Puppy Training for Teddy the 10 Week Old Miniature Poodle
Teddy is a 10 week old miniature poodle. His owners called me to help with a few minor problems but primarily to make sure that he got started off on the right foot.
When I arrived for the session Teddy was very low energy. At first his owners had him in their laps while they sat on the couch. Now all puppies are pretty adorable in general, Teddy was evenmoreso. While spending a lot of quality time bonding with a new dog is important, how we do so can impact its behavior.
To dog’s the height at which they sit has a correlation to their perception of rank in the pack. When you have a puppy who thinks he is an equal to his human’s that often leads to problems. Usually these include difficulty; potty training, establishing boundaries, lack of response when disagreeing or correcting the pup, etc.
I suggested that they keep little Teddy off the couch for a while. By playing with him on the floor and restricting access to the couch, his owners can literally communicate the difference between them.
After suggesting a few other rules I asked them to show me Teddy’s toys. Because puppies sample things with their mouthes, its extremely important for a puppy to have a wide variety of toys to play with and chew on. His owners had collected a few toys and supplemented them with a few inappropriate objects; a bottle cap, plastic, lid, etc.
Its impossible for a dog to see the distinction between an empty bottle his owner’s gave him to chew on and a different bottle that still contains the liquid. This also applies to old shoes, pillows, etc. I explained how this can confuse the dog as to what is and is not appropriate to play with and suggested that they get a number of additional dog toys.
Because Teddy was chewing on them with his sharp little puppy teeth, i went over a few different ways to disagree with the behavior. The best solution being to disagree anytime the dog chews on the wrong thing then immediately offering it an appropriate chew toy. It takes some time and patience with puppies, but if you consistently distract them then offer an approved chew toy, Teddy will learn what is and is not for chewing.
We went over some basic commands (sit, stay, recall), a few leadership and social interaction exercises and added some structure to his potty training along with a command word. As the session went on, Teddy got more energetic which gave me the opportunity to show his owners how to disagree and correct him when he fell out of line. While he was a bundle of energy, he was very responsive to my commands, even when I disagreed.
Because he mastered the sit and recall commands within a few moments, its clear that Teddy is an intelligent dog. By adding clear rules, boundaries to his life his owners will be able to accustom Teddy to their lifestyle with ease.