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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey PF Peeps, I've been wondering a lot about Sisko's behaviors (I know some of them are normal thanks to you guys here on PF?) and wondering if they're normal for a adolescent poodle who's still being trained.

He does displacement behaviors most of the time when I ask him to do something he knows very well at at spots we've practiced at, when he wants attention,(he almost always wants attention) when he doesn't get what he wants, and when he just doesn't want to do something. He also groans when I tell him to lay down and he doesn't want to. He never entertains himself with his toys. He just sniffs around to see what he can get into and if he finds something he likes, he'll chew on it including firewood? so since he does that he always needs to be watched (unless he's crated or tethered) and can't be trusted by himself. He also follows me around everywhere I go, I don't have problem with this, but if I try to get up or walk out, he'll dash out of any room I'm in and expect me to follow him.

He can not stay out of the trash at all, so we leave a baby gate up. Can I train him out of this?? He chases the cats when they try to play together, I try to redirect him with food and have him lay down.

Sisko has gotten a lot better with somethings except the things mentioned above. It also seems like he might difficulty learning new tricks but I wonder if it's me too, it took months to learn double paw, but he still won't do it sometimes, and even though we train everyday, he still doesn't have a solid sit or down.

Am I asking too much of him right now and need to ask less and lower my expectations ??? Or am I not doing something right?? Or is there something else going on??

I promise when Sisko becomes more behaved and trained, my discussions won't just be all about him and me worrying about him??, but for right now he can stress me out sometimes and I'm not sure what to do.

P.S Sisko also does displacement behaviors when I'm paying attention to our cats instead of him and when I don't give him attention. I've been trying my best to ignore him when he does them.
 

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I suspect it is partly adolescent poodle, partly boredom and excess energy, and partly your training methods (or perhaps lack of method). The last is not meant unkindly - most of us who are not professional trainers (and sometimes even them) fail to be completely consistent, accidentally teach our dogs behaviours we don't want, and make all the other training mistakes in the book. Plus what works with one dog may not with another - poodles in particular tend to get bored with repetitive drilling. I don't know how much exercise Sisko is getting, but perhaps he needs more, both physical and mental (running and jumping and chasing, sniffing and finding, puzzles, games, etc, etc).

I would suggest a good training class, which I think you are already looking into, and reading Jean Donaldson's "Train your dog like a pro". It breaks down the steps needed to train a behaviour, with methods to ensure each is really proofed, and really helps the human to understand why our dogs do not remember behaviours we think they should now "know".
 

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Hey PF Peeps, I've been wondering a lot about Sisko's behaviors (I know some of them are normal thanks to you guys here on PF?) and wondering if they're normal for a adolescent poodle who's still being trained.

He does displacement behaviors most of the time when I ask him to do something he knows very well at at spots we've practiced at, when he wants attention,(he almost always wants attention) when he doesn't get what he wants, and when he just doesn't want to do something. He also groans when I tell him to lay down and he doesn't want to. He never entertains himself with his toys. He just sniffs around to see what he can get into and if he finds something he likes, he'll chew on it including firewood? so since he does that he always needs to be watched (unless he's crated or tethered) and can't be trusted by himself. He also follows me around everywhere I go, I don't have problem with this, but if I try to get up or walk out, he'll dash out of any room I'm in and expect me to follow him.

He can not stay out of the trash at all, so we leave a baby gate up. Can I train him out of this?? He chases the cats when they try to play together, I try to redirect him with food and have him lay down.

Sisko has gotten a lot better with somethings except the things mentioned above. It also seems like he might difficulty learning new tricks but I wonder if it's me too, it took months to learn double paw, but he still won't do it sometimes, and even though we train everyday, he still doesn't have a solid sit or down.

Am I asking too much of him right now and need to ask less and lower my expectations ??? Or am I not doing something right?? Or is there something else going on??

I promise when Sisko becomes more behaved and trained, my discussions won't just be all about him and me worrying about him??, but for right now he can stress me out sometimes and I'm not sure what to do.

