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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious if you all have noticed anything poodles do that is, generally speaking, different from other dogs — where conventional "dog wisdom" may not really apply?

I've noticed for example that they often say to redirect puppies chewing on inappropriate objects with a chew toy. Well, my pup quickly realized that chewing on said objects = toy and attention from me, and started using it for that purpose haha.

A trainer later told me that highly intelligent breeds like poodles tend to pick up on things like this and it just made me wonder — what else do our sweet smart poodles do that is different, or don't follow the conventional patterns/behaviors of most other dogs?
 

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They're pretty, most are smart, and I especially like the air of elegance when they walk. They are affectionate, sensitive, and very loyal to their owners. They are sensitive so you never want to be harsh with it, or you'll break it's heart, and they do have lots of heart.

Poodles are highly trainable and make good trick dogs which is why they were the #1 pick for circus dogs. They make excellent bird/hunting dogs. They come in three sizes. They have a long life span. They don't shed. The only downside: grooming is expensive and time consuming.
 

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My Asta is my Psych SD - he really has a smart mind to follow through on my commands - especially the Psych commands. It is like he is my guardian angel. Know some other breeds are SD- but I would put Asta a little quicker than other dogs I have seen - he certainly picks up on my needs and stays alert to where I am.
 

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In our puppy classes, I quickly realized Peggy couldn't tolerate the same repetition other breeds did. 2-3 times and she was ready to move on.

Fighting this is futile, like forcing a gifted human student to learn at the same pace as her peers. Plus, it can really backfire. You don't want to extinguish your poodle's love of learning.

So, as a puppy, Peggy's training sessions were about 30 seconds long, multiple times a day. In her training classes, we'd do a few reps and then increase the difficulty, move on to something else, or just let her observe.

That's another thing about poodles: They love to observe and they love to be an active part of your life: We narrate while we do laundry; we let her put her nose in the tool box; we show her how our bicycles work; we let her carry the mail. The most mundane aspects of your life will be absolutely fascinating to your poodle!

Poodles are not only one of the smartest breeds, they are exquisitely sensitive. Letting them really process the world around them, especially during those critical puppy months, builds their confidence and better equips them to tackle whatever comes their way.
 

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P.S. Peggy has learned some tricks in seconds. Show me another breed that can do that! I think they have a remarkable capacity for language. It's a little eerie sometimes. But also it's that sensitivity... They're always, always reading us. Don't ever lie to your poodle.
 

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To me the biggest difference is how sensitive they are. Also, as PTP said, they get bored easily with training. Beckie loves food but she would not work repeatedly, doing the same exercise over and over. She saw no purpose to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So fascinating!! Thanks all for sharing :)

I had a poodles growing up in the family and as it was my first dog, I just thought they were all like this until I started meeting others and taking my girl to puppy class. I remember my childhood dogs all knew their toys by name, just from the repetition of it, and could pick up any particular one. So amazing!

Do you all have any tips on how to handle the sensitivity? I can tell my girl is a sensitive one, and even accidental things can startle her (like my phone falling out of my pocket and hitting the hardwood, for example). Or once, my partner and I got in a fight and she was very clearly saddened by it :(

Also that is a great tip to know about training! I might be going too slow for my girl b/c she reacts the same ways you've all described. I'm going to pick up the pace a little, especially now that she's an older pup and has a bit more focus.
 

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They don’t like loud voices or loud dogs, I’ve found. Mine get stressed out by rambunctious dogs like if the neighbours come over with their cattle dogs. Mine have also been extremely easy to house train. They’re gentle—I love this. Mine love to chase things that are running but they don’t have an aggressive bone in their bodies. They’re calm in the house but superb athletes outside. Easy to groom, because they’re patient and trusting. Just a few traits I’ve noticed living with my standard poodles over the past 12 years


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