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How to be a Good Pack Leader

Look it really is not rocket science, puppy does something bad you "correct" the puppy physically and verbally.
So that puppy won't do the behaviour again.
FIRST THOUGH... you need to teach puppy what pleases you and reward the behaviour with verbal and physical Praise
Such as "where is your toy", "sit", "shake a paw", "go pee" (outside of course).
You need to show puppy what behaviour to offer that will please you, so that they know to do it.
There is no place in puppy's world for bribing, coaxing, begging, time outs, or explaining yourself.
Dogs do not perceive situations the way humans do, so you need to understand the basics.
If you engage in coddling "oh poor scared puppy, it is ok", you teach puppy to be fearful
If you do not enforce rules "NO JUMP" then puppy will view you as weak, your puppy will assume the leadership role for you.
Puppy's job is to figure out their place in the pack. Your job is to teach them they are at the bottom.
To be a good leader you must be prepared to spending time with the puppy, asserting yourself as a leader
through teaching puppy rules, or as a puppy we call it, teaching them "tricks" (which are really "orders" to follow).
AND LOTS OF praise for doing things correctly, so they bloom under your love.

BUT you can't enforce any rules, until you have shown puppy, what pleases you
so they know to do this desired behaviour instead of undesirable ones.
Is fetching a toy pleasing you ? Is sitting Pleasing you ?
You figure out what behaviour you want from them and teach them it.

We have had one owner totally isolate their puppy and only give punishments, no praise.
They returned that snapping, snarling, submissive urinating puppy to us at a year of age.
They had purchased a new puppy, and our Poodle was now too much work as they created a monster.
They said that they tried to do all the training we offered and took classes, and they felt the bad behaviour was bred
It took us 2 weeks to earn that Poodle's trust, just by showing her what was good to do and praising her.
These people had all the tools they needed to have a wonderful trained, confident puppy but they didn't use any of them
I'm always available to off training tips or tricks or have information to aid you in training your puppy.
I never want one of my pups to be so mistreated again.

Submissive Urination
When you get your new puppy, they may have submissive Urination.
They may also "smile" or show you their teeth. Both are VERY submissive gestures.
I talk a lot about being the Boss and being a good Pack Leader and physical Correction.
However this is one case when THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT OR CORRECTION.
Instead you need to learn to not be excited and have low energy around puppy and be LESS dominate
this means if puppy pee's you say nothing and do nothing, but walk away and clean up
when puppy is not looking or around.
Puppy will outgrow submissive urination as they gain confidence in what behaviour is desirable and pleases you more
Submissive showing of teeth or as I call it "smiling" usually does not go away and this is OK.
So it is imperative that as soon as you get puppy you show them how to "get the toy" or "fetch" or "sit" or "shake paw"
because they will learn that this makes you happy and they will offer this behaviour, instead of peeing.
Submissive urination is a dog's uncontrollable, instinctive reaction to the presence of
another dog or human that they feel is superior or is intimidating to them.
It is a subconscious response that cannot be controlled. It is not a housebreaking issue,
although it is more likely to happen when the bladder is full. It can often be a reaction to
a specific action such as putting a leash on the dog or simply leaning down to
stroke him. Cesar Millan's Tips

There are also simple behaviours you can start as soon as you get puppy home.


If an adult Poodle obtains something without effort or work, it is meaningless.
IF an ADULT Poodle approaches you and nuzzles your hand and you freely give affection,
you have taught Poodle they are the leader and you are meaningless.
Because this is the equivalent of a dog coming to you and saying "hey dummy pat me"
However if an ADULT poodle comes over to you for affection and you give the command "sit"
before giving affection, then you have just proven, you are the leader and Poodle will be very happy.
You have then earned their love AND respect.

Dogs that love, but do not respect their owners, rarely if ever, listen to their Owners.
You can see their owners repeating commands over and over again to deaf ears such as "come"

Affection, food, treats are all earned and given on your terms, not on puppy's request.
Dogs going to the cookie jar and staring at it and owners dispensing treats on command,
are bad leaders that should not own dogs over 10 lbs.
These infractions may seem small to you, however these are tests
that build and build, time after time to help form puppy's opinion of you
and your worthiness of being their leader. These tests are bred into dogs, to try on you
a perspective leader, to see if you are worthy of being their Leader.

