All dogs, including the Poodle, need training to learn how to behave themselves. When your Standard Poodle learns to greet people by sitting still, he won’t jump up on them. When he learns what the word “stay” means, he will learn to be still and to control his own actions. Your Toy Poodle can learn to walk nicely on a leash instead of being carried all the time. In addition, once you learn how to teach your dog, you can train him to follow the rules necessary for good behavior.
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Does your Poodle insist on being the center of attention? Does he bark at people outside your yard? If he gets out of the yard, does he refuse to come when you call him? Does he raid the trashcan? Does he jump on your guests? These are not unusual behaviors for a young, untrained dog, but they are unnecessary, potentially dangerous, and annoying behaviors that you can change (or at least control) through training.
With training, your Poodle can learn to control himself so that he doesn’t react to every impulse. He can learn to sit while greeting people rather than covering them with muddy paw & prints or ripping their clothes. He can learn to restrain some of his vocalizations and to ignore the trashcans.
Ideally, training should begin as soon as you bring home your new Poodle. If you have an eight to ten-week-old puppy, that’s okay. Your new puppy can begin learning that biting isn’t allowed, that he should sit for treats, petting, and meals, and where he should go to relieve himself. By ten weeks of age, you can attach a small leash to his collar and let him drag it around for a few minutes at a time so he gets used to it. Always watch him closely, of course, so that he doesn’t get the leash tangled up in something and choke himself. Young puppies have a very short attention span, but they are capable of learning and are eager students.
Don’t let your Poodle pup do anything now that you don’t want him to do later when he is full grown. For example, if you don’t want your Standard Poodle up on your lap when he’s 45 pounds of rough paws and hard elbows, don’t let him on your lap now. If you don’t want your Toy Poodle growing up to be a problem barker, stop the barking when he’s a puppy. It will be much harder to change the habit later. Keep in mind as you begin your dog’s training that Poodles are an intelligent breed, responsive to training!
If you have adopted a Poodle who is an older puppy or an adult, you can still begin training right away.
Although your new dog will need time to get used to you and his new home, early training will help your Poodle learn what you expect of him, and as a result, will make that adjustment easier.