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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn’t begin a year-long thread for Bennie’s first year. But I really love the idea of having a virtual scrapbook here... We’ll see if I can keep up with it! I’m notoriously great for taking photos of my humans, and not so great for printing and framing.
I’ll start with a few photos from Gotcha Day, back in October, as well as the day or two after

Bennie was born on Friday August 13, one day after my most beloved cat Puppy was cremated, and one day after my Mumma’s birthday (also deceased). Hard to explain, but it’s really felt like she and Puppy exchanged some info before she carried his torch on. Maybe more on that later...





Dog Water dog Carnivore Dog breed Gesture

Dog Water dog Working animal Carnivore Collar

Dog Water dog Carnivore Dog breed Gesture

Dog Water dog Comfort Carnivore Dog breed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rewind to the ONNNNNNNLY time she’s ever been allowed on the couch (Partner is allergic). She’d been home for one week and I think he was feeling soft 😝.

Other two pics are from today. The sun was shining and I was sitting where I used to always sit with my sweet cat, Puppy. I had a moment where I was really feeling him and I was also loving the way B’s colouring was looking in the sunshine
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We hit up the lake this weekend. It was the most free Bennie has ever been— we let her run off leash to her little heart’s content. We did some recalls and I was SO pleased with how this near-7 month old did, particularly when it came to be releashed a couple of times when folks showed up in the park.

Branch Wood Road surface Asphalt Woody plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No posting for the past month or so... household’s been pretty boring with stomach bugs and a second round of COVID.

Bennie would like to ask what the heck happened to trail walks and play?! The weather was just starting to get good, too!

She was beginning to look rather bedraggled. So I busted out the scissors and clippers today to freshen her up...

...To which she looked at me rather side-eyed, after watching me buzz off my waist length hair myself two weeks ago 🙊

We aren’t done yet. And I can’t say I really know what I’m doing. But after my own liberating hair adventures, I can say I’ve found a whole new experience of “meh, it’s only hair!”

Dog Water dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog

Dog Water dog Carnivore Dog breed Companion dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
We’ve so much work to do with this nosey poodle. I must make a habit of getting out regularly for relaxation training in public. It’s so hard with all of my school deadlines 🥴

Took the kids to the park after school today. Was a lot of work keeping her engaged with me, but she done good. Right after we arrived, she had a quick long lead romp in the open green area. Then I had her settle next to me, under a tree. She watched the kids playing from a distance with no whining, albeit panting a bit excitedly. Then another dog arrived and I thought uh oh game over. Thankfully the owner had the common sense to just stay at a distance, so I could continue to work with Bennie on her settle.

She’s due for another trim. I’m considering going short a la Ms. Peggy, as coat change approaches. Plus I figure it’ll be nice for the summer heat.


Speaking of heat... when did your poodle have her first heat? I realize I actually only know what I’ve read here on PF so far (thankfully!) She’ll be a year in August. I have until then? Or should I be prepared for earlier?
Dog Water dog Carnivore Dog breed Working animal
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
First heat seems to vary a lot. Just from reading up on here and chatting with local poodle people I’ve heard people report as early as 8-9 months and as late as 18 months to 2 years. If I did the math I the biggest number of first heats would be within a couple months of 1 year old. Oona’s was at 13 months.
I'm taking this as a sign to just go and get my supplies this week. Or begin to, anyhow. I'm not ready!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I’m not sure what makes adolescent dog training harder... the adolescence itself or clueless people or my own old habits of not wanting to be disliked.

I’m working really hard on teaching Bennie to just ignore others when we are out and about. She’s SO FRIENDLY and NOSEY. This morning’s walk started out okay. Managed to walk past a couple of dogs without lunging or losing minds. Sometimes I have her sit off to the side and we do Look at That. Other items if I sense the other dog is equally as unskilled as walking on by, I distance us as much as possible and play “with me” using a cheerful voice and treats.

What I struggle with is when folks think all dogs should meet and greet. Or THEY want to meet and greet and Bennie is pogoing and I’m trying to explain I’m working on teaching her not to lunge and jump. And they continue to reach in excitedly anyhow 😩🤦🏼‍♀️

After managing to pass a couple of dogs with a lot of effort on my part and reasonable focus on B’s, we passed a house on my street with a dog who was pretty determined to get to us. Off leash. So of course Bennie was not interested in listening to me. The big old dog snapped and snarled once meeting us at the sidewalk The bubbly owner told me “she doesn’t like high energy young dogs, I don’t think she’d bite but I don’t know.” She sent the dog (reluctantly) as I continued to try and get distance on my end.

