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Discussion Starter #1
So Teddy is 8 months now and he still doesn’t like being pet or loved on nor will he cuddle or snuggle. I’m gonna b really honest I need him to give something. He is way too much trouble and stress for him to not even want me to pet him or b sweet. He’s always been aloof but I guess I was hoping it would go away if we loved him enough. Our day revolves around him not destroying things playing with him or exercising him while schooling my 3 children and part time teaching. Id even take a head on my knee at this point. I feel we as a family have gone above and beyond. He will b our one and only dog. He has been so difficult and stressful with not much in return. Can someone give me some hope? Cause I’m fresh out!
 

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Your home sounds like a busy place. It's possible Teddy's just needing a little more breathing room than he's getting.

Were his parents snugglers? And what have you tried doing to encourage affection? For example, we regularly held a yummy chew for puppy Peggy, which taught her to come to our lap or lean against us when she wants to relax.

Another thing: Have you found a positive reinforcement class to make up for that negative training experience? Attending classes and training together is great for creating that bond.
 

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Annie goes through occasional i dont want petting stages. I am definitely more interested in cuddling than she is. My best success has been with ignoring her. After a few days, she comes to me, and i pet a tiny bit, then stop before she is done. The next time, she is more insistent, i pet a bit more. Etc. Then i forget, pet her when i want, and she stops coming to me. If she is getting enough, or too much attention she has no need to seek it out. A busy household with a bunch of kids home all day? I bet Teddy gets plenty of petting without ever having to work for it.

I also echo the idea of a training class. The last sports class i went to, the dog was handled by an 11 year old, giving the kid a hobby and the dog something to do.
 

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You can also shape behaviours you want. I taught Annie to put her head on my knee and gaze soulfully at me. Sure, she learned it because she wanted treats, but she now also does it if she wants attention or a walk or something.
 

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Thankfully we have a large home. Lots of space! Teddy gets all the time and space one dog could ever want! He also has a spacious crate. I do have chew sticks I hold and he chews on. That’s really the only time he stands by me for long period of time. I walk him in morning daily and my daughter in evening. We train during the day. Play toys and ‘brain games’. I’m looking into some different training. The one trainer I found that has all the proper qualifications is booked. So I’m still looking. I’m pretty irritated currently with the lack of love. I have older children so we don’t bug him or tease. He has the life!! I’m telling u he is blessed..wish he knew that. I’m struggling poodle peoples! It’s either be funny or cry 😣
 

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Have you tried letting him come to you instead of going for it ? It’s something I do with my dogs in general. I ask if they want to be petted, meaning I bend down (they’re toys) and let them come to me. If they go away, fine, I never try to restrain them. Mind you both are more « in your face » type dogs but Beckie has her moments when she wants nothing to do but play or do her thing.

There is a lot to gain by giving the dog the liberty to choose and get affection on its term.
 

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Maybe if you change your mind about never getting a dog again, you might want to consider a Golden Retriever, or another breed that's known for having an insatiable desire for affection. I personally prefer the more aloof poodle temperament.

Peggy does often lean up against us or drape her head or a limb across our lap or our foot. We also have quiet morning time where we gently scritch her all over while she rests the top of her head against our chest. But this affection came with age. It was abrupt, too—at about 8.5 months with her first heat.

Teddy is still maturing and learning his place in the world.
 

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Does Teddy like being groomed/brushed? I sit down with Phoebe every evening while watching tv and brush her. I’ve been doing this since day one, it definitely helped our bond as we both find it relaxing and it’s good for her as well. Im not sure if this could be something that could help you and Teddy, but it help us.
 

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Several different threads, several different members, doing a symbolic reset, a start over fresh start has been discussed.

I don't have any suggestions right now how that might be accomplished. I'm hoping others will, if it's worth pursuing. I say this, and I truly truly don't mean this as a criticism, but if I didn't know better and just read some of your posts, I'd think you didn't even like Teddy. I know that's not true, I know it's frustration and months of work speaking, but it feels like you've lost the fun?

Maybe you, your family and Teddy need a literal break from each other? Maybe something like a day and night at a doggie spa, day care, hotel for Teddy? I know that sounds kinda a-backwards, that you and the fam should get the royal treatment, but it'd be simpler to pack him off for a day than to shift your whole family. I'm not thinking this would mean he'd suddenly start showing affection, I just think maybe a break to give you a moment to reset?

Call this just thinking out loud.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I groom him daily he has a lick mat I put pumpkin or peanut butter on and I groom him but he doesn’t like that either. Tolerates it for the treat. My husband has a theory and that is he gets too much and he doesn’t have to work for our affection. So maybe we need to not give any and let him come to us. I don’t feel we bug him. I’ve never allowed that and my kids aren’t like that. We r busy but Teddy is the thing that’s thrown our world upside down. I feel we r constantly trying and adjusting. I’m kinda ready for him to try and adjust. I want to b positive. I keep trying things and he keeps throwing up more obstacles. It’s made this whole thing very unenjoyable. Not what I wanted for our family. We r a chill family. Tonight after dinner kids watched a show I drank coffee on the deck. We live a low key life. I wish I could figure him out.
 

