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Scaredy-cat Standard Poodle Puppy

2785 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  RebeccaandHolly
Hello to all!

I'm new to forum but have been lurking here ever since I got our new standard poodle puppy Holly in October. She is 6.5 months old and about 45-50 lbs so she'll be on the big side for a female spoodle.

She's very sweet, VERY smart and very social with other dogs. Our issue is her socialization with people, particulary strangers. Since we've gotten her at 3 months old, we've socialized pretty heavily with other people, bringing her to Home Depot, Ace Hardware, having people over the house and going to other people's homes with her. Her reactions generally have been anywhere from excited but fairly calm acceptance to exhuberant (jumping up) but calming down quickly. Lately, within the last month or so, she's taken a turn into being somewhat timid to really scared of people. Last night, for example, we were walking down the street when we stopped to meet another dog and it's owner (both strangers to Holly). Holly did fine with the other dog but when the man went to say hi to Holly and pet her, she literally tried to bolt the other way and had a mini breakdown.

This is very concerning to me and I'm not sure what to do about it! We are working on her obedience training (we're on our third class at our training center and loving it), and we want Holly to feel comfortable and social when she's out and about, just like how she behaves at home.

Anyone else have this issue with their poodle? Any advice?
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Standard poodles can be like that.
All of mine were to a degree.
I think,that what you are doing is great and just stick to it.
They also go through different stages growing up.
I would not be overly concerned about it.
Carrying a treat with you and offering it to strangers to give your dog might help her see that other people are OK.
It might be a fear stage, which apparently they have two off. You can read about it here:


I found it quite interesting to good to know what to expect.
Thank you very much to both of you. It's been a while since I've had a puppy so the different stages of growth, though familiar, seem so intense when she's actually going through them (ie. fear period or the delightful 'testing boundaries' phase.)
I'll try to ramp up her positive associations with strangers and keep doing what I'm doing. Thanks!
It might be a fear stage, which apparently they have two off. You can read about it here:


I found it quite interesting to good to know what to expect.
How many of you train your dog the way K9 does on that forum? It seems very time consuming and difficult!! I like his concepts, but very unrealistic for my situation.
I have not done any drive training with T, but I did do the Triangle of Tempatation woith a very unruly boarder we had. The owner was at her wits end so asked while he was with me if I could try something. It worked quite well while we was with us and although she stopped not long after he went home, the dog has matured a little and is certainly better than he was.
We haven't done nearly enough obedience work with T and need to start doing some every day and getting him out and about. He is also in a fear period I think, today he was barking quite seriously at our morter and pestle which has been sitting on the kitchen cupboard ever since he came to live with us. But for some reason today he though it was going to jump off the cupbard and attack him :rofl:
Casey is going through a bark at every little noise thing I think has to do with a fear stage...I have been ignoring it until she gets the other going. If things get too serious she gets squrted with the water bottle.

She was being overly shy a few weeks ago, so I gave everyone who came in a cookie to give her, AFTER she sat as THEY instructed her, not me.

I take treats with me when on walks, and anyone who asks to pet her gets to give her a treat, after she sits for them. I even stalked the mail man with treats and her for 3 days in a row to MAKE SURE he gave her attention during this stage. You should have seen her wagging her tail for the UPS driver...she though he would have a treat for her too. She was happy when she figured out I got them a case of lamb ears...and when she didn't bark at him for knocking on the door she got the 1st one out of the box!

Now she is bounding up and sitting right in front of everyone she sees...DO YOU HAVE A COOKIE FOR ME??? Too funny! When someone knocks she will bark once or twice, then sit and wait for them to come in and give her a cookie.

Just have to be patient...I am sure she will come out of it soon!
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Thank you very much IPP for the advice. We've been working the last few days trying to figure out what freaks her out the most and it seems to be a quick hand movement to the hand (for a pat) from a stranger. If I do it, she's fine. We went to Home Depot the other day and she did GREAT with strangers giving her treats or petting her but if they walked right up to her without saying hello and and put their hand on her head, she got a little freaked out.

Holly also got to meet a stranger as they walked into the house this weekend and she did good. Funny enough--he was afraid of big dogs but liked her as she wasn't too bouncy or aggressive--go figure!

Oh these funny poodles--so complicated!
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