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 Post subject: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 23 May 2016, 19:38 
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Joined: 22 May 2016, 16:28
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I have a 14 week old mid(ish) sized labradoodle who I suspect is being typical for her age but I am not convinced! I would really appreciate some reassurance from everyone who has more experience than I of this breed.

she started off at 8 weeks an absolute dream, sleeping. eating and playing. She has been off lead from the first and to start with she would stick with me. I now have to have her on a long lead as she won't come back if she sees another dog and will jump all over people we meet, given a chance. She is also relying on me tugging (gently) on the line rather than responding to my voice at other times. i sometimes come back from a walk feeling totally invisible and wondering if we will ever get beyond using the line.

Puppy classes are embarrassing. She is so full of smelling, seeing and being with other dogs she spends half if it dangling like a lunatic in the other end of the lead. Whilst the other dogs have got better, she seems to have got worse. (To be fair, I should add hat she plays really well with other dogs and has good doggy manners.)

in the evenings she does the doodle thing I have read about until about 9.00 when she finally gives up. This can mean 3 hours of marauding. Tonight I gave her 30 minutes and now she is on the lead, attached to the sofa, at my feet with chews, kongs etc. She seems ok with that.

She nips ankles when I walk her, jumping up and snarling. This is very boisterous play, not aggression, but OMG it is very frustrating as we hardly get very far before she starts. I end up waiting for her to stop or walking along with a toy dangling down for her to hang off.

I could go on but you get the picture!

Can anyone reassure me this is typical and give me an idea at what age things start to improve? Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 23 May 2016, 22:37 
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Absolutely typical doodle pup to the letter. In fact I'd say she's perfect. She read the rule book and she's performing as a only a doodle pup does.
Terrible recall. Tick
Thinks every dog and human, especially ones that look like ants in the distance would love to be doodled and bounced to an inch of their life. Tick
Class clown at puppy classes (but actually the cleverest). Tick
Nipping. Tick
Hard to teach to walk nicely on a lead. Tick
Tearing the house apart so you have to have them on a lead to be in the lounge. Tick.
Cute and fluffy with eyes that melt your heart so you let her off. Tick
My doodle was the perfect puppy too! :lol:

Now she's the perfect dog. You sound like you are doing all the right things.
Your perfect doodle puppy will become the perfect grown up too!

We won't be cruel and tell you about the teenage phase- I'd find the book and hide it before she reads it. :shock:

It does get better in fits and starts- I promise. Xx

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 24 May 2016, 22:06 
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Joined: 22 May 2016, 16:28
Posts: 16
Thank you for the reply.....I think!
She is nothing like the Labradors I have had in the past but today she was a pleasure (even though I had to wash her bum because she got a poo stuck in her fur!)
Be gentle with the response tho this question but when will I notice she is calmer and can listen? I am sure she isn't wilfully ignoring me at times, she is just too excited sometimes and can't hear.


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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 24 May 2016, 22:58 
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Joined: 24 Aug 2010, 18:16
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Location: Reading, Berkshire
Stout was a total nightmare as a puppy. We used to go to the pub after puppy school, the only time he was well behaved was when she asked for a dog that would definitely pull/jump up etc, just to make sure he showed us up.

He used to be bad on walks when he got tired. One day it took me an hour to do a 15 minute walk because I stopped every time he pulled etc. We tried to time his walks so he got home before he started playing up.

We used to play 'find it games' with him, hiding treats etc under plastic cups and getting him to find it. Also lots of training and trying to be consistent with what is acceptable and what isn't. He is still not great at recall, if he is being very defiant the shout of 'cheese' is normally the only thing that works. His brain is quite poodly so he is a 'whats in it for me' thankfully if there is a treat the lab stomach kicks in! A friend once said he is the only dog he has ever met who when you tell him to do something will look at you, stick two fingers up, and carry on doing what he wants!

He calmed down overnight, we were convinced he was ill, as one morning he got up and actually listened to us! He is a lovely cuddly, mostly well behaved dog now. He still tries to push the boundaries sometimes but is a lovely character, and will eventually listen! He walks well on his lead, although if one of his pack is ahead of him usually to their heel rather than the person holding the lead!

It will get better!

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 24 May 2016, 23:16 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2012, 15:40
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What I was trying to say was you have a very typical doodle puppy. Don't think, like I did (being totally flabbergasted at how bonkers and bitey mine was) that you've some how picked a delinquent, devil pup. Tess of the Baskervilles we called her!
It's obvious you are experienced with dogs as all the things you are trying sound right. You will see an improvement soon. It's hard to remember but by about 5-6 months they calm down a little. The biting stopped at about 16 weeks. They do have a relapse or teenage cloth-ear phase at about 9 months but it's not as bad as puppy craziness.

