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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19660
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Our 7 mo old standard spayed poodle girl is full of issues

Customer Question

Our 7 mo old standard spayed poodle girl is full of issues yet was such a "chill" young pup. She is our fourth of this breed and one of 2 we now have ( others died of old age). She has excitement urination issues, she is "playing" too aggressively with our 5 yr old standard girl. She high pitch yelps sometimes. And by the way, we adore her. Is this a phase I chose to forget?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Customer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Is she destructive only when you are home?
Are all her toys down all the time?
What obedience trainin ghas she had?
Is she allowed on furniture?
Is she playing too rough with the other poodle or humans as well?
Is she holding your hand or mouthing your hands or nipping?
do you have a fenced yard?
How often is the weather an issue for walks?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is destructive only at when we are here because we crate her when we are gone. We are retired so at least one of us is home.
The dogs have a toy box and can get things out when they want them. Often they have quite an array of toys out.
We had our puppy classes cancelled, the trainer quit before starting. We have worked with her on sit, stay, down, heel, watch plus other things and she understands us and responds. She may be the smartest we have had. But at times she chooses to ignore us. She is NOT good motivated and on walks when weather is good, she will even at times refuse treats. We are in the Phoenix Arizona desert so our weather is too hot to walk now until mid September or later (we also don't have sidewalks here so all walking is on asphalt making it hotter) She is allowed on furniture. She is only too rough with our other standard poodle who is too tolerant and she is not happy right now. She is well behaved and no vplaints about her but she barks occasionally when she alerts us to something outside, the doorbell rings, etc. She is 5 and a very good dog. The pup doesn't hold hands, nip or play rough in any way with any humans. We have a fenced yard and it is crushed rock like many Phoenix yards. There is a very small patch of grass in it and trees.
Even when the weather was good, and we could walk, she was doing these behaviors. The weather turned hot later than usual this year so it hasn't been long since she could walk.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Customer,
As I'm sure you have to be aware or this but Poodles are a very strong willed breed. This intensifies when they start reaching sexual maturity and continues as they become fully adult dogs. Sexual maturity usually starts between 5-7 months of age.
They can start to believe that they are the boss and the house belongs to them and thus they can do what they want with anything in the house. So if they want to play with something and tear it up, they do it. It can also be a sign of boredom as well. Part of that strong willed personality is also why she 0 to only obey when she wants to.
Letting dogs on the furniture also contributes to them thinking they are equal to the humans in the house because they are physically on the same level as you. Conversely, if you keep them on the floor, that helps lower them mentally back to a more submissive place in the household. So I do suggest you put her on a leash when you are home and use it to remove her from furniture and to prevent her getting on the furniture. When she does start not trying to get up, then give her a tasty treat. Don't use regular store bought treats. I find that hot dog slivers tend to work well as treats.
I think your device autocorrected food to good when you mentioned her motivation. So if she is not food motivated, you can help her be more interested in these training treats by cutting back on the amount of food you are feeding her daily. She doesn't need as much if you are also going to give treats for training purposes.
You need to start back up formal structured obedience training. It doesn't have to be a training class. You can do the training at home, but it has to be structured. You need to set aside some time at the same time each day just for training purposes.
The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
This all helps you establish the humans as the bosses of the house. As such, you own everything and the dog is less likely to destroy your things. The second thing I'm going to recommend is a DAP collar. They use pheromones to calm a dog much like the ones a nursing mom uses to calm her pups. This might help keep destructive behavior down.
Since it is too hot to walk, you might get her an automatic ball thrower for the yard. Let her play with the ball thrower multiple times a day to give her the exercise she needs. Just be sure she has plenty of fresh cool water and you let her inside into the A/C when she is finished playing so she doesn't get heat stroke. An alternative is a treadmill that she can walk on. They work well to tire her out as well.
Take up half her toys. I know they are in a box, but she still knows they are there. Put half of them away and rotate them. If they have access to them all the time, they become bored with them. So rotating them weekly can help prevent the boredom and destruction. Buy some new stimulating toys for her. Here are a few that might stimulate her more.
The other thing I would recommend is to find some similar sized dogs, preferably male and her age. This will help teach her bite inhibition and not to play so rough with the older dog and again give her an outlet for her energy.
Her alerting you to visitors with barks is normal as long as she stops when asked to or you acknowledge the visitor. With the obedience training you can also command her to a specific spot to lay down when visitors come to call so you don't have to worry about telling people to not make eye contact, etc.
I hope this information is helpful to you . If you feel you need more information or clarification on some of the things I've mentioned, please respond and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.