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My 5 month old, soon to be 6 month old, standard poodle is a wonderful pup who is SO intelligent. I have never had a breed so quick to learn tricks and commands. Sorry for the long post, I just want to give some detail so you all can understand my concerns. It is embarrassing for me to post because I just feel a bit defeated so please no judgement, I am just wanting to learn more on training!

Lately the last couple months Norman gets the zoomies when he is excited. I never have punished him for running or jumping around because after all he's a happy puppy. But he gets to the point of sometimes playing too rough. The amount of scars and bruises I get daily is unbelievable. When he starts to jump, he sometimes will grab my arm, hands, butt, shirt, anything to pull me down to him. I have started to say "No Jump" or "No Bite" which helps maybe part of the time? The times where he is REALLY.. I mean REALLY crazy is after his showers. It is almost like he cannot control his body just running around nipping me, nipping the other dogs, barking, jumping, and chasing things. I never show him fear or back down to him but I will say I am not sure how to discipline this behavior. I really just am looking for answers on better ways to fix him jumping and biting/nipping. He is NEVER aggressive to me but I do not want him to think biting me or the other dogs (bulldogs) is ok or is something "fun".
He is just a puppy and I want him to have fun and but I think I might have not been disciplining enough on him in the past with his nipping. After a few too many jeans and shirt ruined I really am looking to fix this crazy behavior.

Important notes: I walk him twice a day for at least 30 minutes (depending on the weather) We play fetch a LOT. He is very well exercised and always super tired by 8pm. When he does bite me I do try and redirect him to a toy or bone of his and this has helped.
He knows the commands no, sit, stay, no jump (mostly), no bite(mostly), lay down. But when he is excited he will not listen at all.

Another issue: He gets very protective when people approach me or if they are running, walking, biking on the street. I do not understand why especially because he walks daily and sees people often. Dogs he is getting better with.. This is something I REALLY need help on. He is at the point where he just barks like crazy but once them come to see him hes a bit hesitant but then is so happy to get pets. Not sure if its bad vision? He just seems to be possibly protective over me which I am not sure how to fix. I can sometimes get him to "sit" and just watch them but I do not have the skills to understand how to fix this behavior, especially the barking.

Important: Norman did get attacked by a dog at the dog park when he was running away from him in fear and I guess the dog became overly dominant? I am not kidding when I say 3 other dogs joint in and I had to ripe Norman from the ground and just pick him up and run. The owners were embarrassed and people actually left the park. Since then I am terrified to bring him back over me bring protective but I do not want to hurt his socialization. I think this might have triggered the protectiveness? But he is still very much a Beta when other dogs approach him. (tail tuck)

Looking for some good training tips!! Whatever you can think of. I have looked at videos online but would like to get y'alls advice too!!

Thank you in advanced!!
 

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My Lily was a wild child and did lots of jumping, pulling on clothes and leaving marks on me when she was young. We got past it. I think the key was when I realized I was trying to be calm on the outside when I came home but that I was really dreading dealing with her on the inside when I came home from work which is when most of her horrible behavior happened. BF was home fixing up our new house and puppy raising, so she was often loose when I came in. On one particular afternoon I took a walk and did some calming breathing before I went in. My inside thinking matched my friendly exterior. She came charging towards me and stopped dead in her tracks and sat for a polite greeting. That single revelation for me took care of a lot of problems. Something to consider. Now to respond to some of your specifics...


My 5 month old, soon to be 6 month old, standard poodle is a wonderful pup who is SO intelligent. I have never had a breed so quick to learn tricks and commands. Sorry for the long post, I just want to give some detail so you all can understand my concerns. It is embarrassing for me to post because I just feel a bit defeated so please no judgement, I am just wanting to learn more on training!

