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Hey all. I acquired my first Spoo ever several months ago. Male from health tested, show lines (grand champion pedigree)....But I am so completely disappointed in him. The dogs I've had in the past were loving and we immediately bonded. This guy is aloof, responds to me if I have food or a toy, seems to have a high prey drive, i.e., he growls and jumps up on me, slams into me, and bites my clothes. And walking him is a constant fight...He pulls on the leash, in spite of all my efforts and those of a trainer.
He's six months now. We've been going to puppy school for months, I socialize him all the time, spend most of my day alongside him, training, rewarding, exercising, providing challenging games etc. But it doesn't seem to matter. He shows no love, little interest in anything but food or toys, and no progress in terms of behavior.
It's been a dream of mine to have a SPOO...I feel I've made a huge mistake. I'm crushed.
Note: the breeder i got him from does not do Volhard testing, but she said he had a great, gentle temperament, and when I got him at 10 weeks he seemed fine...a nice, cute pup.
If you have any advice or insight, it would be appreciated.
 

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SpacePoodle, I'm so sorry for your disappointment :( What I am hearing is that you are finding it difficult to bond with your boy. The training stuff is challenging too, but the lack of a bond is the hardest part?
 

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Sorry to hear that, SpacePoodle. At six months, he's young enough to rehome and hopefully get back whatever you paid for him.

I wish I had done that with my cat. I got him as a kitten and he never became the cuddly companion that I thought and hoped he would. I kept waiting and trying, and he's still an aloof couch potato that hates being picked up and has low tolerance for being petted more than a minute and will try to bite. He's 4 years old now. I contacted a Siamese rescue about him a year ago but they said his aggressiveness was a liability and turned him down. So I feed him and talk to him; he likes to lie near me sometimes and will meow back if he feels like it, likes 3 or 4 pats on the head and he's happy, and he doesn't bother my poodle, so he's here to stay unless I miraculously find someone who just wants another breathing being in their home.

Some pets, like romantic partners, simply don't work out, and trying to force the kind of relationship you want is waste of time that's better realized sooner than later. Wishing you better luck with your next poodle or dog, you deserve one that can give as well as receive your love and affection.
 

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Sorry to hear that, SpacePoodle. At six months, he's young enough to rehome and hopefully get back whatever you paid for him.
You can't do that with a show breeder poodle. The contract almost always states that you have to return the dog to the breeder.

It took me a while to bond with my dogs. Maizie was a VERY independent puppy, never cuddled (was way too busy getting into mischief), but by a year old she started getting more affectionate. Now at three years old she is extremely loving.

I would contact your breeder and have a heart to heart and see what you want to do. It sounds like the puppy may be more suitable for a very active, performance type home. But if you love him and are willing to work with him, I can almost guarantee you that you'll bond with him in time.
 

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The bond with our boys took longer than we expected. Apparently I didn't make notes in my journal but it was a few months with us before they started choosing to cuddle and generally show love back. BUT once they started, there is no move without one or both boys in front, beside, behind, under or on us :) When we talk to them, they now look into our eyes, heads tilting, looking like they so much want to talk back.

Your description of his puppy behavior sounds pretty familiar to me. Somewhere along the way though, they chose us back. I wasn't sure anything like this was going to happen. It did :)

Like zooeysmom said, if you love him and want to keep trying, it's almost a guarantee that the love will be returned.

I'm not saying your feelings of disappointment are a cause, but he must feel it as an effect. I don't know how to advise you to manage that, but if you can let it go somehow and just find some more silliness to share with him, it could help him relax. Adjustment to a new life takes longer for some of us.
 

