poodle puppy is a one woman dog

Posted by jlswillard
Feb 25, 2008
Help! I have a little 9 week old pup (Izzy) that I have had for 4 days. She follows me constantly; I can not leave her sight or she cries and cries. Today I tried to introduce her to a 12 year old who was very kind and gentle. Izzy began barking (first time ever), growling and tried to bite her. She would not go near the girl, however, if I sat her in the girl's lap, she was fine. It was only when the girl tried to approach her or play with her that she went crazy. When I brought the dog home she was skiddish of me as well. It took a lot of holding before she felt secure. I have my 3 step kids coming to visit for a week in March. I must change this behavior now. Any suggestions?
Posted by Blue
Feb 26, 2008
9 weeks is still very young but there are things you need to do to start her back onto the right path.

[B](Quoted from Todd - Kingdom of Pets Advisor)[/B]
The first advice I would give you is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is, all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-

1) If you come across your dogs while they are sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making them move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dogs around the house on the leash, making your dogs wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet your dogs straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

Generally I do not recommend people give their dogs bones as this encourages the aggression, because in the wild the alpha dog would be the only one to have the privilege of chewing the bones. The reason your dog growls at you when you approach it with a bone is because it believes that it has the right to the bone and is trying to discipline you for challenging your dog for its dominant role.

[B](end Todd's Quote)[/B]

She needs to be started on her obedience - especially if you are going to have children around. Work with her for 15 minutes a day on the basic commands of sit, stay and come. She is still a puppy so she will be easily distracted - try to make training as fun as possible.

A good recommendation for her would be to take her to puppy classes, as she obviously needs socializing. Puppy classes are great to teach you the basics in obedience, as well as start the puppy on socializing with humans as well as other dogs. Socialization is key if you want a dog that will get along with people and dogs - and should be practiced throughout the dogs life, but heavily during puppy-hood.

Your dog should be reprimanded for bad behaviour. DO NOT yell, as this has no effect on a dominant dog and may cause a fearful dog to become worse. Growl instead, use a guttural growl like " AAHHH!" instead of "No!", as this makes a sharper sound then "No" (If done correctly it may hurt your throat a little). The aim is to give her a shock and let her know what she is doing is unacceptable.

Izzy sounds like she is already getting used to having her way and being rewarded for timid/bad behaviour. It is vital to not make an affectionate fuss of her (try to console her) when she is acting in a timid or aggressive way, as this will reinforce the behaviour.

When introducing her to new people (especially children), it is beneficial that she be on a leash. If she starts barking reprimand her verbally and with a small "pop" on the leash. If you can have her sitting quietly before greeting any new people that would be ideal. Do not allow her to greet them if she is aggressive or timid. If she is timid, ignore her go and sit somewhere else to quietly converse and allow her to come out on her own time. If she is aggressive reprimand her as the behaviour occurs and reward only calm behaviour.

When she is calm enough to be introduced - don't let people get their faces too close, ask that they don't stare her straight in the eye and that they put a hand forward, palm down for her to smell. Palm up will be considered more intimidating as a hand open with fingers has the potential to "bite". If she does this without acting out, reward her with praise - and if Izzy's okay with it, allow some pets from the visitor.

As far as her following you around and being highly dependent on you, I highly recommend crate training. If your dog doesn't learn to be away from you at an early stage, you may have to deal with destruction of your house or barking while you are gone - symptoms of separation anxiety. With a crate, properly used, you will be able to leave your dog in another room at night or while you are out. They are also excellent for house training and provide your dog with a safe "bed" that they will use whenever they want down time. Be sure to read about crate training before using one - as done wrong, crate training can make matters worse.

In addition to Izzy following you around and whining - you should not give her any attention for this, ignore her completely - even if you need ear plugs.
Comforting her only encourages her to whine and follow you. Try to restrict your attention on her to when she is quiet and laying down away from you. When she is behaving like this, you can call her over to you for attention. By rewarding her for her quiet behaviour, hopefully you will be gradually changing her behaviour from demanding and clingy to independent and respectful of your space as alpha.

Izzy's behaviour should immediately start to improve upon properly structuring her environment for positive reinforcement for good behaviour and reprimands or no attention for bad behaviour.

Hope this helps!
If you have any questions feel free to ask - I'm not an expert, but I'll try to help where I can .