How to Obedience Train a Poodle

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

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.

Defining Tasks

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.

Getting Started

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.

The Capture and Shape Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Start with the simplest command
Have a clicker and treats available. Start with the simplest obedience command for your people-oriented Poodle: 'come'.
Step
2
Reinforce 'come'
Wait for your Poodle to run over to you. When he does click and treat, say “come”. Repeat frequently until your Poodle responds to the command “come”. Gradually remove clicker and treat.
Step
3
Reinforce 'sit'
Wait with a clicker in your hand. When your dog sits down, say “sit”, click and treat. Practice frequently.
Step
4
Reinforce 'down'
Once your dog has mastered 'sit', wait while he is in the sitting position for him to lie down, add the “down” command. Practice.
Step
5
Reinforce 'stay'
Teach the 'stay' command by saying “stay” waiting a few seconds while your dog is in place, then clicking and treating. If your dog moves, do not click and treat but position your dog again and repeat the “stay” command until your dog is successful at staying in place. Gradually increase length of time required for your dog to stay in place before clicking and treating.
Step
6
Reinforce 'heel'
Hold a clicker and treats while you walk your Poodle. When your Poodle trots along at your left leg, click and treat. Do not reinforce if your poodle lags behind or pulls in front.
Recommend training method?

The Lure to Obedience Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Lure to come
Hold a treat out and call your dog by commanding “come”. When your Poodle runs over to you, provide the treat, praise and affection. Repeat often.
Step
2
Lure to sit
Stand in front of your Poodle holding a treat above and slightly behind his head. In order to reach the treat, your dog will move back and onto his bottom. Say “sit” and provide the treat when your dog sits. Practice frequently.
Step
3
Lure to lie down
Ask your dog to sit, then hold a treat down on the ground in front of your Poodle until he lies down on the floor to reach the treat. Say “down” and provide the treat.
Step
4
Lure to stay
While lying down or sitting, ask your dog to “stay”. Hold a treat but do not provide it yet. Wait a few seconds, if your poodle remains in place then reward with the treat. If your dog moves, re-position and repeat until he is successful. Gradually increase the time your dog needs to stay in place to get his treat.
Step
5
Lure to heel
Hold a treat in a closed hand at your side and walk with your Poodle on your left side. Lure your poodle to stay at your left side by letting him smell the treat in your closed hand. Periodically provide the treat as your Poodle walks beside you. Replace with another, hold and continue.
Recommend training method?

The Hand Signals Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Pair hand signal for 'sit'
Hold a treat in your hand, palm up. With your Poodle in front of you, move your palm up to your chest. As your dog tracks your movement he will tend to sit down. Say "sit" and provide the treat when he is successful. Eventually you can stop using the treat and just say “sit” and use the hand signal.
Step
2
Add hand signal for 'down'
Hold a treat between your fingers with your palm facing down and your Poodle in front of you. Move your palm down to the floor and say “down”. When your dog follows your hand and lies down on the floor, provide the treat.
Step
3
Signal 'come'
Hold your hands out parallel to the ground straight out from your sides with a treat in one hand. Call your Poodle to come and bring both your hands together at your chest. When your dog runs over, provide the treat.
Step
4
Add hand signal for 'stay'
To teach your Poodle the hand signal for stay, hold your palm out toward your dog while he is sitting and say “stay”. Provide a treat when your dog stays for a few minutes. Gradually increase time, continue pairing the hand signal and verbal command.
Step
5
Signal and reinforce 'heel'
Tap your hip with your hand while asking your Poodle to heel. Reinforce heeling with treats, praise and affection.
Step
6
Alternate verbal and hand signals
Gradually practice using either verbal or hand signals individually. Decrease using treats and use praise and affection for reinforcement instead.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 02/01/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Perry
Poodle
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Perry
Poodle
4 Years

