Whether you have a Standard Poodle, a Miniature Poodle, or a Toy Poodle, you will have to spend considerable time and energy in training. Every dog needs training, and it is a lifelong process. How to train a poodle? Well, today, we will discover helpful ways to train an adult dog or a young puppy.
No matter which size, every Poodle puppy is a true aristocrat. They are the gentlemen of the canine world who consider themselves the best of the best. And that can be a problem if you do not train your dog.
Understanding Your Poodle
If you are a new dog owner and you think Poodles are the smartest dogs, this can be easy, stop right there. Many pet owners think it is easier to train a smart dog, but that intelligence can be a challenge as well.
Poodles are cute, energetic, and eager to please puppies. But because of their high intelligence, they can get bored easily, and you need to provide mental stimulation constantly.
If you do not keep your Poodle dog engaged while a training session, you will not be successful.
Poodle Personality Traits
Before we talk about Poodle training, let’s talk about the personality traits of your dog. According to breed standards by The American Kennel Club, Poodles are alert, intelligent, loyal, trainable, active, and instinctual. These smart dogs learn commands and tricks easily and quickly.
When it comes to loyalty, they bond with family members easily. But they are shy and aloof around strangers. Sometimes, they can act around strangers and people they do not know. This is why socialization is key.
As we said before, they come in three different sizes: Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodle. The temperament may vary between sizes, but not that much.
Standard Poodles are the most energetic, and they are a bit more reserved than Miniature and Toy versions. Miniature Poodles will follow their owner around and are the most Velcro dogs of them all.
All sizes thrive on positive reinforcement and attention. Because they are sensitive, you should not talk to them in an aggressive tone.
As we said before, they are smart and easily pick up the mood of their dog owner. So, if you have a bad day, they might mimic your mood.
Their intelligence can sometimes result in stubbornness and stubborn behavior. And that is one of the biggest challenges.
Because of their emphatic personality and natural ability to engage with people, they make great service dogs. They are great for visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and schools.
Challenges When Training A Poodle
Now, how to train a Poodle? What are the challenges? According to The American Kennel Club, Poodles are highly rated in terms of trainability. This makes them excellent puppies for first-time owners.
But it is important to remember that some of their positives can lead to behavioral problems. For example, their high intelligence often results in stubbornness. If you are not on their mental level, they will be bored and stubborn and will not train. That is one of the biggest challenges you will encounter during Poodle training session.
Next, Poodles love attention. They will bark or might resort to another form of bad behavior to get their attention. And if you are not careful, you might end up reinforcing bad behavior instead of good behavior. It is challenging to ignore unwanted behavior and stop the second your Poodle puppy shows good behavior.
Last, these dogs are high-energy breeds. They need constant physical exercise and mental stimulation. This will help them keep to focus on the task.
Start With Basic Commands
Now let’s move to the part about how to train a Poodle. Well, we can start with some basic commands.
Teach Your Puppy Its Name
Teaching a dog to know its name is one of the most important parts of dog training. It is a no-brainer. Everything starts with name training. If you call your dog by “come here” without its name, you are not training effectively.
Once your puppy knows its name, you can get its attention instantly, and then continue training from there. To do it, say your puppy’s name, look at him, and motion toward you. Say it in a calm and welcoming tone.
Practice while at home, with your dog paying attention to anything but you. Whenever he reacts when you say its name, reward and reinforce.
Teach Your Pup To Sit
Once your Poodle pup has mastered its name, you can move to sit. Place a small treat in your hand, and position it over your dog’s head. It is a natural motion to sniff the treat, they will sit. Put the treat at the nose level, and lift it slowly above the head.
The natural motion of your dog is to put the bum on the ground. Reward. Over time, add the command sit and continue practicing.
Teach Your Dog To Stay
This is the third most important command. Once your puppy sits, it can stay in that position. To practice, put your dog in a sit position, and then say “stay”. You can count, and at a certain point, reward.
Stay is also a great impulse control exercise that will help you with having a calm and well-mannered puppy outside.
Are Poodles Easy to Train?
The short answer is Yes, while the long answer is Yes, but with caveats. Yes, Poodles are easy to train because of their high intelligence and natural athleticism. Combine that with their loyalty, commitment, and will to please, and it makes an easy puppy to train.
But there are many challenges as we saw before. And most importantly, Poodles thrive on training and learning. They need something to keep their mind working all the time.
Tips for Training a Poodle
Now let’s get to some helpful tips for training a puppy.
Because Poodles are highly intelligent, they might try to take over the household the moment they enter. You should start obedience training the moment your puppy enters the home. Do not wait a single day.
Even when you have a little Poodle pup, do some basic exercises like name training and sit training. And of course, potty training unless you want accidents around the home.
Variety Is The Key
As we said before Poodles are highly intelligent. They are in the top 5 smartest dog breeds along with Border Collie, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and Doberman.
Because of their high intelligence, variety is important in training. Do not do the same exercises over and over again. Your intelligent Poodle pet will quickly get bored. If you are a Poodle owner, try different exercises, practice at different places, practice off-leash and on-leash, and so on.
Keep The Session Short And Fun
Yes, Poodles are high-energy dogs. But if you keep a dog training session too long, your Poodle will get bored. They do have a short attention span. And because over time you will inadvertently do the same exercises, your dog will not want to train and work.
Have A Plan
You should know what you want to achieve with your puppy when you start training. Have a plan and goal, and strive to achieve it.
Use Positive Reinforcement
No matter if you are practicing potty training, house training, obedience training, or anything else, positive reinforcement is the best way to train a Poodle. Usually, they are food-driven. Toys do not do well, because Poodles are a bit aristocratic.
But for variety, use toys sometimes for your training as a reward.
As we said before, Poodles pick up your mood. One of the most important things is to remain calm. If you resort to negative behavior like yelling, your dog will pick it up. And you can flush that training session in the toilet.