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Poodle Training Tips

Poodle Training: The Poodle is among the most lovable breed of dogs ever. They're cute to look at, bubbly in their natures, and always keen to please their owners.

Poodles are one of the most lovable dog breeds ever. They’re cute, have a bubble nature, and love pleasing their owners. Poodles also happen to be the second most intelligent dog ever!

Combine their eagerness to please and intelligence, and training becomes a breeze with Poodles. But that doesn’t mean you should be complacent and lack a good training strategy. Check out these helpful Poodle training tips to get your pup obedient and well-trained at home and outdoors with other people.

Start With the Crate

Crate training is helpful for housetraining, though some dog owners are against it as they don’t want to feel like they’re confining their dog. However, crate training is beneficial and gives your dog a safe space when nervous or tired.

Once you get your Poodle and introduce him to his new home and family, start crate training him with these steps:

Introduce your Poodle Puppy their crate

Place the kennel somewhere your family occupies in the house your family often stays, such as the living room. Place a soft blanket in the container and leave it open for your dog to explore.

If your Poodle feels uncomfortable with the crate, it’s normal. You can walk over to the crate with your Poodle and talk to them positively. Try using treats and his favorite toys to have him see the crate as a positive thing. 

Feed your Poodle Puppy in the crate

If your Poodle doesn’t want to enter his crate yet, you can try feeding him outside his kennel. If he enters the enclosure happily, then place his food at the back. Once he begins enjoying his food in the crate, you can start closing the door as they eat.

When you first close the crate door while they eat, open it once they finish their food. Increase your Poodle’s time in the crate slowly until he can reach 10 minutes in the crate after eating. If he whines, don’t let him out but decrease the time during his next feeding. 

Practice longer times in the crate with plenty of praise

Call your dog to his kennel, then teach him a command to access, such as ‘Enter,’ as you point to his crate. Give your dog plenty of praise, possibly a treat, when he goes in.

After that, close the door and sit next to him for 5-10 minutes. Then head to another room for 2-3 minutes. Go back to the crate and wait for 5 minutes before letting your dog out. Repeat this a few times the day and increase the time gradually.

Once your Poodle can sit in his crate for over half an hour while alone, then you can leave him alone for short periods. 

Crate your Poodle Puppy when leaving the house

Now, it’s time to train your Poodle to stay in his crate alone for long periods or to sleep there overnight.

Call your Poodle over, giving a treat when they do. Place your Poodle into their kennel 5-20 minutes before you leave the house. Make sure that you also place your Poodle in their dog house when you’re at home, so they don’t associate the behavior with you leaving.

When you’re about to leave, don’t make this an emotional process and go quietly to keep your Poodle from being scared. Also, arrive calmly to lessen your Poodle’s anxiety on when you’ll be back. 

Crate your Poodle overnight 

Place your Poodle’s crate in your bedroom at night or in the hallway next to it. That way, they know you’re nearby. Command your Poodle to get into the crate with the usual treat.

Once they start sleeping straight in their crate without complaints, you can slowly move his crate to the preferred area. Pay attention at night, as they may feel the need to go to the bathroom.

House Training

There aren’t really steps to follow regarding house training or potty training, as it’s more about giving your Poodle a consistent routine. This will require commitment and patience, don’t get angry at your Poodle if he makes mistakes!

Here are a few house training tips:

  • Take your Poodle outdoors often. Poodle puppies can only hold their bladders for about one hour for every month they are. Be sure to take your Poodle out once they wake up, after their playtime, and right after they drink or eat.
  • Choose a spot outside as your Poodle’s bathroom spot, bringing him in that spot each time. I recommend using a word or phrase as their potty as a reminder to do their thing. Don’t reward your Poodle until they have successfully relieved themselves in their bathroom spot.
  • When your Poodle goes to potty successfully, give him a treat and ample praise with lots of enthusiasm. Positive reinforcement is critical, so provide a reward as soon as they finish.
  • Feed your Poodle on a consistent feeding schedule. When your Poodle eats at consistent times, he’ll go potty on schedule as well, making housetraining less of a hassle.
  • Two hours before your Poodle’s bedtime, remove your dog’s water dish to lessen the risk of them needing to potty at night. If your puppy does need to go at night, be calm and don’t let them feel like it’s playtime. 
  • You’ll know if your dog needs to go potty when he starts barking, squatting, sniffs around, walks in circles, and scratches at the door.
  • Supervise your Poodle at all times so he won’t do his business in the house. If you can’t keep him in the crate first, as they are less likely to do their business there. He should communicate when he needs to potty.
  • Accidents happen, and that’s fine! If they’re caught in the act, interrupt them and say ‘OUTSIDE,’ but don’t scare them. Ensure that they finish in their usual spot and give them a treat afterward.
  • Never punish your Poodle if they have an accident, as it discourages them from doing it. Furthermore, clean the soiled area well to prevent your Poodle from pottying in that exact spot in the house.

