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Hey, PF peeps. I was wondering what I should do about lunging and pushing. Sisko saw 2 dogs while we were outside. I had him sit, but as soon as the owner and the dogs past us, Sisko lunged at them and growled at them (this has never happened before, he's always wanted to play with every other dog he meets, so I'm not sure why he growled) and I almost ate pavement ? I kept calm, but I felt a bit ? and still do, because my Aussie wouldn't have even dreamed of pulling me that hard and was extremely gentle with me and my 3 brothers, mom and cats. Sisko will sometimes push us and our cats out of the way and he couldn't care less.?
 

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He is a bouncy, silly adolescent - he sees something he wants to investigate and tugs towards it. Dogs don't understand human ideas of good manners automatically, they have to be taught them gently and consistently. He is not being unkind, just normal. He sounds like a dog who needs to practice self calming and self control, over and over, as opportunities arise during the day. You told us earlier that you had a longish period of illness and were unable to work with him, so there is some ground to make up. I am sure other members with rambunctious youngsters will have good ideas for suitable games and activities. Remember that you are working towards the companion he will become - it is for you to help him become a more relaxed and gentle adult.

I would actually be rather more concerned about the growling - it sounds as if something in what happened persuaded him the passing dogs were dangerous. Perhaps he associated stress in your voice or down the leash with the dogs? I know asking for a sit is often recommended, but I found walking briskly on keeping my body between my dog and those we met while keeping up a flood of jolly chat and treats was often more successful. Sitting means watching dogs approach while not being able to turn away or take evasive action, and can increase the stress, I found. Walking past in a widish arc keeps enough space between them to reduce it. But perhaps the best cure of all is to meet lots and lots of friendly dogs, until meeting and greeting become a ho-hum, everyday thing, and not a cause of overwhelming excitement. Do you go to training classes yet? A good, reward based class can be very helpful, if only because there are usually other people facing the same issues and you can support each other.
 

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Asking Sisko to sit while dogs pass close by seems rather advanced for where you've described his training and socialization to be. I wouldn't be surprised if the tension built by the sit triggered the growl.

And I'm going to repeat for you what others have said to me: Sisko is never going to be anyone but Sisko. Comparing him to other dogs (especially to vastly different breeds, like an Aussie) is setting you both up for disappointment. He's got his own strengths, his own quirks, and his own lessons to teach you.

Take some deep breaths and PLEASE dont take his behaviour personally. He's a young dog with young doggy motivations. He's not a person. He's not a herding breed. He's an adolescent poodle named Sisko who, in your own words, has fallen behind in his understanding of the world and what's expected of him, due to circumstances behind your (and his!!) control.

I like fjm's suggestion to jolly him along with lots of space, an upbeat voice, and definitely some high value treats. Also be sure you're practising in places you have control over meetings with other dogs and humans. You should be working to keep Sisko under threshold as much as possible.

How often does he get to interact with other dogs offleash?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He is a bouncy, silly adolescent - he sees something he wants to investigate and tugs towards it. Dogs don't understand human ideas of good manners automatically, they have to be taught them gently and consistently. He is not being unkind, just normal. He sounds like a dog who needs to practice self calming and self control, over and over, as opportunities arise during the day. You told us earlier that you had a longish period of illness and were unable to work with him, so there is some ground to make up. I am sure other members with rambunctious youngsters will have good ideas for suitable games and activities. Remember that you are working towards the companion he will become - it is for you to help him become a more relaxed and gentle adult.

I would actually be rather more concerned about the growling - it sounds as if something in what happened persuaded him the passing dogs were dangerous. Perhaps he associated stress in your voice or down the leash with the dogs? I know asking for a sit is often recommended, but I found walking briskly on keeping my body between my dog and those we met while keeping up a flood of jolly chat and treats was often more successful. Sitting means watching dogs approach while not being able to turn away or take evasive action, and can increase the stress, I found. Walking past in a widish arc keeps enough space between them to reduce it. But perhaps the best cure of all is to meet lots and lots of friendly dogs, until meeting and greeting become a ho-hum, everyday thing, and not a cause of overwhelming excitement. Do you go to training classes yet? A good, reward based class can be very helpful, if only because there are usually other people facing the same issues and you can support each other.
You perfectly described Sisko in 3 words!?''bouncy, silly, and adolescent''. I know they don't. We've been working on self control and other things and we've both getting a lot better. I'll be getting a flirt pole from Chewy soon.

Okay, thank you? I really want him to be my co-pilot when I move to Canada or New Zealand.

I'm concerned about the growling, the only other time he's growled was when we were at a dog park and this shy dog didn't want Sisko to play with her brother. Her brother wanted to play with Sisko, but she growled, and he growled back and he continued to play with him after that.


I'm not sure, but I wonder if he didn't like the dog's owner, but I believe the dogs were staring at him too, so that may have upset him. I may have been tense when they came closer to us.