P.S Sisko also does displacement behaviors when I'm paying attention to our cats instead of him and when I don't give him attention. I've been trying my best to ignore him when he does them.
Sounds pretty normal to me. Renn is now 2 and only now does he pay more attention to me. His sit has always been rock solid, his down is good too though at times he thinks about it. He will stay in sit or down, he will hug. He will NOT shake hands, I taught so many of my dogs to shake hands but no he will not. But one day he will, lol. We kept Renn crated when unsupervised till he was 2 then he flatly refused and it had never been a problem prior. When I can't supervise I have a baby gate across my foyer so he has access to the front door and dining room. For a long time I had to keep him tethered to me, my husband now has poor balance and Renn can be exhuberate but now its ok. I am working on giving him more and more house freedom. My cairn terrier is not all that keen with him, they are ok. I also have 3 cats, he is better with them I kinda let them work it out but i tell Renn no cat and he pretty much listens, I really only need to say it now when the cats are running in the house other wise he will give a sniff and move on. He loves to retrieve a ball in our backyard. This is his favorite play. Sometime I have two, as I hold one I tell him to drop the other, he does as he knows I will toss the one I'm holding, I'm still working on his recall. He is good now except for when he has the ball and still wants to play. My neighbor gave me her e-collar as she upgraded to one for 2 dogs. It does nothing but vibrate a little, I tried it on me. I tried it on him during play the other day. When he would come I gave it a try, he just looked around like whats that. I did it again, called him to me and it told 2x and he just trotted over. It seems like a very mild collar and redirects his attention. I'm still not totally comfortable but I will see.
 

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Renn absolutely cracks me up. That refusing to shake a paw thing is very familiar! And in general Peggy's training seems to progress in anything but a straight line. Currently we're in a period where she surprises me daily with how much she suddenly understands and how willing she is to offer up desired behaviours, whereas a month ago I was pulling out my hair.

Overall, I see huge gains when I am calm and consistent and avoid antagonizing her with overly sharp commands or aggressive eye contact. She's smart but not bull-headed, and if she's not understanding something, being overly domineering is the exact wrong thing to do. I'm learning to work with her sensitivity.

And always always, she needs well-balanced stimulation and exercise: Play with bigger dogs. Play with smaller dogs. Brain games. Physical exercise. Short training sessions and long noodling walks. Her beloved weekly socialization classes. And lots and lots of naps and settle time. She slept for a solid 12 hours last night and was reluctant to get up when I finally decided it was time. Heaven!

Fenris-wolf, regarding some of your specific concerns with Sisko:

I say pick your battles!

We keep all trash behind closed doors. I personally think it's easier to avoid temptation (which has the bonus effect of not allowing them to rehearse undesirable behaviour).

I've known lots of lovely older dogs who still can't resist a greasy wrapper or dirty Kleenex. Just work on trading up and a solid drop-it, as well as leave-it. It's all fun and games until a dangerous chicken bone catches their eye!

If Sisko is restlessly looking for things to chew, he might have an excess of energy, doesn't have enough safe chew toys of his own, needs an enforced nap, or perhaps needs to work on settling. Have you tried exercises to "capture calm"?

And have you taught him to be alone? This isn't a natural skill for most dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I suspect it is partly adolescent poodle, partly boredom and excess energy, and partly your training methods (or perhaps lack of method). The last is not meant unkindly - most of us who are not professional trainers (and sometimes even them) fail to be completely consistent, accidentally teach our dogs behaviours we don't want, and make all the other training mistakes in the book. Plus what works with one dog may not with another - poodles in particular tend to get bored with repetitive drilling. I don't know how much exercise Sisko is getting, but perhaps he needs more, both physical and mental (running and jumping and chasing, sniffing and finding, puzzles, games, etc, etc).

I would suggest a good training class, which I think you are already looking into, and reading Jean Donaldson's "Train your dog like a pro". It breaks down the steps needed to train a behaviour, with methods to ensure each is really proofed, and really helps the human to understand why our dogs do not remember behaviours we think they should now "know".
[/QUOTE/]

Okay, thank you, fjm?. Sisko has not been getting enough exercise, because the weather has been horrible.

