Poodle Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What parts of your poodles behavior are the result of genetics and which parts are the result of training or life experience?

As we approach the 2 month anniversary of bringing our almost 3 year spoo home I’ve been wondering what his story is. Where was he bred? What type of breeder - backyard, show, working dog? What is his lineage, genetics, what were his parents bred to do? Socialization as a puppy? Training as an adolescent dog? Etc. etc.

He came home with us 2 months ago after his previous family couldn’t give him the time he deserved. I don’t know how long they had him, at least a year, which would have put him at 1.5 when they first got him. I don’t think they had him as a young puppy, they had vet records, but only from when he was 1.5 no earlier, no puppy vaccines or anything. My sense is that the previous family didn’t do much with him, but before that is a mystery.

When he first came home with us, it seemed as though he didn’t really know much. Not his name or what sit meant, house training was not 100%, he walked ok on a leash but not great.

Despite this perceived potential lack of formal training he has been so easy to live with right from day 1. Quiet in the house, so sweet and gentle, and quick to pick up on training. Absolutely no signs of aggression towards anyone, strangers on the street, dogs, kids, horses. No resource guarding, no chewing of things. The only things he’s done that aren’t “good” have been our fault, like this morning when he ate my husbands bagel. In Ben’s defense, it was left completely unattended on the coffee table when my husband went to answer the door and full of super delicious cream cheese.

As I’ve done more and more with him I’ve been wondering if he had a really solid start with someone as a young dog or if he’s just naturally quiet, kind and trainable or a bit of both?

Despite my lack of skill, he’s been perfect for all grooming, nail clipping etc. since day 1. This morning he fell asleep as I was clipping his body. He’s great for the vet and has no issues with anyone handling his feet, looking at teeth, ears etc. Crate trained in a few days and walks on his leash like a pro now. He’s the most patient dog I’ve met in my life. The first time I clipped his feet, I was pretty clumsy, and it took a long time. He never pulled his feet away, just gave me pained looks as if he was saying “you have no idea what you’re doing do you?” and eventually laid his head on the foot I was working on so I couldn’t bother him anymore. He’s so good with any dog he’s ever met, loves puppies and is incredibly patient with rude dogs. There is a small dog that lives on the street somewhere, I found him loose when we were out walking one day and I caught him and put him in our yard with Ben. Ben just stood there as this little dog barked incessantly at his face and humped his leg for 20 minutes until the owners showed up.

He’s very sweet and cuddly, and will do anything for a chin rub. At the same time, he’s nervous if a person carries a stick or goes too fast or is too loud. He likes a gentle rough house/game of tug, but shuts down if it gets a little too rambunctious. So I wonder if at some point someone was not so kind towards him.

He’s aloof, and reserved until he’s really comfortable. Definitely the type of dog that you get out what you put in. We’re so in love with him, he’s fitting into our family wonderfully. I would love to know what his background is, what the puzzle pieces are that have made him the dog he is today, so that I can be sure that we are the type of family that he needs and we can do the best we can for him.

What’s your dogs story? Are there parts of their behavior and personality that you have trained or shaped? Are there traits that have been consistent since puppyhood?

I’m excited to hear about who your poodles are!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,582 Posts
My experience with rehomed dogs (especially if they have already moved at least once before you got them) is that they are very afraid of having to move again so they often walk on eggshells for at least 3 or 4 and often more like 6 months before they start to reveal why they might have moved in the past. Don't be surprised if you see new behaviors in the next 3-6 months. As long as your training is very positive and reassuring that they are not going to be rehomed again most of these behaviors (if you really can't deal with them) can be effectively extinguished to near zero.

Dogs do really relish their current reality. It isn't that they will have forgotten terrible things that happened to them but you can make those memories fade with time. Neurobiology savvy dog trainers fenerally agree that 6000 correct repetitions are required to set a pattern into memory and be 100% reliable when taught right from the first time. Make that more like 10 to 12000 repetitions to replace a bad pattern with a good one.

It sounds like you are off to a great start together.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,330 Posts
I just love your Ben stories. I wish I could meet him and tell him what a good boy he is.

My last dog, Gracie, was a pet store dog. Her very important early socialization window was spent in a glorified fish tank. Until she was 4 months old, she was behind glass with another puppy, in a busy mall environment. She had very limited human interaction unless you count people tapping on the glass. And the employees didn't like her much.

She easily could've ended up a nightmare, but instead she was a dream.

She was sweet and social and submissive, but not excessively so. She was very intelligent, too, which could have worked against her, given those early negative experiences, but somehow it didn't.

So I honestly don't know how nature and nurture add up.

Was she such a good girl because she didn't want to go back to the pet store? Do dogs even think that way? I have no idea. But it's such an interesting topic, and one I think about often.

Sometimes I think she imprinted on me, if that's even still possible at 4 months. Maybe I met her just in time? It's like she saw me and was like "Yep. That's my person." And her trust in me allowed her good nature to shine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,824 Posts
Ben sounds like a winner for a three year old rehome. Pleasant, biddable. Up to you now, to nurture that guy forward through he rest of his wonderful life with your family:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Lily - interesting. I had read about the 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months theory and from what I’ve seen from him that seemed fast. 6 months as you suggest seems more likely, thanks for the information!

The only things I’ve seen that some people may not want to live with (as far as wanting to rehome) are, in my opinion easily managed. He is terrified of thunderstorms, and if outside would definitely run away. He also has a very sensitive stomach and some skin issues. All easily managed by paying attention and diet.

Peggy - if you’re ever in Canada, we would love to meet you! Gracie sounds like she was a special dog. I also often think about how they think, what they think about etc.

I do think we got incredibly lucky, as good as he is, he very well could have been not good! Either way, he has a forever home.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,582 Posts
AbBen you may want to try any of the following for thunder worries: a thunder shirt, rescue remedy or CBD oil. All of them have helped for us to some level or another with CBD being the best (you do have to perhaps try some different brands and doses though). There is a FB group about CBD for pets.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top