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Have a mini poodle puppy almost 5 months old. He is super hyper and will not sleep unless we put him in the crate. Just wondering when they will start to calm down and stop getting into everything. Would love to be able to just have him off leash wandering in the house and napping, not pulling on walks would also be great.

What age were yours when they started to chill out.
 

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All dogs are different, but generally speaking, I think a small dog can start being trusted around 12 months old or so. Dogs need to be taught to be calm though. This is something that won’t happen magically.

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Aww.... hate to tell you this, but 6-8 months to 1.5 years are usually the hardest parts of puppyhood and are when most dogs are given to shelters. Is this your first dog? I have heard most poodles calm down by 2 or 3, mine at 1.5 years is way easier than she was at a year but it has taken a lot of training to get her there.

That being said, most things you talk about come with training. How are you teaching loose leash walking? How are you teaching relax? I highly recommend teaching Relax on a Mat, others recommend Look At That - you can google and find tons of resources.
 

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Mine started being better behaved around 9 months, but he still has loads of energy at 15 months. He is not yet to the point where I leave him free while I leave the house, but he has been good about not getting into things since around 12 months, with reasonable dog proofing. The leash pulling is something that you must be training against. It will not magically go away. Dogs tend to mature between 2-3 years of age, but you still need training to help them get there.
 

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I guess we will look out for the two year old mark.
I promise you'll see some big leaps forward between now and then. But you'll also get some big leaps back...and sideways. Just stay consistent, because even when you think Jamie's not "getting it," he is. He just doesn't have the maturity to process it all just yet. Or the self-control to reliably show off everything he's learned.

Peggy's still a (big) challenge at a year, but she's remarkable in so many ways. It balances out.....most days. ;)
 

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Annie was definitely left alone in the house from age 6 month or so for short periods of time, long term by 8 months (I closed off tempting rooms) It really depends on the dog, she had very little desire to chew on anything but expensive computer cords....
 

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Regarding the leash pulling, as others have said it won't go away on its own. Do you have a fenced yard or someplace where he can safely play off leash? What I've found is that it's easier to get calm behavior if you first give the opportunity to get the zoomies out. I take my boy Galen out into the yard and play fetch for a little while to take the edge off. Then I put the leash on and take him on a walk.

While on the walk I'm very strict about no pulling. I use a six foot leash and a rear clip harness. I expect to see a slight dip in the leash at all times. If the leash goes straight it means he's pulling. I stop dead; not one single step further. Then I wait for him to turn his head back and look at me. Usually he shifts his body enough to give me some slack when he turns his head, so I reward him by stepping forward. If the leash stays slack I keep walking. If he pulls I stop again.

At first he would try to provoke me to move by barking or by lunging forward. Barking meant I would spin around and walk back the direction I came for 30 to 50 feet. Boring! Lunges were addressed by bracing myself and letting him hit the end of the leash hard. NOT jerk him. Simply become immovable and let him surprise himself.

At this point he has mostly figured out that pulling is unrewarding. (He still forgets himself around squirrels.) So, I'm working on rewarding him for restraining himself. More and more these days I notice that he will start to tug me towards something he wants to investigate and then correct himself before I react. I reward these self corrections by taking him over to whatever caught his interest. Today's walk included a lovely snuffle of a chipmunk burrow and a thorough inspection of a dead flat toad, because he asked me politely.
 

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Mini's necks are much safer in a harness than a collar. They're available with a front and rear clip. We use the front clip to walk Normie - if he pulls, he actually pulls himself back toward me.

He's 9 months. We walk him about a mile each morning and give him free run of the front of the house where we are. He plays semi-supervised in the fenced backyard.

He sometimes runs in mad circles through the house and loves to drop balls from the top of the sofa, then retrieve them. We're not bothered by his activity, but it may be a level you would call excessive.

He's sleeping beside me as a type. He rests and plays and plays and rests all day. Not a bad life.
 

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Annie was definitely left alone in the house from age 6 month or so for short periods of time, long term by 8 months (I closed off tempting rooms) It really depends on the dog, she had very little desire to chew on anything but expensive computer cords....
At six months Pogo and Snarky were at the point where I could leave them loose and not expect to find any puddles upon my return. Chewing couch cushions was another story.. Galen, at 5 1/2 months, is still completely unreliable about housebreaking; I don't expect to be able to leave him unsupervised for several more months.
 

