Poodle Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,228 Posts
Have you been to see the problem puppy, yet? Much of what is going on there probably was avoidable with proper early socialization.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
Excellent post.

Have you been to see the problem puppy, yet? Much of what is going on there probably was avoidable with proper early socialization.
I believe that puppy is 9 weeks old so it’s within the time frame where solid socialization should be taking place. https://www.poodleforum.com/5-poodle-talk/270397-i-need-opinions-quickly-if-possible.html

I didn’t get Babykins till she was almost a year old, but her breeders had done a fabulous job socializing her in preparing her for conformation. There’s nothing more wonderful than having a dog who loves to be petted by women, men and well behaved children. It’s a joy to run errands or go to the park or anywhere where you may meet people when your dog is well socialized.

It’s also hard to get into some of the quality puppy training classes around here. The idea of planning ahead and getting into classes early is an excellent reminder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Catherine. That's what I thought at first and no doubt she missed out on some socialization or being accustomed to more. But there's still time for that. I don't have a feeling that that is the problem though in this case. I feel like it could have some influence for sure but that her temperament is not very solid in that she seems so inconsistent. But I'm not sure. If they had time, but they really don't...they must decide like by tomorrow, I'd want to see her in a few other contexts and see how she responded with some distance between and some good, positive associations. This is indeed an unusual puppy. I've really never seen this much of a contradiction. :confused3:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You were lucky Skylar that your breeder did so much with her before you got her. My breeder did too but I got mine very young. Maybe this puppy had some inadvertent rough treatment from little girls like the picture. Or maybe something else. But even still...a puppy with a good, stable temperament ought to be able to over come that quickly....to have a higher tolerance. That's what I like to see.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skylar

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
I agree this is extremely important, and a good point to bring up! I wince every time I hear people talk about not taking their puppies out of the house. One thing I'd like to add is that it's important to encourage puppies to investigate things on their own terms and not flood them with sensations, which can be counterproductive. Every puppy is different, and it's important to adjust to their speed. Here's some of the things I've tried to purposefully expose Misha to.

wheelchairs, bikes, scooters, strollers
people of different ages and ethnicities
thunder, loud noises, sirens, lawnmowers, fireworks
cats, dogs, birds
unstable surfaces, boats, raised surfaces
water, sand, rocky surfaces, beaches
traffic, road crossings
wearing a vest

And many more...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,499 Posts
I always think of it as building a spending account. 20 happy experiences will pay for one mildly unpleasant one; 100 for a more seriously unpleasant event... The more happy experiences of widely ranging people, sights and sounds the puppy has, the better it can cope with everything life throws its way. And there is also the brain development aspect - the senses need exercising and stretching to develop properly.

It can be tricky with tiny puppies - the natural instinct is to jump in and protect them. I remember meeting one woman with a fearful, reactive little Yorkshire terrier and a chihuahua puppy - as my relaxed, friendly toy dogs calmly walked with me towards her she swooped on the puppy and held it tightly, giving it no chance to learn that other dogs could be anything but dangerous. Knowing people with friendly reliable dogs who can gently teach pups good manners is very helpful for all pups - I am surprised no one has yet seen the business opportunity! - but it is particularly helpful for tiny puppies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Great points Fjm. I bet Maurice would make a perfect dog for that job you wonder about for a business opportunity. The only problem is he's only 4.5 lbs. It's too risky around larger puppies. But boy...does he ever have the temperament for it. It is a really neat idea. :amen:

Every evening at 6:00 - manners class for puppies. Taught by Maurice, the toy poodle. haha.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fjm

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,611 Posts
This is one of the most important things I stress to puppy buyers! The first 12-14 weeks are so crucial for puppy socialization and you can never get that time back! Also quality over quantity....one good experience where the pup feels all the happy feels is so much better than flooding them with too much and the pup feels unsure or was forced into the situation with cookies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Cookies are great for a boost in the joy of the situation. But the situation in and of itself should be happy and fun. I agree not to over whelm a puppy but a sort of steady as she goes every day happy and fun exposures to all kinds of people, places, surfaces, sights and sounds, smells, animals.

I've always told my training customers, "if you are busy and can't get to all the training you want to early on, if you can't teach the pup anything else, don't skimp on socialization. You can always train other things later. This is of monumental importance. And after 2 series of puppy shots you're good to go if you don't go to heavily populated dog places right away. Pick and choose the dogs your puppy will meet. But in the meantime, take your pup in a stroller or carry him, go to a neighbor's or two. Ask people over, neighborhood kids etc etc."

I remember in Idaho where I lived it was pretty isolated. I had to drive with my Dobe pup all the way to Sandpoint or some other larger cities 3 times a week or so to let him see different things, including a ride in an elevator, going up some open stairs that were grated. He was fearless. There was some side walk construction and a jack hammer going and he walked right along without any shyness whatsoever. We stood about a half a block away from railroad tracks when a train went buy. Woo hoo! All fine and dandy. He was just interested. I don't know that the poodles would be this brave. We stopped in little stores for a quick visit. It was unfortunately in the winter and that was hard there to find lots of people outside. But I was able to take him into the bar/lounge near where I lived and everyone made a fuss over him. Other people brought their dogs in there too at that time. A big stone fireplace, dead animal heads on the walls, same people every time. lol. That was Priest Lake. We'd go to vet's offices...different ones a time or two per week for a quick visit, weight, pretend exam sometimes. And off we'd go.

So if it can be done in a very low population place with not too much going on, it can be done most everywhere. A lot of other things one spends time on have to be pushed aside because this will make or break a puppy. And yes, before 12-14 weeks. Not much time for that early critical socialization window.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skylar and Newport

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,611 Posts
Cookies are good! But if you are not careful you can easily find yourself persuading a puppy out of their comfort zone with cookies, or putting them in a situation where they are unsure, and that is less valuable than instead trying to set them up in other ways to truly enjoy the experience!