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Lily and I distinctly disliked each other more than not for the first 15 months of her life. She is totally my heart dog though and we have done wonderful things together. Getting to where we are took getting through her mouthing me mercilessly, ripping clothes, etc. etc, etc..... When she was young I dreaded walking into the house because I just did not want to deal with her craziness. There were many days where I wondered why I had ever wanted her, and I waited over 20 years to be able to have the home and schedule to give her a good life. It was very upsetting and disappointing. One day I pulled into the driveway and instead of going inside I took a walk and did some deep breathing and stretching to let go of my tense anticipation. I walked in clam and was greeted by a calm dog. Our relationship was transformed when I had a light bulb moment of understanding how sensitive she was to my feelings. Smiling on the outside but being annoyed, disappointed or otherwise not matching your demeanor to your real state of mind is very confusing to dogs.


Lily was approaching seven when we brought Javelin home. We had already earned many of the titles we have and had been to rally nationals once. I knew he would be a great dog for me, but my feelings about him were pretty lukewarm and in some ways I kept myself detached from him because I was working hard to make sure Lily and Peeves knew they weren't being replaced. This isn't to say that I didn't devote a lot of attention to him. I certainly did. Despite my detachment he bonded very very strongly to me and now I have a fabulous and deep relationship with both of them.


Poodles are very sensitive. I know you love your dog, but I can also pretty much promise you that he knows you are disappointed even though you are probably working hard not to show it.



I hope you can find a way to get the bond that is so wonderful when dog and owner click with each other.
 

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Well I just wrote a long reply but got bumped off now its gone :)
What kind of training are you doing? pet store or actual trainer?
Are you using a pinch collar?
Renn has a nice structured walk and no longer pulls at all. Though there are times he gets excited but I put him back in his place. We do structured walk with heeling/sit/stay while I walk around him, circles each directions. Then we do relaxing walk where he can just sniff.
He is mostly tethered to me in the house because of my husbands health otherwise I think he would already be more calm in the house off leash. But we work on it when hub is sleeping or string.
Renn use to jump on me and tear my skin where it would bleed at that time I thought I made a mistake. But I corrected him and now we are good.
Get a pet convincer, some don't like it but it s just a puff of air, not to close to the dog but about 8 inches, he will stop jumping on you and your will not need a harsh correction. Renn is now 10 months, he has become a 1 person dog, not something I wanted but it is so because I did all the training and didn't take him enough strange places. As long as he is next to me he is fine. At 6 months your guy is still a puppy and his training hasn't clicked. In the beginning I tried the positive reenforcement training, it did not work. I had to go back to basic training with correction. He wears a pinch collar, honestly he doesn't really need it now but its more for me now if he suddenly gets excited he won't pull hard enough to knock me down. Though he walks nice and will sit and let someone pet him there is no telling that he won't suddenly leap up so I keep it on him. He isn definitely my dog and loves only me. I wish he loved someone else in this house he doesn't he tolerates them and loves them if I'm not present. Your guy has a way to go. I'd find a different trainer to work with not a pet store , don't know what kind of trainer you have. If your truly disappointed I'd return him to his breeder. These guys are the smartest dogs I've ever owned and they can easily train you . You have to be the leader so that they respect you.
 

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My spoo is about 11 months old now, and very recently, I've noticed that he has started to seek affection from me a little bit more than before.

I'd say 6 months is too early to come to conclusions about your puppy's personality.
 

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I agree with the others, six months is definitely too early to measure your dog’s bond with you.

Six months is very young, and being excited, jumping, biting, pulling on the leash are all normal puppy behaviors. He might be a little more active than you bargained for, but this is all trainable. Are you doing puppy classes ? This might be a good way to see what other puppies are like while training your dog. You might realize you’re luckier than you think when you meet other puppies...
 

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I Are you doing puppy classes ? This might be a good way to see what other puppies are like while training your dog. You might realize you’re luckier than you think when you meet other puppies...
Haha, that is so true. I'm always so grateful to have my dogs any time they're in a class with unruly dogs!
 

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Hugo was very alof as a puppy as well. He never ever gave kisses, never came up to you for cuddles, would come when called and you can pet him but he never tried to instigate it. Now at 2 years he is a total love bug and wants to cuddle anytime he can. He loves to sit with his back facing the couch and will bend his head as far back as he can to say 'hey, i'm right here!! why aren't you petting mee!!', if he is facing you he will nudge your hands or put his paw on you. As a pup he did non of this and i was concerned since I thought males were more cuddly then females. He still isn't a kisser but will occasionally kiss your hands, I think I've only had him lick my face once.