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At six months Pogo and Snarky were at the point where I could leave them loose and not expect to find any puddles upon my return. Chewing couch cushions was another story.. Galen, at 5 1/2 months, is still completely unreliable about housebreaking; I don't expect to be able to leave him unsupervised for several more months.
Annie took a long time to reliably housebreak too - I think it suddenly clicked for her at about 6 months, and about 8 months is when she stopped excited peeing meeting new people or dogs. Confusing matters, we lived with Trixie and her pee pads for several months, and Annie figured that was acceptable for big dogs to use too.

The 8 months was earlier than I was happy with too.... but not crating her = way less separation anxiety (and at that point she was pulling anything in tooth range into her crate to destroy it, crying and howling for hours, and bending the bars on the crate/trying to chew out and rocking the crate across the floor (causing things to be in tooth range). I kept her out of the living room, bathroom, and kitchen, and she had full access to my bedroom and hall (no closet, so also access to all the shoes). Every day for months, I came home, and surreptiously glanced around for something that was destroyed, every day, there was nothing touched, except now and then a sock from the laundry moved onto the bed to snuggle with. I think she was still too uncomfortable and busy waiting for me to destroy anything - but she still got into things occasionally when I was home (toys, laptop cords, USB cables, cardboard boxes, my coat pockets, plastic lids, etc).
 

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I came back to add, there nothing relaxing about having a bored poodle around. They are dogs that require mental and physical stimulation, and, frankly, Normie can be quite an irritant until he gets it.

When he gets to be too much and he can't go out, we do training exercises, fetch, play with the flirt pole, he does puzzles, or I give him a vet-approved chew. I wish there were a dog version of Mister Rogers.

It's so much better for both of us than my screaming.
 

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Gracie was reliable in the house at about six months, if I strategically removed temptations to chew. Housebreaking was fine, the chewing remains a challenge, still at 18 months. It’s better, she is maturing but she still has moments of puppy craziness.

As far as energy level, Gracie has a lot of energy and needs to have activities that drain that energy, both mental and physical. The structured training and walks are good but I firmly believe puppies and dogs also need to have time where they can just be a dog. One of the things that was helpful with Gracie was to take her to a field or a Beach (weather permitting) and put her on a 30 ft training lead and just let her retrieve, tug toys, etc... and get that crazy energy out. If you have a large area where she can be off leash, even better.
 

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Gracie was reliable in the house at about six months, if I strategically removed temptations to chew. Housebreaking was fine, the chewing remains a challenge, still at 18 months. It’s better, she is maturing but she still has moments of puppy craziness.

As far as energy level, Gracie has a lot of energy and needs to have activities that drain that energy, both mental and physical. The structured training and walks are good but I firmly believe puppies and dogs also need to have time where they can just be a dog. One of the things that was helpful with Gracie was to take her to a field or a Beach (weather permitting) and put her on a 30 ft training lead and just let her retrieve, tug toys, etc... and get that crazy energy out. If you have a large area where she can be off leash, even better.
How do you control eating everything in sight while you do that? My 14 wk pup eats everything in sight snd would eat dirt and grass obsessively
 

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How do you control eating everything in sight while you do that? My 14 wk pup eats everything in sight snd would eat dirt and grass obsessively
Yes Misha was like this. Not dirt but anything else. It is just an exploratory behavior and it did go away. Not completely but now he doesn't eat things and just carries them around if he likes them. I allowed eating of things if I felt like they weren't poisonous or dangerous. Better to let it run its course I think.
 

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Pogo and Snarky had a lot of access to horse poop and horse hoof trimmings when they were young. Yup, they sampled these delicacies often. 😝 They grew out of the horse poop fascination when they hit adulthood. I have a theory, based on no firm scientific evidence, that eating stuff like horse poop is a way animals might acquire useful gut flora, rather like eating a probiotic.
 

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Useful gut flora and predigested vegetables. I noticed a marked decrease in the eating of sheep poo when I started adding a few well cooked vegetables to my dogs' food. Rabbit berries are a well known delicacy, too!
 

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I think eating non-food obsessively (rather than gnawing/exploring) could absolutely point to a nutritional imbalance or deficiency.

Then again, I was worried when puppy Peggy kept chowing down on mole hill dirt. Then we went to a puppy play group and all the puppies raced straight to the mole hills on our trainer's property: Munch! Munch! Munch!

I adjusted my expectations a little after that, and focused my energies on dangerous items like the small rocks she liked to tuck in her cheek. That was a tricky one.
 

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I've never had a dog who did not like horse droppings from time to time. I had to place my horses a couple of years ago - got too old to stack hay bales and haul 50 pound feed sacks. But the wild horses visit us every week or so, so the dogs still get to experience horse poop from time to time. I'd rather they not eat the poop from the wild horses because they do not get wormed.
 
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