Poodle Forum banner

Puppy only interested in environment / extremely distracted

2886 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  kontiki
I just got my standard poodle puppy 10 days ago at 8 weeks old. We are doing great with potty training and getting better on biting etc. We have enrolled in puppy class and so far have had one private session with the trainer and one regular puppy class (just yesterday). The breeder has advised strongly to only feed his kibble, no treats, as he has had trouble with dogs refusing food / almost starving themselves in the past (I think this concerned the mother and his sister from another litter).

I am worried about him being extremely distracted basically as soon as we leave the house, even for potty breaks in the yard. His nose is on the ground sniffing constantly and I am having a really hard time catching his attention at all. Obviously there was no chance of him focusing on me in puppy class. The trainer strongly advised to give higher value treats but had no other recommendations.

Do you have any recommendations on what I should try? This is my first dog, and I specifically wished for an easy to train puppy from the breeder :-(. I have read lots of books to prepare before he arrived, but none of them say what to do if the puppy refuses to pay any attention at all. I am trying my best but scared that he will grow up to be very badly behaved. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

PS: please excuse my english, it is not my first language :)
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 3 of 19 Posts
Thank you all so much for your kind replies. I tend to worry a lot and really don’t want to make any mistakes. Puppy class did throw me off too, because he was so much more distracted than any of the other pups. I am so happy to hear you think he is acting like a normal puppy tough.

Are you outside playing with him, or trying at least, or just out for potty business? One of our members who is a CPDT-KA trainer talks about creating "centripetal attraction" by engaging pups to simply follow them around the yard. If you move away from him, does he follow? If you throw a ball, will he chase it?
We do play outside, mostly on the porch as i have to have him on leash in the yard. But I will try and put him on a long line to play in the yard as well. He likes to play tug and will chase a ball too.
If I move away in the yard he does not care, mostly because he already knows his way around there I think. Out on walks he loosly follows me in that he keeps zooming around to the left and right of where I am walking and will catch up if I move too far away. He will usually not look at me though. Where I live it is generally recommended to take puppies out even before they have all their vaccinations. I did do fewer walks in the beginning, but then he had lots of extra energy he used for jumping and biting me...

I will try and work on generally being more exciting :).

At just over 9weeks old, it sounds like he might even be overwhelmed by all the activities.
What's his daily routine with your family? how much sleep does he get?
Our schedule is still moving around a bit. Currently during the day mostly he will sleep for around 2 hours, have a potty break (5 mins), a short play session (5-10 mins), roam around a bit inside where I can see him, then back to sleep. Three times a day I do a short walk (~15 mins) instead of the potty break, plus we cuddle in between. We also take the car to go somewhere (puppy class, short visit to family, vet, socialization) instead of our evening walk some days.

I agree with your trainer, use a higher value treat (maybe something just slightly better than the kibble- but most puppies won’t give you the time of day outside without something very delicious)
Would you not be worried about him refusing his normal food, now or later? I am wary of ignoring the breeder's recommendation as they were very insistent on this point.

Thanks everyone for the reading recommenations, I will look into all of them. Ian Dunbar's books I have read already.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks again for all your encouragement, I am feeling more confident already. I will probably give up on the no treat strategy and also keep working through your other recommendations. The puppy already appreciates the extra play sessions :)

See less See more
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 5
1 - 3 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.