Sisko isn't very good at finding treats and will give up, do I need to be more excited and encouraging? I really do need puzzle toys for Sisko. I had gotten one before, but he had solved it in less than 5 minutes and started chewing on it. It said on the puzzle that it was durable, but it wasn't, so I was able to return it?

Yes, I've been looking for another trainer. Okay, I found it on Amazon, it's the one with the Chow Chow on it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I suspect it is partly adolescent poodle, partly boredom and excess energy, and partly your training methods (or perhaps lack of method). The last is not meant unkindly - most of us who are not professional trainers (and sometimes even them) fail to be completely consistent, accidentally teach our dogs behaviours we don't want, and make all the other training mistakes in the book. Plus what works with one dog may not with another - poodles in particular tend to get bored with repetitive drilling. I don't know how much exercise Sisko is getting, but perhaps he needs more, both physical and mental (running and jumping and chasing, sniffing and finding, puzzles, games, etc, etc).

I would suggest a good training class, which I think you are already looking into, and reading Jean Donaldson's "Train your dog like a pro". It breaks down the steps needed to train a behaviour, with methods to ensure each is really proofed, and really helps the human to understand why our dogs do not remember behaviours we think they should now "know".
Okay, thank you, fjm?. Sisko has not been getting enough exercise, because the weather has been horrible.

Sisko isn't very good at finding treats and will give up, do I need to be more excited and encouraging? I really do need puzzle toys for Sisko. I had gotten one before, but he had solved it in less than 5 minutes and started chewing on it. It said on the puzzle that it was durable, but it wasn't, so I was able to return it?

Yes, I've been looking for another trainer. Okay, I found it on Amazon, it's the one with the Chow Chow on it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Okay, I got Sisko a Himalayan chew and he loved it, I made sure I could take it away from him, so I thought everything was good, but he growled at my youngest brother when he came near him. This is a HUGE NO! (He's never done anything like this at all before) So I came and calmly took it away from him and now he's in a timeout. I know it's a new awesome chew,(probably the best he's had so far) but I'm still not okay with him growling. Should I let him have his chew back? What can I do about this growling/aggression. I'm not meaning to sound dramatic, but I'm 100% not okay with what happened. My brother is fine!?

There we go!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds pretty normal to me. Renn is now 2 and only now does he pay more attention to me. His sit has always been rock solid, his down is good too though at times he thinks about it. He will stay in sit or down, he will hug. He will NOT shake hands, I taught so many of my dogs to shake hands but no he will not. But one day he will, lol. We kept Renn crated when unsupervised till he was 2 then he flatly refused and it had never been a problem prior. When I can't supervise I have a baby gate across my foyer so he has access to the front door and dining room. For a long time I had to keep him tethered to me, my husband now has poor balance and Renn can be exhuberate but now its ok. I am working on giving him more and more house freedom. My cairn terrier is not all that keen with him, they are ok. I also have 3 cats, he is better with them I kinda let them work it out but i tell Renn no cat and he pretty much listens, I really only need to say it now when the cats are running in the house other wise he will give a sniff and move on. He loves to retrieve a ball in our backyard. This is his favorite play. Sometime I have two, as I hold one I tell him to drop the other, he does as he knows I will toss the one I'm holding, I'm still working on his recall. He is good now except for when he has the ball and still wants to play. My neighbor gave me her e-collar as she upgraded to one for 2 dogs. It does nothing but vibrate a little, I tried it on me. I tried it on him during play the other day. When he would come I gave it a try, he just looked around like whats that. I did it again, called him to me and it told 2x and he just trotted over. It seems like a very mild collar and redirects his attention. I'm still not totally comfortable but I will see.
Okay, thank you, Mufar42. Oh my gosh, Renn?! Renn hugs you? I'm glad it's okay now? does your CT give Renn dirty looks? Or looks like?? My cats never scratch Sisko or anything else, but there was this one time Sisko was playing with Perses who's a cobby grey male that can take almost anything, but one day I found him hiding in a box and growling at Sisko, but that's all. That's so cute!?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I got Sisko a Himalayan chew and he loved it, I made sure I could take it away from him, so I thought everything was good, but he growled at my youngest brother when he came near him. This is a HUGE NO! So I came and took it away from him and now he's in a timeout.
I messed this up?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Renn absolutely cracks me up. That refusing to shake a paw thing is very familiar! And in general Peggy's training seems to progress in anything but a straight line. Currently we're in a period where she surprises me daily with how much she suddenly understands and how willing she is to offer up desired behaviours, whereas a month ago I was pulling out my hair.

