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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know I’ve talked about my 17 week old spoo and how he’s a handful. It’s been a struggle for 9 straight weeks. He’s learning and making small progress. The main issue we can’t seem to overcome is his constant trying to dominate my 9 year old son. It is NOT Teddy playing. It’s Teddy wrapping his paws around my sons legs chomping on in. He can not go past my son with out doing something to him. I know he’s a puppy but that’s my son and my mama bear is about to roar on teddy. Here are things we have tried: redirecting(which Teddy does not care he wants to do what he wants to do) command training, my son attempting to stand up to him telling him no, me removing teddy making him sit and stay, my husband who teddy respects completely remove and discipline him. But anytime teddy can he will. I’m at my wits end with this behavior. My son has never been unkind or mean. That’s not our style. I’m not for physical anything. Teddy is not getting it. Im currently sitting and typing and I’m beyond frustrated and upset. My son tried to pay teddy and teddy turned his head and snapped and barked at him. My child comes first and I will not tolerate that behavior. So any ideas r helpful. I’m trying to find classes or someone in my areas that is a licensed trainer. Nothing! I called a local breeder for help nothing! I’m getting very frustrated and feel helpless. Teddy was a Mother’s Day and birthday gift. So far he hasn’t been a gift. There has been maybe a handful of days that have been decent. I’ve had him on a schedule he gets exercised played with shots groomed toys treats. He has a good life here. He just doesn’t realize it. I’ve raised 3 kids I know babies r tough. But this is a whole different thing and I’m frazzled and tired. 😔
 

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I am sorry to hear how frustrating Teddy is being for you. Have you called a trainer? They might be able to help. I would say that have your son take total control, he is old enough. To me it is to the point where I would put a one grade collar on him and a leash and have your son handle him. That is just what I would do. I would also "snap" at him when he puts teeth on anyone. or tap his choke collar. I never found that squeaking ever worked to stop the biting. Put in lots of rules, make the dog go everywhere with you or your son, and make him down.
I hope this helps.
 

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First. Puppies are awful bitey monsters who make huge messes whose only saving grace is how cute and soft they are. I love puppies, but they truly are monstrous sometimes.

Ok... so at this point, I am going to say Teddy needs to be on leash, always, or on a crate when your son is around, at least for a while. Son comes first, Teddy second. Secondly- have you seen dogs play?Jumping and biting is, unfortunately, a naughty annoying puppy way of inviting playing, that is usually trained away by other dogs.

My suggestion would be, with Mama Bear or Papa Bear holding the leash, with just enough room for Teddy to do the behaviour, work with Teddy and your son. Son says "Teddy, sit". Teddy sits = gets treat. Teddy doesnt sit? Son repeats firmly, and lures Teddy. Teddy tries to jump or bite? 'Too bad!' (Sad voice), teddy gets firmly pulled away, put away, and ignored. Jumping and biting is a not fun game, it leads to boringness, not good attention (any attention is good attention to some puppies). You could tie the leash to something, or as I usually do, put him in another room. Maybe practice 2-3 repetitions of sit or down, then stop. The idea is to not allow Teddy to rehearse the bad behaviour, and teach Teddy to associate good behaviour and treats, not jumpy fun, with your son. Anytime your son and Teddy are together for the next little while, teddy is on a leash, held by you or your husband. If he isnt already, there is no harm in Teddy being crated for several hours several times each day.

Also- impulse control. What impulse control exercises are you doing with teddy? I personally like play play play-- ask for sit, down, then the momen you get it,- play play, ask for sit, etc. It teaches dogs to really quickly go from over arousal to calm, and back again, and to still listen when playing.

I cant remember who I have recommended it too, but i suggest getting a copy of Culture clash and reading it.

Next, what is your sons personality like? Is he jumpy and hyper, quiet and calm, does he squeak when he is jumped by a puppy? Squeaky humans are pretty irresistible to puppies, and if your son is shy/nervous or high pitched and jumpy, it might help to practice "puppy voice" and body langyage with him- calm, quiet, still, and confident. The two of you can practice this sans-puppy.

It really sucks that there are no trainers nearby. I know of some trainers who are running online puppy classes- would classes over Skype be something you would consider doing?

