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Old February 21st, 2013, 10:44 AM
Purley Purley is offline
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Disobedient?

I have four dogs. Three Shih-tzus and a Miniature Poodle. My 7 year old Shih-tzu has been in agility for 6 years and he obviously loves it. My youngest Shih-tzu is 3. He is a former show dog, very soft temperament. He got his Pre Novice obedience title last October.

My 3 year old poodle is "different". She is sometimes very affectionate - first thing in the morning or when we come home, she is overjoyed to see us. Outside chasing a ball - her tail is up and she is happy. But other times -- she will be sitting on the sofa and if my husband or I go and sit with her, she will often get up and go somewhere else. She sometimes sits on the sofa behind me when I am on the computer. If I speak to her "Hi there, what are you doing?" in a nice friendly voice - she gets up and goes upstairs. Same with my husband. He will call her and she will ignore him and walk away.

I have had her in agility classes. She can do all the obstacles but just "does" them. Doesn't seem very interested. I put her in a RallyO class and she just kind of plugged along. With the circles it was like dragging a boat anchor. No matter how much I encouraged her in the RallyO class, it made no difference. She didn't look at me and just slogged around.

I thought this was her temperament -- not very affectionate, didn't like dog sports.

If the dogs are outside and I call them - they all come running - except her. She will just totally ignore me and go on eating snow - doing what she was doing etc. I think she comes "when she feels like it." I think she is friendly to my husband and I "when she feels like it."

A friend who has been breeding and training dogs for years said that I shouldn't "ask" her to do something - I should "tell" her. She says she doesn't respect me and she is just disobedient. I have to admit that she often seems like a sulky teenager. You know how teenagers get so they hate their parents no matter what happens!! I don't know what to do. I have had a sulky teenager and if you are nice - they are rude and ignore you-- and if you are strict - they are rude and ignore you. You just have to wait until they grow up and become "normal" people.

With all my dogs I use praise and/or treats and correction. Not the old fashioned "tough" correction but I let them know when they have done what I want -- and when they haven't. If I was to yell "NO" at my 3 year old Shih-tzu -- he falls to pieces -- he cannot handle loud corrections. It doesn't bother the 7 year old - he just wags his tail as usual. The Poodle listens but yelling doesn't bother her.

Poodles are smart. She should be getting high scores in obedience and rally - not slugging along like a bulldog. I want her to LOVE dog sports. Not reluctantly do them because I "make" her. I want her to WANT to come when we call her - every time!!

Anybody got any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old February 21st, 2013, 11:00 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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I think if you have worked your dog in agility for 6 years and put the pre-novice Obedience title on another then you must be pretty darn good at understanding your dogs and encouraging them to do their best. Congrats on the Pre-Novice too.

Maybe Ms. Poodle just isn't interested. Not all are. Most of the dogs loved agility when we did it but not all.

Have you noticed there is anything she DOES really like? Maybe a different sport would be more rewarding to her. Chasing balls? Morph it into flyball? Or even some junior hunt tests? After all, poodles were originally used for hunting waterfowl and I do see some trialing. Then once you find what is super rewarding for her use it to work on her recall?

Have you checked her hearing and vision?
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Old February 21st, 2013, 11:58 AM
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marko marko is offline
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The 2 possible things that came to my mind while reading this are;

1 - Like some people, maybe this dog is depressed and could benefit from meds. Does the dog "seem" depressed to you? The sulky teenager analogy, for me suggests depression versus rebellion. If so, maybe a vet checkup is in order. (hearing and vision check t the same time is a great idea for sure)

Like some people, is it possible she is developmentally disabled in some way? ( less 'sharp' than the other dogs)? Or Perhaps the dog is not confident which is why just speaking to her or approaching her freaks her out?

2 - This is a training issue and the dog needs to better see that you and your husband are in charge of everything. Food, play, toys, sleeping areas, who walks in first, eats first etc.

This sentence sticks out for me.

"She is sometimes very affectionate - first thing in the morning or when we come home, she is overjoyed to see us. "

Is anything special happening at that time besides seeing you? Extra toys, treats, pets - anything at all?

Sorry to ask more questions than provide answers, but maybe the answers to these questions might spark an idea.
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  #4  
Old February 21st, 2013, 01:10 PM
Purley Purley is offline
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Well, I wasn't going to mention this at first -- but see what replies I got.

