the authorUser picture
Laurie Luck, KPA CTP, and a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, is the founder of Smart Dog University. She has been involved with many pet dog trainer certification initiatives, all based on humane training practices and the latest scientific knowledge. Laurie also participates in service dog training, and she and her Tango are a pet-therapy team. Through her work with dogs and owners, Laurie has developed many happy canine and human friendships.
 
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Hi McAwesome! I totally get it. Saffron is 6 months old. Sage is 4 years old today:) Sage loves to play with other dogs and was that annoying puppy who thought he should be able to be wild and play with all the dogs. He would pester older dogs and his best friend (same age).
Now he’s getting it in return! He is very tolerant and has never grumbled at another dog except once, at a puppy. He has grumbled gently at Saffron many times but she feels like it’s her duty to jump on him and bite his ears, tail, back legs... He was not pleased with her arrival but I think just joined in as his defense. Needless to say I didn’t need two dogs doing this in my small living room, and her thinking all dogs were as tolerant as Sage!
Just so you know, I sent out an emergency post sometime in November for the same situation - I followed the advice to supervise and/or separate. It’s so exhausting but it worked and the annoying pouncing on Sage improved by about 80% over time. I eventually got gates to separate some areas, and I got Saffron addicted to playing with toys and chewing her chew toys. I would also step in between them a lot in a happy but firm “Right! That’s enough!” kind of way and get them to sit and spin or something for treats and pet them if they were calm and distracted from each other afterwards. (Well I tried -I admit I yelled sometimes and was frustrated;)
It does get better!! Then it gets worse... lol! She has entered a new phase where I’ve noticed she is doing it again. Will have to put a bit more work into it again. I think I need to exercise her body and mind more.
Good luck!
 
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