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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my family and me got a female miniture poodle last week. Tomorrow she will be 9 weeks old and has been for us for 1 week. First day she was here she kept on crying non stop, luckily this has calmed down and now she sleeps in my room in her crate with the door open, sometimes she wines but then I put my hand down and talk to her until she is quiet. (Should I just ignore the cries though?)

The problem we have right now is outside. When we walk her, she sometimes stays calm in the beginning, or just sits down and won't move. If she doesn't move I pick her up and put her down a bit further. A little later she wil just start whining and crying. I used to pick her up when she started shaking to calm her down, but now she doesn't really shake anymore she will just cry.

I have tried to distract her with toys, treats and use my voice to support her, she just doesn't care about any of them whatsoever.

When she sees other people approaching, same thing. Crying, pulling to get to them, very excited (I think) to see them and when they just walk by, she. Is. Loud! She doesn't want them to leave and will try to get to them and almost chokes herself on the leash! Today I just picked het up when she started doing that and put her down a couple meters away. The other thing is, when she is crying, and we see people we know they just pet her and even pick her up while she is jumping and crying..


Now people told me to ignore the whining and just keep on walking, she will get used to her surroundings. If you pet her you will make a big deal out of it and she just needs to learn that everything is normal and ok. Then other people told me to pick her up to calm her down, for 'you can't reward fearful behaviour.' Help! I dont know what to do anymore and I want to be consistent.
 

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Nip the jumping and crying at people in the bud. Nicely but make it stop now. We adopted George aged 18 months and he had been allowed to roam a garden on a long line barking at the fence for attention and getting it. So everyone or every dog he saw was a huge flurry of tugging on the lead and barking. Not everyone likes this behaviour .
We have taught the look at me comman and the walk on, if he does this wihtout barking he gets a reward. Aslo greeting people or dogs he is allowed to greet if they want to but as soon as he gets excited and barks we walk away. He is quickly leaning that barking will not get him what he wants.
But his behaviour was allowed to go too long unchecked by his previous owner.
Be firm with people. yes she is cute now but soon she wont be a fluffy little bundle and they wont woant her jumping all over them so tell people NO when they start petting or picking her up without your permission.

At 9 weeks the world is a big scarey place maybe just standing outside for a few minutes is enough for her right now. Let her slowly get used to the world.
 

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Her crying at night is because she is anxious, she has just been separated from mum and littermates so she is bound to feel overwhelmed. It's fine to comfort her, don't ignore her. Comforting her now won't make her clingy, it will reassure that you are there for her and that in turn will build her confidence.

Outside, as Mad Murphy says, maybe don't try to rush her. Carrying her around in your jacket for a little while would get her used to seeing the outside world from a nice safe and secure place.

You might find this socialisation plan helpful.

The Puppy Socialization Exposure Checklist - Whole Dog Journal
 

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She is still very young and almost everything is new to her so it is reasonable to assume that she will grow out of some of it. However, it is not obvious how much of her behavior is fear driven (whining in crate, shaking, not walking) and how much is puppy excitement (crying, jumping). Do you know, to what degree, the breeder socialized your puppy? By this I mean how many people and animals did she meet? Where did she spend her time - indoors, with littermates and mom, in a kennel? Did she go outside, experience new surfaces, sounds, smells or sights?

I've never heard that you can't reward fearful behavior....a reward is anything the increases the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated. If she is scared and you pick her up, the reward is her being able to avoid the scary stimulus and, eventually, she will just turn to you to be picked up every time she is frightened. Now, some things are legitimately scary or even dangerous and, obviously, you want to protect her from those things. But generally speaking, you want to slowly introduce her to new situations that might be mildly stressful or frightening and encourage her to voluntarily confront that novelty. You'll want to plan these events so you can set her up to succeed.

It sounds like she needs more exposure to new (safe) environments and learn some self control when around new people. I would highly recommend that you sign up for a puppy class ASAP. She will meet and play with new puppies and you will have the opportunity to work with her in a very exciting environment with the guidance of the professional trainer. While on walks, if she start jumping and crying when a new person approaches, just keep walking. If you stop and let the person love on her, you will be rewarding that behavior (her behavior got her what she wanted (attention-the reward) so why would she try anything else in the future?). I know that is it nearly impossible to walk down the street with a 9 week old puppy and ask people to ignore her...You have two options, walk her in areas where there are fewer people or tell would-be puppy lovers that, "She can't play today because she is learning her manners" or something like that. Some people will still ignore you and pet your dog anyway and in that case you'll have to decide how firm you want to be. Don't feel like you are depriving her, she has years of loving attention coming her way. There are so many other things she is learning on the walk like, well for starters, how to walk on a leash. Plus, there are cars, trucks, bikes, motorcycles, strollers, joggers, big trees, pokey bushes, airplanes and helicopters overhead, children running and playing, big animals like horses and cows, small animals like squirrels and birds. Then there's different weather conditions, times of day, times of year and all the ways you can vary from day to day. There is enough for her to learn on a walk to fill a book. Add the excitement of new people in other, more controlled ways.

