3 Magic Words...
for a young [or not so young] pup!!!
*** no bite!!!
The "ackhhh" sound is a general catch all sound for "stop doing whatever it is you're doing right now and look at me" in a very short and manageable way. It gets your pups immediate attention, it is a "stop and desist" command and works through the entire range of puppy/adult training and is applicable for all situations. In a new puppy you will start with soft "ackhhhs", as training progresses it becomes firmer, the voice gets deeper, the eye contact gets fiercer.
Once your pup has learned to recognize the "ackhhh" sound as a valid "NO" command, you will add language to it. Don't ever just say "no". When you use "no" as a deterrant or a redirect [keep in mind that poodles are some of the smartest dogs there are and they will learn the meaning of individual words if you say them often enough] - in order for more impact - use a 3 word phrase.
"attention ~ puppy name ~ no/command" will give you more results than just a no.
"Ackhhh!!! Suuusieeee! No bite!!!"
Tone of Voice & Eye Contact
Let me just say this one more time just in case you did not catch that in the paragraph above! Poodles are so darn smart, they often take over the household and train their owners, if you don't make an effort to stay ahead of one!!!
They can become holy terrors with worse behavior than your 2 year old child or grandchild! They know a sucker or push over when they see one!!! They know if you mean it or not! So for training purposes - when your pup does something naughty or wrong, but it also happens to be funny or cute - and you know you need to correct it - DO NOT LAUGH, GIGGLE OR EVEN HAVE A SMILE ON YOUR FACE when you correct your poodle pup!
Not even laugh wrinkles around your eyes - the smart ones will learn to read you that well! Better than your children and faster too !!! The stricter you are when you correct misbehavior, the fewer corrections it takes. And that is the joy with a poodle child - because they are so smart, if you teach it right - once or twice repeated in each training session - a few times in a row - is all it takes. They thrive on love, affection, praise and laughter - most poodles live to please - that is if they have been taught how to behave and have learned to respect you.
When you correct your poodle puppy - drop your voice [don't get louder = get deeper in the voice].
Put on your best "I mean business" face.
Make eye contact [remember no giggles in the voice, smiling, grinning or laughing].
A firm serious face, fierce eye contact [the "evil eye" variety], the serious tone of voice - and
I promise you - on an older pup or adult, it will take very few
repetitions, on a younger pup a few more because they are still "fluffy"
between the ears but it is accumulative learning that will carry over
to other teachings down the line.
You must be consistent in your training
- if on one day it's bad and the next day its fine - you're smudging
the lines of training, and shouldn't be surprised if a smart or dominant puppy keeps
pushing to see which rules are applicable today.
Consistency is key in puppy training and avoids having variations of the same misdeeds popping up again and again.
Do not wrestle, play tug of war or tease the puppy, until you have taught proper mouth pressure and how to stop or release on command, or again you will confuse the pup when it is okay one day to do and not the next.
"Gimmee" & "Leave it!"
The "Gimmmmeeee!!!" or "Give Me" command
- is an extention of the "no bite" but is used in reference to toys,
chew bones and inappropriate things the pup has snagged when you were
Again - speak in entire mini sentences: "Ackhhh! Suuuusieeeee - Gimmmmmeee [that]!"
Similar to "Gimmeee" is "Leave it". In the photo above I want her to walk away from the cable rather than mess around or chew on it, so I would use the following term:
"Ackhhhh - Susie - leave it!!!"
The "ackhhh" lets her know she is doing something I do not like, the leave it tells her what to do.
On a new pup that is still learning, I would continue with a "puppy name - come!" command to get her away from there and to distract her and redirect her activity with a toy or something else to do.
With an older pup or adult I'd expect her to walk away for a while [with a well behaved adult to stay away too, a teenager would just have to come back and check it out again later ], so in this case - something that needs to be kept under constant supervision or ideally put out of reach for a while, until the pup has learned to leave cables alone...