Can anyone recommend puppy kindergarten in the San Mateo area?  We now have two 4 month old Doodles and there are a few bahaviors we need help with.  I'd really like in-person training with other pups so they can get used to playing with others besides each other.   (they are niot siblings) Any help is appreciated.

 

Janet  (I'm new)

 

 

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  • Hi Janet, sorry I am not in your area, so can't make a recommendation, but perhaps we can give you some ideas of what to do with these behaviors in the meantime.  My first thought is that although they are not related, there is some "littermate syndrome" happening from being raised together.  What are the behaviors you're concerned about?

    My other thought is that if they have problematic behaviors playing together, then a really well balanced adult dog might be a better play date.  Do you have a friend with a really fair, well-socialized dog?  If so, you might take one pup at a time to play in their yard and get taught some manners.  

    Otherwise, without more info, my next thought is make sure they get a lot of time apart: crate time apart, individual training time, individual play time with you too.  Just to break up the over-attachment and make sure their strongest bond is with you.  But perhaps that's already something you're working on :-)

    • Adina,  Thank you for your reply.  They actually play together really well.  My problems are jumping and biting when they are excited.  This is first thing in the morning and meeting people when off leash.  The male especially wants to grab anything and has torn clothes (and skin), dang their teeth are so sharp.  Also, when playing with another dog, the excitement starts the barking at the other dog.  Poor other dog is either scared and confused, or upset and snaps at them.  We have found that 2 to 1 just isn't a great idea yet.

      I love your comment about their strongest bond should be with me.  Definately will focus on that.

      • That sounds like pretty normal puppy behavior around that age, our goldendoodle had the nickname "land shark" as a puppy.   In our house any "extra rowdy" puppy behavior is met with an immediate end to play time. 

        You may want to keep them on-leash in the meantime when they are out and about so they can learn what is/isn't acceptable greeting behavior.  It will be a lot easier to control the interactions that way.

      • I agree with J!
        This is all 100% normal and expected behavior in a puppy even though it is SUPER frustrating.  I can't even imagine having two that egg each other on and multiply things.  As challenging as it may be, I think you should take each one out alone for their first thing in the morning potty.  Then you can deal with each as an individual rather than a duo.  My pup is 5 months now and there are times I only take him out for potty alone (without our senior) because he wants to play with her and she's just trying to do her thing and is too tolerant.  Plus sometimes I just want the potty over with and not have to deal with supervising outdoor rough housing.  

        Same thing when you have them meet strangers/friends.  One at a time.  I'm assuming they are meeting people off leash in your yard or your friend's yard?  Take one.  Next time take the other.  

        I have a lot to say about jumping.  Some dogs are just more jumpy.  Other dogs are less jumpy.  The FASTER you can nip it in the bud the better.  So in our house we give NO attention for jumping.  Nothing.  No "off".  No yelling.  No stop stop stop.  Just ignore the dog.  You can also shuffle your feet forward to knock them off balance.  But then to balance that lack of attention ... reward LAVISHLY for sitting for attention or at least keeping four feet on the floor.  Once they realize they have the remote control for attention and petting ("IF I sit here and stare up at your face, you'll pet me!!!) they will use it.  But you have to have ZERO tolerance for jumping on you.  I see so many people be inconsistent here.  They will feel frustrated when their dog jumps on others and then you'll catch them greeting their dog while their dog puts paws on them.  NOPE.  It's got to be ZERO tolerance and NO attention (good or bad) for jumping on you.  And then as you get farther along in training you can ASK for a sit on leash when greeting others.  If others are a bad influence and pay attention to your puppies when they jump, then keep them on leash and have the friends offer treats for sitting.  

        As for nipping I see two sides of this.  1) Puppies have to be CRYSTAL clear that it hurts you.  That means you need to yell OUCH or OWIE or whatever you say when something hurts and to say it like they tore your leg off.  2) They need a chance to try again and show a softer mouth.  So like with jumping OUCH with teeth and petting and "good dog!" with gentle mouth or no mouth.  But also 3) I think it's okay to grab the muzzle and say NO! firmly...as long as you give them a chance to interact with you and see that there is a right way.  So essentially one action leads to OUCH or muzzle grab, and another action leads to a pleasant interaction.  Or if puppies are just way riled up and super nippy ... they are probably 1 minute away from crashing and need to be put away in their individual crates for a nap.

        • This is a good episode we did on puppy naughty behavior: http://podcast.doodlekisses.com/20
          The only thing he doesn't offer is the muzzle grab.  I like to keep things mostly positive with puppies, but sometimes ya gotta be clear about what is NOT okay if the other stuff isn't getting through.  

          Doodle puppy nipping and other naughtiness!
          Puppy biting, jumping, and more!
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