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Tips? Tricks? Commiseration? Bring it on!

I wasn't expecting it quite so soon, but Peggy's 26th week has brought us a whole new level of dog. Eeek! It kicked off with the worst puppy class we've ever had. Usually after a rocky start, she settles right in. But she was wild-eyed from the first minute right through to the last. Even our trainer's assistant, who's typically Peggy's biggest fan, stepped back with a "Whoa!"

Yes, there's positive progress. She snoozed on the couch with me for a full 20 minutes the other night. That's new! But mostly it feels like the bond we've worked so hard to forge with her is in tatters. A typical teen—she just doesn't think we're all that exciting anymore! And the rest of the world....well.....it's maybe a bit TOO exciting.

My husband came home from an especially challenging walk with her this afternoon and had to go right back out by himself to clear his head and regroup. And just now, as I was typing this, I nearly had a heart attack as she erupted into a fit of wild barking and growling. The trigger? The heat clicked on and a plastic bag floated off the counter and onto the floor. But that's nothing compared to reflections in dark windows.... Oh the drama.

I'd love to hear from anyone else who's navigating (or has navigated) this trying period. I've scoured the forum for other threads on the topic, but links to any particularly good ones would also be appreciated.
 

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What a great idea, and I’m here to support, although my Spoo is thankfully five. He went from wild teen, to college frat boy! Aim for poodle perfect at two and if you have a late bloomer like Buck, three is when you see the light. You just to have faith, patience and a sense of humor and keep plugging away on training. There will eventually be a day with no mistakes. Poodles may be slow to mature, but the bright side is they stay young at heart for most of their days.
 

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What a great idea, and I’m here to support, although my Spoo is thankfully five. He went from wild teen, to college frat boy! Aim for poodle perfect at two and if you have a late bloomer like Buck, three is when you see the light. You just to have faith, patience and a sense of humor and keep plugging away on training. There will eventually be a day with no mistakes. Poodles may be slow to mature, but the bright side is they stay young at heart for most of their days.
I appreciate that so much! It's hard not to compare her to other dogs in class. The difference between breeds is really quite extraordinary. We have a few herding breeds and they only have eyes for their handlers. Meanwhile Peggy's knocking down fences to say hi to everyone. And then trying to knock them down, too!

I'll keep my eyes on the poodle prize ? My mini blossomed at 2 and then truly bloomed at 3.
 

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Be thankful you enjoyed that sweet, eager poodle puppy before the teen years kicked in.

I got Babykins when she was almost a year old and definitely in the wild teenage years. I would say I started to see her settle down around three.

Just keep plugging away and you will see progress. Don’t compare your dog to others, they are all different. I did find it helpful to train a little every day, and vary where you train, including outside, in a park, inside a store that allows dogs etc.
 

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Be thankful you enjoyed that sweet, eager poodle puppy before the teen years kicked in.

I got Babykins when she was almost a year old and definitely in the wild teenage years. I would say I started to see her settle down around three.

Just keep plugging away and you will see progress. Don’t compare your dog to others, they are all different. I did find it helpful to train a little every day, and vary where you train, including outside, in a park, inside a store that allows dogs etc.
Our foster GSD was well into adolescence when we got her, and while I absolutely adored her, my first-time-puppy-owner husband felt very overwhelmed. He definitely needed to ease into that stage with a puppy he'd grown with.

And the plugging away is definitely key. Thank you for the reminder. It's tempting to leave her at home so we can get a break, especially during evening outings when she gets easily spooked. But that's not going to serve her (or us) well in the long-term.

This evening I realized she'd been going going going since 6:30am without a good uninterrupted nap, so I just tucked her into her crate with a kong and some frozen banana and she's out like a light. I'm sure her overtiredness was contributing to her crazies. Easy to forget they're still babies when they're suddenly running around in giant bodies.
 

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Great thread- I’ve enjoyed watching Peggy grow up here.

Gracie will be a year old on 12/1 and we’ve had our ups and downs. She was such a good puppy, until eight months or so, then something flipped in her brain! I talk about it in this thread

Since then we have made progress, back in October I wrote about some progress here , and she’s continued to move forward since then. We worked a lot on short distance recalls, gradually progressing to longer distances and used a lot of high value treats. She’s pretty shameless when it comes to food, which helps!