Lately the last couple months Norman gets the zoomies when he is excited. I never have punished him for running or jumping around because after all he's a happy puppy. But he gets to the point of sometimes playing too rough. The amount of scars and bruises I get daily is unbelievable. When he starts to jump, he sometimes will grab my arm, hands, butt, shirt, anything to pull me down to him. I have started to say "No Jump" or "No Bite" which helps maybe part of the time? The times where he is REALLY.. I mean REALLY crazy is after his showers. It is almost like he cannot control his body just running around nipping me, nipping the other dogs, barking, jumping, and chasing things. I never show him fear or back down to him but I will say I am not sure how to discipline this behavior. I really just am looking for answers on better ways to fix him jumping and biting/nipping. He is NEVER aggressive to me but I do not want him to think biting me or the other dogs (bulldogs) is ok or is something "fun". I would put him on leash at times when you anticipate he could go over the top and work on preventing those behaviors with brain games like It's Yer Choice. This game is super for developing a dog's ability to control impulsive behavior. Don't try to do this once the zoomies have started. A dog in that state of mind is not able to think clearly.
He is just a puppy and I want him to have fun and but I think I might have not been disciplining enough on him in the past with his nipping. After a few too many jeans and shirt ruined I really am looking to fix this crazy behavior. I don't actually think dogs find acting crazy like that to be fun. They are in hind brain mode and not thinking. Don't punish those behaviors since you won't be teaching anything. Again your goal is to prevent getting to that state.

Important notes: I walk him twice a day for at least 30 minutes (depending on the weather) We play fetch a LOT. He is very well exercised and always super tired by 8pm. When he does bite me I do try and redirect him to a toy or bone of his and this has helped. This is only physical exercise.You don't seem to be doing much brain exercise if walks and fetch are the main ways you rely on getting him tired. An actively thinking brain will burn lots more energy than muscles chasing a ball. My neighborhood has no sidewalks and my poodles are black. People don't stop at stop signs and drive much faster than the speed limit. As a result I don't walk my dogs in my neighborhood very much. But they do exercise their brains with obedience games and impulse control behaviors every day at mealtimes and other intervals throughout the day. They sleep well and they don't do crazy things. I would substitute half of your walking time and most of your fetch time with other more thought provoking/learning interactions like teaching tricks, impulse control and focused attention activities. Work on turning the commands he knows that are "mostly" into always rock solid responses.
He knows the commands no, sit, stay, no jump (mostly), no bite(mostly), lay down. But when he is excited he will not listen at all.

Another issue: He gets very protective when people approach me or if they are running, walking, biking on the street. I do not understand why especially because he walks daily and sees people often. Dogs he is getting better with.. This is something I REALLY need help on. He is at the point where he just barks like crazy but once them come to see him hes a bit hesitant but then is so happy to get pets. Not sure if its bad vision? He just seems to be possibly protective over me which I am not sure how to fix. I can sometimes get him to "sit" and just watch them but I do not have the skills to understand how to fix this behavior, especially the barking. Take a lawn chair out on your front yard and your pup on a leash with lots of good treats and reward for polite watching. In combination with Look at That (LAT) training you should be able to get this under control.

Important: Norman did get attacked by a dog at the dog park when he was running away from him in fear and I guess the dog became overly dominant? I am not kidding when I say 3 other dogs joint in and I had to ripe Norman from the ground and just pick him up and run. The owners were embarrassed and people actually left the park. Since then I am terrified to bring him back over me bring protective but I do not want to hurt his socialization. I think this might have triggered the protectiveness? From what you have said I would look on his "protectiveness" as fear based aggression. But he is still very much a Beta when other dogs approach him. (tail tuck) I hate dog parks. Many people who bring their dogs are not well versed in reading canine body language and go the the dog run to let their dog just run around like a jerk. This doesn't do anything to promote the bond between a person and their dog and gives plenty of opportunities for decent dogs to acquire bad manners or worse. Norman having been bullied and beaten on by those dogs potentially did way more harm than good for his social skills. Please please please never take him back to a dog park.

Looking for some good training tips!! Whatever you can think of. I have looked at videos online but would like to get y'alls advice too!!

Thank you in advanced!!
 

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Don't think of "discipline" when he is getting overexcited and loses control of himself. He needs to learn how to control himself, and how to relax. At this point he can't listen, because he doesn't know how to relax. First, don't use your hands to push him down or away. This will be seen as play and just get him more worked up, and also encourage grabbing and nipping. Try to get him to grab onto a toy.