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Several different threads, several different members, doing a symbolic reset, a start over fresh start has been discussed.

I don't have any suggestions right now how that might be accomplished. I'm hoping others will, if it's worth pursuing. I say this, and I truly truly don't mean this as a criticism, but if I didn't know better and just read some of your posts, I'd think you didn't even like Teddy. I know that's not true, I know it's frustration and months of work speaking, but it feels like you've lost the fun?

Maybe you, your family and Teddy need a literal break from each other? Maybe something like a day and night at a doggie spa, day care, hotel for Teddy? I know that sounds kinda a-backwards, that you and the fam should get the royal treatment, but it'd be simpler to pack him off for a day than to shift your whole family. I'm not thinking this would mean he'd suddenly start showing affection, I just think maybe a break to give you a moment to reset?

Call this just thinking out loud.
I wish I had happy things to say but it’s been nothing but hard for the most part. It’s very frustrating to give 100% and not get much back in return. If this were a human most people would b like ok and move on. But this is my dog and I’m trying to do all the things I possibly can do. I’ve rearranged my life to fit him in our family. We love him and because of that we wake up every day and try.
 

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I agree with Rose.

As I'm sure you've discovered by reading the forum, standard poodle puppies are a challenge—not just yours! :) You'll see lots of progress in the coming months, but you've still got a year or two to go. Do what you've gotta do to keep things fresh and positive.

What are the obstacles you're seeing? And obstacles to what? Let us know and we'll try and help. :)

One idea: Maybe start a Teddy Appreciation Thread where you jot down the things he does—from the mundane to the exceptionally noteworthy—that make you smile.

You've described Teddy as a confident, friendly guy. So when I hear things like "tolerates it for the treat" or "gets too much," alarm bells start going off in my head. This is not the age to start withholding rewards for excellent behaviours like standing still for grooming, or to make him feel like he has to work harder to access and protect resources.

Just make sure you're rewarding him for the right things.

In your case, you might want to start training physical contact, since that's what you're currently craving from him.
 

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Teddy is the same age as my boy Galen. I'm getting very little snuggling because he simply can't hold still that long. He is either asleep, playing, or trying to persuade me to play. He hasn't yet found the pause button. I think he will once he matured a bit.

Having cats as well as dogs has taught me that animals can love deeply while being very restrained in the way they express it. My current cat has adored me since the day I brought him home from the shelter. Yet, he never climbs in my lap or lets me pick him up. Instead, he follows me around. When I'm on the computer he is curled up under my chair. When I'm in bed he's next to my feet. When I'm sewing he jumps up on the cutting table. When I go out he sleeps in a chair near the door. He's simply always there. He wouldn't make the effort if he didn't like me. He's just not the demonstrative type.

I see Galen giving me this same kind of low key affection. He comes upstairs and flops onto the bed near me while I'm working on my computer. He takes note of things I value and steals them so he can taunt me with them. He waits outside the shower for me. He brings me muddy tennis balls. No, it's not snuggling. But, again, he wouldn't make the effort if he felt nothing towards me.
 

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You would be surprised just how much Teddy reads from you but it may be cross communication. You want SO much for him to be affectionate but he may read your frustration as dislike for him. I had a horse once I had to use reverse psychology on for a year before she decided she didnt hate me. My SPOO, Mr. Layne was not very affectionate or demonstrative. He was polite but he had no interest in affection. In the evening I had him come to me, sit, I would do a tiny training session. 1 hug, 1 smooch on the nose was his payment. He all but rolled his eyes but I just needed him to tolerate. The hug was slow & not hard. Then I would SLOWLY place my hands on either side of his muzzle & slowly go for a single nose smoochie. Then I say, "okay go away before I want another'.

Every night I repeated this. At 13 or 14 months I was shooing him away but he wanted more. He would move to my side & lean on me. I allowed it & after 2 weeks of learning I asked him, "do you want something?" He scooched his little rump around so he was in position. I said, "oh well, if you insist". Now he comes up several times a day & he's turned into a real love bug.

To be honest some dogs just aren't super affectionate & that's just their way. My mother inlaw was quite unaffectionate with her dogs except on rare occassions. It's hard for affectionate dogs to live like that. Likewise it's hard for the dog who is not affectionate to be a constant disappointment or frustration to their owner. They FEEL it.

Try playing hard to get & see if you see any changes. When you train with him dont focus on anything except when he gets it right, what a GOOD job he's doing for you.