Better to have one amazing experience with one child than to be toted to a birthday party and feel slightly nervous, but be encouraged through it with cookies. Even a neutral experience is not as valuable, in those first 12-14 weeks, as a truly joyful experience. Lots of pup owners don't realize this!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,374 Posts
After having to fix so many problems with my rescue dogs I was determined to get a pup with a good temperament and socialize her properly. I was a little obsessive, people who know me well will wonder why I didn’t have spreadsheet!

But it paid off, at 8 months Gracie is confident and friendly to all. She is appropriately cautious of new situations but warms up quickly, and every dog and human is her new found best friend. I think I started with a good genetic foundation which helped too.

In agility, she had no problem with the obstacles, scampered right up the A frame and confidently tips the teeter. We’re still doing baby dog walk, but I don’t imagine that will be a problem though.

I do think her pet socialization has been wonderful, what I need to do now is focus her more in her performance sports classes. She just loves the other puppies and we’re working hard on impulse control and longer stays. Coming along, actually last night was pretty good... but it’s something I could have done better, starting all that earlier.

I have people in my agility class who are hard core competitors and I see now that I should have acculturated her a lot earlier to the “it’s time to work now” idea. My skill in training a performance dog is a work in progress. But she’s so stinking cute and i just love to watch her play and be happy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,611 Posts
I do think her pet socialization has been wonderful, what I need to do now is focus her more in her performance sports classes. She just loves the other puppies and we’re working hard on impulse control and longer stays. Coming along, actually last night was pretty good... but it’s something I could have done better, starting all that earlier.

I have people in my agility class who are hard core competitors and I see now that I should have acculturated her a lot earlier to the “it’s time to work now” idea. My skill in training a performance dog is a work in progress. But she’s so stinking cute and i just love to watch her play and be happy!
Yes!!! I was just on the phone with a puppy buyer explaining how important it is to spend the first several months focusing on building a working relationship (even for a pet!) with puppy and avoid letting puppy go say hi to random dogs on walks, avoid doggy daycares etc. Play dates with calm play where a recall is also practiced, yes! But if not careful you can end up with a pup who is too dog-focused instead of owner focused. It's much easier to have a dog who is neutral about the presence of other dogs than one who wants to go run and play with every dog they meet. That's my personal opinion anyway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,374 Posts
CM- thanks for your insights on this. I’m thrilled that Gracie is so confident in her world but I see now that I need to stress the importance of our working relationship more.

She does have good focus on me most of the time, but doesn’t have neutrality to other dogs in class, and gets distracted and pops out of her working mode. But at least I’ve identified it and can address. She learns fast, I just have to pivot now and rethink some of my strategies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CharismaticMillie

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,228 Posts
I am working with a family with a dog (mastiff mix) adopted from a large rescue organization in our area as a puppy. The dog is really nice temperament wise, has good bite inhibition and many other pleasing attributes, but virtually zero impulse control. When I first met them a couple of weeks ago mom was like a pez dispenser with treats the size of a quarter. Would the dog sit when she told him to do so, sure for about a second at which point he would give a tiny whine and she would give him a treat right as he was standing up. I had been told he was very mouthy and had broken skin on mom (who is 78 and has health problems). I had them leave him in his crate when I arrived so I could talk with them and get a sense of what was the real deal (phone conversation had been a little fuzzy to me). We sat on the front porch for a little while and then went in to meet the dog. He got excited but seemed really friendly, so I put my hand on the side of the crate and got a friendly response. I offered a treat he took it gently. We let him out of the crate and he was pretty excited so I just dropped a few treats near me to get him to decide to stick with me rather than begging from mom. Once I had his attention I did a stand up version of its yer choice. I expected to get mugged to take the treats from my hand. I got sniffed and licked. He tried to use his paw to get me to open my hand and then gave up.

In other words this now 8 month old 75 pound dog is a cupcake who has no duration for any of his good behaviors. He is locked in short attention span theatre and therefore has a number of problematic behaviors that were cute when he was a puppy and are now pretty annoying and given the mom's health issues potentially dangerous although not at all malicious. This dog is very "fixable" but wouldn't need me to work on fixing if he had learned these behaviors when he was a baby dog.

The bottom line as relates to this thread is not only to give puppies joy for life with wonderful social experiences but also to train in some decent manners. As my private trainer reminded me this week regarding Javelin, train with the picture of the final product you want in mind even while you are still early on the road to getting there. For puppy training, as Millie said, bad experiences may never be undone, but also lack of positive experiences and behaviors (lot of neutrals) are harder to replace with good experiences and behaviors than putting the good things in place the first time around.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skylar

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,499 Posts
Well said Catherine - with my tiny fluffy little pups I used to keep the question "Would I let you do that if you were a rottweiler?!" in the back of my mind...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,228 Posts
fjm yes for sure even tiny puppies that will grow to be small dogs have to be looked at the same way a rottie or mastiff or standard poodle or GSD should. We allow our dogs on furniture, but they never got to stay if they acted crazy. Even now if I have two poodles on the bed with me they have to get off if they crowd me out to the edges or start to play the wrestlemania game. This mastiff mix will get on the sofa (as allowed) but then start climbing all over the backs of people. Yesterday he was doing it to avoid having to do the "work" I was asking him for which was simply to hold a sit for a minute. I ended up putting him on a leash so he couldn't quit and go back to a behavior which I saw as avoidance and self soothing, and which his owners now understand occurs because they let him do it when he was 50 pounds smaller.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Skylar
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top