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Poodle issues(24 Posts)
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Have found this thread really heplpful since becoming a dog owner and hope you can help with my poodle. He’s a mini, 10 months old and ours since he was 9 weeks old. Reputable breeder, lovely people we went to after a personal recommendation.
He was toilet trained by around 4 months but was always a mad chewer and biter. He loves chewing blankets and clothing best, as well as wicker, wood and anything else he finds. He has loads of toys, rotated regularly and we take everything he shouldn’t have away. DH works from home as do I mostly so plenty of company. He’s walked in line with vet’s advice which is 5 mins per every month he’s been alive. So now he gets 60 mins, usually in two shorter walks.
Fussy eater and stubborn too. Has had a personal trainer and lots of socialisation with other dogs. He knows sit, stay, down, paw, stop and so on. He’s not in a crate though he did sleep in one until he was about 5 months old. He has a doggie door for the loo which he he’s generally brilliant with.
For the last week he’s been crazily biting, yelping and quite vicious with all of us (2 DC). He’s also been peeing on the sofa. He’s fully awake when he does it, in fact jumps up and has a long pee when he feels like it. I’ve cleaned them thoroughly. He didn’t do this when he was small. He’s also chewed up his bed and a few cushions.
We adore him, but his behaviour is driving us crazy. He’s so vicious and can’t seem to keep still. Can anyone suggest what might be going on? The vet has ruled out illness.
You may have more joy if you get this moved to the doghouse topic. This is World Cup!
Well I was going to say check up with the vet but it seems like you have that one covered.
Is this happening at a certain time of day? Could he be either under or over stimulated. My dog still had his odd moments at that age if he was over stimulated in the evening and I had to give him a quick timeout after which he would go to his bed and sleep.
As for understimulating I am unsure as to whether your walks are off lead or not and mine at that age did around 2 1 hour off lead walks. However even then I found that mental exercise was just as good a physical.
What do you do when he starts?
As for the peeing mine has never marked inside but could he be doing that?
What material is your lounge? All it takes is one accidental pee for the smell to then remain and then that's where they want to pee.
Is anything outside scaring him? Any recent changes to your family? Anything different at all?
Thanks all. Yes, he is castrated. Not sure of exact sofa fabric but it’s soft fabric. He lies on it all the time but only pees on it occasionally. I do use the dog pee cleaners on it should be fine. And he’s also peed on the arm chair and a few spots on the sofa so not just one spot.
Timing seems fairly random, though probably worse at around 6ish. When he kicks off we take whatever he’s chewing and say no. If he bites us, we ignore for a few minutes. If he’s really crazy and snarling, we put him in time out which is in the hall, behind the stair gate. He can see us but we ignore him for about 5 minutes then bring him back to the main room. I don’t think anything is scaring him. Nothing has changed at all at home.
I wonder if he needs more exercise but all the experts say not too much at his age. He’s on lead as still can’t be trusted of lead and still pulls when walking. We’re working hard on that all the time. I’m wondering if we should send him to trainer for a bootcamp? He loves it there as there are lots of other dogs to play with.
He’s just come back from 30 min walk with DD and is now snarling, trying to chew my feet etc...
mine sometimes gets hyper and naughty when he is bored and usually wants a wrestle and some rough play.
we also did the 5 mins per month walks a day until around 9 months when he really started to need more than that. if he's not off lead he may need nearer 45 mins plus twice a day now.
how old was he when he was neutered? we were warned not to do it before 12 months for it causing behavioural problems before they have matured properly.
I will admit I only used the 5 minutes 'advice' for on lead walks and off lead walks were longer as we walked at his pace. Possibly if you are only doing onlead walks he isn't burning off enough steam? Are there any secure places you can hire or go to where he can run around at his own pace even if it's only a few times a week.
Evenings were always the worst time for any bad behaviour but I found it was him being over stimulated and timeouts worked until he was old enough to calm himself down.
Interesting that you said he just came back and started. I don't walk my dog on lead very often and when I do I find he sometimes gets worked up because he has had to walk relatively 'very slowly' and lunges and jumps about etc in frustration.
He was neutered at 8 months. I’ll try him with more exercise and see how we go with that. I can’t think of a closed up space for running but will try. Any suggestions for mental stimulation toys would be appreciated too. He loves his kongs and will chew and roll them for ages if there’s cheese and/or ham in them.
He’s just collapsed on the sofa and into a deep sleep at last!
For mental stimulation I hide treats or balls around the house or when out walking.
Have you thought of a sport such as scent work or agility. At our agility they teach technique for the younger dogs so they don't do lots of jumping but just teaching technique wears them out as they have to think about what you want them to do.
