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Poodles/5 month Miniature Poodle


Hi there - we have Barney, 5mth old desexed mini poodle.  We have trouble with him constantly jumping (and nipping at times) at visitors and us.  We do the firm "NO" but he gets so excited, it takes him ages to settle and leave visitors alone. We often have to put him in his crate or outside for abit to calm down. He also seems to sleep alot during the day.  He currently weights 5.8kg (not sure of height as yet). Also re exercise how much should be doing - he has 2 x 20mins walks most days and a run around on our lawn fetching balls etc with us.   We are new to dog ownership so appreciate any advice you can offer.  thank you :)

Hello Janine,
First off, Your Barney is so adorable.  Love that face.  
Sounds like your Barney is being a puppy and testing rules.  I can give you some tips that will help with his issues and some that might crop up later as well.  

Let me introduce you to Dominance training first so you will know what I am talking about when I refer to it later.  
Dominance training is where you exert dominance over your dog the way a Dominate dog would do to a submissive dog.  In your case, you are going to lay your dog over on his side and hold him down (with his head on the floor) until he relaxes or submits to you.  It usually doesn't take a puppy long to get the idea that you want him to stop struggling and lay still.  You need to be calm, but firm so that he knows this isn't a game.  When he will lay still for several seconds at least, you can let him up.  If you need to repeat this process, do so.  This can be done any time you want him to listen and he isn't doing what you tell him to do.  Eventually he will realize that you are boss and he needs to listen to you.  He will learn to respect you because you are boss.  
He should also learn Sit.  This is so that you can have him sit when you want him to calm down.  The best way to teach Sit is to use a treat and start with the pup at your left side.  If he is wiggly, you might get your puppy next to a wall or couch so he can't move around much.  Use the treat and hold it slightly above your pups head, then move the treat backwards slowly.  Your pup should automatically sit as he watches the treat move.  Have him wait for a few seconds before giving him the treat.  Praise and give the treat when he sits and stays.  He should gradually sit for longer times until he will sit and stay there for up to a minute or more.  

When people come over, I would put his leash on him.  This way, you have control of him when visitors come in.  Put him in a sit first and make him stay sitting until he is calm.  Once he is calm, the visitors can pet him.  If he starts to jump or move, have them back off and calm him down.  If he won't calm, you can use the Dominance position.   
For jumping, start with a word that means you don't want him to jump, such as "Off".  Use this word when he jumps up. Tell him "Off", then place him in a Sit.  If he continues, grab his feet when he is up on you and walk him backwards.  Then place his feet on the floor and have him sit.  Don't give him any attention until he has calmed down.   
You can also use "Off" to have him get off the furniture when you don't want him on there.  Tell him "Off", and put him on the floor.  Only let him up with you when you call him up.  
As for the sleeping alot during the day, he is a 5 month old puppy and he requires more sleep now.  He will tend to go in bursts.  Sleep, Play, Potty.  He should calm down in about a year or so.  

You can also try the Dog Exam position with him.  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.  

As far as exercise goes, he is a 5 month old puppy.  The amount of exercise is fine, but you need to find things to keep him out of trouble and this means also exercising his mind.  Play "Hide and Seek" games with his toys, play fetch and teach him to "Wait" until you release him to get his toy.  Find neat tricks to teach him, which not only work his mind but is really neat to show off to visitors.

"Teach Your Dog Tricks Sites"  This site shows tricks and uses the Clicker method.  You can use the clicker or just give a treat without the click.

Try to get your puppy out to dog friendly places as often as possible.  The more exposure the better.  Get people to pet him, and keep him calm while doing so.  You might even think about puppy training classes.  Group classes would be best so Barney learns to get along with other puppies and people.  

I hope this helps you some.  There is alot to take in here, but you don't have to put it in to practice all in one day.  If you have other questions about this or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask me.  

Thanks for using,


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Kim Wingate


I can answer general questions about Poodles. My specific area of expertise is Standard Poodles, but I will answer all questions about Poodles and dog related questions if I can. If I can't answer your question, I will be able to find information or someone who can.


I am a Dog Groomer and Dog Trainer, who has raised Standard Poodles for over 25 years. I can answer Housebreaking questions, Obedience/Training questions, Grooming questions, Breeding questions, and General Dog questions. I can also give SUGGESTIONS about general Health questions, but as I am not a Certified Vet, I cannot and will not diagnose illnesses. If you think that your dog is seriously ill, please contact your own Vet.

I am a member of the American Kennel Club.

I have worked at several Pet stores in my area, worked for a year as a Vet Tech, was an apprentice for a Dog Trainer, and have also worked at a Grooming/Showing kennel for several months. I have also raised, shown, currently train, and groom my own Standard Poodles, and have for over 25 years.

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