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Old February 21st, 2013, 10:44 AM
Purley Purley is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 8

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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