Poodles/Barking Standard Poodle
We have 2 standard poodles whose personalties are night and day. They're parti poodles purchased from 2 different breeders.
Archie is a 4 year-old 65-pound male who randomly barks ALL the Time! Sometimes it's the neighbor's car pulling in the driving, anytime someone walks done the street, thunderstorms, etc.
Both dogs have Invisible Fence Collars. Archie's has very narrow ear canals and easily accumulates small amounts of hair in his ears.
Archie was 3months old when we purchased him; whereas Sophia came home at 8 weeks and the breeder was a FIDO for Freedom Trainer. I enrolled him in puppy training classes, but it just didn't seem to work.
Archie's breeder was much more carefree and was pretty much allowed the parents & puppies to explore the house/yard.
Any suggestions you can offer are greatly appreciated!!!!
There are several things you can do to help with Archie's problems. You will need to estabolish that you are his boss, and show him that there are things that you DO approve of and things you DON'T approve of. You can start this off in a more gentle manner by doing the "Doggie Exam" position on him.
Here are the steps to take:
You can also try the Dog Exam position with him if you think he will allow it. To begin, you will sit on the floor with your feet in front of you and with him in your lap on his back.
This exercise is great for getting the dog to realize that you are dominate because your head is over his, and he is on his back in a very venerable position. He needs to learn to trust you that you won't let anything hurt him while he is in this exposed position.
You will want him to lay there for a bit until he will relax, because when you first start his feet will probably be in the air and he will be stiff. If you think he will bite you, try using a small muzzle on him. Talk softly to him and pet his belly until he will relax. Once you see him relax some give him a few more belly rubs and let him up. Do this a few times until he is more comfortable with this. Once he realizes that this exercise is comforting to him, you can start the exam part. You will start at his head and look in his ears, eyes, mouth and teeth. Raise the lips and look at the teeth, see if he will let you open his mouth and check in there. Look at his eyes, then look in his ears. Gently massage the ears and rub your finger around the inside (this helps with ear hair removal when he is at the groomer). Next move to his torso. Check his belly and skin there, then move to his front legs. Bend them at the joints and work them a little. Check between his toes and feet (this is also good for groomer visits). Tap on the nails and give the nails a gentle squeeze. Finally move to his back legs and rear area. After the exam is over, rub his belly again until he relaxes and let him up. Lots of praise and positive reinforcement during the exam. Like I said, this helps establish dominance in a non-violent manner, so the more positive you are, the better the dog will take it.
If you need to be a bit more forceful with him, say when he barks, you may need to get him down on the floor and lay over him to assert your dominance. You can also do this in a gentle manner, but it carries a much harsher message to him. This position is what a Dominate dog would do if he needed to place a less dominate dog in his place. You will lay your dog down on his side with his head on the floor. You can hold him down in this positon, just make sure that he is all the way down. Get over top of him and keep him down there until he relaxes. You want him to give in to you. You can even look him in the face and growl at him to let him know you are serious. Once he will relax, you can slowly look away from him and move off him. Don't let him up though until you get up and walk away. Then he can get up on his own. Anytime he does something you don't approve of, do this with him.
You can even get to the point where you can point at him and he will lay down for you. This is a sign that he is submitting to you.
After this, I would take him back to an Obedience class, so you can teach him the basics and he will be open to learning and listening to you.
As to taking care of his ears, you can either pluck the hair out yourself or take him to the Groomer for them to do it. If you choose to do it yourself, you can purchase some ear plucking powder from your local Pet Store, sprinkle a little in the ear and pull the hairs around the opening of the ear first. Next put a little on the outside of the inner ear and pull the hair there. Finally you can get the hairs deeper down. Put more powder in the ear canal, (enough to cover the hairs down there), and grasp them with your finger or a pair of blunt tipped tweezers or hemostats and remove the hair there. There are good videos on YouTube that shows removing the hair from the ears.
Give this a try and if you have other questions or need other tips, please feel free to ask me.
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