I am the very PROUD parent of Teddy.  Teddy is our amazing 6 month old, 39 pound, F1B Goldendoodle. Teddy has many talents and can do four great impersonations:

His 1st impersonation is that of a teddy bear, hence one of his nicknames, "Teddy Bear".  He has mastered the ability to be very cuddly and loving and OH! those brown button teddy bear eyes he gives just melts your heart.  

His 2nd impersonation and nickname at times is Houdini - The great magician! Teddy is known to retrieve items that you had no idea were in his reach or sight.  He has managed to get behind closed doors and into invisible (to the human eye) baskets.  Three weeks ago, during what seemed to be a rerun of the movie "The Exorcist" (throwing up three pairs of socks one right after the other) and a trip to our wonderful Vet on a Sunday morning, Teddy had emergency surgery.  What appeared to be a treasure full of foreign objects in his stomach turned out to be my daughter's dance tights that was stuck in his small intestines, backing up in to his stomach.  It was terrifying! But thanks to my wonderful vet, Teddy, is back to his old self (minus some hair on his leg and tummy).  Although, we thought we were great about keeping objects out of his reach and doors to the bathroom, laundry room and bedrooms closed, his magician side took over.  It is absolutely amazing what this dog can conjure up!  

His 3rd impression is that of an antagonist and can be very mischievous. Hence his third nickname of "Teddy the Terror".   He loves being mischievous getting into things he shouldn't. For example: my new magazines and shredding them before I even have a chance to read them.  BTW, other than eating socks and tights, magazines are the only things he shreds.  It's been a while since he's done that but mostly because now they are kept up REALLY high.  The antagonizer  because he is truly the epitome of the annoying little 2 year old brother to our 14 year old daughter and myself - never my husband.  We will be just sitting and he will come up to us and start head butting us, snapping at us, growling at us and biting us.   I would like to add a side not that Teddy has NEVER been hit by us.  We discipline him in the same way we disciplined our GR, we take them by the scruff and lay them on their back.  For most things, this works wonders on Teddy, but not in this department.  For my husband it is great, but not always for my daughter and myself.  Also, we have toys on stand by at all times, however, the aggressive play and attention seeking is becoming a little concerning and sometimes endless.  We have three grandsons and Teddy thinks they are friends of his own kind and size coming to play.  We really need to nip this aggressive play in the butt now before he becomes too old.  

His 4th impersonation is that of a Prince. Teddy is in the making of becoming a great King one day, leading his human people into the direction he foresees for us.  Although we try very hard to reign him back in, he is very powerful, willful, and determined.  Needless to say, we recently purchased a lead harness for his walks.  Even though it's only been two days since we had it and he (for obvious reasons) hates it, we will still give it a try a bit longer.  

With all of that being said, Santa needs help!  Teddy is our second family dog.  Our first was Bella, a beautiful and wonderful golden retriever.  Everyone would come to the house and say, you will never find another dog as great and good as her.  However, I have the belief that all dogs are great and good.  They just need the love and support to help them along.  My issue now is that I've tried all the techniques, play toys to keep him busy, walks and exercise that I know of (except a trainer) and have used for Bella, on Teddy.  He has a large fenced in yard that he can run free and play in with toys to keep him actively busy.  But, like children, all dogs are different and all have their own unique ways of learning and obeying. 

Does anyone have any suggestions and or recommendations to help me help my Teddy.  Is it too late for an obedience trainer?


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  • My first thought here is that Teddy is only 6 months old.

    My Jake will be 2 in February and has just recently stopped stealing and eating stuff (he occasionally still tries this).

    Is he getting enough exercise? Doods need a "ton" of exercise. Free range running is best.

    Keep being consistent and remember that the bigger dogs take much longer to mature.
  • It is definitely not too late for an obedience trainer.

    By the way, when describing Teddy the Antagonist I was reminded of our Devil Desi. Most of the time, he was a very good puppy, but at a certain time each evening, he’d morph into a litte devil, snipping, snapping, gnawing, etc. We tried time outs, ignoring, asserting dominance, etc. Some nights, my husband literally had to act as my body guard. Thankfully, he outgrew this phase and is a terrific two year old! Of course, one thing that helped was bringing home puppy #2. She was planned all along and not just simply a playmate for Desi - but Cori and Desi are best buddies and wonderful playmates.