Meanwhile,big old dog whining at a distance, still off leash, bubbly owner follows me asking if she can pet still-bouncing and over threshold Bennie. (I don’t think Bennie understood the dog’s snarl. She still wanted to play). “I’m working on her not doing this,” I explain apologetically. Meaning, we are trying to be on our way. Woman is still clueless and dives in anyhow. Which Bennie loves. And reinforces she can be a maniac and still get attention.

“Two more years. She’ll be calmer in two more years,” bubbly woman says. And I think to myself yeah if I can manage to undo the effects of me not being direct enough with folks who continue to reinforce the behaviour.

Dog Water dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Bennie is such a cutie! The advice that has helped me the most over the years is “no is a complete sentence.” You do not owe anybody an explanation. “Can I pet your dog?” “No.” <— that’s usually the full interaction. Am I labeled as standoffish by a complete stranger? Maybe. Does it matter?
I love this. Sometimes I swear we teach what we most need to learn. I’m currently in training to be a therapist (I work as a coach until I can apply for my licence). Boundaries have forever been my lesson to learn. You’re so correct, I don’t have to explain. “No” is enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I was DELIGHTED by Bennie’s cooperation on our trail walk today. This is where I use a harness and a very long lead. I practice recall, and some “with me’s,” but overall she gets a chance to just sniff and have some space. We focus on loose leash walking in the neighbourhood with a six foot leash.

Being on the trail does require me to call her to me, and shorten the leash and move over to the side every so often as bikes and other passers by approach. This is where it takes a lot of continual treats as long as her bum is in a sit. To prevent jumping up, I mean.

Well! Today she moved over with me and plunked into a sit without me asking. AND she stayed put while everyone passed. I praised her to the heavens and made it rain a jackpot afterwards. So proud.

Plant Dog Wood Grass Automotive tire

Dog Water dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Woo hoo! Good girl!

Are you still planning to put her in a short summer ’do? Now that Peggy’s has grown back a bit, and she’s no longer shivering, I really, really, really love it. Going to take it right down again in June.
I am!! I think it'll just be so much easier in the humid heat (Southern Ontario!), and with coat change.
I don't suppose you know what blade length(s) your groomer used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Working on leaving Bennie home for short amounts of time, uncrated.
Uncrated, but in her pen, that is.

Today I went across town for one quick errand and came home to a poodle greeting me enthusiastically at the door.

It seems I need a higher pen 🤦🏼‍♀️😩

Window Rectangle Mesh Fixture Flooring

My best guess is that she launched herself on top of her crate to get out. So maybe I can use the pen to blockade the kitchen instead? My main floor is pretty open concept, there’s not really a room I could confine her to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Honestly, she probably just pogoed right over it. Phoebe could certainly clear a 4 foot fence, effortlessly. Her bottoms are made out of springs, after all. 😂
Frigggggg 🤣😩 I guess I need to look for the tops for one of these bad boys, eh?
Little Stinker looked quite pleased with herself when I walked in and saw her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
If you no longer wish to crate her, I would probably just poodle-proof your main living space and close the door to any bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. (unless they can be poodle-proofed, too). Miss. Springs-for-Feet has unfortunately now learned that pens are permeable. :LOL: If you covered it now, I would worry she would hurt herself trying to get out.
The main living space is unfortunately most of the main floor... so the kitchen, dining room, and living room...

Then the problem is upstairs where the bedrooms are, is off-limits. My kids rooms are impossible to keep poodle-proofed and my partner is allergic so she can't go in my room. I can close the doors but it's a very old house and I'm afraid they unlatch and open with but a boop of the nose. In other words, if I gate off the stairs, she'll jump that. And if she jumps it and gets up there, she can certainly get into a ton of mischief.

Sigh. She's not even a year old yet so she's far too young to be left unattended and with free range to roam. She doesn't much like being left- as many poodles don't- so I'm working on it with her. But to work on it with her, I have to DO it, and trust that she won't get into trouble.

Seems I'm in a real pickle. I'll have to keep crating her.... just seems so unfair if I want to be able to work up to leaving her for a couple of hours or so.

So far the most she's crated is overnight (she does fine with that). And I can crate her if I have to, say, go to the grocery store. I just wanted the pen to work in situations where it's a little longer and I feel badly about her being so confined. For example, when I run my girls to their allergy appointments next week which will take 4 hours or so.
 
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