Let us know what happens

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Basil doesn't initiate affection towards me either except when she wants more chicken (lol). I'll give her a ton of kisses through out the day and keep treats by my bed to give her. I definitely go hard to give her a variety of treats and kongs throughout the day filled with her favorite goodies, and chicken; plus, our pet store is 30 yards away.

I'd try a variety of treats and more belly rubs, it works for us.

Have you tried doing yoga with Teddy?

(It's cuddly fun)
 

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I try to approach my dogs as individuals. They have their own personalities, quirks, and favorite things. As the "grown ups" in this relationship, it is on us owners to appreciate our dogs for who they are. Seek to understand your dog.

Here is a personal example. Navy is a dog that took me a few years to figure out. He is a small dog, and I would pick him up whenever I wanted. By closely observing him with other people I began to realize from his body language that he often did not want to be picked up. I began to check in with him before picking him up (unless of course it was necessary due to circumstances). I would reach towards him, and then pause- giving him a chance to turn away or look away from me. If he did these things, he wasn't picked up. I learned that he did enjoy my getting on the floor beside him and gently petting him. If he wants to be picked up by me his signal is that he stands and positions himself for pick up. Learning these things took time, observation, and a willingness on my part to let my relationship with my dog be shaped to some degree by the dog himself. I still hope someday to own a toy poodle that loves to be carried around. I plan on locating that puppy by telling the breeder exactly what I'm looking for in a dog. With intelligent intention and a bit of luck I may very well have a dog who enjoys being carried.

So what to do when you have a dog who isn't meeting your relationship expectations? Training builds relationship, but may not give you what you are looking for here. I once owned an aussie who had no use for petting. We competed in agility together, hiked and camped all over, but petting meant nothing to him. We still had a lovely friendship, and he introduced me to things I may never experience with another dog.

So please think about respecting your dog for who he is, while also providing training and guidance to enrich both of your lives.

Here is a training video that I hope will be helpful in building your relationship with your poodle friend:
 

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It sounds like you’re thinking of the relationship with Teddy like a friendship (e.g. your sentiment about why bother continuing a friendship when you’re putting so much into it and getting nothing in return) when it might be more helpful to view it as a parent - child relationship: while parenthood can be exhausting, frustrating, and thankless, most people wouldn’t consider giving up on their child just because they’re not getting from their child what the parent needs. Some kids are naturally affectionate, others can’t stand getting hugs and kisses. If raised in a healthy and stable home, that’s no one’s fault it’s just personality differences.

As others have suggested, maybe try accepting Teddy for the way he is while seeing if you can find out what he likes doing with you and enjoying those things together. While it’s a lot easier to put a dog up for adoption if you can’t handle them as opposed to a child, hopefully you’ll bond with Teddy and won’t feel frustrated by his personality anymore but learn to love his “difficult” attributes, just like you would with a human child or partner...

(Also, I was just reading yesterday about a study that showed gazing into your dog’s eyes releases oxytocin (that feel-good attachment hormone) in both the human’s and the dog’s brain! So maybe try some deep eye gazing with him and you’ll hopefully get a neurotransmitter boost, just like you do with a baby - a trick of evolution which makes all the late nights and poopy diapers seem worthwhile😄)
 

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If this were a human
Imagine these words spoken softly and gently, as I mean them to be heard
"But Teddy isn't human, He's just a baby poodle."

Also, I was just reading yesterday about a study that showed gazing into your dog’s eyes releases oxytocin (that feel-good attachment hormone) in both the human’s and the dog’s brain! So maybe try some deep eye gazing with him and you’ll hopefully get a neurotransmitter boost, just like you do with a baby - a trick of evolution which makes all the late nights and poopy diapers seem worthwhile😄
This is true. Catch his eye as often as you can. "Look at me" is the training game.


and one of my favorite quotes, from Dr, Brian Hare, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, saying that when your dog stares at you he is “hugging you with his eyes.”
 

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I was just looking for the link to the article I mentioned above but found this one instead which expands on the eye-gazing research and found that just smiling at your dog can help boost its love for you and create a positive feedback loop between the two of you (among other things) -

 

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I sense that you are working very hard to be the Perfect Pet Parent, and are frustrated that this is not resulting in your Preconceived Perfect Pet. I would relax into good-enough for a while. Let Teddy be who he is, feed him, train him, exercise him, but go with the flow and take the pressure off yourselves and him. Remember it is meant to be fun: if he doesn't want to cuddle then play a game you both enjoy, or get down on the floor in a play bow and let him show you how he wants to play. I particularly recommend the play bow - it helped enormously when life got a bit too serious with my first dog.

Of my small sample of two Poppy is a cuddle bug, never happier than when curled up against me. Sophy lives life by her own rules: she likes to be close but not touching, which makes the times she chooses to snuggle extra special. I am in no doubt that both love me dearly, though, just as I love them - they simply express it in different ways. In fact Sophy's may be the purer affection as it is far less demanding!
 
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