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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!

I need some training help. Louie, our 7 month old SPoo is amazing. He's our first standard poodle and I can completely see how you can become a "poodle person". Overall, Louie is very well behaved EXCEPT whenever he meets someone new. It's like he loses his mind. He goes from zero to one hundred in two seconds flat. Even the most high valued treat is no match for his excitement. This mostly happens when we are out on walks and people want to give him attention. He flips and flops on the end of the leash like a mad man. It's completely embarrassing.

I know he can manage himself in excitable situations because he does it all the time at home. We have a two and four year old and he is amazing with them. He likes to play when they play, but doesn't get too rough or out of control. So he obviously has learned the boundaries in that situation. Of course, he wasn't always like this, but training him on how to be around the kids was much easier in our home environment. When he got too wild with them, he would have a timeout in his kennel and when he acted like he should he got praise and treats. It has worked like a charm.

So, how to I transfer this training to outside of the home when there is no kennel as a way to put him in timeout? A lot of times we are hiking in the middle of the woods. He loves people and I want him to be able to have positive interactions with strangers, but at this point he is just too out of control.

Help!

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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It sounds like you're doing well so far!

Start from farther away. Work on helping him settle while people are FAR away. Have a friend stand a block away if that's what it takes. Run through commands and praise and treat for behavior that's under control. Keep decreasing the distance until he can meet people up close and personal. He is still young and PEOPLE ARE SO EXCITING AND GREAT AND SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN'T HELP YOURSELF! ;) If he is out of control, turn around and walk away from the person he wants to get to. He will learn that he can only get closer to and approach people when he is under control.

Another thing you can do if he is jumping up on people is to tell them to physically turn their body away from them. Once all four paws are on the ground, they can turn back around and give him pets. Only let them acknowledge him and pet him when those four paws are on the floor.

I'm sure it's frustrating, but it really does sound like you're doing well so far! Puppies are just hard. :)
 

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I like having dogs just like this one in my training ring. They are my favorite because they are enthusiastic and interested in everything, which makes them eager to learn stuff. Take a very long deep breath. Start by putting strangers on Look at That status. Strangers are like museum pieces, look but don't touch. If you don't have the Look at That game in your tool kit, here's how you train it. Follow these instructions the way you would make a cake: exactly, and skip no steps.

If you are not a clicker trainer, substitute the word, "YES!' for the click.

While you are working with strangers being on Look at That status, you can practice how to greet people. Teach your dog to play the touch your hand game on the "touch," cue. Put a treat between your fingers, release it to the dog's mouth as you say, "touch." Repeat five times, then just offer your hand and say touch. When you get a nose on your hand, "Yes!" and treat. Practice playing touch with both hands.

Ask for a sit, play touch. Toss a treat to send your dog away, call your dog back, and play again. Sit, touch.

Ask for a friend or family member to ask, "Can I pet your dog?"

Tell your dog to sit, treat the sit. While the person is approaching your dog, play touch. While the person is petting your dog, play touch. While the person is leaving, play touch. Get the dog so involved in playing touch that the person saying hello might as well be invisible.

Like magic, the dog does not jump on people and maintains a sit the whole time. I teach this lesson to every manners dog in my ring. Sit for petting is only part of the equation. A whole lot of dogs use the sit as a coiled spring and leap up on the new person. Sit for petting AND play touch keeps the young dog's brain engaged and prevents the coiled spring behavior. Friendly greetings while you aren't busy distracting the dog with a game of touch will come in time. But, this way your dog gets hundreds of repetitions of being petted while not being a lunatic.

Keep strangers on look at that status until your dog no longer hits the accelerator when seeing a new person. Once you can walk through a crowd of strangers and your dog is looking at them but not excited (spring 2021, possibly autumn 2021), then you can add the sit for petting AND the touch game. Keep the sit for petting AND touch game going with strangers well into 2022. By then, your puppy will be an adult and you won't need it anymore.

Like I said, these are the dogs I love having in my ring. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It sounds like you're doing well so far!

Start from farther away. Work on helping him settle while people are FAR away. Have a friend stand a block away if that's what it takes. Run through commands and praise and treat for behavior that's under control. Keep decreasing the distance until he can meet people up close and personal. He is still young and PEOPLE ARE SO EXCITING AND GREAT AND SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN'T HELP YOURSELF! ;) If he is out of control, turn around and walk away from the person he wants to get to. He will learn that he can only get closer to and approach people when he is under control.

Another thing you can do if he is jumping up on people is to tell them to physically turn their body away from them. Once all four paws are on the ground, they can turn back around and give him pets. Only let them acknowledge him and pet him when those four paws are on the floor.

I'm sure it's frustrating, but it really does sound like you're doing well so far! Puppies are just hard. :)

Thank you for your response! I love the idea of keeping him further away. It really very similar to the "it's your choice" game, which he loves. I've never thought about it in that way. I definitely have a few friends that would be more than happy to help with this!
 

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I like having dogs just like this one in my training ring. They are my favorite because they are enthusiastic and interested in everything, which makes them eager to learn stuff. Take a very long deep breath. Start by putting strangers on Look at That status. Strangers are like museum pieces, look but don't touch. If you don't have the Look at That game in your tool kit, here's how you train it. Follow these instructions the way you would make a cake: exactly, and skip no steps.

If you are not a clicker trainer, substitute the word, "YES!' for the click.

While you are working with strangers being on Look at That status, you can practice how to greet people. Teach your dog to play the touch your hand game on the "touch," cue. Put a treat between your fingers, release it to the dog's mouth as you say, "touch." Repeat five times, then just offer your hand and say touch. When you get a nose on your hand, "Yes!" and treat. Practice playing touch with both hands.

Ask for a sit, play touch. Toss a treat to send your dog away, call your dog back, and play again. Sit, touch.

Ask for a friend or family member to ask, "Can I pet your dog?"

Tell your dog to sit, treat the sit. While the person is approaching your dog, play touch. While the person is petting your dog, play touch. While the person is leaving, play touch. Get the dog so involved in playing touch that the person saying hello might as well be invisible.

Like magic, the dog does not jump on people and maintains a sit the whole time. I teach this lesson to every manners dog in my ring. Sit for petting is only part of the equation. A whole lot of dogs use the sit as a coiled spring and leap up on the new person. Sit for petting AND play touch keeps the young dog's brain engaged and prevents the coiled spring behavior. Friendly greetings while you aren't busy distracting the dog with a game of touch will come in time. But, this way your dog gets hundreds of repetitions of being petted while not being a lunatic.

Keep strangers on look at that status until your dog no longer hits the accelerator when seeing a new person. Once you can walk through a crowd of strangers and your dog is looking at them but not excited (spring 2021, possibly autumn 2021), then you can add the sit for petting AND the touch game. Keep the sit for petting AND touch game going with strangers well into 2022. By then, your puppy will be an adult and you won't need it anymore.

Like I said, these are the dogs I love having in my ring. Good luck!
This is amazing!! I love all of these ideas and am excited to try with him. He is very eager to learn and loves training sessions, so this will be right up his alley. You're exactly right, I need to give his busy brain something else to work on to help curb the over-excitement. Thank you!!
 

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As said above the way to teach this behavior is by keeping your pup under threshold (big distance) and gradually you will be able to use the LAT game to reduce distance. Don't push too fast. Allowing rehearsals of unacceptable behaviors allows learning and reinforcement of that unacceptable behavior which then has to be unlearned and replaced by what you want. It is much easier to teach it right the first time. On the other hand you don't want to get stuck at a plateau so think about moving just about 1' closer as you go.
 
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How to know your dog is about to go over threshold? Ears up, tail up, leaning forward toward a distraction, is your stop sign. Your dog is still under threshold but tipping over. Once they go over threshold, well, no one needs to explain what that looks like. Knowing where the stop sign is gives you a chance to move away before your dog puts on the crazy pants.
 

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You've got great advice from the masters here.

I'll share a personal tip, based on a mistake I repeatedly made with Peggy: End on a good note!!

If you've been on the trail for twenty minutes and your puppy has greeted people politely three times in a row? Don't push for a fourth! It took me way too long to learn that it's not rude to say to someone, "I'm training right now, thanks!" And then keep my distance.

As Peggy's gotten a little older, her impulse control actually seems to improve over the course of an outing. But at 7 months, her "excitement cup" still filled quickly. It was up to me to ensure it didn't overflow.
 

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I want to echo PTP's point about telling people, "no, do not pet my dog". Poodles are just absolutely breathtaking dogs, and I can't blame anyone for not wanting to pet our fluffballs. However, a high-pitched over-excited human is going to cause your puppy to jump like a wild kangaroo, then no, stay back because it's counter-productive.

Some situations are unavoidable or your feeling particularly confident with Louie that day, then try to cue the other person on how you want them to pet Louie, "Calmly pet Louie".

Story time: I had Basil on a "sit" at an intersection waiting to cross the street and some lady (we'll refer to her as "Karen") comes out of the restaurant on the corner, raises her hands and scream in excitement "OMGG IS THAT A POODLE?" At this point I'm startled, my anxiety spikes and I get the "oh crap, not good" feeling. I automatically respond with, "yes, she's a standard poodle" thinking that was the end of it. Karen said, "can I pet her?". I said, "no, she's still learning how to receive pets". Well that fell on deaf ears and she started to get closer right as Basil starts to break her sit and Basil is now standing on her back legs pointed at the excited lady. Karen didn't listen to me or I was too soft. As she got closer I said, "please stay back". But, she just kept walking. At this point the sign flashed to cross and I'm pulling Basil too me and frustrated at Karen's inability to listen. I started to walk into the street pulling Basil with me just heated because that lady didn't listen.

Basil's 8 mo old now & this happened around the 5-6 mark towards the end of summer.
 
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