Jojo was Grandma's purebred Miniature Poodle. While Poodles have a reputation for being hyper, emotional dogs, JoJo, like all Grandma's previous Poodles, was beautifully behaved and listened well to obedience commands. He was a joy to be around, and great with the grandkids.
So why do Poodles have a reputation for hard-to-control, excitable dogs? It all depends on the training that their owners invest in them, and the environment they are raised in. Poodles are very smart dogs, second only to Border Collies, and they are high energy people dogs. This can make them easy to train obedience to, as long as they are kept calm and focused. Poodles do not do well in stressful environments where they can get confused and upset and have trouble understanding what is expected of them. Being firm, calm, and gentle is the key to successfully training your Poodle obedience commands.
The basic obedience commands are 'come', 'sit', 'stay', 'down' and 'heel'. You can use the English words, or the equivalent words in any language, it doesn't matter. Your Poodle will not understand the language or the words, he simply learns that when he hears that particular sound he is supposed to run over to you, sit his bottom down, not leave the spot he is in, lie down, or walk next to your left leg at the same speed you are moving. You should provide commands in a clear, firm, voice. Do not yell, as this is distressing to your dog, but make sure you speak clearly so your dog can hear you. Many owners find it useful to add hand signals as well as verbal commands to obedience behaviors. Hand signals give you an alternate way to command obedience and can be used when your dog is unable to hear you, or when you are trying not to make any noise. A Poodle can start learning obedience commands very young, as a puppy of 6-8 weeks. Your young Poodle may take a while to learn all the obedience commands, but never underestimate your smart little Poodle dog, he may surprise you with how quick he takes to obedience training.
Training your Poodle obedience will require treats and a leash for learning to heel. Be sure to train your sensitive, high energy poodle when you are in a calm, positive mood, and when your Poodle has had some exercise so that your dog is able to focus on training and not be distracted by excess energy or your mood. Always use positive reinforcement, not negative reinforcement, to obedience train your poodle. Keep training sessions short, especially for young dogs, so they do not become frustrated or bored.