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I'm new here and need advice too

1451 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mama B
I'm new to this forum, but not to poodles. I currently have an 18 mo old black, male miniature neamed Baxter. He's the 4th poodle that I've owned in my life. Baxter is the first male that I've had and he's attached to me especially, but loves every memebr of the family. He's the most intelligent dos that I've owned and he's just beautiful. However, I'm having some behaviorial issues that have popped up in the last week (things I've never encountered with any previous dog, but I've always owned females).

He's become territorial and somewhat aggressive. Last week a friend was visiting my son and they were play fighting. They came into the room where Baxter, the child's mother and I was and Baxter preceded to bite the other child! He jumped up and bite him above his ear, but didn't break the skin. I was horrified and the child's Mom was standing right there to add to my enbarassement! Baxter was protecting my son (he didn't know they were playing), but it shocked me. Since then I've noticed more agression (barking with an undertone of growling) whenever people visit (and we have many visitors). A little while ago he tried to nip me when I went to pick him up! I've had dogs my whole life and have never had this issue. What should I do?
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Welcome to the forum. This is the place to find answers to problems like you are experiencing. I have not had that type of behavior to deal with so I'm am not going to be able to offer help. It sounds like your little fellow has taken over the household as Alpha and needs to be straightened out. I am a big fan of Ceasar Milan The Dog Whisperer. He has wonderful ways of dealing with aggression.
Welcome and I hope you are able to find the answers you need, here, I too have never delt with a situation like that, so I would not be able to offer any advise, but good luck and enjoy the forum!
I am not a pro-but have dogs, including poodles and a GSD. I would put Baxter on a leash and do some more obedience work. He needs to know who is boss and not be territorial. I am using the book Clicking with Your Dog, by Peggy Tillman with my poodles. It is quick to refer to and each page has a step-by-step picture. Of courses, kids running and being loud can excite any dog and the dog should be put in a safe place during these times. Hope these suggestions can help-good luck!
Baxter is neutered, but memebrs of the family have joked that it "didn't take". His personality wants to assert itself as dominant, but he isn't a mean dog (he's jsut protective of his "pack"). Also, he is the most persistant dog I've ever seen! He's delightfully intelligent and this may be why he's so persistent! LOL We bought him from a breeder that uses European blood lines and he was breed by champion parents...this may be why he has a unique (to me) poodle demeanour. When I spoke to the breeder the first time, Baxter was available, but when I called back 3 days later to buy him she had decided to show him because he was (in her words) "exceptional". Maybe this was a gimick, but I don't think so with her personality. She stuck to her word but sounded like she was going to cry over it. I told her I'd find another dog, but she wouldn't go back on her word.

I took "spoospirit"s advice and looked up some of the "Dog Whisperer's" teachniques. What I realized is that I haven't been 100% consistent on asserting myself as the Alpha. I've never had discipline issues with any other dogs (poodles or our Schnauzer-which is a stubborn breed if I've ever seen one!), but I've never had a male.

Baxter seems to have just been shaken up by why he perceived as an attack on my son. We had other kids here this week and he was fine. I made sure that my son and his friend knew that there should be no rough housing near/around Baxter. I kept Baxter by my side or in the crate and all was well. Once he knows someone is "ok" he doesn't even bark at them when they enter the house unless he's startled (which is a poodle miracle IMO).
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Glad to hear it's working out for you-we are having biting issues with our German Shepherd and are going to have to make a tough decision. My husband is broken-hearted as he has spent so much time and money training her.
Glad to hear it's working out for you-we are having biting issues with our German Shepherd and are going to have to make a tough decision. My husband is broken-hearted as he has spent so much time and money training her.
That's so sad...I'm sorry.
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