When it comes to training dogs, few breeds respond to training as quickly and easily as poodles. Poodles are highly intelligent, eager to please and very receptive to training, making them excellent family pets. By following some basic poodle training tips, you’ll master the basics of obedience in no time.
There’s no denying poodles are smart dogs, but even the smartest dogs have to start with the basics of dog training before they can move on to more complex tasks. The most well trained service poodles that can open doors and flip light switches on and off had to first master the basic commands of “sit” and “stay.” The key to successful poodle training is to start small. Once you and your poodle have built a solid base of skills, you can move on to more complicated training tasks.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Training a poodle won’t always be easy, and you will have bad training days. While poodles are incredibly smart, they’re also incredibly hyper, and that hyperactivity can frustrate even the most patient owner during a training session. The key to overcoming bad training days is to remember to use positive reinforcement. Poodles, by their nature, want to please their owners, and they are more likely to respond to positive praise and treats than scolding and physical discipline.
Consistency is a critical part of successful poodle training. The more consistent you are with your training, the more likely it is your poodle will learn and retain the skills you’ve practiced. Don’t think you have to practice for hours and hours each and every day, either. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, finding 15 minutes or less, a couple times a week, to reinforce the basic techniques is plenty of time to keep your poodle’s skills honed and polished.
Take a Class
While certainly not required, finding a local dog training class can be extremely beneficial when training poodles. First, professional dog trainers can help you with the basic dog training skills, and if you’ve never trained a dog before, those skills are essential. More importantly, however, is that a class setting gives you a different environment to reinforce your poodle’s training. Sure, your poodle might be a model student while practicing “sit” in the privacy of your kitchen, but the real test is how your poodle performs with the distractions of other dogs and people. Taking a class will help you and your poodle learn how to handle those situations.
Training a poodle can seem a little overwhelming in the beginning, but it’s important to remember to have fun with it, even when it gets frustrating. Training can be a lifelong bonding experience between poodle and pet owner, so it’s important to enjoy yourself and remember why you chose to get a dog in the first place. To most of us, our dogs are loving, caring members of our families. While the training aspect is certainly important, so is the bond that comes from sharing this positive experience with your dog. Relax, enjoy yourself and remember, poodles thrive on training – you two will get there.
Jen Gehring is a political consultant and college law professor. She holds a J.D. from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Cincinnati. She began working as a professional writer in 2010.