Why would my 5 month old standard poodle show agressivness toward my grandkids they live with us and he has been with them from day one worried
Your Poodle is showing aggression both to dominate the kids and probably because he is being possessive of you or your (or in his mind, His) house. What you need to do when he does this is dominate him and also have the kids get over him. You will be showing him that you are boss and that you don't approve of his actions. If he acts up, you can even growl at him. Show your teeth. It sounds primitive, but it works because you are "speaking Dog" so to speak.
To Use the Dominance position, you will get your dog into a down position on his side and lay over him (if you tell him Down, he will learn what Down means and will lay down in the future when you tell him to). Make sure his head is also down. Hold him at his neck and upper part of his back leg. The neck part is important because it is what a Dominate Male dog would grab with his teeth. As I said before, growl at him if he is resistant. Try to do this in a calm, yet assertive manner. You don't want to scare the dog, just remind him that you are boss.
Hold him in that position until you feel him relax. This is a sign that he is submitting. Make him lay calm until you feel he is ok, then without looking at him, get up and step away from him. You are telling him that you give him permission to get up. He may lay there for a few seconds or he may get up.
You should also do what is called the "Dog Exam" Position on him.
To do this, sit on the floor and coax your dog into your lap. Get him on his back with his head in your lap. Now make him lay like this until he will relax. His legs should not be stiff (they will be when you first start) but should be relaxed and bent. When he will lay still for you, you can began going over him.
** If he is really squirmy and it takes awhile for him to calm down, just work with him being calm, then let him up. Just work on him being calm for longer and longer until you can work on the next part.
Start going over his head. Look in his ears, play with the ear hair because he needs to get used to having it done at the Groomers. Check his eyes. Look close at them, gently pull the rims down and check to see if the lining is pink. You also want a clear eye. Dogs can sometimes get small seeds or grass in their eyes if they play outside alot, so check to make sure the eyes are clear. Next check his mouth and teeth. Get him used to having his face handled (Grooming purposes) look in his mouth and get him used to having his mouth opened and also look at his teeth.
** You can take these in steps rather than doing all of them at once. Maybe the first time you just look at the head, then you can add in the legs and toes, etc.
Next move on to the front legs and feet. Go down the legs and memorize how they feel. Learn the bones so if anything happens you will know something doesn't feel right. Work down to the toes. A lot of dogs don't like having their feet done. Its important with any dog, but especially with a Poodle. Play with the toes, put your fingers between the pads. Tug lightly on the hair around the toes. Tap on the toenails and apply gentle pressure to the toes. This helps get them used to having their toes groomed and is a big help to the Groomer. :)
You can then move to the body. Look over the hair and skin. Check for external parasites, bumps, cuts/scrapes, anything abnormal. Also check for mats. A Poodles puppies hair tends to mat around 7 months old because they are going from puppy hair to adult hair. If not brushed daily (sometimes you can get by with every other day if you use a conditioner on the hair), matting can occur, most commonly around the armpits, behind the ears, neck, and groin area. Legs can get heavily matted if they are long.
Finally finish by moving to the tail and back legs.
Keep your dog laying still, if he gets up, bring him back and make him lay still. You can also put him on his side and do it from there if it is easier. This exercise is good for teaching him to lay still when being groomed or for exams, etc, but it is also beneficial for building a bond with your dog. Just taking some time while watching TV to do the Dog Exam position (you don't even have to do the exam part, just have him lay in your lap and remain calm, its a good time to give a belly rub.) will help build trust between you and your dog. It lets him know that (again), you are boss in a gentle manner, and also that even when he is in a vulnerable position, you won't let anything hurt him.
When he is trustworthy (and depending on the ages of the grandkids. Generally, a child should be around 6-7 and understand what they are doing if you are going to allow them to dominate the dog with you) you can have the grandchildren dominate the dog as you have been doing. Have them get over top of him while you are over him also. This shows him that the kids are bosses also and he can't dominate them. They can also help with the dog position. Either have them kneel on the floor next to you and help with the exam part, or with your dog on his side they can kneel over him also and help with the exam.
You should get to the point that he won't growl at them, and if he does all you should need to do is tell him "Down" and make him lay down.
I know this is alot to take in, but take your time and his, and don't expect it to happen in a day. Be patient with him and he will come around.
Please feel free to write me back if you have questions about this or other Poodle questions in general.
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