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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! I was wondering what I should do. I have this problem with Sisko. Instead of playing with his toys, he will start sniffing around looking for things to get into until I stop him. We go through this almost everyday. I only manage it by either putting his leash on or by putting him in my mom's room by himself, but I don't know how to stop it.

This is kinda unrelated, but when I put him in my mom's room by himself, he will just stay right in front of the door until he is let out. Can I have some suggestions for this too please? I want to get him to stay away from the door.
 

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Misha looks for things to mess with when he's bored. He will probably stop if he gets more mental engagement through playing or training or puzzles to work on. If he's had lots of engagement already but still continues, he may benefit from some enforced nap time in a crate.
 

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I would really like to get him to a point where he can be trusted by himself in the living room. I would also like for him to be comfortable by himself too. He always has to be around and close to someone to feel okay (okay, not everytime, but I would say 85% of the time). I know he has to have anxiety because he will either lick and or chew at himself even while he is resting and even after getting good exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Misha looks for things to mess with when he's bored. He will probably stop if he gets more mental engagement through playing or training or puzzles to work on. If he's had lots of engagement already but still continues, he may benefit from some enforced nap time in a crate.
Okay, thank you! I have been looking into puzzles. I'm taking a timeout from him and hiding from him. He has a ton of engagement everyday, but probably not enough mental engagement, that can be hard because of him getting frustrated with training.
 

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Can you try clicker training? Both Annie and I get way less frustrated with clicker training.

I also learned to do multiple things in a session. So practice sit/down stand for 2 -3 repetitions, then work on luring bow for 4 reps, then practice "cross your feet ", then down stay, then peekaboo. Or whatever. A bunch of mini practice sessions rolled into one 5 to 10 min session. Otherwise I found she just got boted/frustrated and stopped trying. I find it amazing that she wont get something at all one day, and I will be SO frustrated, and the next day she immediately does it perfectly. It's like she needs time to mull it over and figure out what I want.
 

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Meet the dog where he is. When Sisko is being disobedient, what does he choose to do? Can you channel these rebellions into a game?

Heres an example. The other day Galen was running around mindlessly yipping and jumping on poor Pogo. It was obvious he wanted to move. Working on "sit" would have just frustrated both of us. So, I worked him only on things that involved running and jumping.

He already knows how to walk through a hoop and touch the end of a targeting stick. I added extra movement by running around with the hoop and the stick. He had to chase them in order to go through the hoop and reach the end of the stick. He thought being able to chase and "catch" the toys was really fun. I made sure to stop before he got bored.

Next I taught him "hop up" and "get off" using a low stone bench in my yard. For five minutes he simply jumped on and off tthe bench. Just burning excess energy while becoming familiar with two new commands. Again, I stopped before he got bored.

I then introduced him to "heel" as a chase game with treats. I quickly walked around the yard, sometimes running, weaving around the shrubbery. If I looked down and saw a puppy at my side he got a treat. Again, burning energy by doing something he wanted to do anyway- run and chase- while channeling it in a useful direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can you try clicker training? Both Annie and I get way less frustrated with clicker training.

I also learned to do multiple things in a session. So practice sit/down stand for 2 -3 repetitions, then work on luring bow for 4 reps, then practice "cross your feet ", then down stay, then peekaboo. Or whatever. A bunch of mini practice sessions rolled into one 5 to 10 min session. Otherwise I found she just got boted/frustrated and stopped trying. I find it amazing that she wont get something at all one day, and I will be SO frustrated, and the next day she immediately does it perfectly. It's like she needs time to mull it over and figure out what I want.
Yes, I can! I have 4 clickers! I don't know what to do with the other ones since no one else uses them, but me🙃. Maybe I can get my youngest brother to start using the clicker too😁.

Okay, thank you!! I will try this!!
 

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Yes, I can! I have 4 clickers! I don't know what to do with the other ones since no one else uses them, but me🙃. Maybe I can get my youngest brother to start using the clicker too😁.

Okay, thank you!! I will try this!!
Be careful letting your brother use the clicker. If he's like many 10 year old boys he will get excited and click randomly, repeatedly. That will ruin the sound as a marker. Set both him and Sisko up for success. Think about a specific task within the attention span of both a wound up dog and a wound up boy.
 