Instead of reacting to his craziness and energy, try to get him to settle and calm down. If necessary, give him a time out in his crate. Start working on "go to mat" so that you can send him to his place where he knows he is to lay down and be quiet. He can get the crazies when he is outside, but not in the house.

He sounds like he needs some time sitting quietly in a place where people will be walking by. Find a bench someplace where there is foot traffic and just sit and watch people. Ignore him when he barks, give him treats when he is quiet. If you need to, find a place to sit where he is not very close to the people walking by, and move closer once he gets used to that. If people want to pet him or give him treats, they can only do that if he is sitting quietly. If he is acting up they can't approach.

The other really good thing for walks is LAT (look at that) which is described several times in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so very much!!! These are great tips to use. I really appreciate it!!

I completely agree with the dog park, I am glad you think so as well! I just think that if I take him back he will be terrified and that is something I am not willing to find out. He has been twice and both were positive, especially the second try at a different park. So I give up on those for now! Unfortunately you're right, those dogs are NOT trained and can be very rude. I learned the hard way!

I think that working on a more "brain games" is a great idea. I need to think of more! I do a good bit of training with him but I think you're right that he needs more "thinking time". He loves to learn new tricks and is so quick! So I will not mind doing this. His favorite thing to play is Hide and Seek, believe it or not!! He is an excellent tracker and so I am thinking about looking online to more training tricks I can do with him such as roll over, play dead, etc. that are a bit more "advanced" to me.
Do you have any thinking games that you use?
Also would you consider "tracking" to be more mental? My first guess would be yes. He seems to be an expert at it and is able to find out outside cats within SECONDS on sniffing the ground and "tracking" them.

I will look into finding a good spot where he can just watch people from a distance. I have heard of this and the LAT trick and I think this is the perfect opportunity to start doing it! Thank you for the advice. I think that he just expects people to approach him and for dogs to be mean to him, so watching from afar I am hoping will help calm him.

Thank you both again for the amazing advice! It truly has made me feel better about my next steps forward.

I think my next steps forward will be researching good thinking games! Maybe some puzzles I have heard of. He is highly intelligent so I know he will love these.

Thanks again!!!
 

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Incorporate reraven's comments too about helping Norman learn to settle himself. Those skills are related to much of what I discussed. It is important how you (we) respond since so many things we might think of as corrective actually just make the pup more excitable and less able to think.

Personally I would never take any dog I cared about to a dog park ever. I hope you will rethink the idea of going back. For me it is easy not to go since my intact males are not welcome. Additionally for Lily if she finds a ball someone left behind I think she becomes very vulnerable to other ball crazed dogs who might be younger, stronger, bigger.

Since you have fetch as a game Norman likes you can add having to do a trick into the pattern. You don't throw until he does a trick or two. Add making him wait to get the ball until it stops moving. Nosework oriented puzzles or hiding treats in containers and having him go find them would be good for him. Tracking is a great sport that boosts dogs' confidence in themselves since they are responsible for how it works out. In the way of sports you might think of trying rally. It is a super team builder. You can talk to your dog as you go. And it works sort of like a little heeling, trick, little more heeling, trick... It teaches your dog that you are fun to be with, teaches a big array of behaviors (sits downs stays turns of all sorts) and is not so formal that you have to be a stiff.

Work on training the CGC test items and some tricks off the novice test list. Once a dog has a CGC they can get a novice trick title with just five tricks.
 