We also did a lot of impulse control, working on leave it and progressively longer stays. She’s still very bratty at times but is doing much better in those areas.

But oy, the chewing! She has destroyed the TV remote, a pair of eyeglasses, the corner of my IPad cover, a couple hair clips....and that’s just the last couple weeks. Anything that has my scent on it is fair game.

And she’s bratty toward the other dogs, operates under the principle that everything belongs to her. She will swoop in and take a toy or chewie right from Max or Lily- and they let her. Lily will grumble a little bit but totally give up the resource. Misty, OTOH, puts her in her place, and will not surrender, which is much needed. So, she just doesn’t bother Misty, but Iwish the others would correct her.

So that is my sweet, bratty girl! Perseverance and consistency are the keys, but easier said than done.
 

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LOL, boy this board has been a saver. I have vented many a time since Renn came into my life. He spooked at a lot of things and like to bark at people or other dogs and would leap I'm guessing 4 ft in the air during a walk when he got excited over something. Thankfully he is much much better now. But there are times. Yesterday I threw a ball for him he caught it mid air by leaping at least 3ft up. He absolutely loves my daughters now and when one comes in or wakes he gets especially excited and will try and do his puppy leap in the air to get to her. I calm him down as I am afraid he will hurt himself and since I have mostly wood n tile the floors can be especially slippery for him. You work a lot with Peggy so I am sure she will settle down. Renn is a late bloomer, he will be 2 Dec 2nd. and he now is very willing to work with with me. He loves playing outback with me.
 

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... And just now, as I was typing this, I nearly had a heart attack as she erupted into a fit of wild barking and growling. The trigger? The heat clicked on and a plastic bag floated off the counter and onto the floor. But that's nothing compared to reflections in dark windows.... Oh the drama...

That's actually pretty funny.

"OMG! Mom! Did you hear that! And Mom, did you see that! An inanimate object is flying on it's own! Like a bird! A clicking bird! But it's a bag! OMG, Mom, what if other things start clicking and flying around? I don't trust that microwave either, it could attack us! Are we safe? Mom! Are you listening to me?!? I'll bark louder."

And about school... "Mom, the teacher doesn't want me to have fun! Just blah blah blah, sit still, lie down, don't look at my friends, what's up with that? He gets to look at you! You all get to talk! Why I can't I do that with my friends? It's not fair! Girls just wanna have fun. Don't get mad at me, it's the teacher. And no I don't wanna do homework... Oh look! A squirrel!"

Getting into Peggy's head and seeing the world from her point of view will give you many moments of sheer comedy. Your reactions to her may change from being tense to patience and laughing at her and casually saying the same kind of things you might say a kid.

"Yeah, school has challenges, just get with the program. You'll figure it out." That attitude will keep you calm and confident, and Peggy will feel your easy going manner. If you're tense and reactive, she'll match it.

"Oooh! I caught the flying bag! Let's play with it!" and the tug of war game is on! She's gone from panic to fun by seeing you're not scared either, which she might otherwise think if you're tense, not realizing you're tense over her reaction rather than the bag.

Or, "Peggy, I heard you acted a fool on your walk. We're gonna rehearse this if it takes ten times getting out of the door or 20 feet from the house and going back inside until you understand you can't go around dragging either of us down the street."


One of the dog trainers I like is Dog Training by Kikopup YouTube channel. Here's a video that not only address how to stop barking at the door, which may not be a problem so far, but how to work with other trigger behaviors and how to eliminate them. There are many fine dog trainers and videos which other members can share.


 

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Keep patient!! Norman is a teenage hormonal mess... and I am his FAVORITE toy but I can be easily ignored. He is doing this thing where if I go "missing" for longer than 30 seconds he hunts for me. I'm talking nose to the ground RUNNING around like a mad man. When he finds me, all hell breaks loose. He jumps on me, bites all over my arms, licks me, runs in circles around me, jumps on the furniture and back to jumping all over me. But after this??? I am old news!! Lol!! He has periods of ignoring me and chooses my mother over me. Which I find very funny. Total teenage drama!! If he has to put his harness on to go outside he will either run away, try and bite the harness, or drop to the ground and act like he's invisible.. But the moment I click the harness on hes so happy and running to the door to go play!! Like what?? So dramatic!!