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When Peggy starts poking around like that she's either bored or tired. Assuming I've already given her ample exercise and engagement for the day, both can be quickly solved with something good to chew on in her pen.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When Peggy starts poking around like that she's either bored or tired. Assuming I've already given her ample exercise and engagement for the day, both can be quickly solved with something good to chew on in her pen.
Okay, thank you😁 We tried giving Sisko a yak cheese chew last night be himself and he didn't want it🥺 maybe some peanut butter in his Kong instead or a bully stick.
 

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I have found that my Spoo really hates it when the house is too orderly! His favorite times have been when I am working on a project like painting, or having repair work done, and things are chaos.

Also, ... He loves to play hide and seek, either with me, or with his ball or some other toy. I tell him 'washroom' and he goes in the laundry room to hide where he can't see me (you can spend time training this!), and then I sneak around and either hide myself, in the dark, or his object, either in daylight, or now in the dark, in harder and harder places. While I am hiding something I walk all over and touch different things with the object so he has to do a lot of sniffing to find it. First things were in plain sight with the lights on, and now under and behind and in things.

So this uses tracking, scent work, thinking, etc and he absolutely loves it.
 

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Hide and seek is what I was about to write about, but Kontiki beat me to it. By all means, play hide and seek. It's fun for the dog and reinforces recall, which is always a good thing.

You were asking when Sisko can be trusted to be alone in the living room? I'd say somewhere between 18 months and two years is when the snoopy phase starts to fade. Young dogs aren't trustworthy anymore than a four-year-old child is trustworthy. Eyes on the dog, or the dog is in a crate. That being said, poodles are people dogs that shadow their handlers. It's in their nature to want to be with us. It's our job to teach them how to do that in ways that don't drive us crazy.

Does Sisko know how to settle on a mat? It's one of the foundation behaviors I train young dogs. I want them to be addicted to the mat on the floor. Noelle, to this day, gets so excited by her mat that I have a hard time putting it on the floor. And when I do put it on the floor, she dives on it, lies down, and does not move off her mat until I ask her off. How did I do this? By making being on the mat incredibly rewarding.

You'll need a dog mat, the highest value treats you can think of, like warm leftover dinner bits in a bowl by your side. treats should be the size of a pea, remember. Small treats, but good ones. Put the mat on the floor, and click when the dog notices the mat, and give a treat. Dog steps on the mat, treat. Ask for a Sit on the mat, treat. Ask for a Down on the mat, 15 treats one after the other. Toss a treat off the mat. Toss a treat on the mat and see if Sisko offers a down. If you get a down, 15 more treats.

Here is where the addiction is created. When the dog is down, put a piece of food by his paw every other second until you run out of treats. If he gets off the mat, the magic treat fairy disappears. As long as he is lying down and on that mat, the magic treat fairy drops the tastiest things in the world every other second. The next day, same game, but every third second. Eventually, gradually, gradually, get to the point where you put food on the floor during commercial breaks while watching TV.

Dogs like to have a job, and lying down and staying on a mat is a job. The nice thing about a mat addicted dog is you can put it on the floor in a busy area, and the dog is content to stay there. It has a high reinforcement history and makes the mat the place to be. I bring Noelle's mat to dog shows and put it under my chair. She's content to stay on her mat and watch the world go by. I think in the living room, having your dog like being on a mat would be useful.

Dogs need to learn how to do... nothing. It's something we forget to train, but sometimes having a dog that does nothing is a blessing. Introduce Sisko to his off button by giving him a mat. Create an incredibly high rate of reinforcement on the mat. I don't put chew bones on the mat. Nothing happens on the mat except random treats from me. So, Noelle just hangs out on her mat happily waiting for a treat to appear. And they do, because I'm fair. I started giving treats every other second. Now it's every half an hour or so.

Raise criteria gradually, but raise it steadily. Not every level is a boss battle, so if you are raising criteria all the way to the top, next treat comes easily. One second, two seconds, three seconds, one second, two seconds, four seconds, one second, three seconds, five seconds, one second... See? If you are asking for more than you have ever asked for before, that's a boss level. Drop criteria to nothing after that. Dog training should involve as little frustration as possible. Challenging yes, frustrating? No.

You got this. Keep it up.
 

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Peggy's absolutely not to be trusted these days!! Funny how they can make so much good progress only to abruptly grow little devil horns. Today she stole a dish towel, happily traded it for a treat, and then promptly stole a facecloth. Hmmmm.... I wonder if I'm being played. :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have found that my Spoo really hates it when the house is too orderly! His favorite times have been when I am working on a project like painting, or having repair work done, and things are chaos.