Finally- what's Teddy's schedule like? Does he get an age appropriate amount of exercise (5 min per 1 month of age, 1-2 × per day, total), so about 20-40 min, total? Does he get more than that? Does he get put in his crate to sleep? Do you play with him(tug and chase a ball are both good games)? Does he have something appropriate to chew on? (Annie got a lot of newspapers and flyers in her pen to destroy at that age). 4 month old puppies are like awful toddlers some days, they get overtired, dont realize it, and then become bitey.

Hope something helps, puppies are lots of work!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I’m so overwhelmed with books,articles,info..I don’t know what’s right. Can U tell I’m drowning in teddy?! He gets 2 15 walks a day plus play time with neighbor dog. He does great in the crate. I have him on a schedule. With having 3 children(now older 15,12,& 9)schedules r a must. I wish I could find someone to come in tell me what needs to b done and then we can do it. I’ve tried so many things I fear I may b confusing the dog..heck I’m confused! I wanna do what’s right I just don’t know what that is. All I know now is I’m very frustrated and angry. This is not at all what I was hoping. I waited years till my kids were older to get a dog so we could enjoy as a family. So far no enjoyment and it’s not cause of the work it’s the lack of progress and anything to work. I just wanted a good dog for our family and to be honest I’m afraid he won’t be. I’m all up in my feelings today...they r many!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am sorry to hear how frustrating Teddy is being for you. Have you called a trainer? They might be able to help. I would say that have your son take total control, he is old enough. To me it is to the point where I would put a one grade collar on him and a leash and have your son handle him. That is just what I would do. I would also "snap" at him when he puts teeth on anyone. or tap his choke collar. I never found that squeaking ever worked to stop the biting. Put in lots of rules, make the dog go everywhere with you or your son, and make him down.
I hope this helps.
What’s a one grade leash?
 

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I totally agree with the previous responses, but I want to add that Misha was exactly like this with the attacking legs. He ripped many pairs of my pants. It was certainly the last of his mouthing behaviors to go away, and he still half heartedly tries to jump on my legs sometimes. But he was smaller than a spoo. I always referred to him as a Tasmanian devil during that period. I did everything you're describing, and really I just had to wait it out. It was like the legs were a trigger for him like a squirrel or something. He could not stop himself. I don't think I would call it dominating. More like he sees your son as a playmate and seeing him walk triggers his attack play.

I've heard a quote I like... "The only redeeming quality of puppies is that they grow up to be dogs." And I agree.

Another note I would say is that I had a misconception about how long training takes. When people describe a training method they often make it sound like it takes repetition for days or weeks. In reality it is months, often many, before you see real change. It takes lots of patience.

I would also say that Teddy sounds like a dog I would not have paired with a family with younger kids. He sounds like a lot of dog to handle when you have so many other responsibilities. I know my own dog would have been a nightmare for a busy family with young kids. He is growing into an excellent dog and gets many compliments from strangers about how well behaved he is, but it takes a lot of time. I don't have kids and all of my free time is spent with Misha.
 

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Awww... Teddys Mom , I get it. Puppies are hard, and there are as many right ways as wrong ways to raise a puppy, and everyone has different suggestions.

So it sounds like he gets enough exercise, and is good in a crate. Good job!!! Now the harder stuff, training.

Either get a book and follow it to a T, or get an online trainer - if you have seen Clicks posts, a Karen Pryor Academy certified trainer (KPA-CPT) is a good choice. A good private trainer should be able to answer your questions and give you specific instructions. Or Ian Dunbars free book is also an instruction manual people here recommend.

I think, but could be wrong, that EV is suggesting either a pinch collar, a choke collar, or a shock collar. I am not some who says those should never be used (i have a pinch collar for Annie) but personally I would not use them on a 4 month old puppy, and only would recommend them to someone who is already good at dog training (basically, IMHO, you can't figure out timing and human emotional control with positive reinforcement, and dont understand how dogs think, you have no business at the end of a device that can cause fear and pain, especially if used improperly)

Good luck!
 