Overall, I see huge gains when I am calm and consistent and avoid antagonizing her with overly sharp commands or aggressive eye contact. She's smart but not bull-headed, and if she's not understanding something, being overly domineering is the exact wrong thing to do. I'm learning to work with her sensitivity.

And always always, she needs well-balanced stimulation and exercise: Play with bigger dogs. Play with smaller dogs. Brain games. Physical exercise. Short training sessions and long noodling walks. Her beloved weekly socialization classes. And lots and lots of naps and settle time. She slept for a solid 12 hours last night and was reluctant to get up when I finally decided it was time. Heaven!

Fenris-wolf, regarding some of your specific concerns with Sisko:

I say pick your battles!

We keep all trash behind closed doors. I personally think it's easier to avoid temptation (which has the bonus effect of not allowing them to rehearse undesirable behaviour).

I've known lots of lovely older dogs who still can't resist a greasy wrapper or dirty Kleenex. Just work on trading up and a solid drop-it, as well as leave-it. It's all fun and games until a dangerous chicken bone catches their eye!

If Sisko is restlessly looking for things to chew, he might have an excess of energy, doesn't have enough safe chew toys of his own, needs an enforced nap, or perhaps needs to work on settling. Have you tried exercises to "capture calm"?

And have you taught him to be alone? This isn't a natural skill for most dogs.
?
Okay!???
?
Okay, thank you, PeggyTheParti! I'll be working on these two.

Yeah! We put all bones in our freezer now after we're done eating, because one of our cats ransacked the bag of chicken bones we had in the kitchen and Sisko found it. This was when he was little Sisko. We gave him some canned pumpkin and he was fine after that sigh of relief

I know right now he has excess energy, because we haven't gone out because of the weather. I just got him a Himalayan cheese chew, but something went wrong, it's above⬆, I think. I found out a few days ago that Sisko still needs enforced naps, and he still learning to settle.

I've been working on capturing calm, but I have only done it one way. If he's calm and laying down I will tell him yes, praise him, and give him a few treats.

I've taught him how to be alone without crying but not being alone and behaving. It might be kinda difficult to because he follows me wherever I go. Maybe I should put a baby gate in a room and check on him? If I just close a door to a room I'm in, he just stays right at the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sisko tried to lightly bite me while I was grooming him. I told him very firmly ''Don't you do that to me''. He used to try it more often, but I told him the same before and he stopped for months until today.
 

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Yep - with the chew episode, it would have been better to ask him for the special chew, give him praise and a treat for surrendering it, then give him back the chew as well. Once upon a time when I was young it was accepted as completely normal that dogs would protect a bone or other valued food; now we think they should behave more like polite humans, but that requires lots of the right sort of training. I would play lots and lots of these swapping games with Sisko, starting with swapping very good stuff for low value chews and objects and working up to something amazingly good like the himalayan chew. Once he understands the game, have the other members of your family play too, agsin starting with offering something really good for something not so good. And remember growling is just communication - "I am uncomfortable with you being there". You don't want to suppress growling and leave the dog with no way of expressing himself short of snapping!
 

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?
Okay!???
?
Okay, thank you, PeggyTheParti! I'll be working on these two.

Yeah! We put all bones in our freezer now after we're done eating, because one of our cats ransacked the bag of chicken bones we had in the kitchen and Sisko found it. This was when he was little Sisko. We gave him some canned pumpkin and he was fine after that sigh of relief

I know right now he has excess energy, because we haven't gone out because of the weather. I just got him a Himalayan cheese chew, but something went wrong, it's above⬆, I think. I found out a few days ago that Sisko still needs enforced naps, and he still learning to settle.

I've been working on capturing calm, but I have only done it one way. If he's calm and laying down I will tell him yes, praise him, and give him a few treats.