Be patient with Peggy. It'll be a minute but use this time as training for you and her. I cannot even tell you the amount of things Norman hides from me now (socks, shoes, bras). AND we have (drum roll please) 2 tables, 4 couches, 1 ottoman, 2 stairs, 1 corner of floor boards, 2 wooden window blinds, 3 hair clips, 1 headphone set, 2 eye-glasses, 3 shoe insoles, many many socks, and many pants completely RUINED!! I know I am forgetting a lot of things. He is a wild mess. He will get scared of sounds or shadows, but he takes anger out on objects. Things have gotten a LOT better. And sharing all the things hes broken is very embarrassing for me because it makes it look like i am a bad owner, But hes a wild drama filled puppy. I share this to show you that it could always be worse!!! Peggy is just learning her emotions and how to react. She doesn't understand the sounds she hears or maybe she's in the mood to make some noise! I know Norman can be sleeping and the next minute hes barking for no reason!

We're in this together! I am trying to navigate where he is at in his learning/development but it can be challenging. But it is all worth it in the end. If I had to go through all of the broken items again to have my wonderful happy boy, I would in a heartbeat. He is so smart, happy, and bring me joy. I wouldn't trade my Norman for anything!!!

As for tips and tricks, I do many things. Calming music. Talking to him. -/+ reinforcement and punishments. But the best thing I have tried is focusing his energy on something else. When he has the zoomies I take him outside and let him run after a ball or the leaves in the yard. Focus her barking on something else. Maybe use that to start training her to "speak" or use that to train her to "hush". Showing her the appropriate times to bark on your command.

Good luck!!!
 

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I feel you! Misha is 8 months old now and swings wildly from perfect adorable dog to crazy monster. Thankfully he is still great with other dogs and has plenty of confidence. He approaches everything with a "How can I play with this" attitude. He has his bad habits like stealing my dirty clothes and getting into the trash. I still keep him in a pen if I can't watch him. In class he will perform perfectly until he gets bored, and then he will start zooming around like a madman (usually as soon as trainer starts watching us!). He's a bit of a whiner when he wants something he can't have, and that can be annoying. He's also not out of the mouthy stage and has episodes of shark attack mode.

In regard to focus on handler, I try to remember that I'd much rather have a dog that likes strangers and other dogs than one that doesn't!
 

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Great idea for a thread! If you look way back at some of my oldest posts here you will see evidence of some of my misadventures with Lily's earliest days and then her crazy teenage life. Honestly although I loved her from the get go I don't think I liked her very much until she was about 18 months old. Like your husband I had days where I just walked out and left the chaos behind.

I have otld this lesson before, but it bears repeating all of that insanity actually really was of great personal help to me in balancing my tendency towards a short fuse. The more I dreaded what crazy stuff was going on with Lily and Peeves when they were young the crazier they acted. One day I almost didn't even pull in the driveway let alone want to go in the house. It was at a point when BF was home with the dogs during the day and they were usually loose when I came home. The normal thing that happened were that Lily would run up to me, jump on me like a lunatic and grab at my hands and clothes. I had many small cuts from needle teeth all the time and she ruined a number of pieces of clothing. I was at my wits end so after I parked I took a walk and did some deep breathing. I made sure my internal attitude was happy and relaxed to truly match my external body language and signals. I opened the door and Lily started to charge at me and when she was about 3 feet away a miracle happened and she stopped in her tracks, I said sit, she sat and we had a very nice and polite greeting for the first time. It took me a while to really change myself, but as I did so did Lily. Even after a hard and frustrating day if I do a little calming breathing we always have happy and polite greetings now.

As to Javelin I am not sure if it is him having a different general demeanor as a boy, just having a different personality all around or me being a more relaxed person now generally (or most likely a combination of all of those) but he has been the easiest puppy and adolescent dog. He was super easy to housebreak, has always been very willing to work at learning his basics and his tasks and is a sweet cuddle bug. If he had been a tough teenager I might have been part of a canicide/suicide news story.