Obedience Training Methods for Adults

Now, it’s time to start teaching your Poodle commands! This can range from basic obedience commands like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ to more complex ones. Poodles are brilliant dogs known to do amazing tricks, such as cleaning up after themselves or bringing specific items.

Among the usual verbal commands, your Poodle needs to learn the following:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Heel
  • No

You can teach these basic commands yourself through different training methods:

  • Capture and Shape – teach one command at a time with a clicker when they perform the command. After the command, reinforce the desired action with a treat.
  • Lure to obedience – use treats to guide your dog to the position needed to do the command. Hold a snack in your hand as you teach your Poodle, then give him the treat once he fulfills the request.
  • Hand Signal – use your hands to make signals, guiding your Poodle into the necessary position to do the command. Give a treat once the requested behavior is fulfilled.

When your dog begins doing the commands successfully more regularly, start giving fewer treats and using more verbal praise and encouragement as a reward. Here are tips to follow as you teach specific commands:

  • When you are starting to conduct obedience training on your Poodle, start off with straightforward methods. The simplest one is to teach him his name and to ‘Come.’
  • When reinforcing the command ‘Come,’ wait until your Poodle goes to you. When your Poodle goes to you, use your clicker, treat, or hand signal, say ‘Come,’ then give a treat. Continue repeating this and then omit the clicker and treat over time.
  • Next up is to teach him how to ‘sit.’ Wait until your dog sits down, then say ‘Sit,’ use your clicker, treat, or hand signal, and give a treat. After he masters the command, teach your Poodle the ‘Down’ command, this time waiting until he lies down.
  • The same will go for commands’ Stay’ and ‘Heel.’ Make sure your dog stays in his place for a few minutes before providing positive reinforcement.
  • If your Poodle tries to stand up and jump on you to get the treat, place your hand on his lower back, guiding it back to the ground. Once he’s back in position and does the command, give him the treat.
  • Train your Poodle for about 15 minutes a day. Avoid training him for too long, or he’ll get bored and frustrated.
  • Keep training consistent, so he won’t forget commands and start with one order at a time. He should master one command before you move on to another to prevent confusion.
  • When your Poodle acts rowdily or shows destructive behavior, be strict and firm. Use a firm tone and end the training session when needed, picking up where you left off the next day. Your dog should know that bad behavior is a no-no, and he won’t get away with it!

As time passes, you can start teaching him even more tricks. It may take a couple of days to months until he learns all the basic commands, but it will be worth it!

If you’re new to behavioral training and other aspects of training, you can refer to training videos. These are helpful so you can learn to correct behavior more efficiently.

If you don’t have time to train your Poodle yourself, you can enroll him in an obedience class. It will teach him to socialize with other people and dogs and learn many commands. Make sure that you also practice the commands he learned at home. 

Train with a Leash

Your Poodle will require daily walks and exercise, whether around the neighborhood or in dog parks. That’s why leash training is crucial to get them used to walking or running alongside you.

Before that, make sure that you purchase an adequately sized collar. The collar needs to fit two fingers beneath it when worn. Also, get a non-extendable leash measuring 4-6 feet long. Then, introduce the leash and collar to your Poodle.

Let your Poodle get used to the leash by attaching it to the collar, allowing him to walk around in your house while wearing it. After he’s used to the leash and collar, follow these training tips:

  • If your Poodle pulls a lot while walking, invest in a harness. Older and suborn dogs do best on a harness, so they learn not to pull on it. Don’t let your dog play with their leash and collar, as they aren’t toys.
  • Start leash training your Poodle by taking short walks in the house and around the yard. As he walks, give him a lot of verbal praise with a happy tone. But when he starts to pull, stop and don’t walk until he stops pulling.
  • Over time, you can increase the length of every walk as he becomes even more comfortable walking with a leash. When you feel confident that he behaves well with the leash, you can start walking outside and around in the neighborhood.
  • The ‘heel’ command is helpful while walking. Your dog should walk beside you and not in front of you. When your Poodle starts to go in front of you, command him to heel.
  • Give your dog a treat whenever he walks beside you successfully every 30-60 seconds. 

Socializing Poodles

Poodles are an intelligent breed, though they might struggle with socialization skills. They are fantastic family dogs but will need to be socialized while they’re still puppies. That way, your Poodle becomes comfortable around other people and animals.

Socialize your puppy at home, inviting friends and family over. Expose your Poodle puppy to people in a friendly and familiar environment. As you walk around the neighborhood with your pet, introduce him to any friendly neighbors and their dogs (with caution, of course).

We recommend enrolling your Poodle puppy in a puppy kindergarten or daycare center when he’s around 8-12 weeks old. This time is crucial for optimum puppy socialization, as the kindergarten teaches your Poodle how to socialize with the dogs and people around. It should help him learn confidence and obedience when faced with distracting situations.