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You鈥檝e gotten great training advice. I would add be prepared. I used a fishing vest, one pocket for treats, another for a tug toy, waste bags and a leash. (We mostly train off leash.) When the crazies start, you鈥檙e ready. Buck was a handful. I needed everything in the vest pockets, PF help, and training classes to keep from mispronouncing his name:)
 

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Lots of good ideas for getting him relaxed around dogs and people. For brain games, if he enjoys tracking then scent games may be useful. Sophy is also a natural tracker, and encouraging her to find people and cats she knows pleases her and is very useful to me (there are more than a dozen garages - it really helps to know which one a cat is locked into!). Games can be as simple as Hunt the Treat - start by scattering a few close by while he watches, and build up to hiding them while he is out of sight - this is my dogs' favourite game when we cannot get out for a walk, and three rounds are accepted as the equivalent of a 30 minute walk. Try tracking while playing Hide and Seek, naming the person he is looking for (he may already be doing this). Invent other games, or look online for ideas.
 

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Trying to control a 6 month old puppy during zoomies is like trying to nail jello to a tree. Zoomies after baths are super common. He is also very young - the zoomies will fade in intensity with age. In order to stop the very behavior during zoomies that bother you - the lunging, biting grabbing - I would make sure he has something in his mouth - stuffed animal etc - which could also short cut the zoomies into retrieve games..although generally I love zoomies for burning off excess energy.
The biting and lunging is puppy behavior and the very reason I came to this forum over and over in our first year... and as everyone assured me over and over again - it did fade completely. Mine is still a mouthy pup - ever so gentle and a bit more licky than I would like but he does no longer grab like he used to.
 

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Six-months is a flaky age. This is when Noelle was terrified of joggers and people running. She would lunge and bark and act nuts towards them. So, I got a bag full of tiny pieces of cooked chicken and took her to a busy jogging path. As soon as I saw a person running on the path toward us, before Noelle had a chance to react, I started feeding her chicken, one piece after another. She ate chicken as the jogger approached and as the jogger passed. Then the chicken went away. Noelle learned to look forward to seeing people running past. Pretty soon her, "I see a jogger" behavior was to turn her head and stare at me like I was a chicken treat dispenser.

The first few times we tried this, Noelle ate the chicken, ignored the chicken and barked at the jogger, and went back to eating chicken. That was ok with me because she was learning. And she learned that she had two choices. Eat delicious chicken, or bark at boring joggers. It took her a while to decide that delicious chicken was better than barking.

I added the Look At That game to our lives around that time. LAT is one of the most helpful games there is for dogs who get overstimulated. It gives the dog something else to do other than get worked up. LAT is one of those games that makes a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Such amazing advice. Thank you everyone!! I will be taking all of this advice with me and seeing what works best for Norman! He is the most wonderful pup and I am just wanting to be the best owner for him and learn quickly from my mistakes!
You all have reassured me that everything is normal!
I think my first step is to get him comfortable with people walking/jogging/biking by and using the treat method and the LAT method!

You are all amazing. So very happy that you all are so kind and share your stories with me as well to make me feel normal and not crazy!!!
Most importantly I will NOT be taking my sweet Norman back to the dog park!! After being reassured that dogs there are not helpful, it has really made me feel better.
 

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Also, teach your dog "drop it". It's super useful when you're out walking and your dog finds something yucky, but it also works to get your puppy to stop pulling on your clothes and give your shoe back. We use "give" for ball and toy fetching. The "give" command means they're getting the toy back, while "drop" is permanent.
 

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My 5 month old is not terribly reactive, but he is quite hyperactive. I have found the "long down" exercise extremely useful. The way I was taught it in puppy class works best for Misha. It involves sitting on the dog's leash, asking them to down, and if they try to get up you physically calmly & gently return them to the down position without giving them attention. This was a huge game changer for Misha because after he fought me on it for about 10 minutes, he finally just gave up and settled nicely and eventually fell asleep. We practice it regularly and even in busy walkways with dogs walking past. It is great because it didn't just teach him to stay in a down position, but it taught him how to calm his mind. If we are waiting in the car, he will sometimes start to whine at things outside the window. Now I can just gently tug on his collar and say "down" and he immediately lays down and visibly relaxes. He will still sometimes sit up if a dog walks near him, but mostly he ignores everything. I imagine the exercise could be harder with a bigger dog, but there are variations on it that might make it easier.

He also gets the insane zoomies after a bath. I can often turn it into a game of fetch instead, but I kind of just wait it out.
 
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