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  • Need Some Training Advice-

    Well, I searched and searched, a finally found a std poodle for us, and my other std poodle, Tucker..

    She's as sweet as she can be... Playfull, full of energy, and just a pretty little girl (about 45 lbs)..

    She was in a service dog program (for the handicapped), and "flunked out" of the program.. She will be 2 in November.

    So, here's my "problem".. She knows the basic commands.. Sit, stay, lay down, etc.. But she has some serious "issues" that we are having such a hard time with. Most important, she a "RUNNER".. I know, std's have that "run away thing", and really shouldn't be trusted off leashe. (at least that's what I've been told).. They see something, and they GO! BUt my boy, Tucker, learned the boundries of our yard in a matter of days, and DOES NOT take off, EVER.. My yard is about 80% fenced in, and in order to fence the rest of it in, It would mess up the drive way area, and there really isn't a way to do it.. (kinda hard to explain).. Any way, she KNOWS she's not allowed out of the yard and is very sneaky about it. She will just wait until we are not looking and bolt. Or, she will not care that one of us is standing near the opening and zig zag passed us. I live on a busy street and she has almost gotten hit a couple times.. Scared the **** out of me.. So, we got her a long tie out.. No other choice, so that she can play and romp with the other dogs in the yard.. Safely.. I've tried call backs with treats, clickers, whistle, and have worked with her extensively, to no avail.. Does any one have any other suggestions for off leash training her?
    And beside that, she is VERY puppy still.. And she uses her paws as playfull "bats".. Everyone in my house gets "batted" continually.. And seriously, it hurts!! WHACK!! In the face.. And she does is so quickly, that you don't have time to move.. lol... We do the "no paw" and physically put both her front paws on the floor and make her sit EVERY time she does this.. My daughter is getting scratched up and she's knocked my glasses off my face a bunch of times.. She's very "over excited" and those paws just come flying at you.. Painfull, and aggravating. If we leave her alone for even a second, she's into something.. ANYTHING she can get her mouth on is chewed, and there will be a mess to clean up. YES, we have a large crate for her and she is crated EVERY time we leave the house now... But even if I go to the bathroom, she finds SOMETHING to get into. She jumps up on people, forcefully, knocks over my neice, daughter, etc. And It's not like I'm an amature at training dogs.. I just feel like she's just NOT getting it.. I spoke with the woman I got her from (who trains service dogs) and she told me that she's VERY intellegent, and NOT being stubborn, that she's just' "confused".. I'm not sure I'm buying that. I was assured that she was very well behaved before I got her, and really, she's the complete opposite.. We have to let her sleep in bed with my daughter, or she howls ALL NIGHT.. Even when I put the crate in my daughters room, and her in it, she will HOWL if she's not in bed.. I've had more sleepless night since she's been with us then I can count.. And we all have work and school in the morning!! LOL
    My husband is getting so frustrated at this point, that he actually said he's starting to resent her being here.. And that I need to do something or she has to go.. She is turning our house and lives upside down, and just won't "settle in".. We had her for about a month now.
    She gets TONS of playtime and running time, lots of walks, treats for good behavior, etc.. She's very well behaved on my grooming table too.. Like a statue.. She has affectionately earned the name "ding bat" to those who know her.. But I'm at a loss at this point..
    I can not afford to have a pro work with her.. We just don't have the money.. And again,, I'm no beginner when it comes to training..
    I'm wondering if because she was in extinsive training for being a service dog, that she missed out on the whole "being a puppy" time.. Because that's what she acts like.. A very young puppy that just doesn't "get it"... And I know she is still a "puppy", but shouldnt' she be mellowing out a little by now and understanding the do's and dont's? She becomming so aggravating that my daughter is starting to "diss" her, and not wanting to play with her because she is so rough and hyper.. And again, my husband is REALLY starting to get ticked off.. He told me last night either the dog starts to behave better or it's "Curtains".. lol.. (aka, she goes back).. I DON"T want that to happen.. I love her dearly and I'm determined to get her trained.. But honestly.. She's NOT getting it.. No matter what I do.. And after my husband chased her for 25 minutes in traffic the other night, I thought he was gonna snap.. Cars were squeeling, people yelling, man, it was a disaster.. So, there is no more "free time" off her tie out.. Which is about 60 ft long, btw. It's not like she's tied to a tree or something.. She can run the whole radius of our yard.. But there are NO fenced in park areas near me to bring her to so she can run.. Nothing..