Okay, I will try this instead? liver treats are his favorite. There's a waterfront not to far away from me that almost always has dogs walking with their owners there. I might try the same trainer, but I never got supporting vibe from other owners when we went. Maybe we should try somewhere else??
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Asking Sisko to sit while dogs pass close by seems rather advanced for where you've described his training and socialization to be. I wouldn't be surprised if the tension built by the sit triggered the growl.

And I'm going to repeat for you what others have said to me: Sisko is never going to be anyone but Sisko. Comparing him to other dogs (especially to vastly different breeds, like an Aussie) is setting you both up for disappointment. He's got his own strengths, his own quirks, and his own lessons to teach you.

Take some deep breaths and PLEASE dont take his behaviour personally. He's a young dog with young doggy motivations. He's not a person. He's not a herding breed. He's an adolescent poodle named Sisko who, in your own words, has fallen behind in his understanding of the world and what's expected of him, due to circumstances behind your (and his!!) control.

I like fjm's suggestion to jolly him along with lots of space, an upbeat voice, and definitely some high value treats. Also be sure you're practising in places you have control over meetings with other dogs and humans. You should be working to keep Sisko under threshold as much as possible.

How often does he get to interact with other dogs offleash?
Oh no, not again! ?????‍♀? Running instead of walking with training, I didn't even think about it being too advanced ?. I wouldn't be surprised either.

Thank you, very much. That made me cry some. I remember when we first met
Sisko at 4 weeks and I picked him up and wondered what he was going to teach me, but I had forgotten that.

Okay, I will? thank you?.

I like fjm's suggestion as well and will try it. Okay?? do you have any suggestions on where I could go with him to do that. There does seem to be a adult dog socialization class, but it's in Seattle, and I Don't want to just drop him off at a doggy day care, I want to learn with Sisko too.

P.S Sisko only got to interact with other dogs once when we took him to the dog park, but I really want to take him again when the weather clears up. I also found a indoor dog park that cost $15 to get in.
 

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Well I'm old school I think the sit was just fine. You may want to try the look at that . As he sits get his attention on you, somewhat..say oh look at the puppy, as he looks at you treat him. Keep a good distance to where he feels comfortable in the beginning, you will notice as you keep talking to him his focus begins to stay more on you when he looks at you treat. At some point he will stay pretty focused on you. By boy was no different, bouncy, and silly. Still can be at times so he needs reminding . He is 2 now but he gets better all the time. When Renn was a pup he was no different, he barked and lunged toward kids. I had one neighbor say or you have an aggressive dog there, not realizing he was only 10 or 11 weeks old. He just wanted to run and play with them. I did not take him out enough to different places so he is a bit shyer than I'd like (my strength was not so good). But he is really great, people can come in my house he will bark and growl and one would think he is ferocious however after a few minutes of them he settles down and would crawl onto their lap if I allowed that. I would definitely go to more places exposing him to different environments but keeping distance at the same time as he builds his confidence (each time y ou go you get closer as he obeys). I wish I could jog, I know mine would love that now that he is old enough. I'm finding with poodles the first 2 years is a lot of work but well worth it.
 

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Look up "Look At That (LAT)" training. The essential concept is that the dog can acknowledge situations that raise their concerns, but that to alleviate the worry they learn to acknowledge and then immediately reconnect to you. It helps them understand they should look to you to deal with things that make them feel a bit uncomfortable.
 
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I agree with Mufar42 that sitting with eyes on you is an excellent goal. I just don't think Sisko sounds like he has the foundation for that yet, especially in a spot where you can't get enough distance from passing dogs, like a sidewalk.

My last dog tended towards yappiness when she got close to an approaching dog. (See how we call it "yappiness" with little pooches? With our big dogs it's suddenly "aggression." I find that interesting. Anyway....) I always had the best luck with her when I tended to my own energy first: Shoulders back. Deep breath. Confidence.

We'd then just....walk by. And most of the time that was all it took. So don't underestimate your own role in Sisko's reactions. Especially once you've worked on "Look At Me" for a while. He'll check in with you frequently and read your vibes.

As far as places go....try parks, big box store parking lots, outside of grocery stores or libraries—anywhere you can control the space between you and the stimuli he needs to get acclimated to. Then park yourself with a ton of treats and get to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I'm old school I think the sit was just fine. You may want to try the look at that . As he sits get his attention on you, somewhat..say oh look at the puppy, as he looks at you treat him. Keep a good distance to where he feels comfortable in the beginning, you will notice as you keep talking to him his focus begins to stay more on you when he looks at you treat. At some point he will stay pretty focused on you. By boy was no different, bouncy, and silly. Still can be at times so he needs reminding . He is 2 now but he gets better all the time. When Renn was a pup he was no different, he barked and lunged toward kids. I had one neighbor say or you have an aggressive dog there, not realizing he was only 10 or 11 weeks old. He just wanted to run and play with them. I did not take him out enough to different places so he is a bit shyer than I'd like (my strength was not so good). But he is really great, people can come in my house he will bark and growl and one would think he is ferocious however after a few minutes of them he settles down and would crawl onto their lap if I allowed that. I would definitely go to more places exposing him to different environments but keeping distance at the same time as he builds his confidence (each time y ou go you get closer as he obeys). I wish I could jog, I know mine would love that now that he is old enough. I'm finding with poodles the first 2 years is a lot of work but well worth it.
Okay? Thank you. ? That's awesome that he's getting better all the time. Oh my goodness!? Okay??. Yeah, I've heard that, and it's true! Sisko has an older brother that is a giant silly clown! We met him when we picked up Sisko. Sisko's breeder was petsitting him, and he was jumping and running all over the place and trying to get all the other dogs to play with him. The only other one he really played with him was another puppy that was there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Look up "Look At That (LAT)" training. The essential concept is that the dog can acknowledge situations that raise their concerns, but that to alleviate the worry they learn to acknowledge and then immediately reconnect to you. It helps them understand they should look to you to deal with things that make them feel a bit uncomfortable.
Thank you!? I'll be researching this.
 