It takes time to grow a bond and for them to instigate affection. If you you have decided to keep working with him it will happen.

I should mention Hugo isn't neutered, i'm not sure if that affected how cuddly he was but not until after 1.5 years did he start to be calm and affectionate, once the hormones settle down maybe?

Best of Luck!
 

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A lot of people initially regret getting puppies. It's called hte puppy blues.
They are so much work and effort and at the start there are so many expectations and so many humps in training that it's at least 55% a pain in the ass to have them.
But slowly they learn, and slowly you get less tired and frustrated, and then slowly you can bond.
Don't forget in all your effort and training to also train your dog to relax/settle. That's a very important part. And remember that if you're having a rough time you can pop your puppy into it's crate for an hour or 2, even if you're at home and not doing anything, but just need a rest from him.
 

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A lot of people initially regret getting puppies. It's called hte puppy blues.

Don't forget in all your effort and training to also train your dog to relax/settle. That's a very important part. And remember that if you're having a rough time you can pop your puppy into it's crate for an hour or 2, even if you're at home and not doing anything, but just need a rest from him.

Excellent points, Mysticrealm! I still have to crate Frosty at 2 years old to help him settle at least once a day. It is VERY helpful to get a break.
 

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Dewey too was aloof as a puppy. He liked doing things together but was not affectionate. He wanted to be with me and followed me everywhere but not to cuddle. It sounds like he was exactly like Hugo. However, he was neutered early ( 7 months ). I don't think we really bonded until he was over a year. Somewhere between 1 and 2 years he started becoming more affectionate. As he gets older, now 4 years, he is more and more affectionate with asking to be petted, kisses and cuddles throughout the day.
 

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I also agree that sometimes bonding is a mysterious process that takes quite a while. I was kinda pushed into being a poodle mama by my well meaning husband who couldn't deal with the empty house and the devastation left by losing two dogs two weeks apart. Poodle kid was not the little angel he resembled - he was tough as nails, didn't like being cuddled and held - listened only when it suited him and THE mouthiest little monster we ever had. Now we have had him for almost 6 months and things are settling. He has discovered his love for snuggling under the blanket. He knows that I will not tolerate endless mouthing and goes to bring himself a chewy. He loves being held - although he needs his independence. He shines as a greeter and when we are in crowds.
In other words it took time on both our sides to mesh our styles. It really takes many months getting to know each other - each dog is a whole new being. It may just be too early to give up - however if your mind is made up you have to do what is right by you and him. If you feel that you simply cannot go on - go out and find him another place. It is a really hard decision but maybe you already made it?
 

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Don’t give up! I changed breeds from Scottish Terriers to a poodle and it was a shocker. Scottie’s are very aloof and also way down on the dog IQ rankings. I would have been lost without PF and an excellent trainer. Buck was all about himself, mouthy as hell, cute, but exhausting. I don’t remember him being a licker or a cuddler at all as a puppy. He was full of insistent demands, curiosity and mischief, still is. A sense of humor, hanging onto the incremental milestones of training, like potty on command, carry you forward. Also, some humility because poodles are the Ferrari of dogs. My dog has been obsessed with me since he was allowed free range in the house, he eventually became a licker, which I do not like, a warm sofa buddy, and a too cozy occupant of our bed.
 

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I've never had a dog (or a cat except the current one) that didn't bond me instantly, so what others have said here is completely alien to me.

I don't know if this matters but I've always sat quietly and let the dog/puppy or cat come to me and choose me, and if it seemed to like me, it was a match.

I didn't do that with my cat as a kitten b/c none of them came over; I hindsight don't think the owner handled them enough, and to this day he's sort of semi-feral even though he's never stepped a foot outdoors.
 
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