    Any help would be appreciated.. I'm hoping someone here can "help me help her"...

    Thanks in advance..

  • #2
    It sounds like they have run the gammit on her and decided to dump her. She probably has learned the tricks because of her intelligence. I am sitting ehre thinking a low volt shock might be enough to surprise her into learning. Since you obviously are doing the right things and she is ignoring the corrections. I do not really recommend shock collars but after reading your post it kept coming to me that she is too smart for her own good and stubborn to boot. Since she is 2 she has had time to learn how to behave she has chosen to not behave and now its time to make her behave without the game. Since it seems to have become a struggle of wilsl between her and the trainers, if she cannot find a person to fight with intellectually a collar might be the answer since it is immediate correction for bad behavior. See if you can borrow one from a local trainer to see if it will command her respect ebcause she has none for people at this point. The chewing is a way to get negative attention and the howling is a way to get what she wants.If she doesnt do damage when she is in bed with your daughter thats a start. I happen to have a Std who will chew things if he is loose and alone but won't touch a thing if he is able to sleep on my bed all day when we are gone. You have a very smart girl who has learned the ropes well, she will make a great dog if you can get thru the thick skull and start a cooperative relationship!


    • #3
      I agree, a shock collar (or even the vibrate feature on some i would reccomend the dogtra collars, they are very durable and last forever unlike the cheap versions at petco/petsmart you are either not going to get the power you need (some dogs especially dogs with hair it doesn't always go threw) or it's going to break....
      if you are going to go to a ecollar put her on a long like and the ecollar and make her get distracted by something else and tell her come (set her up NOT to come) and use the ecollar on very very low (like 5 at most) if she doesn't respond slowly turn it up one or two notches until she does can use it on yourself and you will know it's not painful, it's more shocking (heehee) than anything..Most dogs will realize what it is at 15-20...You want to make sure she knows it's coming from YOU vs just a random shock from no where..And then when she comes call her and if she comes praise her!
      Once she gets use to it and understands you can use the collar for everything (including jumping..vs shocking her for jumping use it for her not coming to you when you call her..)
      I would also knee the dog in the chest if they jump on me mean but i cannot stand it!! I knee them and make them back up..they don't like you coming into their space..they shouldn't come into yours!!!


      • #4
        OMG! She sounds exactly like the 6th Sibe I had. I'm angst ridden...just reading your thread. If you substitute "Kimo" for every place you wrote "she"...that was her to a T.
        In hindsight...she was an absolutely brilliant dog, but she made my life a living hell for the first 2 years...and like you, I was no complete novice.

        She rapidly figured out that ANY attention was great...and did not distinguish between positive and negative, it was ALL attention to her, and she loved it.

        What finally saved her life (I'm not kidding!) was intense Obedience training. I dropped everything and had her in classes 3 to 4 nights a week at different locations...for 6 months.
        The bottom line with her (unlike any Sibe I've ever lived with prior or since) was SHE NEEDED A JOB! She was like a BC in that respect.

        She is the reason I became involved in Obedience showing.
        I was warned that it can take 10 to 20 shows for a Sibe to get the 3 legs necessary for a title.
        I was a Novice handler...and Kimo not only qualified in her first three shows...but took 3 High Scores.
        I can promise you it wasn't my handling skills that did that.

        She's also the reason I got involved in running the teams. Despite being a woolly...she was my lead dog for 5 years.
        She needed a job, and she absolutely thrived when there was pressure involved and she had to "channel" her thinking and make decisions.
        She never gave a rats ass about praise or food as a it really was a challenge to figure out how to push her buttons. Gawd knows...she sure figured out how to push mine!

        I don't mean to make this all about me...but just wanted to say that you may need to throw away everything that has worked for you in the past...and come at this gal from a completely different angle.
        She sounds like an unconventional dog...and I agree that she sounds very intelligent. You are going to have to find a way to channel that intelligence....maybe Agility, Competitive Obedience, Lure Coursing (LOL!)...something.
        If you are serious about trying to make this just may have to drop everything for a while...and focus on her.