Your puppy needs to earn affection and earn treats and earn food
by you issuing a command (not a request) and puppy following your command = reward.
This hard work for the first 4 months of puppy's life helps shape puppy's lifetime of good, loving, respectful behaviour.

(Bijou Poodles doing a sit stay, and shocking the photographer and fellow show exhibitors)

A Pack Leader always goes first. First when going through a doorway, first when going down or up stairs, and first when walking your dog. Your dog should be behind the pack leader at all times. While walking your Poodle should be by your side or behind you. Walks like this help release pent up energy in your dog. This is the number 1 way to communicate that you are your Poodles pack leader.

When you come into the house or the room where you dog is you should ignore the dog for a few minutes (even if you only leave the room for a minute).

Your dog should always have to work for a treat. A simple obedience command should be given before any treat is given. If she does not follow the command she should not be rewarded with a treat. The dog should always take the treat gently from your hand.

You should have set times for your RAW feeding, feeding should be done on a schedule for RAW Feeding.
Kibble should be left 24/7 for our Poodles, as Poodles are grazers.
We feed RAW every morning and then they have kibble available 24/7.
Do not feed table scraps to your puppy. Poodles can have sensitive stomachs and if you deviate from her normal food and treats you will have a sick Poodle.

Just like the walking and going through doorways you should always eat first. The leader always eats first. When you give your Puppy food, eat a small snack first while your puppy watches before feeding her.

You should never allow your puppy to mouth or bite anyone at any time, including during play. Screaming and ending play will teach puppy this is unacceptable.

Your Puppy should not sleep in your bed, not only because there may not be room for you but also because in the dog pack the leader sleeps in the most comfortable place. This is not to say you can not ever allow your dog on your bed. You can invite your puppy to lay in bed with you AFTER they are fully trained and respect you as their leader

If you establish eye contact with your Puppy she should look away first. When the dog looks away first it reinforces your status as pack leader.

When walking your dog you should never allow your dog to "walk you". You should have a slack leash, not tight. And puppy always beside you. Remember, the leader is always first and leads the way. When puppy pulls in one direction you should run in the other saying a command such as -watch me-.
IF you are walking puppy as a means of potting them, this is different.
Instead start out with puppy heeling and then have a release command such as "OK"
so puppy knows now is the time they can wander to find an area to potty on

One of the basic commands your Poodle puppy should learn is "drop it". What ever is in her/his mouth you should be able to take possession of at any time. Start when they are young pups and you can even have a treat ready to replace the item with. Make sure puppy obeys your command.

When you put your dogs food dish down make her wait until you tell her "Ok" to eat. Put yourself in front of the food dish and make her sit first. Remember, stand tall and think "Big" you are the pack leader. If the dog does not follow your command take the food up and try again in 15 minutes.

All games played with your Poodle puppy should start and end with you.

If you have a very dominate dog who has a problem with growling you should not allow them to lie on the sofa or bed. Remember, the leader of the pack gets the most comfortable spot.

NEVER EVER coddle a scared puppy no matter what the situation is. Always react confidently and upbeat and strong. This will teach puppy to also be the same way and will encourage your puppy to be a confident, happy self assured little puppy and adult Poodle.

Mastering Leadership
Series Vol. 1: People Training for Dogs (DVD)

Mastering Leadership
Series Vol. 2: Becoming a Pack Leader (DVD)

Both Marshmallow Personalities and First time Dog Owners with no consistant plan for raising a puppy
would do better with an older Standard Poodle, perhaps a retired breeding Poodle or a rescue Poodle.
Basically a Poodle who is already trained and will not be a challenge to raise.
People can find these dogs through local Poodle Clubs *(by googling) or through the Poodle Club of America
We also offer many training tips on our web page Obedience Training but what ever training choice you make
it is important that you are "consistant, fair and firm" and that everyone in the household is on the same page.