Do poodles bark every time when they need to get exercise? Do every poodle have to take obidience training? Is it Rare that a poodle is already obidient?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Diana, Not all Poodles bark when they need exercise. Some dogs learn through practice that when they bark, they are taken for a walk, so they bark again the next time they want to go. Their excess energy also makes it more likely that they would bark in general when in need of stimulation. Some dogs chew more, run around the house, whine, or bark when feeling like they need to be stimulated. Dogs that have been trained to be calm indoors can be calm, but that doesn't mean they do not also need to be exercised. Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds, meaning that Perry probably learned that barking equals a walk sooner than most dogs would have learned that, so he does it more often. He just as easily could have learned to whine or chew too though. Also, when it seems like he needs exercise, he might actually need mental stimulation the most. Very few dogs are naturally obedient. If you went to a country where you did not speak the language, you would probably not be able to naturally follow instructions in that language either. Some dogs are better at reading body language and are calmer so get into less trouble though. Poodles as a breed tend to be more mentally and physically energetic though. Because Poodles are intelligent and many are energetic, they do need obedience training. Even if your dog is well behaved, they are often happier when learning new things. You can join an obedience class to do this, but you can also read articles and watch videos and learn how to train things yourself, then simply spend a little time each days teaching Perry new things at home and in public. It's a bit like if a smart, inquisitive child didn't have opportunities to learn, he would probably miss learning new things and be bored. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Perry's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Prince Charlie
Standard Poodle
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Prince Charlie
Standard Poodle
3 Months

Do poodles always cry when you put them in their crate? We have our first puppy he is 12 weeks old and sometimes while I'm cleaning the house and don't want him to get into things he's not suppose to I try to put him in his crate but all he does is whine the entire time he is in there. He does really well at night in a crate but during the day it is very difficult to get him to willingly go in there. I've tried praising him with treat and positive feedback when he does go in there but he literally has learned to just walk and sit there for a treat and walk right back out.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! He is likely experiencing a mild form of separation anxiety. He is still young enough that this can be chalked up to age, and it could potentially correct itself as he gets older. But I am going to send you some information on separation anxiety and use of the kennel just in case. Just so this behavior doesn't become habitual and follow him into adulthood. It sounds like you are off to a great start by giving him a treat to go in. I am going to send you a few additional tips. Leave treats in the crate. You can distract your dog by giving stuffed, frozen Kongs in the crate. This easy fix will really help! I have four or five stuffed Kongs in my freezer at all times. That way I can just chuck a Kong in the crate with Barley whenever I run out for errands! Freezing them makes them last a lot longer. Feed dinner in the crate. I like to feed dogs dinner in the crate. Instead of putting their bowl on the kitchen floor, I just feed dinner in the crate. You can either feed the dogs their dinner when you leave in the crate, or you can let the dog out after dinner. Either way, this is an easy way to start building a good association between your dog and the crate! Put toys in the crate. My dog is a total squeaky toy nut, so at first, I kept his toys in the crate. He was rewarded for going into the crate by a quick bout of play. It was great to see him start to actually want to go into the crate on his own! Make the crate comfy. Make sure the crate is comfy with a comfortable crate mat, a safe chew toy, and something that smells like you! Ensure the crate is the right size. The crate has to fit the dog correctly. Your dog should have room to turn around and stand up comfortably, but not much more than that! Place the crate in a common area. Many dogs cry in the crate because they’re lonely. A simple fix for these dogs is to put the crate in your bedroom at night, near the bed. If the crate doesn’t fit in your bedroom, you can sleep on the floor or the couch near the crate and gradually move towards your final sleeping arrangement. This is similar to what many parents do with young babies – they don’t start with the baby sleeping in his own room upstairs and across the house! They build up to that level of independence. You can get a bit creative and tailor this advice to suit your dynamic. Another thing I have seen success with is white noise. If the common area doesn't work, you can always try to put him in a quiet area with a fan running on low. It is sometimes trial and error with this stuff. In the mean time, do your best to not respond to his whining if you know for sure he doesn't need to go to the bathroom and is safe. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Prince Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
shiro
miniature poodle
17 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
shiro
miniature poodle
17 Weeks

He is disobedient, poops and pees everywhere. Roommates are arguing about how to train him.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use a crate to help with potty training Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

Add a comment to shiro's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
Standard Poodle
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
Standard Poodle
9 Weeks

He likes to bite ALL the time!!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
George
Standard Poodle
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
George
Standard Poodle
10 Weeks

