Most of the time; owners inadvertently cause certain behaviors in their dog. Dogs repeat behaviors that are rewarded. By recognizing what your poodle sees as a reward, and removing the opportunity to be rewarded for the bad behavior, you’ll be on your way to ending those behaviors.
No matter what the behavior problem is; the basis of problem solving are the same.
- Determine the underlying cause or motivation for the behavior.
- Take away the rewarding aspect of the behavior.
- Replace the bad behavior with a desirable behavior you can reward.
REMEMBER: while many behavior problems and the basis for solving those problems may be the same…Every dog – every situation – every solution is NOT the same.
A well-thought-out plan is key to long-term success in solving a behavior issue.
- Set Rules For Your Poodle. The rules you set for your poodle are entirely up to you and should be based on your lifestyle, personality, personal preferences, and your dog. It doesn’t matter what kind of structure there is to the family rules, as long as there is a definite structure that the dog can recognize and understand.
- Enforce The Rules. The moment you catch your poodle in the act of breaking a rule interrupt the bad behavior. Most poodles respond well to “No” or “Stop” in a deeper (not louder) than normal tone of voice. Dogs are verbal animals and are very aware of different voice tones, it is not necessary to yell. Poodles tend to be so sensitive that yelling at them or any type of physical punishment might make them fearful and lead to more behavior problems.
- Redirect Improper Behavior. Dogs repeat activities that are rewarding to them. By recognizing what your poodle sees as a reward, and removing the opportunity for him to be rewarded for problem behavior, you’ll be on your way to ending those behaviors. Instead of punishing your poodle for breaking a rule, redirect him to a desirable behavior, and then reinforce that behavior with a treat, he’s apt to repeat the good behavior. This is much more effective than punishment.
- Reward Good Behavior. Dogs and people alike, learn more from our successes than we do from our mistakes, and we are more likely to repeat our successes. Every interaction with your poodle -taking her out to potty, grooming or playing a game- is an opportunity for her to learn and be rewarded for good behavior. Anything your poodle likes can be used to emphasize good behavior: treats, toys, verbal praise and petting.
- Prevent Problem Behavior. Sometimes the best solution is to prevent the problem from happening. If you eliminate opportunities for misbehavior, you set your poodle up for success. If you don’t want a puppy to chew up your shoes, keep your shoes out of reach and him give something appropriate to chew on.
- Be Consistent. Don’t allow your poodle puppy to do anything now that you don’t want him to as an adult. Often, we allow our dogs to get away with behaviors that at first seem cute, then a minor irritation, and later, a PROBLEM. A dog that is allowed to get away with bad behavior one time and at other times is yelled at for the same behaviors, lives in an uncertain world. This leads to insecurity and the dog may stop trying to communicate with the owner because he can’t make sense out of the owners unpredictable behavior.
- Symptom Of A More Serious Problem. Sometimes a behavior problem is a symptom of a more complex problem like separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety have a dramatic stress response and exhibit behavior problems when they are left alone.
- When In Doubt, Seek Help. If you are experiencing serious problems with your poodle or are a first time dog owner and are not sure you can handle the problem you may need to seek help from an expert. Your veterinarian may be able to help or recommend someone who can.