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Hello,

Our family is celebrating six months with our first standard poodle, Mila, who is a cream coloring. Our previous beloved poodle was a chocolate miniature, whom we absolutely adored for his 14 years of life. We were very fortunate to have brought home our new gal from the same breeder, and she is an absolute delight. I have appreciated scouring the forums for information as although much I knew, there was a lot I had forgotten (particularly about the land shark puppy stage!). I have also been blessed by the grooming information, as although our boy we kept clipped short, we want to grow our girl out and have some fun with hairstyles (which I know will be much more effort!).

Thank you for all of your advice!

-MM

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Mila is gorgeous
 
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Welcome to you and pretty Mila! Would love to hear about any differences you notice between Mila and a mini, besides size, lol. Congratulations, she鈥檚 a beauty.
 

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Thank you so much!

She is much different than our boy in personality鈥 more independent and sometimes thinks she knows better 馃槈 than the people. Ari (our MPoo) was a complete Velcro guy 鈥 our loyal servant, who never left the side of a human. Mila is like a best friend. She manages the household, making sure she knows where everyone is and their activities, but is not glued to our legs. She invents her own games and is great at entertaining (herself and others). Our male loved to play too, but only WITH people 鈥 our gal prefers people but is happy independent also... 馃槉

Our breeder has puppies Volhard tested before deciding on homes, so we knew our girl had some 2s in there! More effort with training, but she鈥檚 also loving our busy household and active family. We also requested a dog who would be okay with our special needs niece (she is unpredictable at times, and yes we supervise), and elderly. Mila is exactly right for us 鈥 not easily startled, confident, not shy or skittish, but of course more work on our part for consistency and maintaining our leadership (she鈥檇 happily take on that role too 馃槈).

Mila came primarily housebroken at 8 weeks old, with only a handful of accidents in the first weeks (and really they were our mistakes), she chews on her things, respects furniture rules, is crate trained, absolute doll in personality and greeting strangers (humans and other dogs), and was accustomed to grooming.

Our one challenge remains our walks... The trainers we have consulted want us to use training collars, but I feel badly about that route. Are there other ideas, or do we need to really go this route? Our current walks are stop-start-stop (once she stops pulling, we resume) 鈥 and I鈥檓 embarrassed to say as a result, most of our exercise is happening in the backyard. I have the training collars on hand (the German Spranger and a plastic prong also), but am loathe to use. We have a wonderful relationship (a stern tone is all required if she has a naughty moment) and I don鈥檛 want to cause mistrust (if it would be painful and confusing to her). Our male was so easy! Plastered to our legs and the leash was just for show 鈥 he would only venture more than an inch if we had his favorite tennis balls out. 鈽

Thank you for the welcome and appreciate any walk right suggestions!
 

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Welcome to you and pretty Mila! Would love to hear about any differences you notice between Mila and a mini, besides size, lol. Congratulations, she鈥檚 a beauty.
We have lazy-ish teenagers now 鈽

From my research (including this delightful forum), I read that while Standards play really hard, they are quieter house dogs. I would say this is true.

Our Ari was a total clown from day 1 until 14 years when he passed. He was always bugging someone with his fetch toys, even when we had just finished a game! Ari was the most delightful and perfect dog for our young kids, as he played to his heart's content鈥 and the kids adored him! He played at the playground too (a whiz with climbing the slide ladders and sliding down!). He was a wonderful swimmer as well 鈥 definitely one of the kids 鈽

We would get a mini again, after the kids are completely grown. The antics would keep us young! He never had any urinating issues that I鈥檝e read about here, or marking (maybe we were lucky?).

Our standard gal is a snoozer indoors, except when we get out her fishing/flirt pole! But wonderful running outside 鈥 and then glad to sleep or chew on cow ears/bully sticks for a few hours. She seems a little calmer and more refined than our Mini. For this life stage of virtual schooling and working from home, we thought a Standard was the way to go, as we do have quiet times during the days.

I can really see how people end up with one of each! 鈽
 

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Welcome to you and Mila -glad you could join us - your pup seems a delight and pretty to boot.
 

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Such a beautiful girl. I hope you鈥檒l post lots of photos.
I am also homeschooling a teenager due to the pandemic. Our dogs provide us with a lot of joy and comic relief. I think having dogs to spend time with will be a highlight in my daughter鈥檚 memories of this time.
 

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Such a gorgeous, happy girl you have! And your mini sounds like an amazing companion as well. Do you have any photos of Ari you could share? I love the idea of him going down the slides on playgrounds! My kids are 10 and 7, and that's basically their dream dog!

As far as loose leash walking, I would also avoid using shock or prong collars. I would use a front-attach harness for now anytime you actually need to go someplace without actively training loose leash. That way she's not getting reinforcement for pulling during those times. Being a boring tree is very difficult when you have someplace you need to get to in a timely fashion. And then train with a leash on her collar when you can, when you're at home or someplace that isn't too distracting. Set a desired object 15-20 feet away and then wrap the leash a couple of times around your hand and cross your arms firmly over your waist. That helps prevent her from getting even a little extra movement forward when she pulls (and is easier on your shoulder). Step forward as long as the leash is loose (defined by the snap hanging down, supported by her collar, not by the leash), stop and retreat to your starting place when she tightens the leash. Step forward, leash is loose, treat, step forward, leash is loose, treat, step forward, leash tightens, oops-- back to the beginning! Repeat as needed.

Oh-- pick a "desired object" that isn't TOO desirable. If she can't think straight because she wants so much to get to whatever-the-thing-is, then that's too desirable.
 