Bottom line for those of you in the midst of the chaos of adolescence eventually you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and it won;t be a train coming to run you down.
 

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I loooove this thread. I think both Noodle and my daughter are tweens (and I’m scared for the teens).

This morning, both of them had minor meltdowns over the most routine of things. What? You’re going to work like you do every weekday? But... I miss you. Don’t you want to be with me? I’m sad.

Last night, I was the worst mom in the world for (1) trying to help the kid with her homework and (2) getting between Noodle and a dog who was playing rough.

Recall around any set of distractions is a joke. Even when I have chicken!

But I do have a question. I see on here a lot, don’t make anything bad happen after a recall. But let’s say Noodle has stolen something he shouldn’t have (so many lovely things to choose from this time of year, gloves, scarves, jackets, homework, pencils etc). I can’t catch him because he is crazy crazy fast. So I have to call him. I do try to give him a treat but even chicken pales in comparison to a dirty tissue. And if he gets mouthy while we are in negotiations, I put him away. So I guess I’m tainting the recall. But not sure what else to do...
 

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I feel you! Misha is 8 months old now and swings wildly from perfect adorable dog to crazy monster. Thankfully he is still great with other dogs and has plenty of confidence. He approaches everything with a "How can I play with this" attitude. He has his bad habits like stealing my dirty clothes and getting into the trash. I still keep him in a pen if I can't watch him. In class he will perform perfectly until he gets bored, and then he will start zooming around like a madman (usually as soon as trainer starts watching us!). He's a bit of a whiner when he wants something he can't have, and that can be annoying. He's also not out of the mouthy stage and has episodes of shark attack mode.

In regard to focus on handler, I try to remember that I'd much rather have a dog that likes strangers and other dogs than one that doesn't!
"How can I play with this?"

I LOVE THAT. It's a subtle but meaningful alternative to how I've been viewing Peggy's attitude. Basically: "Is that some trouble I can get into??"

The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. If I frame Peggy as naughty instead of curious, it will impact how I interact with her, which in turn affects her behaviour.
 

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I thought about this thread on our training walk today. I gave her a nice loose leash and let her explore her heart out, praising her enthusiastically every time she checked in with me. I gave her a chance to investigate things with her nose rather than incessantly barking "LEAVE IT." And 9 times out of 10, she left it on her own. Good girl, Peggy.

Her jackpot reward was a lap around Petco. She got to sniff ferrets and meet another puppy.
 

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LOL, boy this board has been a saver. I have vented many a time since Renn came into my life. He spooked at a lot of things and like to bark at people or other dogs and would leap I'm guessing 4 ft in the air during a walk when he got excited over something. Thankfully he is much much better now. But there are times. Yesterday I threw a ball for him he caught it mid air by leaping at least 3ft up. He absolutely loves my daughters now and when one comes in or wakes he gets especially excited and will try and do his puppy leap in the air to get to her. I calm him down as I am afraid he will hurt himself and since I have mostly wood n tile the floors can be especially slippery for him. You work a lot with Peggy so I am sure she will settle down. Renn is a late bloomer, he will be 2 Dec 2nd. and he now is very willing to work with with me. He loves playing outback with me.
I am VERY FAMILIAR with those leaps. Today I imagined her shouting "I'm a poodle! I'm a poodle!" each time she did it, and that improved my patience a bit. I just really don't like when she does it to other people, especially when she tries to "shake" their hand (i.e. mouth it). Most people respond well, but the ones who don't tend to leave a real impression. And their feelings are totally warranted. I wouldn't want 40 lbs of strange fluff and teeth launched into my face either.
 

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Well, my former wild child, terrible teen, frat boy seems to be on a 5 + year graduation schedule! We had a vet visit today and Buck, cleared the brochures off the receptionist’s ledge by jumping up. DH had the leash (weak link) and can you believe the receptionist thought it was cute and gave him a treat?!!! Meanwhile I’m picking outgoing mail off the floor. Grrrrr! Good news is he is very compliant and stoic for exams and jabs. Maybe we should have managed some no worries, drop in visits, during his socialization.
 