They are not born with manners and so I found bizarrely, that the only place she would sit still and not bite me was on the swing seat in the garden. Bearing in mind it was the last winter we had lots of snow, I would sit for ages with her playing what I called "tiny games".
Things like:
off- get your nose away from me/that.
look at me
mine- a thing she can never have
leave it
head- put your head on my knee
touch- touch my hand or a thing with your nose.

All these things really helped to teach her manners and make her focus. Tasty treats and little and often seems to work best.

You will get her off the long line. Just keep practising your recall. They do relapse later on but this will be a blip and will get better. Recall can be a challenge for many doodles but it gets better with age.

Mine did grow out of running to everyone at about 18 months.
You have to scan and see people and dogs first.

Mine was so naughty I thought I would never be able to have her out of the kitchen. We would have her in on a lead and then one day we realised she could be free. About 5 months I think.

The biting your ankles on walks can be sometimes because they are tired. I noticed Tess would do it worse if we'd gone a bit too far but it stopped about the same time as nipping did.

Take no notice of me saying they are hard to lead train- some are some aren't. Mine was terrible and still only walks nicely (sometimes) on the way home with a treat wafted under her nose despite me trying harder to teach her than I've ever tried anything before. Yours might be easy.

I hope that's more helpful.
Doodles will always have their moments and but the good bits outweigh those by far and their doodliness is why we love 'em.
What I have learnt is as you know, doodles are a handful, not for the faint hearted and they demand a lot of time, love and patience to train.
There is no doubt it will be worth the effort. Once your hard work begins to pay off they are the best, funniest, cleverest, most gorgeous and loving dogs you could ever wish for. Keep us posted with how you get on. Xx

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 25 May 2016, 00:26 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
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Location: South Dorset
Comfort yourself with the thought that usually the naughtiest puppies turn into the cleverest dogs!

Some handy training hints/reminders ...

It is a lot easier and more effective to tell your puppy what you want her to do, than telling her not to do something, so when she nips you, give her an alternative behaviour that you can reward, such as a sit.

Teaching little tricks is more than a gimmick - it gives you a choice of things to do when she gets into mischief mode.

Evening madness is often a too tired tantrum, and popping her into her crate/bed with a frozen kong will usually end up with her sucking herself to sleep.

Training is just as tiring as walking, and the ideal length of time to train your pup is the time it takes to boil the kettle, so lots of little training sessions throughout the day will work wonders.

Poodles and labs are both working breeds, so start planning ahead - what is going to be your thing - agility? heelwork to music? flyball? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 25 May 2016, 08:17 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 09:00
Posts: 169
Location: Woburn
You've described Rudy as a puppy!
The nipping and walking were the most difficult to deal with.
With nipping nothing would work and it went from biting to full on hanging off my clothes and ripping little holes in them (I've kept them as a memento to his mad puppy days!)
But be assured it will stop. I even rang our vet advice line a few times wondering if my puppy had aggression (he's my first dog) as i just wasn't sure if this is how puppies behaved! :lol:

I found time outs really helpful with the biting - if it got too much he would get a short time out then be allowed back in the room and given a toy or chew to settle down with. Sometimes it would be repeated time outs before he calmed down.
He also had a crate with cosy blankets and toys and I would settle him in there for a nap because most times he was acting out because he was just tired.

With walking it wasn't the most enjoyable thing to begin with because I was constantly on the look out for anything that would distract Rudy - other dogs, bikes, cars, joggers, horses etc but I tried to be as consistent as I could with his training.
I would try and spot a distraction first and if I did I would call Rudy and give him a treat (has to be high value not his food).

After lots of training he is the loveliest dog and we adore him. It just seemed like all of a sudden something clicked and all the training paid off. He still has his moments but it means I get to see that crazy puppy again every now and then and I love it!