She should still definitely be meeting new people everyday but try to create these situations so you have some control. You can invite people over to your house and ask them to ignore her until she is no longer seeking their attention. This means no looking, no touching, no talking. Once she has given up on 'this crazy human that doesn't realize how damn cute I am' and start to occupy herself in another appropriate way, then they can get on the floor and give her attention.

You could also go to a place where people walk by a lot and just practice watching people walk by. You may need to put up a sign that says PLEASE DON'T APPROACH - TRAINING IN PROGRESS. This may make you feel silly but your dog will be living with you for the next 10-20 years, a little extra effort now will pay off 100 fold. She can either be on a leash or you could sit with her inside a pen so she has a little more freedom and can play with you freely. Start as far enough away from the action as is necessary so that she calms down (becomes bored with) people walking by after about 10-15 minutes. When she jumps and cries at the sight of people just ignore her at first (your attempts to call her away will probably be fruitless and you don't want her to practice ignoring you). Then as the initial crazy excitement wears off, you can start calling her to you with treats and toys to redirect her attention. You're going to want to use the most high value treats and toys you can find like hotdogs or cheese. Find a toy she really likes and only let her play with it during these training session. As she practices getting herself under control around exciting things you can slowly increase the intensity of the stimulus by moving closer to the action or to a new, more exciting location.

Holy cow...this is a long one. I hope some of that helps. If you are still having problems or not getting the right advice, it would be really helpful to see a video of her behavior. Ask a friend or relative to follow you on a walk and grab a few video clips with their phone. Good luck!

SIDE NOTE: You are probably already aware but your puppy will not be fully vaccinated until she is 6 months old so be sure to only walk her in areas with low dog traffic.
 

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I've never heard that you can't reward fearful behavior....a reward is anything the increases the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated. If she is scared and you pick her up, the reward is her being able to avoid the scary stimulus and, eventually, she will just turn to you to be picked up every time she is frightened.
I think there is a different interpretation of ”rewarding” fear.

The theory that I believe you are thinking of is that you cannot increase fear with reward - so if you were afraid of snakes, me reassuring you and holding your hand isn't going to make you more afraid of them. But it might help you cope better.

In fact, the dog turning to the owner when she is afraid isn't a bad thing - and in time the things that scare her will become fewer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nip the jumping and crying at people in the bud. Nicely but make it stop now. We adopted George aged 18 months and he had been allowed to roam a garden on a long line barking at the fence for attention and getting it. So everyone or every dog he saw was a huge flurry of tugging on the lead and barking. Not everyone likes this behaviour .
We have taught the look at me comman and the walk on, if he does this wihtout barking he gets a reward. Aslo greeting people or dogs he is allowed to greet if they want to but as soon as he gets excited and barks we walk away. He is quickly leaning that barking will not get him what he wants.
But his behaviour was allowed to go too long unchecked by his previous owner.
Be firm with people. yes she is cute now but soon she wont be a fluffy little bundle and they wont woant her jumping all over them so tell people NO when they start petting or picking her up without your permission.

At 9 weeks the world is a big scarey place maybe just standing outside for a few minutes is enough for her right now. Let her slowly get used to the world.
Thank you for your advice!

I will certainly try to make her stop with the jumping. She does this so many times though, it is hard to even know what to do from time to time. For example, she is allowed on the couch on a blanket or on our lap. Sometimes we put her down and she wil start to jump and stand on the side of the couch. Eventually she will stop after a while because we ignore it. Don't know if this is the best method, but o whell we sure are trying.

We are also telling people to try and only pet her if she is at ease. Unfortunately, not a lot of people want to wait because o she is so cute lets pet her. Again, work in process ;) and we will shorten the times we walk with her, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Her crying at night is because she is anxious, she has just been separated from mum and littermates so she is bound to feel overwhelmed. It's fine to comfort her, don't ignore her. Comforting her now won't make her clingy, it will reassure that you are there for her and that in turn will build her confidence.

Outside, as Mad Murphy says, maybe don't try to rush her. Carrying her around in your jacket for a little while would get her used to seeing the outside world from a nice safe and secure place.

You might find this socialisation plan helpful.

The Puppy Socialization Exposure Checklist - Whole Dog Journal
Glad to hear it is ok to comfort her when she whines again at night. The socialisation plan is also very handy! She has to go to the vet tomorrow so I hope she won't make that big of a scene when she is around more occupied people for the first time..

Thank you for your advice :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She is still very young and almost everything is new to her so it is reasonable to assume that she will grow out of some of it. However, it is not obvious how much of her behavior is fear driven (whining in crate, shaking, not walking) and how much is puppy excitement (crying, jumping). Do you know, to what degree, the breeder socialized your puppy? By this I mean how many people and animals did she meet? Where did she spend her time - indoors, with littermates and mom, in a kennel? Did she go outside, experience new surfaces, sounds, smells or sights?