Also, ... He loves to play hide and seek, either with me, or with his ball or some other toy. I tell him 'washroom' and he goes in the laundry room to hide where he can't see me (you can spend time training this!), and then I sneak around and either hide myself, in the dark, or his object, either in daylight, or now in the dark, in harder and harder places. While I am hiding something I walk all over and touch different things with the object so he has to do a lot of sniffing to find it. First things were in plain sight with the lights on, and now under and behind and in things.

So this uses tracking, scent work, thinking, etc and he absolutely loves it.
Okay, awesome thank you!! Sisko and I play hide-n-seek, and we love it, and I add his toys in it sometimes. I haven't played with the lights off yet(We have neighbors downstairs and Sisko likes to run almost everywhere like a toddler😫)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hide and seek is what I was about to write about, but Kontiki beat me to it. By all means, play hide and seek. It's fun for the dog and reinforces recall, which is always a good thing.

You were asking when Sisko can be trusted to be alone in the living room? I'd say somewhere between 18 months and two years is when the snoopy phase starts to fade. Young dogs aren't trustworthy anymore than a four-year-old child is trustworthy. Eyes on the dog, or the dog is in a crate. That being said, poodles are people dogs that shadow their handlers. It's in their nature to want to be with us. It's our job to teach them how to do that in ways that don't drive us crazy.

Does Sisko know how to settle on a mat? It's one of the foundation behaviors I train young dogs. I want them to be addicted to the mat on the floor. Noelle, to this day, gets so excited by her mat that I have a hard time putting it on the floor. And when I do put it on the floor, she dives on it, lies down, and does not move off her mat until I ask her off. How did I do this? By making being on the mat incredibly rewarding.

You'll need a dog mat, the highest value treats you can think of, like warm leftover dinner bits in a bowl by your side. treats should be the size of a pea, remember. Small treats, but good ones. Put the mat on the floor, and click when the dog notices the mat, and give a treat. Dog steps on the mat, treat. Ask for a Sit on the mat, treat. Ask for a Down on the mat, 15 treats one after the other. Toss a treat off the mat. Toss a treat on the mat and see if Sisko offers a down. If you get a down, 15 more treats.

Here is where the addiction is created. When the dog is down, put a piece of food by his paw every other second until you run out of treats. If he gets off the mat, the magic treat fairy disappears. As long as he is lying down and on that mat, the magic treat fairy drops the tastiest things in the world every other second. The next day, same game, but every third second. Eventually, gradually, gradually, get to the point where you put food on the floor during commercial breaks while watching TV.

Dogs like to have a job, and lying down and staying on a mat is a job. The nice thing about a mat addicted dog is you can put it on the floor in a busy area, and the dog is content to stay there. It has a high reinforcement history and makes the mat the place to be. I bring Noelle's mat to dog shows and put it under my chair. She's content to stay on her mat and watch the world go by. I think in the living room, having your dog like being on a mat would be useful.

Dogs need to learn how to do... nothing. It's something we forget to train, but sometimes having a dog that does nothing is a blessing. Introduce Sisko to his off button by giving him a mat. Create an incredibly high rate of reinforcement on the mat. I don't put chew bones on the mat. Nothing happens on the mat except random treats from me. So, Noelle just hangs out on her mat happily waiting for a treat to appear. And they do, because I'm fair. I started giving treats every other second. Now it's every half an hour or so.

Raise criteria gradually, but raise it steadily. Not every level is a boss battle, so if you are raising criteria all the way to the top, next treat comes easily. One second, two seconds, three seconds, one second, two seconds, four seconds, one second, three seconds, five seconds, one second... See? If you are asking for more than you have ever asked for before, that's a boss level. Drop criteria to nothing after that. Dog training should involve as little frustration as possible. Challenging yes, frustrating? No.

You got this. Keep it up.
Okay, thank you! He is 2 now, but will still sniff around and look for stuff to get into (SNOOPY POODLE😬😖)

He doesn't yet, but I have a mat that we can use for this, and I have treats that Sisko LOVES. I mean like really really loves.

Okay, thank you, so much. I will start this tomorrow😁
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Peggy's absolutely not to be trusted these days!! Funny how they can make so much good progress only to abruptly grow little devil horns. Today she stole a dish towel, happily traded it for a treat, and then promptly stole a facecloth. Hmmmm.... I wonder if I'm being played. :unsure:
Oh, no! I know right?! I think Peggy is playing you🧐
 
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