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She is gorgeous!!!

I personally would find different trainers if their first shot at solving a problem, unless it is something that can kill or seriously injure the dog, is with a training collar, as it can cause lasting damage if you use it improperly, especially with a sensitive breed like a Poodle. I highly suggest looking up CPDT-KA certified trainers in your area, as they must have extensive experience with dog training to be called such. That being said, I also have a puller, and her leash walking has improved extensively after using a Gentle Leader to turn her attention towards me. The key here is not to think of any training tool as a solution, but rather as a tool that will help you to get things under control.

When training a dog to walk on leash, I wouldn鈥檛 start by going out on walks, but rather, practice inside first. Oh, you stayed by me for one step? Okay! Click鈥攖reat. Another step? Okay! Click--treat. And so on until the dog is walking nicely indoors consistently. One thing to remember is that when you change a variable, such as going from inside to outside, you may very well have to retrain again. This is called proofing a behavior, and it鈥檚 why a lot of attempts fail: 鈥淲hy isn鈥檛 she walking nicely outside? She does it perfect inside!鈥 One has to remember, outside has squirrels and smells and lots of nice things for a dog to go exploring.

So again, don鈥檛 go straight to walking鈥攑ractice in the driveway first. It鈥檚 very likely that the minute you step outside, she鈥檚 going to be overwhelmed with all the sights and all the smells to see, so Pickleweed鈥檚 mentioning of acting like a very boring tree is going to act in your favor. Acting crazy excited is what we call being over threshold, and you really can鈥檛 do any training if the dog isn鈥檛 calm. So act like a statue until she turns her attention to you. If she鈥檚 acting super crazy (i.e., yapping, yanking, slobbering, biting at the leash), I wouldn鈥檛 do this, but if she鈥檚 only mildly interested in her surroundings (I.e., maybe only giving out a few barks, maybe shifting in place, ears forwards but entire head not overly looking forwards), the Gentle Leader does help with pulling her attention over to you, which is what I use it for. You only just barely tug it towards you (you don鈥檛 want to give the dog whiplash), and then you can click--treat for being good and continue with your training.

Once you鈥檝e got her walking nicely and under threshold in the driveway, you can repeat the process further and further away from home until she walks nicely, remembering for every situation, you may have to proof the behavior again. For example, if she lunges at other dogs, you鈥檒l need to work with her until she stops lunging. In addition, if it is at all possible, you should try to set her up for success by placing her in an environment where you know she has already preformed well. For example, if she walks nicely in the driveway, you can have someone bring a dog nearby. If she lunges normally around other dogs, I would expect her to lunge at that time, since again, this is a New Thing and therefore a New Situation.

Finally, remember that training loose leash walking takes a long time. A lot of trainers call it one of the hardest things to teach, so don鈥檛 get down on yourself if she isn鈥檛 walking beautifully immediately.

I know this post was a little long, so sorry if I overwhelmed you 馃槄. But I hope it helps!
 

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Hello and welcome! Mila is a stunner :)

Leash training is notoriously difficult in poodles. There are a couple of types of harnesses that can help and are gentler/kinder than aversives. But mostly it takes time.
I have never had a poodle that was difficult to leash train - but maybe that's because I have raised and trained dogs for so many years. I use collars, not harnesses. All of my poodles have been show dogs at some point in their lives, so leash training was started by 8 weeks. You cannot use a harness on a show poodle - it destroys the coat. You don't leave a collar on a show poodle for the same reason.

I start out by taking a few steps with a treat held above and in front of the poodle's head to get them to go forward with the head held high. (If your dog is small, you can put a bit of peanut butter on a wooden spoon so you can walk upright!) Lots of high-pitched talk as we go along - dogs seem to love hearing you use a high-pitched, squeaky voice.

We progress to having two kinds of leash walking - one for conformation in which the dog moves out at a springy trot in front of me and one for obedience where the dog stays by my side. I use different collars for the different styles - a fine, smooth, light-weight chain for conformation and a flat buckle collar for obedience.
 

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I鈥檓 embarrassed to say as a result, most of our exercise is happening in the backyard.
This is exactly how it should be! Absolutely no need for embarrassment. Exercise at that age should be a balance of unstructured play, slow and sniffy exploration, and brain games/training sessions. Learning to walk nicely on a leash falls under the brain category. :) You are right to follow your instincts.

Your girl sounds like a delight.
 

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Hello,

Our family is celebrating six months with our first standard poodle, Mila, who is a cream coloring. Our previous beloved poodle was a chocolate miniature, whom we absolutely adored for his 14 years of life. We were very fortunate to have brought home our new gal from the same breeder, and she is an absolute delight. I have appreciated scouring the forums for information as although much I knew, there was a lot I had forgotten (particularly about the land shark puppy stage!). I have also been blessed by the grooming information, as although our boy we kept clipped short, we want to grow our girl out and have some fun with hairstyles (which I know will be much more effort!).

Thank you for all of your advice!

-MM

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Beautiful 鉂も潳
 

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Try clicker training. Use long line work. I use a 20 foot lead on all my foster dogs. I have Boston terriers respecting the end of the leash within 20 minutes, usually half that time. Once they have that down you can start luring the dog to the heel using a treat, then click and treat. If your yard is too small, take her to the park.

Also, go with her for potty break to make sure she uses the right area. Treat. Then, walk away and pat your leg. Praise when she follows you. Play or something, or just let her run around. Use leg pat again to bring her to you. It's very nice to be able to just pat your leg.
 
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