I've taught him how to be alone without crying but not being alone and behaving. It might be kinda difficult to because he follows me wherever I go. Maybe I should put a baby gate in a room and check on him? If I just close a door to a room I'm in, he just stays right at the door.
Renn hasn't had a himalayan chew lately, I will need to buy him a new one, most times I will hold it and let him chew on it while I watch TV, when I say enough now I just put it away. He never growls.
 

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Renn hasn't had a himalayan chew lately, I will need to buy him a new one, most times I will hold it and let him chew on it while I watch TV, when I say enough now I just put it away. He never growls.
That's a favourite pastime in our household! And when our hand gets tired, we'll stick one end into her puppy Kong, which gives her better leverage.

She is verrrry pushy when we're the ones holding it. ? Will nudge our hand repeatedly until we position it just so and then regularly remind us that we need to rotate it for her. The worst is when she makes us hold the slimy end.

I think getting into the practise of holding chews is good for bonding and for deterring resource guarding. If Peggy has a bully stick or yak cheese, she'll automatically try to cozy up to us with it. Sometimes she'll even forget she's not lap size anymore.
 

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Yep - with the chew episode, it would have been better to ask him for the special chew, give him praise and a treat for surrendering it, then give him back the chew as well. Once upon a time when I was young it was accepted as completely normal that dogs would protect a bone or other valued food; now we think they should behave more like polite humans, but that requires lots of the right sort of training. I would play lots and lots of these swapping games with Sisko, starting with swapping very good stuff for low value chews and objects and working up to something amazingly good like the himalayan chew. Once he understands the game, have the other members of your family play too, agsin starting with offering something really good for something not so good. And remember growling is just communication - "I am uncomfortable with you being there". You don't want to suppress growling and leave the dog with no way of expressing himself short of snapping!

Yes to all of that. We give all of our dogs yak cheese ches and they adore them, but they all also know they must give them to us when asked.

Growls from dogs are meaningful efforts at communication. Never suppress growls, but do pay attention and understand why they are happening and then work on training the conditions that will allow the dog to feel more comfortable.

I would also have all trash be inaccessible to any animals in the house. Cans with lids or cans in cabinets only at our house.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yep - with the chew episode, it would have been better to ask him for the special chew, give him praise and a treat for surrendering it, then give him back the chew as well. Once upon a time when I was young it was accepted as completely normal that dogs would protect a bone or other valued food; now we think they should behave more like polite humans, but that requires lots of the right sort of training. I would play lots and lots of these swapping games with Sisko, starting with swapping very good stuff for low value chews and objects and working up to something amazingly good like the himalayan chew. Once he understands the game, have the other members of your family play too, agsin starting with offering something really good for something not so good. And remember growling is just communication - "I am uncomfortable with you being there". You don't want to suppress growling and leave the dog with no way of expressing himself short of snapping!
Okay, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you, everyone! I'll talk later, but right now I've been feeling overwhelmed with Sisko and just need to relax.?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Renn hasn't had a himalayan chew lately, I will need to buy him a new one, most times I will hold it and let him chew on it while I watch TV, when I say enough now I just put it away. He never growls.
They're so good!(I haven't tasted it myself) but they're so expensive for just one chew, but they're worth it! I started holding it for Sisko too. Can we have pictures when Renn gets his new one please?
 

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That's a favourite pastime in our household! And when our hand gets tired, we'll stick one end into her puppy Kong, which gives her better leverage.

She is verrrry pushy when we're the ones holding it. ? Will nudge our hand repeatedly until we position it just so and then regularly remind us that we need to rotate it for her. The worst is when she makes us hold the slimy end.

I think getting into the practise of holding chews is good for bonding and for deterring resource guarding. If Peggy has a bully stick or yak cheese, she'll automatically try to cozy up to us with it. Sometimes she'll even forget she's not lap size anymore.
Oh, no! Not the slimy end!? Sisko does the same thing and it's like, why can't you just chew on the slimy side ?? and they're probably like, because it needs to dry some, and I need to chew on both sides because it's better that way.

That's so cute!?
 
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