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What’s a one grade leash?
It is actually a collar, commonly called a snake chain. I usually frown on using one on puppies but he is quite a bit of dog. Not so sure about only four months though. For some reason I thought he was older. You do have to be very exact in the timing. You need to have clicker training preciseness. Look into some Michael Ellis videos, or some videos on Leerburg. They are all very good, and some are clicker, some are positive, some are toy training. It is multiple different styles. Although none of that old mean jerk pull stuff. They will at times use a choke collar but only in certain circumstances. Also, never use a shock collar on a young dog.
 

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If I'd had to manage puppy Peggy around kids, I'd probably have been feeling much the same way. So please know that you're not alone. At 17 weeks, Teddy's 98% teeth, 1% brain, and 1% fluffy goodness.

That you've got him crate trained and on a schedule is a big accomplishment. And his adult teeth are right around the bend, which will significantly reduce his desire to gnaw on his humans, especially if the fun consistently stops every time he tries.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank u for encouragement. I’m was hesitant to even post. I was afraid I would b told im not doing enough and right now discouragement is last thing I need..so I gambled and I’m thankful. My day is Teddy. I try to get things done when he’s in crate or asleep. He’s changed our family and the time we have. I know it won’t always b like that but that’s HUGE adjustment! Would a doggie daycare help with some of his behavioral issues? Sometimes dogs can teach others dogs things humans can’t. Has anyone ever done this? A friend told me she took her puppy to a puppy daycare couple times a week and it made a huge difference. When teddy plays with neighbor dog pretty sure she’s the boss of the play. She’s very patient with teddy. Maybe he needs a more balanced dominate dog to teach him manners? Did I mention it’s raining 10 straight days here?! (Insert nervous laughter)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I also have his day scheduled out. I have exercise, play with toys, busy boxes, brain games, quiet time in crate, & naps. I mean he won’t settle in crate till his clip on fan is turned on 🤣
 

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I'd be hesitant to do doggy daycare, especially with a puppy that young, but that's just me. My worry would be that he could learn bad habits and even develop fear or reactivity to other dogs.

At 4 months, Peggy could play for about 30 minutes before she and all her puppy friends got tired and started spinning out. Then it was nap time.

We always monitored these sessions carefully so we could watch for signs it was time to intervene, and would typically break them up for 5-seconds or so, every few minutes, to let them regroup. I can see the difference between dogs who are socialized in this way and dogs who were more "thrown to the wolves" and forced to defend themselves.

Of course, if there was a situation in which Teddy would be well-supervised during the day and able to take lots of uninterrupted naps, maybe it would be a positive. Only you can really decide that, and it would very much depend on what's available in your area.

My friend's poodle puppy goes to doggy daycare in a woman's house. It's just him and another dog, so he gets lots of personalized care. Plus, he's super comfortable there so my friend is free to vacation without him if the opportunity presents itself. Always nice to have that kind of backup!

But if it's just a break you need, some extended crate time a few days a week might help. 3-4 hours of not worrying about his needs might be hugely refreshing. An indoor exercise pen is also great for this. As I type this, Peggy's snoozing hard in hers after eating lunch. I love that for an hour or so I don't have to worry about her getting into anything. (And, if I'm completely honest, it's nice to just move around the house sometimes without a poodle on my heels.) I also like that her pen teaches her to relax even when there's activity going on around her. I can see this training at work when I'm talking to a neighbour or something and she happily lays at my feet, content to just relax and observe.
 

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(Oh boy. As I typed that last bit about her relaxing while I talk to a neighbour, I suddenly recalled a thread I started here, about puppy Peggy growling at our neighbour. I was so embarrassed and overwhelmed and ashamed and TIRED. I was freaking out. The kind folks of Poodle Forum talked me down. So don't ever be reluctant to share here. All the responses aren't necessarily going to be what you want to hear. And we can only know what you tell us, so not all advice will even necessarily apply to the complexities of your situation. But it just feels good to let it out sometimes, and to be reminded you're not the first person to ever raise a poodle puppy....even when it very much feels like it!!)
 

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I would involve your son in his training. A lot of times I think pups get kids confused with their littermates, so him helping with the training can sometimes help. whenever he does jump have your son stop and let out a high pitch squeal, sometimes the squeals help the dog to understand it hurts. otherwise, I'd say leash him and have your son walk by a few times and that way when he jumps you can give a gentle pull and no.
 