I've never heard that you can't reward fearful behavior....a reward is anything the increases the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated. If she is scared and you pick her up, the reward is her being able to avoid the scary stimulus and, eventually, she will just turn to you to be picked up every time she is frightened. Now, some things are legitimately scary or even dangerous and, obviously, you want to protect her from those things. But generally speaking, you want to slowly introduce her to new situations that might be mildly stressful or frightening and encourage her to voluntarily confront that novelty. You'll want to plan these events so you can set her up to succeed.

It sounds like she needs more exposure to new (safe) environments and learn some self control when around new people. I would highly recommend that you sign up for a puppy class ASAP. She will meet and play with new puppies and you will have the opportunity to work with her in a very exciting environment with the guidance of the professional trainer. While on walks, if she start jumping and crying when a new person approaches, just keep walking. If you stop and let the person love on her, you will be rewarding that behavior (her behavior got her what she wanted (attention-the reward) so why would she try anything else in the future?). I know that is it nearly impossible to walk down the street with a 9 week old puppy and ask people to ignore her...You have two options, walk her in areas where there are fewer people or tell would-be puppy lovers that, "She can't play today because she is learning her manners" or something like that. Some people will still ignore you and pet your dog anyway and in that case you'll have to decide how firm you want to be. Don't feel like you are depriving her, she has years of loving attention coming her way. There are so many other things she is learning on the walk like, well for starters, how to walk on a leash. Plus, there are cars, trucks, bikes, motorcycles, strollers, joggers, big trees, pokey bushes, airplanes and helicopters overhead, children running and playing, big animals like horses and cows, small animals like squirrels and birds. Then there's different weather conditions, times of day, times of year and all the ways you can vary from day to day. There is enough for her to learn on a walk to fill a book. Add the excitement of new people in other, more controlled ways.

She should still definitely be meeting new people everyday but try to create these situations so you have some control. You can invite people over to your house and ask them to ignore her until she is no longer seeking their attention. This means no looking, no touching, no talking. Once she has given up on 'this crazy human that doesn't realize how damn cute I am' and start to occupy herself in another appropriate way, then they can get on the floor and give her attention.

You could also go to a place where people walk by a lot and just practice watching people walk by. You may need to put up a sign that says PLEASE DON'T APPROACH - TRAINING IN PROGRESS. This may make you feel silly but your dog will be living with you for the next 10-20 years, a little extra effort now will pay off 100 fold. She can either be on a leash or you could sit with her inside a pen so she has a little more freedom and can play with you freely. Start as far enough away from the action as is necessary so that she calms down (becomes bored with) people walking by after about 10-15 minutes. When she jumps and cries at the sight of people just ignore her at first (your attempts to call her away will probably be fruitless and you don't want her to practice ignoring you). Then as the initial crazy excitement wears off, you can start calling her to you with treats and toys to redirect her attention. You're going to want to use the most high value treats and toys you can find like hotdogs or cheese. Find a toy she really likes and only let her play with it during these training session. As she practices getting herself under control around exciting things you can slowly increase the intensity of the stimulus by moving closer to the action or to a new, more exciting location.

Holy cow...this is a long one. I hope some of that helps. If you are still having problems or not getting the right advice, it would be really helpful to see a video of her behavior. Ask a friend or relative to follow you on a walk and grab a few video clips with their phone. Good luck!

SIDE NOTE: You are probably already aware but your puppy will not be fully vaccinated until she is 6 months old so be sure to only walk her in areas with low dog traffic.
First of all, thank you for so many tips!

Our puppy is basically not socialized with anything other than a few people, the poodles of the owner and the backyard... she hasn't experienced that much and she even still drank milk from her mother when we picked her up. A bit of a shame that we have to start from so little, hence al my doubts and questions :'). But of course we are willing to help her explore the world in the best way possible.

And yes we have signed up for pupp class. We were suppossed to go coming sunday, but apparently there were so many applications they asked us to join a week later. So we are going next sunday for the first time. I also think it will be very good for her to meet new dogs and I really hope she will calm down a bit after having exprienced other pups. ( I don't think so though..)

And yes it will take a while until she is fully vaccinated, but because she isn't used to anything I believe it is so important for her to get used to different surroundings. So I thought it was a good idea to already begin with small walks... Hope I was right.

Thank you so much for all your tips and experiences!
 

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Don't fret about being behind with socialisation, she is in the same situation as the majority of pups. The critical period is before she reaches 16 weeks, by when she should have had only good experiences of the things on the list (or as many as possible).

Ask your vet about vaccinations and risks in your area, I wouldn't correct World Ready Pets because I am not in the US but here a puppy would be considered safe at a much earlier date.
 
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