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I may have asked a similar question before so apologies if I have. How do you keep a nearly 7 month old minpoo busy while you are doing household chores? Winnie follows me about from room to room watching me dust, clean, vacuum etc and I feel she is looking at me with those 'mum hurry up I want to play' eyes. Before I start my chores I play a bit with her eg fetch, tug, flirt pole. I put some treats in a puzzle for her to sniff out but this doesn't last long. If the puzzle is too difficult she loses interest. I try and ignore her and carry on with what I have to do in the hope that she will go to her toy box but she doesn't. Sometimes if she is tired from playing she follows me around in the hope that I am going to sit down and then she can lie next to me. She does go to her own bed or lies on the carpet sometimes but will prefer to lie next to me on the armchair if she can. Should I just let her follow me around while I work and will she just manage herself as she gets older?
 

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She will probably settle more easily when she is older, but there's no harm in teaching her a Place cue now. There are lots of examples online - basically you place a comfortable bed or mat where you want her to settle, encourage her to lie down on it, and treat her for settling there, very frequently at first and gradually increasing the time between treats. It can be particularly useful if you are cooking, or doing anything potentially dangerous, like DIY with power tools. My dogs quickly learned that "Busy - Dangerous!" meant they needed to settle down outside the room I was working in.
 
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At that age I did a lot of work on down stay while I did chores. Good brain exercise for the dog, good break from having her underfoot for me. I was in an apartment, so I could put her in one particular spot in the hall/kitchen and have her watch me almost everywhere. Start with really frequent small rewards while doing dishes or cooking then decrease the frequency of reward, then add motion with more frequency. It I was out of sight for a long time, I came back into view frequently or changed her down stay location so she could see me. Over time, if I was doing something she learned that spot was the "food falls from the sky" spot and started to lie there on her own (I rewarded this, too). It also prevents begging in the kitchen - she gets a share of what I am cooking but only if she is lying quietly in her spot.
 

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I agree that working on settling during those periods is useful. I would pop the puppy in an x pen with a treasured chew. But I will also say that you may misinterpret her actions. When I'm doing chores, Misha loves to follow me around and watch me very attentively. He will try to be involved in whatever I'm doing. If he sees me doing a task he knows well and that is super boring like washing dishes, he will find a place to lay down while still keeping me in his eyesight. But any task that he isn't super familiar with is fascinating to him. I have heard dogs described as anthropologists. Poodles are especially like this. They want to be a part of your life as much as possible. She may not be thinking "ugh why isn't mom playing with me" but may instead be trying to figure out what you are doing so she can take part as much as possible. You may find that she enjoys when you talk to her while she watches you do chores. It is good mental stimulation for them even if we don't understand their interest.
 

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At that age I did a lot of work on down stay while I did chores. Good brain exercise for the dog, good break from having her underfoot for me. I was in an apartment, so I could put her in one particular spot in the hall/kitchen and have her watch me almost everywhere. Start with really frequent small rewards while doing dishes or cooking then decrease the frequency of reward, then add motion with more frequency. It I was out of sight for a long time, I came back into view frequently or changed her down stay location so she could see me. Over time, if I was doing something she learned that spot was the "food falls from the sky" spot and started to lie there on her own (I rewarded this, too). It also prevents begging in the kitchen - she gets a share of what I am cooking but only if she is lying quietly in her spot.
[/QUO
Sorry--Newbie here! what does it mean to "add motion"? What is motion? TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree that working on settling during those periods is useful. I would pop the puppy in an x pen with a treasured chew. But I will also say that you may misinterpret her actions. When I'm doing chores, Misha loves to follow me around and watch me very attentively. He will try to be involved in whatever I'm doing. If he sees me doing a task he knows well and that is super boring like washing dishes, he will find a place to lay down while still keeping me in his eyesight. But any task that he isn't super familiar with is fascinating to him. I have heard dogs described as anthropologists. Poodles are especially like this. They want to be a part of your life as much as possible. She may not be thinking "ugh why isn't mom playing with me" but may instead be trying to figure out what you are doing so she can take part as much as possible. You may find that she enjoys when you talk to her while she watches you do chores. It is good mental stimulation for them even if we don't understand their interest.
This is good news and I can make her sit where I want to while I work. I guess I was just a bit worried that this might have been what she was thinking. I do talk to her while I'm working and I may sound like an idiot but I explain to her what I'm doing or just chit chat whatever comes in to my head. She does want to be a part of everything that is going on and sticks herself right in the middle of it all with a sniff and a lick. If I am in the kitchen or bathroom I make her sit outside and she watches me from there. I guess I may be misreading her actions for wanting attention from me.
 

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Adding motion - I meant walking around more and doing something more interesting.

So when you're training any behaviour, there are 3 things you work towards - distance, duration, and distraction. Location is another thing usually bundled with distraction - dogs are contextual learners and often don't understand that "sit" means sit at the park if you have only worked on it in the house.

So, say you have taught your dog to down stay in the kitchen. Great! Say every time you practice you are within 4 ft away, and you can give your dog treats every 20-40 s and hold his attention. Good job!

To get there you probably had to move slowly from rewarding every second, to every few seconds, to every 10 s, etc. Slowly increasing duration.

To go from there - you can either work on adding distance (maybe work on being a bit further away) or duration (work up to going 1 min between rewards) or distraction - maybe you are going to be doing something like walking around, or doing something more exciting, like chopping up raw chicken instead of washing dishes.

When you add one of those things in - make it easier in another way. So if you are going for a longer time - stay closer and don't move as much. If you are going for more movement (distraction) and regularly reward at 30-40s intervals - cut it back to 10s, or 20s. Same if you try practicing in the living room, if you normally work in the kitchen.