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There are online training classes where you can submit videos of the dog and get feedback, that may work well for you. AKC talks about it here and there are links to programs they recommend.

I recently took an online agility course through Bad dog agility and it was helpful for a skill I was working on.

If you choose to go this route, don’t get involved in a program that is just a bunch of videos- you can find videos on You Tube. Rather, look for a program where there is interaction...you can ask specific questions, you can submit a video, etc.You need someone who can give specific guidance.
 

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Please feel free to vent. And let us know if you need assurances on something. Sometimes it helps to have somebody commiserate and sympathize, and other times it's better to have a response that puts your issue into perspective and motivates you to try harder. But it can be hard to tell what is best especially when we can only view things via words.

I've been in over my head with a dog before. I know it can feel like you're drowning. Some of it is the dog, but a lot of it is the lack of self care you have when you're spending so much time and energy with a puppy. I didn't sleep properly for many months after getting Misha and I let it turn into habit and I only realized it was a problem when I had trouble remembering things and kept spacing out while spending times with friends. It's very unhealthy. My diet also suffered because I didn't have time to prepare healthy meals. Just... try to take a breather and spend some time on yourself when you need to.

On the recent topic, I would also not put a puppy that young in doggy daycare. I think supervised interaction with puppies and adult dogs is wonderful and important, but only when I can moderate things very carefully. When Misha meets a dog and has any sort of issue, I never want him to feel like he needs to stick up for himself. I want him to run for me for help. I want him to trust that I have his back and there is no need to fight. And the way you train that into a dog is by ending interactions before they escalate. If a dog is bothering Misha, it is my job to step in as soon as I see he is uncomfortable. And I can't trust daycare personnel to do that. They have a lot of dogs to watch.
 

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It sounds like you are describing my female spoo to a T! Sookie is now 61/2 months old. We have some good days now and her biting has definitely decreased with age. She gets plenty of good exercise, mental stimulation, eats and sleeps well and some days I just want to scream! She goes to a nearby kennel that has doggie daycare but they don’t put the dogs together. So she gets good one on one playtime and walks. She is usually pooped when she gets home. The day there is for me!!! She is a handful! I have never had a dog with a personality like hers. I know better days are coming and I look forward to that. She is part of our family now and she does have her sweet loving moments. Hang in there! It does get better
 

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I did not read all the replies, sorry if this is a repeat.

Puppy should not sleep with humans, he can have his own bed or crate, but keep him out of human beds.

The child should feed the puppy. Puppy must sit, then child puts dish down (will have to hold puppy in sit), release word is given and puppy is released. This helps to establish child as dominant over puppy.

Puppy must sit at door before the door opens and wait for the release. Again, dominating puppy as well as teaching manners.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update: my husband worked with Teddy few evening ago. Doing what I’ve been doing but his behavior has been better. He worked with our son and Teddy. Last few days have been better. I think our family of 5 need to get on the same page and do the same things to help with confusion. Teddy can not handle super active play. My kids were playing with him lastnight while I was busy. I came in to check and Teddy was so amped. They thought they were helping and playing and Teddy was crazy. I got him in a sit stay and held a chew and he chewed for 10 minutes and I petted off and on and he finally calmed down. So I will b working with them on play. They wore him out but it was too much for his puppy brain. They were throwing toys for him to get. They were being nice it was just too much. My kids r older and do well and love him. He just couldn’t handle 3 people and all the talking and noise and toys. May make a schedule for the kids to take turns playing, training, and feeding. ALSO! Got teddy signed up for training in August! Hope that goes well🤞🏻
 

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Good to hear you are seeing improvement! It's definitely not the easiest to talk see a puppy with kids- I had dogs first, then kids, and when we added a new puppy after the kids I was shocked at how much harder it was. 4-5 months was the worst, big enough that they are hard for kids to control and young enough that they have minimal self control. It does get better though! And it sounds like you have a good grasp, especially noting that excited play is too arousing for him to handle.
I would highly recommend this video series- your kids could (and should!) all watch it too. It asks you to purchase but it is free.

Another recommendation is the FB group Pandemic Puppy Raising Support Group. There are some awesome trainers that run it, and they have a whole bunch of learning units with resources as well.
 
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