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Well, my former wild child, terrible teen, frat boy seems to be on a 5 + year graduation schedule! We had a vet visit today and Buck, cleared the brochures off the receptionist’s ledge by jumping up. DH had the leash (weak link) and can you believe the receptionist thought it was cute and gave him a treat?!!! Meanwhile I’m picking outgoing mail off the floor. Grrrrr! Good news is he is very compliant and stoic for exams and jabs. Maybe we should have managed some no worries, drop in visits, during his socialization.
I'm so sorry for laughing! We had a similarly exuberant experience at the vet's office today. The one highlight was her impeccable sit and wait on the scale. I'll take what I can get!

Here she is with the vet assistant, moments after getting her first rabies shot. Not a care in the world.
 

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When a girl's gotta shred, a girl's gotta shred!

Peggy had some energy to burn off, so she got her lunch today divided between a Kong Wobbler and a Tug-a-Jug. She was also given lots of paper to "recycle." So, needless to say, her pen was QUITE the mess.....but I don't think she minded one bit.

All you poodle owners doing adolescence without an x-pen, I salute you. This thing's been a lifesaver.
 

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My poor boy, Mr. Layne, would love to be a wild child but he has two very large friends who won't have it. He jumped up at popped his teeth near my hands & my Giant went after him. One does not snap at Mom. I had to settle her & decided to teach him a game she is quite familiar with, although at 8.5 she wouldn't dream of such foolishness now. I act a bit like a matador with a charging bull. I use my hands like the cape. They are allowed to jump up & bite at but not actually bite hands or arms (or other body parts). So if you were near my yard, you'd hear "aaahh ahh, no teeth" & the same goes for feet, "ahhh ahhh none of that, no feet". He learned very quickly that the game ends if he breaks the rules. So he runs circles around me & we play charging bull. What's so cute is now that we've played the game a few times he'll come up & bump me to start the game but ever so often he stops & has to have some lovin'. Those big love-filled eyes look at me like, "did I get it right? Did I do good?" LOL So he has an outlet for the crazies. I have a small ball that's made like a basket ball but it's smaller. I am hoping I can get him to play something like soccer poodle style :)

But the one thing that I find helpful with the teenage shenanigans is to find an outlet to help them be crazy. I also put an end to the game on command. I say things like, "alright, that's enough" & head for the house. It took two times of this for him to get it & today he asked for hugs & love rather than trying to push for more "bullfighting". This game isn't for everyone especially if your pup doesn't have a good off switch but every youngster has something that you can do that helps them with the crazy. For my Giant it was a stick. I'd get 2-3 sticks & would throw one. She would run & attack it, run like a mad thing & just before the fun would fade, I'd show her the next stick. She'd drop the old one & run like mad to attack the next one. For my Collie she was a little easier. Just go out in the yard & walk & she would zoom around. She also loves to retrieve so I had her learn that I would NOT throw unless she sat quietly then I'd throw it. Then I taught her to release on command. This put a point & usefulness to the game. The Collie needs purpose to what she does or she's out. Even as a pup. My Dobermans were pretty easy back in the day as they would run & you could play 'get yer butt' with them (act like you were going to grab their rumps as they run by). The Malinois was my most challenging as she could do ten things before I could tell her to get out of the first thing. But there's always something you can do. For that dog, thankfully I lived on a big farm so I could just work with her even as a small pup doing farm stuff & agility in the woods. But the point is the antidote - at least at my house - for the teen crazies is finding something that works the vinegar out of them so they can be sweet & pay attention again. I love brain games for dogs but they have to burn off the crazies.
 

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When a girl's gotta shred, a girl's gotta shred!

Peggy had some energy to burn off, so she got her lunch today divided between a Kong Wobbler and a Tug-a-Jug. She was also given lots of paper to "recycle." So, needless to say, her pen was QUITE the mess.....but I don't think she minded one bit.

All you poodle owners doing adolescence without an x-pen, I salute you. This thing's been a lifesaver.
HA! No way. I would not manage without an x pen. I think poodles are good at teaching us how to find enjoyment from the most mundane things. Like discovering how many pieces a receipt can be shredded into. Hint: It's a lot more than you think!

Last time Misha was at the vet he peed on the reception counter and I was mortified.
 
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