        Good luck.....I'll be praying for you, lol!

        PS...Kimo lived to be 15 yrs. old, and there are days when I realize that owning that one dog taught me more about dogs in general than all the other 20 Sibes I've lived with...put together.
        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


        • #5
          hey there- I noticed you mentioned your other dog and how quickly he learned the ropes.. Stop comparing- realize this new pup is speciel in it's own way.. I dont agree with the shock collar unless you have exhausted all other options..Your dog was in a training program where there is no room for error..Being told What,When and How to do everything and is now trying to adjust to "pet" life..You have a "free-thinking" dog in the adolescent (Teen) stage of life..Go back to the basics and reestablish the ground rules- my trainer would say "no stops everything"..just that word- say it and correct/re-direct..It just may save her life if she's running into traffics and "Come" doesnt get her attention but she's learned "no" means stop what im doing... It's hard work to convince a free-thinker you are in control but a must to ensure her safety.. I sooo agree that she needs a job! Physical and mental stimulation- where the whole family is involved and everyone follows the same rules..Dont loose your patience-it's hard when you have so much knowledge of dogs yet it fails. I have been going through this with my dog for the last 2 years. Everyday,all day!! She's had many issues-even her trainer says she has never met a dog like her!! But it has paid off- she and I are miles from where we started-try to save for a trainer! Even us "dog pros" need some help from time to time-good luck! Keep us posted!!


          • #6
            I agree with Sibes, and the ecollar, it can be used to break her from bolting amongst other things, around here you can rent one to see it will wotk, people are usualy the reason they dont work.
            ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~


            • #7
              Many good points

              Others have made many good points, and I would like to give you a couple of possibilities.

              This dog was in a very controlled environment - they say she was well behaved, and I believe it, because most dogs will do well in a highly structured environment when that has been their life. HOWEVER - just like a model child in a restrictive home environment who goes off to college and goes a bit very wild and does not know how to use self-control, your dog is saying - "Wheeeeeee!! This place doesn't have all those old rules!!! No one makes me do hardly anything!!! Look what I can do NOW!!!!! hahahahahahahahaha....."

              I have actually seen this in a couple of dogs rehomed through rescue - dogs that I saw in their controlled, quiet homes, dogs that were calm, attentive, watchful, quiet and obedient. Then they changed homes and become wild hellions!!! Well, one became a wild hellion, and the other just thought it was great that he no longer had to obey commands, tee hee.

              So - you may have to work ON THE LEASH in the house for a while and work with more commands, as if the dog is actually doing a job. Also, your description of what you do when she "bats" you sounds totally ineffective because you are actually REWARDING her with total attention and touching when she instigates this. Do you see that?? What you have to do is NOT give attention - this may mean simply turning away and looking away, or when she does this to the kids, either grab that leash (if it is on her) and jerk her down and to the side, preferably really jolting her, by the way OR - if the leash is not on - storm up to her and JAB her away from whoever she is batting and then turn away from her. When you knock her away from the person, I mean knock her away like you mean it. She should have to scramble a bit and she should know that this is a correction. If you think you need to rub it in, you can then stand over her until she backs off more and accepts your authority, but DO NOT try to put her feet on the floor, DO NOT make her sit, etc. She has shown you by her continuing to do this that she LIKES what you do (so far) after she bats someone!!! Since you have had her this long already, I am going to say you should see a HUGE improvement in 1-3 days or else you need to tweak your response. If you had just got her, I would tell you that THREE TIMES of trying this should give you some obvious results.

              Yes, this dog is a bit too smart - she gets to act wild and has you all figuring that SHE can't figure it out. That's what it sounds like to me, but I don't mean that in a bad way. You still have to decide if you want a dog with this attitude. Not a low or medium energy dog, by the sounds of it, but she could be PERFECT for another home where she has more to actually "work" for. Who knows? Whichever way it goes, what is happening now is that she does not respect anyone in your home enough to obey and behave.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                This is for sure a challenge

                but with the dog playing in the street, well, where there is a will there is a way and I'd find some kind of way to fence that open area, even if a bit up the driveway or such. I wouldn't feel okay with my dogs being able to be in front of a car. I'd also say for bigger sporting dogs of which she really is, 3 years is when some energetic dogs can start to calm down.
                Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


                • #9
                  a few days late.....