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 25 May 2016, 08:48 
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Joined: 24 Apr 2013, 08:20
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Location: Redhill
I was reading this thread and it made me think, Dexter, bless him is 3 and a half years and in a lot of ways very similar to the responses above, but I would like to add , they get there in fits and starts but they get there. Dexter still of course has his moments, but he knows. He no longer looks puzzled , head cocked on one side, you want me to do that? i don't think so.mode.It's more a big sigh and a rub against the leg. sorry.
Doodles are nothing like other dogs , he is our third dog and very different, they are much more childlike , time out really works , as does the disappointed shake of the head, they basically want to please [labrador] , but the poodle keeps sticking it's nose in. Adorable but at times exasperating. She will get there, just not today. H and D

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 25 May 2016, 21:35 
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Joined: 22 May 2016, 16:28
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Thank you so much for all your responses. I have just put her in timeout and it does make a difference. She is utterly gorgeous most of the time but i think she needs her bed when she loses the plot! I have stored all your suggestions and will use them from now on.
I keep looking for the labrador in her but she is 3/4 poodle so perhaps this is the part that is new to me. Today she has started retrieving a ball (sort of) and tomorrow no doubt she will learn something else. AS it is, I have bought her a lovely new bed with her name embroidered on it today- she is currently lying next to the bed....dear me.
I will keep you all up to date with how she goes but I am reassured that even though she has a long way to go, she will get there in the end.


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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 26 May 2016, 13:22 
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Joined: 23 Jul 2014, 23:11
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Location: Aberdeenshire
You sound as though you're doing a grand job........just watch she doesn't chew up her expensive bed when your back is turned. - I learnt the hard way :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 30 May 2016, 17:07 
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Joined: 22 May 2016, 16:28
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Coco and Anna, thanks for the advice but she has already done a wee in it and she seems content with that!


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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 31 May 2016, 19:44 
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Joined: 22 May 2016, 16:28
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I have been trying to upload a photo and seem to have managed to upload an enormous one!
Things seem to be going better with Daisy. She is calmer in the evenings with the lead attached to the settee...she doesn't seem to mind and she settles better to do some serious chewing of her toys.
We had the last puppy socialisation class and she won 3 of the 5 games and did the best trick - she kisses on command. I know it's all about taking part .....but not really! It felt good to see her doing so well.
She went to the groomers today for a puppy wash, blowdry and trim. She didn't like it at all and I could hear her crying when I came back. What does everyone think about this. I wasn't asked to stay and it seems they just wanted to get on with it. When I came in they said she was fine for most of it but I am not keen to take her back there. Due to her coat, the groomers are going to be a regular thing and I haven't needed to use one before. Does anyone have any thoughts about what to look for at a groomers?
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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2016, 08:21 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 09:00
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Location: Woburn
She's gorgeous!!
Glad she did so well at her puppy class :D
Concerning the grooming we began by taking Rudy to visit the groomer first and just get a feel for the place before getting his hair cut. Also the first few times I stayed with Rudy while he was getting groomed and it really seemed to settle him that I was right there - luckily we have a lovely groomer who was patient with Rudy (and me)!

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2016, 09:36 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2012, 15:40
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Sounds like it's going really well. She's gorgeous!
You are right to be cautious about groomers. There are good and bad like any trade.
I was very fussy and as I could not find a recommended one I had a lady come to the house. When she stopped I searched high and low for somewhere where she is not stuffed in a crate in a noisy production line and I quizzed them about the methods they used.
I also chatted to see if I thought they where enthusiastic doggy lovers or jaded and grumpy in their job. If they where not patient and kind and prepared to reassure me they where unlikely to be patient and kind to Tess.
I was not happy to leave her with just anyone and would rather do it myself (and have) than take her somewhere I am not comfortable with.
I have found a very nice place. She is very good for them but she still doesn't like going much.

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 Post subject: Re: 14 week old - reassurance needed!
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2016, 21:41 
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Joined: 22 May 2016, 16:28
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Just thought I would update Daisy's progress. She is now 18 weeks old and is a little star (most of the time). She seems to have her basic training well underway and enjoys her clicker training we do. The biggest change is that she and I seem to have a better understanding and she wants to please. During the day she will often try out the various things we practice to get a positive response from me which is really sweet.
Someone suggested teaching her little tricks. This has been great for keeping her mind active, engaging her positively and giving her lots of ways of being good for me. She also impresses everyone!
We are still working on lead walking - she is still pretty useless! She has moments of genius and does it properly but that is very unusual. Her recall is variable too and I don't think I will ever be more exciting than another dog.
In the last couple of days, that doodle dash thing in the evenings seems to have abated. I am saying that quietly because I am not convinced its a permanent change yet - I hope so because it was utterly exhausting and NOT cute!
The other thing I was bothered about was ankle biting on walks. She still does it sometimes but it lasts less long and I have strategies to deal with it that are effective, sometimes....
The other thing I mentioned was the puppy classes and how embarrassing they were. Well, I have to say by the final week she was better and it was a games session. She won most of them and also got a prize for the best trick - she kisses on command! Nothing nicer than a wet nose and beard on your face! I was very proud nad had to be reminded its the taking part that counts...
I am finding this site really helpful and thanks for all your advice.


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