The trick is to make it really easy for the dog to do the thing correctly, and slowly raise expectations. If the dog is failing to do what you ask - just move to do an easier version to allow the dog to succeed, ask for less, and then increase the expectations once he has mastered the easier version.
 

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This is good news and I can make her sit where I want to while I work. I guess I was just a bit worried that this might have been what she was thinking. I do talk to her while I'm working and I may sound like an idiot but I explain to her what I'm doing or just chit chat whatever comes in to my head. She does want to be a part of everything that is going on and sticks herself right in the middle of it all with a sniff and a lick. If I am in the kitchen or bathroom I make her sit outside and she watches me from there. I guess I may be misreading her actions for wanting attention from me.
She sounds just like my dog! I would not be concerned. Misha is very obvious when he wants my attention. He will bring me a toy and try to engage in play. But he really only ever does this when I'm on my laptop. Laptops are the pinnacle of boring for a dog. But anything else where I'm interacting with the world is considered very interesting. I think he would be happy to watch me do chores all day long. It is good to talk to them too! They get a lot from the tone of your voice and body language.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
She sounds just like my dog! I would not be concerned. Misha is very obvious when he wants my attention. He will bring me a toy and try to engage in play. But he really only ever does this when I'm on my laptop. Laptops are the pinnacle of boring for a dog. But anything else where I'm interacting with the world is considered very interesting. I think he would be happy to watch me do chores all day long. It is good to talk to them too! They get a lot from the tone of your voice and body language.
I feel so much better about this thank you. I'm sure she would watch me doing chores all day too. Haha....when I am on my laptop it doesn't take long before I find a her by my side with a toy in her mouth pawing at my leg.
 

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Peggy is like Misha. She loves observing chores and also settles readily when I’m doing something static-but-interesting (like cooking dinner) so she can observe. It’s when I’m on my phone or computer, or watching TV, that she sometimes gets restless and I have to tell her what to do.

But if she’s been adequately exercised throughout the day, I don’t go overboard with options. Typically I give her the choice between chewing on something or snoozing. If she’s really struggling, I may play a short game of find-it, or do a ten-minute training session, to drain her mental battery.
 

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Training them put tiring pressure on their little brains. Do it every day. Try to get a set routine. Like a child she will be easier to deal with. Also, cut back the the kongs and treat feedings or you'll have one obese pet. Research dog activity toys to find a toy your puppy will love.
 

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Adding motion - I meant walking around more and doing something more interesting.

So when you're training any behaviour, there are 3 things you work towards - distance, duration, and distraction. Location is another thing usually bundled with distraction - dogs are contextual learners and often don't understand that "sit" means sit at the park if you have only worked on it in the house.

So, say you have taught your dog to down stay in the kitchen. Great! Say every time you practice you are within 4 ft away, and you can give your dog treats every 20-40 s and hold his attention. Good job!

To get there you probably had to move slowly from rewarding every second, to every few seconds, to every 10 s, etc. Slowly increasing duration.

To go from there - you can either work on adding distance (maybe work on being a bit further away) or duration (work up to going 1 min between rewards) or distraction - maybe you are going to be doing something like walking around, or doing something more exciting, like chopping up raw chicken instead of washing dishes.

When you add one of those things in - make it easier in another way. So if you are going for a longer time - stay closer and don't move as much. If you are going for more movement (distraction) and regularly reward at 30-40s intervals - cut it back to 10s, or 20s. Same if you try practicing in the living room, if you normally work in the kitchen.

The trick is to make it really easy for the dog to do the thing correctly, and slowly raise expectations. If the dog is failing to do what you ask - just move to do an easier version to allow the dog to succeed, ask for less, and then increase the expectations once he has mastered the easier version.
What a great and detailed explanation. Thank you!
Adding motion - I meant walking around more and doing something more interesting.

So when you're training any behaviour, there are 3 things you work towards - distance, duration, and distraction. Location is another thing usually bundled with distraction - dogs are contextual learners and often don't understand that "sit" means sit at the park if you have only worked on it in the house.

So, say you have taught your dog to down stay in the kitchen. Great! Say every time you practice you are within 4 ft away, and you can give your dog treats every 20-40 s and hold his attention. Good job!

To get there you probably had to move slowly from rewarding every second, to every few seconds, to every 10 s, etc. Slowly increasing duration.

To go from there - you can either work on adding distance (maybe work on being a bit further away) or duration (work up to going 1 min between rewards) or distraction - maybe you are going to be doing something like walking around, or doing something more exciting, like chopping up raw chicken instead of washing dishes.

When you add one of those things in - make it easier in another way. So if you are going for a longer time - stay closer and don't move as much. If you are going for more movement (distraction) and regularly reward at 30-40s intervals - cut it back to 10s, or 20s. Same if you try practicing in the living room, if you normally work in the kitchen.

The trick is to make it really easy for the dog to do the thing correctly, and slowly raise expectations. If the dog is failing to do what you ask - just move to do an easier version to allow the dog to succeed, ask for less, and then increase the expectations once he has mastered the easier version.
Thanks for the very helpful explanation plus training tips! I'm so glad I joined this forum now. Thanks again!
 

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Have him do stuff around the house, like bring in the mail (he goes to the mail box) or paper, and take him everywhere you go when you run errands (more stimulation and you can keep him socialized- dogs can go lots of places these days like Tractor supply, hardware store, downtown, even our Bank allows them, etc)... Can you teach him carting? He can pull stuff (this was useful back when we had a toddler to take to the park -- we hitched our dogs to a wagon and they carried all the supplies and the toddler - we had them leashed)... Get a companion as we did (we've got a Bouvier des Flandres puppy):)
 
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