For reason I won't detail, I had a disagreement with the breeder after I got the dog and haven't spoken to her since. It all started because she didn't bring the dog when she said she was going to. I wanted her at 4 months after all her Parvo shots because my son's puppy had Parvo at my house the year before. She didn't contact me and then phoned out of the blue when she was 5 months old. The second day I had the dog she had a rash on her belly and white goopy stuff coming out of her eyes. I took the dog down to the kennel club building to meet my friend, but she was petrified - stiff as a board - was afraid to walk. Then a couple of days later she had an ear infection. It cost me about $500 for vet bills the first week alone.

The breeder said the dog was fine when she had her - it was my fault because I changed her name and the rash was caused by the pine trees in my yard.

I have been told that she had too many litters are the time and the dogs were in ex pens. Whether five months mostly in an ex pen with other puppies affects a dog for life, I don't know. She still has a rash most of the time. I prefer to treat it externally, but in the past she has been on antibiotics and prednisone for very short periods. I don't like using meds if I can help it.

I have been through various food allergy tests and my vet says it's not a food allergy. Its probably an auto-immune problem, but it can't be fun being itchy a lot of the time.

She loves being outside. I have a big garden - covered in about four feet of snow -- but in the summer she will chase a ball for ever. Not sure about flyball. Those dogs make such a darn racket and I am not a big fan of "noise".

Eyes - I took her to an eye clinic - opthalmologist from Saskatoon vet clinic. Nothing wrong with her eyes. She can hear things like "want a cookie" or "want to go outside" but she has trouble hearing "It's time to come in" or "stop that barking"!!
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:01 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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I am sorry but i think this is so funny It sounds like you have a cat in poodles clothing comes when it wants plays when it wants happy to see you but hey no big deal
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:30 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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First and foremost your breeder is an IDIOT!!! I don't like to use that word as I do not like to insult people but WOW!!! Your fault because you changed her name, and the pine trees are the reason for the rash? WOW!!!!

If your dog is happy overall isn't that the best we can ask for? The games, the competitions, the shows...some dogs do enjoy it, but its often more about us than it is about them.

The beauty of dogs is they are all individuals and that means sometimes they have personalities that just don't fill every niche we want them to. Some dogs are more aloof, less affectionate, less playful and more independent. She loves you and is happy to see you when you come home but she just isn't going to go on about it like a Golden Retriever who wants to keep celebrating your return for the next hour.

I don't want to sound defeatist, but sometimes a dog just isn't interested and trying harder to make her like it can backfire. Pressure to perform can shut her down more. We have a Rottie who is incredible in his obedience, but the second I try to record it on camera he completely shuts down. There is nothing I have figured out to get him over it. He just doesn't like the camera - I think he thinks its a huge eye that keeps following him around - creepy!!

I think a visit to a holistic vet would be of value. She could have an impaired immune system, an allergy or a low level inflammation. If you weren't feeling good and you were itchy, or just not quite right you may not want to participate in life much.

Sometimes a highly sensitive dog can be very shut down if they have been over corrected at some point in time. They stop trying, they stop having fun. Not saying that happened but it can result in this type of behavior.

It might just be that she doesn't want to play the games you want to play. It sounds like balls are key to finding her inner puppy, so that seems like your best bet for getting her more excited about things.

What are you feeding her? Grain free?
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  #7  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 10:28 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
I think if you have worked your dog in agility for 6 years and put the pre-novice Obedience title on another then you must be pretty darn good at understanding your dogs and encouraging them to do their best. Congrats on the Pre-Novice too.

Maybe Ms. Poodle just isn't interested. Not all are. Most of the dogs loved agility when we did it but not all.

Have you noticed there is anything she DOES really like? Maybe a different sport would be more rewarding to her. Chasing balls? Morph it into flyball? Or even some junior hunt tests? After all, poodles were originally used for hunting waterfowl and I do see some trialing. Then once you find what is super rewarding for her use it to work on her recall?

Have you checked her hearing and vision?
We have a hunting sport club in my city and one person was bringing their poodle to the club and they're trying to reintroduce the poodles back to hunting waterfowl. Some people do not realize poodle are hunting dogs , and I notice in the dogs shows the poodles are not in the working dog group.
Poodles sure do have a gentle bite,I took my hearing aid off one to take nap and when I woke up I could not find it on the coffee table. Finlay had picked up and carried it to his blanket to keep it safe for me. He did not leabe any teeth marks in my HA. They're such smart dogs and do get bored easy.
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  #8  
Old March 1st, 2013, 03:16 PM
Purley Purley is offline
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Yes. Thanks for all the comments. I have decided to leave her alone and not bother with the dog sports for her. She loves chasing a ball and I have jumps and a tunnel and when I put them out on the grass in the summer - she enjoys them then!

I think it was because I was told "Oooh - poodles LOVE dog sports" that I expected her to love them. But I think as someone said, that dogs are all individuals and you can't generalize.
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