My first thought would be to ask what mental stimulation you give him? Poodles are highly intelligent and no amount of walking will satisfy their brains. I would suggest getting what I call "dog board games", they're puzzle boards and will do wonders for a bored dog. I would also suggest you try agility if you have the time/money as Poodles are fantastic at this because they need a bit more stimulation than most breeds. Also get urine destroyer if you haven't already to totally get rid of the smell from the sofa so he no longer associates it with a toilet area. He sounds bored to me. Hope this helps.
Oops sorry just seen your other comments.
Not necessarily from there but my two LOVE this one. Note you'll need a few as they learn quick to solve it and will then do it in seconds.
Urine marking is a juvenile behaviour. Did he do this and the snapping prior to castration? I’d be a bit concerned that if he was a bit anxious prior to castration, it may have triggered his reactivity.
As a relatively small breed dog he should be able to cope with more than 30 mins exercise twice a day. Off lead is very important. Is he well-trained? Basic obedience training is important but poodles are very smart do additional training classes and puzzles/games would be useful.
However I think if his behaviour is escalating, you need to seek APBC qualified behavioural advice ASAP.
He did not urine mark before castration as far as I can remember. Perhaps once or twice, but I think that was when we was still toilet training. Snarling and snapping yes he did. He was a really bitey dog, but seems worse now. He did calm down hugely after castration so this seems like we’re going backwards again. He also hates the rain and it’s been pouring here for a few days so that might be part of it.
I’ll buy some dog games and up the exercise. I think you’re all right that he isn’t being mentally stimulated at all so will work on that. Will also look for some classes.
Poodles I just loooooooove them. So bright, willing, eager and full of energy.
He does and will always need a lot of mental simulation. I would not be increasing his exercise but would be hugely increasing his brain work.
Simple things to do on a daily basis.
If he is fed kibble scatter fed it- do not give him his meals from a bowl always make him work for them. - this often give fussy poodles more incentive to eat.
You can scatter fed it outside on in one room .
No need to spend money on expensive dog toys make your own.
Put his food into a muffin baking tin and put small balls on top - he has to remove the ball to get to the food.
Scent work is great with poodles and most love it. Start with a box and put a thin bit of cheap ham on it - the ham should stick to the box. Ask him to find it, reward when he has eaten the ham. Gradually add in more boxes etc. (If you want to get very clever you can start him to find a specific scent!)
Teach basic tricks again poodles looooooove this - they are true performers and will usually react to an audience. If you once laugh at something they have done they will repeat this over and over again.
Teach him to walk backwards (Often they do this anyway)
spin to the left and right for example
Re peeing in the house never ever leave him unsupervised in the room he is peeing in.
Also get him used to the rain(good luck with this one!) When it is raining play play play with him outside a dog that does not go out in the rain is a nightmare
Enjoy him they are amazing dogs - big brains and personalities.
Mental stimulation and off lead (or on a long line of he's not yet trust worthy off lead) walks, will probably help.
Thanks all. I do love him and he is clever. I’ll take him to the nearest field on a very long lead tomorrow for sure. He’ll love that.
Do you mean put ham in a box with a lid on it and then hide it? Like a shoebox? I think he’d just eat the ham if it was stuck on the box! He loves the stuff. Any other game ideas? We did half an hour of tug of war this pm and he’s flat out now 🙂
I have a toy poodle, now 22 months. She likes a lot of exercise. I was given very good advice on here about recall training. I use a high value treat (usually cheese or beef) and a whistle. I started round the house, whisting and rewarding, and went from there. Poodles are so quick to learn, and she was soon able to be let safely off the lead, knowing she will return flat out at the prospect of a treat. She may be small but she covers a lot of ground quickly. If I had to walk her on the lead all the time I could never wear her out - she just flies across large fields, and loves chasing rabbits, crows and seagulls. We also play ball games in the garden (and indoors).
We also play a lot of games like collecting named toys and finding hidden toys. I try and teach her new things all the time. We are currently working on turning on the touch lamps by the bed. Poodles love poking things with their noses!
I have had many dogs in my lifetime, but never a poodle before. It is more like trying to entertain a small child rather than a dog. They really like being given something to do and think about. Do you think yours might just be going through a teenage thing?
Sorry, can't help re the peeing, other than stopping him from sitting on the furniture.
Have you got any secure dog fields near you? It really sounds like he's got too much energy.
Thanks for all the advice. I got some new toys and he loves them, especially that mat thing he has to dig through to find his kibble. Can’t remember what it’s called.
But, also went back to vet yesterday with urine sample and he does have an infection, poor thing. Hoping he’ll be back to himself in a week or so.
Just dropping back in to say thank you again to everyone who commented on this thread. Poor poodle’s UTI was quite a serious one and he was unwell for quite a while. But he’s great now, brilliant off lead, and such a clever, happy dog. We love him so much.
Thanks again all.
Madpoodle - that's so good to hear! So glad all sorted and mad dog is well again xxxx
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