    Good luck with your cutie pie!
    • This sounds just like Luca. He was just about 5-6 months old when I decided to take him to classes and we both learned so much.
  • It it not too late for an obedience trainer, and IMO it's actually incredibly important that you find a really good trainer to work with Teddy now before the behaviors escalate.  I also have a powerful, willful and determined Doodle who required a great deal of training.  A six month old Doodle who snaps, bites, and growls is concerning enough, but if this behavior isn't effectively corrected that you will be looking at a full grown dog with aggressive tendencies, and believe me you don't want that to happen.

  • Teddy is still a puppy - a beautiful adorable puppy, but still a puppy.  Doodles can be very high energy, active, SMART puppies.  Much of this will be outgrown with training and maturation.  Most bad habits can be trained out of them with consistent work - sometimes to the point of you wanting to strangle them :-{}  .  Some bad habits are part of the dog and one that will never be totally cured, but with maturation and the lessening of the puppy bad habits and training, they become very manageable.  In the meantime, I would not give Teddy freedom to be throughout the house.  I would keep him limited to the den/kitchen/common living space, if that is doable.  The rest of the house is off limits.  The area he is limited to can be doggy/baby proofed more easily. For example cupboards can have baby latches; no extra cloth items allowed - no shoes or socks come off there, no laundry is folded there, etc.  Might that help?

  • He is adorable!!!  Two things that worked for Finn at that age were training class (and short practice sessions a few times per day-tires out those little brains) and DAYCARE (can you say slept most of the next day).  His daycare was great and worked on monitoring and managing poor social skills such as barking at the other friends!  We  only sent him 1 x week but that really helped his overall development and I think his ability to focus as he had used up so much excess energy.  On days he did not go to day care, after short training a good playtime with me in the yard (tug toys, chase (yes I was huffing and puffing).  Also as his training comes along I could put Finn in a sit-stay, hide his favorite toy, then release him to find it!!  brain work and physical work!!  While Finn has come a long way- he still needs training (and enjoys it) and is still crated when we are not home.   He has been successful in the kitchen at times, however one day ate an entire bunch of bananas another day a loaf of bread...the crate keeps us all stress free.  He is 2 1/2 now and we are starting therapy visits and he is more cuddly and less aloof than he used to be!  He is smart and silly and occasionally naughty but his cuteness saves him!!  Have fun!  

  • I have no answers except to say he is ridiculously cute!!! I am so happy for you that his surgery went well! I have to say that is the biggest fear with my 9 month old goldendoodle. You would think that nature would have built something in that stops them from eating non food items! Good luck!
  • I agree that it is never too late for an obedience trainer.  However, I think that there may be more to your situation.

    I’m going to start by recommending two books for your whole family to read.  The first one is “How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves” by Dr. Sophia Yin.  The second one is “The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia McConnell, PhD.  Both books are well-written, easy reads.

    I’m also going to suggest that when Teddy tries to initiate rough play, you stop flipping him onto his back.  In the dog world, this is the equivalent of a death threat, and can lead to very dangerous behavior down the road.  In fact, the Monks of New Skete, who popularized the technique in the 70s and 80s with their book “How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend”, have reversed their position on the technique, and no longer support its use.

    How old was Teddy when you brought him home?  The aggressive play style and lack of impulse control is common in puppies that were separated from their mother and siblings before 8 weeks of age.  If there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether or not Teddy is just playing, I would strongly advise getting in touch with either a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a Board-Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ASAP.  If there is not one in your area, some do offer remote consults.  The last time I checked, the Veterinary Behaviorist in Austin, TX was amongst them.



    Now, please try not to hate me, but I also agree that Teddy could benefit from more exercise.  Having had two extremely high-energy pups myself, I know that more exercise is almost always far easier said than done.  When my Sebastian was a six-month-old unholy terror, I discovered the wonders of doggie daycare.  I took him as often as I could afford, and let him take his extra energy out on other dogs.  I also found it helpful for remedial socialization (he was separated from his mother and most of his siblings too soon when he was turned over to his rescue).  Dog parks (at off-peak hours) and doggie play dates may also be good options for him.

    Another great way to tire them out is by draining mental energy.  Training will definitely come in handy here, as can puzzle toys and games which require him to think.  A friend of mine taught her rambunctious puppy how to play Hide and Seek.  It was life-saving for her.

    In terms of Teddy getting into things, you may have to restrict his access to certain areas of the house, including your daughter’s room.  I also found that when my Sebastian was a puppy, I had to go through the house and re-puppy-proof every few weeks.  He went through a phase where he loved to take books from my bookshelf and eat them.  I eventually removed them all from the shelves, and stacked them on top of the bookcase.  There was also the night he figured out how to get into my underwear drawer and throw some of my unmentionables down the stairs (can’t make this stuff up).  He lost unsupervised upstairs privileges.  At night, I slept downstairs with him for what seemed like forever.

    Like some of the others have said, another key component, here, is age.  This is why nature makes them cute. He will settle down, just not soon enough.  Don’t tell Sebastian, but now that he has settled down and turned into a pretty respectable guy, there are times that I kind of miss his puppy antics.

    Animal Behavior Society
  • I want to thank each and everyone of you below for the messages sent.  I have seriously listened to, took into consideration and discussed with my husband each message and the suggestions given.

    Accessibility and Boundaries

     It is funny how all dogs are so different.  Our golden retriever also used to steal socks, but instead she would bring them to me and lay her head on my lap waiting for me to realize she had them in her mouth for me to take :-)  Needless to say, it took some getting use to that Teddy actually ate them vs bringing them to me :-)  But, we have taken steps that have helped him from obtaining his favorite cuisine.  All doors are always kept shut, open laundry baskets have been exchanged with lidded hampers.  He is limited to the kitchen, dining room, living room and sunroom.  Teddy has always been crated when he is unable to be under our watchful eye and retreats there during the day when he wants rest. 

    Exercise, Training and Walking on a lead

    Prior to his surgery, he was getting up to three miles a day of walking.  Since his 10-day post surgery clearance, we are working back up to 3 miles/day.  We are currently at 2.  In addition, he has free range running in our large fenced in back yard with hanging ropes that he swings and plays tug of war with and balls.  Inside, he has several "busy" toys : bob-a-lot, kong kone, Rubber Rooster and pig (that he loves playing fetch with) and his nylon chew bones - that keep him busy for quite some time, etc.  Hide and seek is one of his favorite games with our 14 year old daughter in the evening.  My oldest daughter has a golden doodle and we do have playdates.

    We also have training sessions every day always working with coming and staying/free (adding distance between us) etc.. He is learning sign language along with verbal commands as well.  He has mastered (both sign and verbal): sit, lay, shake, high ten, stay (short distance) and figure eights between my daughters legs (her trick with him). 

    Today's walk was day #4 on the Lead and he is doing amazingly better; trotting right along beside with me without pulling.   


    As for the Antagonist side, I am going to seek out a trainer to work on his behavior with the snapping and biting. I've noticed it seems to be when he isn't getting his way with somethings and wants to argue.   For my daughter, it's mostly the same time each night.  We have come to determine it's his wanting her attention and time to play hide and seek.  After a good game of that he is better.  Nonetheless, still a behavior that will be stopped.  

    We also agree that he is still just a puppy and has a lot of maturing to do.  We had to remind ourselves that we went through the typical puppy biting and jumping with our golden retriever for the first year.  She did out grow that with consistent discipline.  It's amazing how quickly you can forget those days when they become your perfect well behaved dog. He's just a little more willful and determined to get his way.

    With all of this being said, we are currently doing research to choose the best trainer for us.

    Like Deanna with Desi, Teddy is most of the time a great little man.  

    Thank you to you all!

    • You are soooo on the right track.  It sounds like you are doing everything right - except whatever the trainer comes up with to add to your bag of tricks with him.  I am sure he will grow up to be an awesome dog to go with his awesome looks.  Keep us posted.  Your trials and experiences will help others as they begin the puppy journey.

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