Our latest episode of The Doodle Kisses Podcast, "Managing the challenging doodle" has been the most popular episode so far.  I thought I'd offer listeners a chance to ask Jane additional questions about herself or Murphy!  If you haven't yet listened, do it!  It's informative and inspirational :-)  Respond to this discussion with your follow-up questions for Jane :-)



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  • It was a great podcast and I enjoyed hearing about how Jane addressed Murphy's challenges.  That is not an easy thing to do!  So Bravo!  My question is how Murphy ended up as a rescue and not back w/ his breeder at only 10 weeks? Is that known?




    • It's been almost 10 years, so I can't remember the exact circumstances, but typically there are two reasons young doodle puppies end up with rescue rather than going back to their breeders. The most common reason is that the breeders won't take them back (even many of the ones who say they will in their purchase agreements). And sometimes the owner doesn't feel that the breeder will do right by the puppy and would prefer to have a rescue choose his new home.

    • I think we've assumed the Breeder wasn't willing to take him back.  With Rescue you're never sure of who the original Breeder is when you adopt, but that was always our assumption.  Thanks so much for your positive comment!

  • Hi! My dog Wilson is aggressive with us. He has been baring his teeth, growling and being nippy since we brought him home. In fact, I took him from his young mother at six weeks because she couldnt handle her ten puppies and was visious with them and refused to nurse. He also submissive pees. Sounds like a handful, but we love him to death and are glad he is with us. I have made good progress with him, but my husband lets Wilson knaw on his hands and they play together like litter mates. My question is: Is my husbands playtime letting the dog bite on him ruining all the work Im doing? Also, do you think we are ever out of the woods with his submissive pee thing? He is 18 months old and been sucessful with two different obedience classes!

    • That's a really interesting question, because my husband was never able to be as totally "tough and consistent" as I was during the really difficult training phase...I think it's a "guy thing".  I so worried that this would negatively impact our progress and that Murphy would be confused by the different expectations.  My trainer helped me to understand that learning for dogs is contextual, and that Murphy would understand what he could "get away with" with my husband versus me.  It's not ideal, but it's not a "show stopper".  I kind of think Murph understood that I was his leader and had clear and consistent expectations...that was always going to enforce, while my husband was the "fun guy".  I had no problem with that because Murph needed a leader and I knew I had to be in that role.


      • This really is interesting to hear that dog's learning is contextual. Although I have never had concerns about Gavin being aggressive, my husband and I have roles as you both have described. I call DH the litter mate and he calls me the rules lady. DH and Gav will be on the floor wrestling, teeth on arms, growls, batting back and forth and if I try and sub in everything comes to a screeching halt. I present my arm and Gavin looks away. Despite how out of control it appears when they play like this, one word from DH and it is like the ref blew the whistle. Gavin disengages. In my gut I feel that playing rough with a dog with aggressive tendencies is not the best idea. You would want to be sure they have a really good "off" switch.

      • Thank you. I shared all the great feedback with my husband. Playtime is going to change! My husband is the one who takes our pup to his awesome training classes. So, I think our balance with Wilson will come.

    • My concern would be that because the puppy was taken from the litter so young, he never learned bite inhibition, which happens between 6-8 weeks and is usually taught by the mother & siblings. So he never learned that using his teeth on others is inappropriate. I know that many vets will tell you to immediately get a trainer (much as Jane's vet said when she first examined Murphy) when they learn that a puppy was taken from his mother at such a young age. 
      Because Wilson never learned to have a soft mouth or how to use his teeth appropriately during play, I would ask your husband not to let him use his teeth on him. My rule with nipping is that when teeth touch a human's skin, the game ends immediately. I personally would also not encourage baring teeth and growling when playing with humans. 


      • Thank you! I knew when I took him at six weeks we were going to have to work with him on the soft mouth issues. Play time is going to change for sure!

    • I think it's interesting that he's showing aggression AND submissive peeing.  Assuming the peeing is a submissive response, and not over-excitement, then perhaps the aggression is sort of a lack of confidence so even more reason to really control resources and show leadership.  But I'm no behaviorist!

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