                  My quick hint...For all of my clients who don't have access to enclosed yards or dog parks, I hand out a map of EVERY tennis court in our town. They are fenced, secure and almost completely empty 90% of the day. If she doesn't know how to play fetch....teach it.
                  4sibes hit on it. Welcome to the world of real working dog mentality. Find this kid a job....and work the holy bejeebers out of her.
                  Remember only stopping behavior ie: corrections may make you feel better for a short moment, but the dog has to have a differential behavior in place. In otherwords NO is NOT enough....this animal needs a direction and a training plan. If you say you have tried this and that in a months time, you are missing the truly important part of successful training....consistancy.
                  Take a big deep breathe. Figure out a daily routine for her and you and stick with it. And don't allow her to fail. No running free in an open yard.....every escape is a huge reinforcing moment for her, and three steps back for you both. I have trained dogs for search and rescue, therapy work, and competition, and would never imagine that I would have a totally reliable recall on a dog in a months time. You have to adjust your expectation level. I know this dog is a challenge, but don't get frustrated, take it one day at a time but try to have a long term view. Six months of solid training and you can experience a decade of one of those "amazing" dogs everyone wants to own.


                  • #10
                    She's still adjusting to her new environment

                    We adopted an older dog (5 1/2 years). I was told that it takes them about 6 months to adjust to a new home. I agree with others that it sounds like she needs a job. It would also be good if you could get her into an obedience class. Even though she has had all that training, she needs to learn to listen to you and the rest of the family. An obedience class where the whole family participates would probably be very helpful. One of the things we learned in obedience class was a "boundary" command. It's used in search and rescue. It tells the dog to stop where they are. Maybe you could find a class where they teach that. Good luck!


                    • #11
                      She's too smart for her own good. Sounds like she's smart enough to understand a shock collar. I think she'll get it pretty quick.


                      • #12
                        I've rolled this around in my head for several days, and I totally disagree with the use of a shock collar. I think, from your description, that this dog does not respect you enough to pay attention. You won't earn her respect with a shock collar.

                        First thing I'd do? Nothing In Life Is Free. It doesn't matter what she wants, she has to earn it. If she wants her dinner, she has to earn it. If she wants to go outside, she has to earn it. If she wants to play or wants pets, or just about anything else, she has to earn it. Sit/stays are good for this. So are down/stays. If she wants a toy, she has to learn "take it" and "leave" or "out". Then when she wants a toy, you ask her to take it, leave it, take it before you allow her to have it.

                        If you allow her on the furniture, make her wait until she's invited. When you take her outside, make her sit and wait until she's asked to go through the door.

                        Next I'd re-train "come". And "come" is only used in a controlled situation where if she breaks she'll still be safe, and you can enfore it. Once she's reliable at that, put a length of sash cord or clothes line on her collar (nice and long), take her out in the yard, and let look to the open spaces. As soon as she so much as looks away from you, correct her with a tug on the cord. When she turns to look at you, praise her. Paying attention is good. Not paying attention gets you a correction. Keep working at that until she's paying attention. Then we move on.

                        Last lesson. Keep the sash cord on, and let it paly out. When she makes a run for it yell "HEY! GET BACK HERE!" Bite the words out so they sound crisp. And LOUD. Do not be fooled by people who tell you dogs can only understand single word commands. It ain't so, and I have two dogs who know exactly what "Have you lost your minds?" means to prove it.

                        The reason you're yelling "HEY! GET BACK HERE" instead of "COME" is because she's in an uncontrolled environment, and she knows it. You can't enforce the command when she's running in the yard. "Come" should only be used as a formal command, or in extreme emergencies. Don't use it if you can't back it up. But there's another reason.

                        If you have the sash cord on while you do this, you shouldn't have too much trouble catching it, and reeling her in. At that point, you can give the command to "Come" because you have control, and you can back it up. So get her attention with the cord, then say "COME" and start backing away from her. Make her chase you, instead of the other way around. This makes learning more of a game, and she'll figure out that when she comes to you, it's fun.