He loves to nip and chew on people rather than his toys, i have been using a clicker and he has mastered sit and stay, using lots of positive reinforcement and treats but at certain times of a night he has been biting lots and just wont stop so now i have been saying no and putting him in his crate to calm down. I'm hoping tbis helps. Its only been the last couple of days since his last set of vaccinations, I'm hoping he will stop it once he can go out for walks next week.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
236 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to George's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Harry
Standard Poodle
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Harry
Standard Poodle
11 Weeks

Hi! We got our standard poodle puppy a few days ago. He learned new commands like sit and come very quickly. When we play with him (tug, throwing balls) he gets super excited and humps us. Is this normal behavior for a puppy? What can we do to stop this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carol, Some dogs have a hard time managing their arousal, so it comes out as humping. I would work on things that build self-control in general and some spatial commands. To help build pup's general self-control, I suggest practicing something called "Jazz up and Settle Down". Which is a bit like red light, green light for dogs. During training, get him a little excited, then command "Stop" or something he knows like "Sit", and freeze. Wait and completely ignore him until he calms back down. As soon as he gets calm or sits, praise and give a treat. Tell him "Let's Play!" again, and start playing and getting him a bit excited again. As soon as he starts to get a little worked up (not too much at first), command "Stop" or "Sit" again, then wait, reward with a treat when he calms down, then continue the game after he is rewarded. Repeat this a few times each training session, then end the session (have lots of frequent shorter sessions throughout the day at his age). As he improves, and can really calm down quickly, let him get a bit more excited before calling Stop. Gradually work up to him becoming more and more excited and having to calm down quickly from a higher level of excitement as he improves. Also, understand that this will take some time and practice. Puppies have to learn self-control just like any other skill, while young. This game can help him develop it sooner though. For spatial commands, I also suggest teaching the Leave It command from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite As well as Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Harry's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
T-Bone
Standard Poodle
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
T-Bone
Standard Poodle
1 Year

Always distracted and never listens

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
916 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicole, Has pup been through basic obedience training yet? The goal of basic obedience is for pup to learn what the commands mean and to be able to obey those commands in calm settings, what comes next is intermediate obedience. For intermediate obedience, you will gradually work up to distractions and pup developing the skills to obey in those situations too - at first the distraction might be someone walking through the room, a squirrel in the yard, a leaf blowing by, ect...Start with less distracting environments, then gradually move onto harder environments and spend intentional time practicing in each of those new environments until pup can focus there too. For example, in your home without others around is easiest, your backyard is a bit harder, your front yard is even harder, your neighborhood is even hard, your home with guests present is even harder, a pet store is even harder, ect...Go out of your way to practice at the current level pup needs to learn at and to create the distractions pup is ready to learn to overcome during training sessions when you can control things - so that pup can also respond when things are more out of your control in every day life, but keep the distraction level what pup is ready for at that point in the training so pup can still succeed with your help - the goal is to guide pup and provide consistent, calm boundaries at this point. Second, you may need to switch some of your training methods now that pup knows the commands and is sometimes choosing to disobey. For example, when teaching Sit I would first recommend using the Treat Luring method from the article linked below. Once pup knows that method well and has worked up to some distractions, I would enforce my command using the Pressure method from that same article when pup chooses to disobey something they know. The pressure method will still reward some but will also give a gentle consequence for disobedience to encourage pup to obey even when they don't find it as fun. Some other methods to help enforce commands when pup is ready: Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Turns method for Heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel The Leash Pressure method for down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Sit: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit If pup doesn't know these commands really well already, start by using the treat luring methods with each command before using the slightly firmer methods to proof that command once pup has learned the command and just needs to be reminded. Right now you can also keep a drag leash without a handle (for safety reasons to get caught less around the house) on pup while you are home. That way when you give a command like Come and pup ignores you, you can calmly walk over to them and lead them back to where you were - gently teaching them that they need to listen in every day life too. If pup already has the skills and understanding to be able to obey, and you have already worked up to distractions and pup is simply choosing not to, check out the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you If pup has ever shown any form of aggression toward you, there could be a lack of respect that needs addressing or something else like fear or possessiveness of you. If that's the case, I would hire a professional trainer to help you with this in person, taking the necessary precautions to avoid a bite, like a basket muzzle, back tie leash, and crate when appropriate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to T-Bone's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd