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Hi All - Maggie is a 16 week old apricot female standard poodle. We've always had Goldon Retrievers before but after our last one died, my husband wanted to get a poodle. Maggie joined us 5 weeks ago and we just love her. We are doing pretty good on training but do have a few issues I'm hoping I can get some help with. The first issue is that she wants to put everything she finds outside into her mouth. We live on a large acreage with free range guinea fowl and wildlife that goes with living in the country. She eats the guinea poop and I've pulled dead birds and other stuff from her mouth. It's disgusting. I really need help on how to stop this. I hate to have to tie her when there is so much room for her to run. Other issues are puppy nipping, jumping on us and barking when alone. So I hoping to learn a lot from this forum.
 

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Hi All - Maggie is a 16 week old apricot female standard poodle. We've always had Goldon Retrievers before but after our last one died, my husband wanted to get a poodle. Maggie joined us 5 weeks ago and we just love her. We are doing pretty good on training but do have a few issues I'm hoping I can get some help with. The first issue is that she wants to put everything she finds outside into her mouth. We live on a large acreage with free range guinea fowl and wildlife that goes with living in the country. She eats the guinea poop and I've pulled dead birds and other stuff from her mouth. It's disgusting. I really need help on how to stop this. I hate to have to tie her when there is so much room for her to run. Other issues are puppy nipping, jumping on us and barking when alone. So I hoping to learn a lot from this forum.
Hi Maggie's Mom and welcome...

Please post some pics:) I am also a first time poodle owner. With regards to nipping a trick I've found helpful is the yelp out in pain and pull your hand/foot back or whatever's she nipping at the time so she knows it hurts. I did it a few times and my poodle learned pretty quick - even if it's just soft nipping. Obedience class I find is also very very helpful! 4 or 5 months is the perfect age for it.
 

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Hi All - Maggie is a 16 week old apricot female standard poodle. We've always had Goldon Retrievers before but after our last one died, my husband wanted to get a poodle. Maggie joined us 5 weeks ago and we just love her. We are doing pretty good on training but do have a few issues I'm hoping I can get some help with. The first issue is that she wants to put everything she finds outside into her mouth. We live on a large acreage with free range guinea fowl and wildlife that goes with living in the country. She eats the guinea poop and I've pulled dead birds and other stuff from her mouth. It's disgusting. I really need help on how to stop this. I hate to have to tie her when there is so much room for her to run. Other issues are puppy nipping, jumping on us and barking when alone. So I hoping to learn a lot from this forum.
Congratulations on your new Poodle.

Eating stuff.... Dogs in general and puppies in particular like to put stuff in their mouths: sticks, leaves, rocks (very bad for teeth) etc. They also LOVE to eat the poop of grass eating animals. It is like crack cocaine. I know we all like to think that our Poodles are oh so above it all, but in my experience Poodles are just as fond of cow, horse and goose poop as the average mutt. The droppings of Wild Guinea Fowl? How fabulously delicious and upscale!

Ok, seriously. I get that we don't want our dogs eating poop and too much often leads to diarrhea. The thing is, though, that your puppy has to be taught to avoid or leave these things. You need to teach the leave it command.

Refresher. You can't give a command that you can not enforce or at this age treat. This means that Maggie has to be on leash, you have to be in the yard with her and you have to have suitable treats to offer. I like to use a long line. This is a thin, typically nylon cord that has a clasp at the end. You will have to make it yourself, but you can get the materials at any hardware store. I like to make them about 20 M long. Anytime Maggie is outside, she should be dragging the long line (this is also a great tool for recall training). If she goes for something that you don't want her to have, you should say LEAVE IT! If she instantly drops or moves off of it, PRAISE PRAISE and offer TREAT. If she does not, COLLAR POP and then PRAISE PRAISE and offer TREAT. If you are consistent, she will quickly learn the LEAVE IT command. The thing is, that you will not be able to just turn her out onto the acreage and expect that she will not eat Guinea Fowl poop unless you are there to give her direction. Keep her in the house with you and go out every time with her. NEVER, EVER, EVER TIE up A DOG! This is a dangerous and bad practice.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Apricots are one of my favorite colours in poodles. Congrats on getting yours. I think cbrand and bluepoomommy gave you some pretty good advise. Training takes time and practice. We have 2 spoos that are almost a year and 1/2 old now. Dog training classes have been helpful. In fact we are signing them up for more in the next couple of weeks. They covered some of you issues like leave it, drop it etc. I'd sign up for some I think you'd find them helpful too.
 

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Part two. Nipping...

Poodles are in general a compliant breed. They want to please and they typically learn moderation and correct behavior pretty quickly. If your Poodle is continuing to nip you, it is because you have not been clear enough that it is verboten.

There are a number of ways to address nipping. I personally don't favor the passive "turn and stand like a tree" method. I don't think it sends a clear message. If you watch a bitch with her litter, she doesn't just stand there and take it when her puppy is nipping at her. She gives them a warning and if they don't stop, she nails them.

If a puppy is nipping I like to grab it by the muzzle, squeeze very hard (hard enough to make the puppy cry) and say NO BITE! I'm am very clear that nipping is not something that can happen and the Poodle puppies I have raised get the message very quickly. The high pitched OUCH OUCH OUCH method works well for soft puppies (they usually think Dear God, what did I do). However, I don't think it is direct enough for a more dominant dog and I think that some puppies misinterpret it as a game and just come back for more.
 

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Part three. Jumping....

Poodles are friendly, outgoing dogs who love to get up and look you in the face and get that full body hug. They need to be taught, as a formal exercise, to sit or stand quietly when they are being interacted with. All this is best taught on leash so that you can control your Poodle.

I don't know how I'm going to tell you in one posting how to correctly train your dog. This is where obedience classes with a competent trainer are worth their weight in gold. It is a process that you will have to build and develop over time.

1. Teach sit.
2. Teach stand.
3. Teach go to bed. (Move to a mat to cool her heels)
4. Teach stay. (working up to a distance of 5 ft or so)
5. Teach sit for exam. (Dog must allow petting and not break sit.)
6. Teach stand for exam. (Allow petting... don't move feet).

When all this is solid, you can have guests come to the door and you will have a dog who will sit patiently and then stand nicely to be petted. When you are through with the greeting period, you can then tell your dog to "go to bed" and she will hang out on her mat indefinitely.
 

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If a puppy is nipping I like to grab it by the muzzle, squeeze very hard (hard enough to make the puppy cry) and say NO BITE! I'm am very clear that nipping is not something that can happen and the Poodle puppies I have raised get the message very quickly.
I have been doing this with my miniature pup who is about the same age as yours. It works really well. Now, most of the time all I have to say is "no!" when he's nipping and he stops (for a while at least). Then I give him something that's okay to chew on (one of his toys) and redirect him to chewing on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank you all for your helpful replies. Regarding the nipping, I tried the ignoring and the 'ouch' thing but neither were working. I took cbrand's suggestion on sqeezing the muzzle with a 'no bite' and it's working very well. I'm attaching Maggie's photo after her first haircut. Thanks again for your ideas. I'm going to enjoy this forum.
 

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Sounds like you're on the right track for a great relationship with her...she's lovely... it just takes time, consistancy,,,and time..
 
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