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I agree with Mufar42 that sitting with eyes on you is an excellent goal. I just don't think Sisko sounds like he has the foundation for that yet, especially in a spot where you can't get enough distance from passing dogs, like a sidewalk.

My last dog tended towards yappiness when she got close to an approaching dog. (See how we call it "yappiness" with little pooches? With our big dogs it's suddenly "aggression." I find that interesting. Anyway....) I always had the best luck with her when I tended to my own energy first: Shoulders back. Deep breath. Confidence.

We'd then just....walk by. And most of the time that was all it took. So don't underestimate your own role in Sisko's reactions. Especially once you've worked on "Look At Me" for a while. He'll check in with you frequently and read your vibes.

As far as places go....try parks, big box store parking lots, outside of grocery stores or libraries—anywhere you can control the space between you and the stimuli he needs to get acclimated to. Then park yourself with a ton of treats and get to work.
I agree, I don't think Sisko is ready for that yet too.

Ah, yes, I do see that. I find that interesting as well??. Okay, thank you, I'll start checking and tending to my own energy too. That's good!? Okay. Okay, I have parks, grocery stores, and a library that I can take Sisko to. Okay? I gotta get another tub of his favorite liver treats! Thank you!!
 

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P.S. I'm glad you're remembering those earliest moments with Sisko :) He still has that boundless potential. Let him surprise you. ?
I am too? okay, I will! Thank you! I do have to say, I wish I would have held him longer when we first met him, but I put him down because he needed his puppy sleep, and he stayed asleep almost the whole time we were there.??
 

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Sisko and I had a dog run up to us earlier today. He was friendly though, but I think my heart jumped out of me for a little bit. His owner had 2 small dogs and a toddler as well. Sisko did awesome! He sniffed one of the small dogs, he growled at the other dog for getting in the way of him smelling the small dog, I'm pretty sure that's ok, but I just want to make sure. It was also the first time he met a toddler (I didn't know she had a toddler with her until I turned around. I was worried) Sisko was very gentle, and sniffed, but did not allow any pets from the strange tiny person.
 

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I love that you are so prepared to research, listen, assess, and do your very best for Sisko - even when it means doing things differently. I think if you get him to places where he can get lots of cheerful interactions with other dogs he will quickly learn manners. That includes accepting rebukes from other dogs, especially now that his puppy licence has run out, so be prepared for other dogs to tell him off, and praise and reward him for backing off politely.

Great that he was polite to the toddler! I would be happy with polite interest - no reason why any dog should accept petting from anyone if he doesn't want to.
 

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I love that you are so prepared to research, listen, assess, and do your very best for Sisko - even when it means doing things differently. I think if you get him to places where he can get lots of cheerful interactions with other dogs he will quickly learn manners. That includes accepting rebukes from other dogs, especially now that his puppy licence has run out, so be prepared for other dogs to tell him off, and praise and reward him for backing off politely.

Great that he was polite to the toddler! I would be happy with polite interest - no reason why any dog should accept petting from anyone if he doesn't want to.
Thank you? okay, I think so too.

I'm very proud of him! Okay?
 

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I love that you are so prepared to research, listen, assess, and do your very best for Sisko - even when it means doing things differently. I think if you get him to places where he can get lots of cheerful interactions with other dogs he will quickly learn manners. That includes accepting rebukes from other dogs, especially now that his puppy licence has run out, so be prepared for other dogs to tell him off, and praise and reward him for backing off politely.

Great that he was polite to the toddler! I would be happy with polite interest - no reason why any dog should accept petting from anyone if he doesn't want to.
Thank you, very much fjm. I really appreciate your comment? yes I am ready to research, listen, assess, and do my very best for Sisko. Thank you everyone who's been sticking and bearing with me, I know I make mistakes with Sisko, but I love that I can ask if something was a mistake and be told either yes or no and how to do it right and not be torn to shreds about making a mistake? now that I look back Sisko and I have really improved, yes we still have a long way to go, but I'm willing to do what it takes to get him trained as long as it's R+. The only thing that isn't R+ is the Pinch Collar. I'm still waiting for it.
 
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